Media Release - NT pioneers rural health leadership program

Alice Springs is hosting a new rural and remote leadership skills program for more than 20 university health students from around Australia this weekend.

The aim is to equip these future doctors, nurses and allied health professionals with the skills and confidence to lead healthy change in rural communities.

CARAH Health LEADS is an initiative of Northern Territory PHN (NT PHN), the Centre for Remote Health, the University of Tasmania and Rural Health Workforce Australia.

“Our key message to these students is building better leadership builds healthier communities,” says NT PHN Chief Executive Officer, Nicki Herriot. “This is a unique opportunity which will help our future workforce understand how communities work and how to drive change for better health.”

The program is being held at the Centre for Remote Health, using the Australia Health LEADS framework. Participants will receive training in:

  • understanding the dynamics of rural communities, including local economic and social conditions
  • how health services integrate with other sectors in the community, including local government and business
  • regional development and cultural differences.

The Chair of Rural Health Workforce Australia, Dr Ross Maxwell, says there are plans to replicate the program nationally if this weekend’s event is a success.

“The Northern Territory is the perfect setting to launch Health LEADS, given the diverse nature of its health issues and the commitment local providers have to addressing them.”

In addition to classroom-based learning, NT PHN is running site visits to a local health clinic and school to give participants real-world context for their newfound skills.

Students attending CARAH Health LEADS include those already on placement in the NT as well as six students selected through a national application process. This opportunity was offered exclusively to members of the National Rural Health Student Network, which is managed by RHWA.