Health Students Immerse Themselves as they 'Go Rural'

25 May 2021

2021 Go Rural5

Thirty-five health students travelled to Toowoomba on Saturday 8 May 2021 to participate in Health Workforce Queensland’s (HWQ) annual ‘Go Rural’ immersion event. Health students from a wide range of disciplines engaged in team-based activities, hands-on clinical skill sessions, facilitated by local health professionals.

Nursing & Midwifery
Occupational Therapy







Go Rural is a one-day rural immersion event that aims to introduce first and second-year health students to the possibilities available to them in rural practice, whilst exposing them to the skills required to work in primary care.

HWQ CEO, Chris Mitchell “Immersion events such as Go Rural are vital for students, especially students in the early stages of their tertiary education. It is encouraging to connect with enthusiastic students, learning skills they'd not usually experience until later in their training. Today, all of them have developed an understanding of the possibilities of rural practice and how primary care in rural communities can be a rewarding career.”

The day commenced with a Welcome to Country and an Aboriginal art activity lead by Uncle Colin Jones of Kalkadoonand Nunukultribal descent. Colin has a rich and diverse knowledge of Aboriginal culture, and over many years has undertaken extensive graduate work. Each of Colin’s works are based on Aboriginal Dreaming stories passed down through the generations. Colin is an internationally recognised artist, who also lectures extensively in Aboriginal art, history and culture. Colin has a deep connection with the community as he facilitates many programs including the Strong Fathers and Marlu Youth programs.  

Uncle Colin's granddaughter Maddison (aged 10) also participated with him on the day.

Next, the day focused on practical skill sessions with topics related to rural health that promote interprofessional collaborative practice. The team of amazing facilitators from our Gold Sponsor, Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) lead skills sessions in intravenous cannulation, speech pathology and occupational therapy. A highlight of the morning was an Escape Room activity that challenged the students to work together as teams to solve a medical scenario.

We give special thanks to the following for their outstanding contribution:

Dayle Osborn, Interprofessional Practice Co-ordinator (Darling Downs)

Ashlee Kennelly, Clinical Educator (Nursing)

Chrissie O’Connell, Clinical Educator

Dr Lin Wegener, PhD, Clinical Educator

Lucy Parker, Clinical Educator

Kate Beyer, Clinical Educator (Nursing)

We also give thanks to Dr Sarah Ayles, Medical Education Registrar / Advanced Trainee ACEM Medical Education Unit, Toowoomba Hospital for facilitating the ever-popular suturing workshop.

“It was a pleasure to host Go Rural at SQRH Toowoomba this year,” said SQRH CEO, Geoff Argus. “It provided a great opportunity for health students to interact and learn from health professionals who live and breathe rural health. To see 35 students from a range of disciplines working and learning together is at the heart of what we do in creating a highly skilled and interprofessional collaborative rural health workforce”.

At the end of a very full day, students were enthusiastic about the experience. Now they have commenced their discovery of rural practice Health Workforce Queensland will continue to engage with them to support their journey into rural careers.

Other rural immersion initiatives offered by Health Workforce Queensland, including GROW Rural, build on Go Rural’s introduction to rural practice through extended immersion in rural communities and connections with local health professionals.

Go Rural is an initiative of and delivered by Health Workforce Queensland with support from the event sponsors:

Gold Sponsor:

Silver Sponsor: