Media Release: Health Students Continue to GROW Connections in North Queensland

11 April 2023

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From Friday 28 April to Sunday 30 April, 25 health students will embark on their second year of Health Workforce Queensland’s GROW Rural North Queensland (GROW Rural NQ) program. The GROW NQ program is supported by our Event Partner, Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN).

The GROW Rural NQ program presents a unique opportunity for health students to gain practical experience and a better understanding of what rural communities experience with a limited health workforce. By immersing themselves in the Mareeba, Herberton, and Atherton communities, students will gain firsthand experience of the unique challenges and opportunities that come with working in rural health.

Encouraging the students to consider rural practice as a future opportunity, not only benefits the students but also aims to address the shortage of healthcare professionals in rural North Queensland. By returning to rural communities for their clinical placements, students can provide much-needed support to local healthcare providers and gain valuable experience. Additionally, GROW Rural NQ collaborates with local primary healthcare settings, practices, health services, and targeted communities to create structured pathways into employment opportunities for graduated students. The program helps students develop occupational and interpersonal skills, provides supported placements, and fosters pre-employment relationship-building to best prepare them to be part of the future rural health workforce.

During the 2023 GROW Rural NQ program, students will:

  • Participate in shadowing Indigenous healthcare professionals in a clinic setting to gain valuable insight into Indigenous healthcare practices at Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Primary Health Care Service in Mareeba;

  • Engage in a disordered eating scenario that demonstrates a multi-disciplinary approach to treatment, incorporating both public and private healthcare settings;

  • Gain insight into future employment opportunities in the region, learn about potential career pathways and stay up to date with current workforce trends through conversations with local health service providers, practices and Health Workforce Queensland’s Health Workforce Solutions representative;

  • Enjoy reconnecting with key members of the community, billet families, and health professionals who played a pivotal role in the success of the 2022 event; and

  • Discover more of the region's history and beauty by visiting the Herberton Historical Village and relaxing in the surroundings of Millaa Millaa Falls.

Health Workforce Queensland CEO, Chris Mitchell said “I want to thank the communities for their support and welcome to the GROW Rural NQ students. It is so important for students to connect to the local lifestyle, work and social opportunities as they contemplate their future career path in the region”.

The purpose of the GROW Rural NQ program is to encourage the next generation of healthcare professionals to consider working in underserved areas and experience the unique and rewarding lifestyle that North Queensland offers.


Sam Menteith

Marketing & Communications Officer


About HWQ

HWQ is a not for profit, non-Government Rural Workforce Agency (RWA) for primary health workforce in Queensland, focused on making sure remote, rural, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities have access to highly skilled health professionals when and where they need them, now and into the future.

Health Workforce Queensland Vision is to ensure an optimal health workforce to enhance the health of Queensland communities.

To achieve this Vision, Our Purpose is to create sustainable health workforce solutions that meet the needs of remote, rural, regional and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities challenged by a supply shortage of health professionals.


NQPHN is an independent not for profit organisation, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health.

NQPHN aims to improve health outcomes for all by working with GPs, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, allied health professionals, secondary care providers, hospitals, and the wider community.

Across Northern Queensland, from Sarina in the south to the Torres Strait in the north, NQPHN commissions primary and preventative health care – that is, the health care that takes place outside of a hospital – to help ensure North Queensland communities live happier, healthier, and longer lives.

For more information on NQPHN, visit

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