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Rural News

4th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium - Maximising the value of rural and remote health research

2-3 September 2014, Canberra, ACT | conference website | program | register
The 4th biennial Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium is an opportunity for experienced and early career rural/remote health researchers to strengthen the value of their work by getting closer to national data agencies and policy makers. Over two days, there will be a range of presentations and discussions to build the relationship between researchers and those who obtain and publish data series - including new biomarkers. The Symposium will also provide information and practical expertise to help non-traditional rural and remote health researchers.

Nursing and Allied Health Rural Locum Scheme (NAHRLS) now includes pharmacists
Do you:

  • work in rural Australia and can’t take leave because no-one is available to fill in for you?
  • want to work as a locum in rural and remote Australia?

The Nursing & Allied Health Rural Locum Scheme (NAHRLS) was established by the Australian Government to support nurses, midwives and allied health professionals in rural and remote Australia to take leave from their work for up to 14 days.

NAHRLS is different from other locum agencies. The service is focused on supporting health professionals by administering an uncomplicated start-to-finish locum placement service.

The service includes recruiting and placing credentialed locums, and paying their travel, accommodation, meals allowance and incentives during their placement. The hosting organisation is only responsible for covering the base locum wage for the period during which the locum is required.

More at the NAHRLS website.

Thinking about a rural internship?
Read about Kelvin Cao's experience as an intern at Dubbo Base Hospital in 2012 in this SHPA NSW Branch Newsletter (scroll to page 5). 

You can also read about Fatima Samson's experience as an intern at the Blue Mountains Hospital here.
Victorian Healthcare Association Rural Allied Health Scholarship Program
The Victorian Healthcare Association offers scholarships to support rural allied health professionals and students.  These scholarships are available: 
  • Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for Rural Allied Health Practitioners
  • Rural Allied Health Postgraduate Scholarship

Go to VHA Scholarships for more details.

Rural Pharmacists Australia alliance
SHPA’s Rural Adviser Anne Leversha is the Deputy Chair of the Rural Pharmacists Australia alliance (RPA).  SHPA has joined forces with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, the Australian College of Pharmacy and National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association to form the new-look RPA group.
Locum opportunities in rural hospitals
Read the article from the Australian Journal of Pharmacy August 2011 issue by Anne Leversha.  Anne shares the story of Jennifer Todio who worked with her as a locum at the Latrobe Regional Hospital, Traralgon, Vic.  Jennifer describes her positive experience of working in a rural hospital.

Centre for Remote Health Bursary
The Primary Health Care Research Evaluation and Development Program (PHCRED) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. Funding is provided to all University Departments of Rural Healthand University Departments of General Practice to build research capacity and to promote research and the dissemination of research findings.

The Centre for Remote Health (CRH) is offering small bursaries (up to $5,000) to enable those working or involved in rural and remote primary health care within the Northern Territory to conduct research or evaluation in the field of Primary Health Care and to disseminate findings.

PHCRED Bursary website
Information sheet

Indigenous Allied Health Australia
Visit the Indigenous Allied Health Australia website which has been created for Indigenous allied health professionals and students wishing to network together, share information and ideas and join in the activities of this Indigenous lead allied health professionals association.  It is also for non-Indigenous allied health professionals and students who wish to be better informed about Indigenous Australians’ culture, society and requirements of health services and who wish to contribute to strategies to improve Indigenous health in Australia.

You can also view video interviews of Indigenous Australians speaking of their passion for their allied health careers, including pharmacy student Jess.

Rural Pharmacy Workforce Program
Go to the Rural Pharmacy website for information about the program, scholarships, grants and much more, including the CPE/Professional Development Allowance which provides financial support to assist pharmacists from rural and remote areas to access CPE and Professional Development activities. The allowance may be awarded to practising pharmacists, pre-registration pharmacists, pharmacists preparing to re-enter pharmacy practice, or a professional educator travelling to a group of practising pharmacists to deliver CPE. More here.  NOTE:  CPD events must be accredited to provide Group 2 CPD credits to be eligible for funding.

SHPA Strategic Plan 

Included in the SHPA vision and mission, is that 'policies for the future will ensure that equity of access to services, particularly for members in rural and remote districts is maximised'.

SHPA Rural Adviser

The role of the SHPA Rural Adviser is to:
  • Provide Federal Council with advice on rural issues that affect hospital pharmacy.
  • Inform Federal Council of issues which affect rural hospital pharmacy.
  • Represent rural hospital pharmacy at appropriate forums.
  • Promote rural hospital pharmacy.
  • Establish a network of rural hospital pharmacists.

The SHPA Rural Adviser is

Anne Leversha
Senior Lecturer, Monash University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, School of Rural Health
Clinical Senior Lecturer, Monash University, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Centre for Medication Use and Safety
Email: anne.leversha@monash.edu

SHPA Rural Network

The SHPA Rural Network has representatives from the states/territories listed below. The network meets by audio-teleconference three times a year, and is planning to develop closer links with the rural members.

Contact your State representative with ideas on how your Rural Network can work for you!

New South Wales: Ian Mawbey - ian.mawbey@gwahs.health.nsw.gov.au
Northern Territory: Kara Milne - kara.milne@nt.gov.au 
South Australia: Phil Selby - philip.selby@health.sa.gov.au 
Tasmania: Suzette Seaton - suzette.seaton@dhhs.tas.gov.au
Victoria: Chris Turner - cturner@erh.org.au
Western Australia: Frank Andinach - Frank.Andinach@health.wa.gov.au

Teleconference Minutes  (members only) 


February 2013
October 2012
July 2012
March 2012
July 2011 
February 2011
October 2010 
June 2010 
March 2010

October 2009
August 2009 
February 2009  
October 2008 
August 2008 
February 2008

October 2007 
June 2007 
February 2007 
November 2006 
June 2006 
March 2006

SHPA Representation

Rural Pharmacy Workforce Program

SHPA has a representative on the Advisory Committee for this program. The program includes these services:

  • CPE/Professional Development Allowance Scheme
  • Undergraduate scholarships
  • Pharmacy Placement allowance scheme
  • Rural pharmacist pre-registration incentive allowance
  • Academics at University Departments of Rural Health
  • Rural and Remote Pharmacy Infrastructure Grants Program
Go to the Rural Pharmacy website for more information about these programs and for closing dates and application forms.

Allied Health Professions Australia Rural and Remote (AHPARR)

AHPARR provides Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA) with rural and remote allied health representation and voice at a national level. Click here to visit the AHPARR page of the AHPA website.

Rural Pharmacists Australia - Rural Interest Group

SHPA is a member of the RPA, and as such represents Pharmacy on the National Rural Health Alliance.


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  • Fred J Boyd Award presented to Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO
  • The Fred J Boyd Award, named in honour of SHPA's founding president, is SHPA's highest honour.
  • SHPA Medal of Merit awarded to Kirstie Galbraith at MM2014
  • Kirstie is well known for her work and leadership in clinical pharmacy but more recently has been an outstanding leader in education, including in the emerging area of recognition of advanced pharmacy practice.
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  • SHPA is excited to work with NAPSA in this formalised partnership.


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