Centre for Remote Health
Flinders-Student-and-PreceptorStudents on placements in the NT and their supervisors are receiving increased support from Flinders NT through an expansion in Commonwealth funding. The aim of this workforce support is to enable an increase in rural and remote placements in the Northern Territory. Research has shown that positive placement experiences increase the likelihood of later recruitment to remote and rural areas. Key to the experience for students is quality supervision and preceptorship, as well as safe and affordable accommodation and good lines of communication.
The support includes managing logistics for students, universities, and supervisors to ensure excellent experiences; supervisor training and support; subsidised accommodation, use of Flinders computer facilities, study and socialising spaces, cultural awareness training and orientation activities. In addition, allied health and nursing students enrolled in Flinders and CDU programs are eligible for a stipend to assist with placement expenses.

New innovations in Central Australia at the Centre for Remote Health in Alice Springs include student networking sessions and the development of new nursing placement opportunities in Tennant Creek. Activity in the Top End, including Katherine and Nhulunbuy includes consultations and discussions with key stakeholders including CDU, Top End Health Service, the Department of Health and supervisors of existing student placements.
The Flinders NT Student Placement Team

Top End  
Dr Narelle Campbell Assoc Prof, Academic lead, Community and Social Accountability
Heather Kirk Student Support Officer, Darwin
Amanda Read Student Support Officer, Katherine
Gemma Porteous Student Support Officer, Nhulunbuy
Top End Enquiries This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Central Australia  
Annie Farthing Lecturer in Remote Allied Health
Jessie Anderson Nursing Lecturer
Sheree Zadow Student Support Officer, Alice Springs
Pene Curtis Student Support Officer, Tennant Creek
Central Australia Enquiries This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   
  Find out more about student placements in Central Australia
Barbara Richards, Lecturer Indigenous Knowledges and Culture, Centre for Remote HealthCentre for Remote Health welcomes Barbara Richards, in the position of Lecturer Indigenous Knowledges and Culture. Barbara will be coordinating and facilitating the award winning short course, Introduction to Central Australia Aboriginal Cultures and Context.

An Anmatjere woman, Barbara was born in Alice Springs and her family and cultural connections stem from the Ti-Tree region of Central Australia. Barbara has worked most recently as Campus Operations Manager for Central Australia with the Batchelor Institute. Her career path has included working with and for Aboriginal people of the central region with many organisations and programs. Her involvement in health promotion has included the Healthy Heart project, National Workshop on Cervical and Breast Cancer, Aboriginal Health Worker Career Pathways and the Primary Health Care Access Program.

Barbara has qualifications in Aboriginal History and is passionate about teaching and maintaining Aboriginal culture and knowledges.

In February the Centre for Remote Health (CRH) and Poche Centre NT jointly hosted Professor Ryuki Kassai, his wife Professor Masako Ii, two General Practitioner (GP) registrars and two junior faculty members from Japan.

Professor Kassai, a GP and Chair of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at the Fukushima Medical University led the primary care response to the 2011 Fukushima tsunami that devastated the east coast of Japan, and the subsequent nuclear power station disaster.

Professor Kassai gave a CRH seminar titled: Implementing primary care policy in Japan and recovering from the disaster in Fukushima: a mission impossible? He spoke about his role after the tsunami and nuclear power station disaster at Fukushima, giving a personal account of his experience in leading the response and highlighting the ramifications of not having an established primary health care management system.  Professor Kassai also spoke about his role as the Asia Pacific representative of World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) Working Party on Research and how he would like to build stronger relationships between GPs from Japan, Australia and other countries.

The visit also included a tour of the Alice Springs Hospital, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Western Desert Dialysis (Purple House), Central Australian Aboriginal Congress and Simpsons Gap.

Professor Kassai had this to say about his visit “I was very impressed by the power of Alice Springs which I feel consists of the power of the people, the earth, and the universe. I feel really lucky to have had a chance to visit Alice Springs in my lifetime, and so did my team. Thank you very much also for giving me a chance to talk about Japanese primary care and the disaster”.

Tobias SpeareCathy Hargreaves, WACRH Pharmacy Academic and Tobias Speare, CRH Pharmacy Academic, at the NAPSA Congress in Perth, Pharmacy Academic at Centre for Remote Health recently attended National Australian Pharmacy Students’ Association (NAPSA) Congress in Perth.

NAPSA Congress is an annual week-long event that brings together undergraduate and postgraduate pharmacy students from eighteen universities nationwide for education, networking opportunities, a trade-show hall and social events. NAPSA Congress 2017 in Perth was reportedly one of the highest attendances with 320 delegates.

Toby presented a session promoting rural and remote pharmacy that was well received. It was encouraging that about half of the audience indicated that they were considering working in a rural/remote area!! A trade show followed with much interest in the Rural Pharmacy Support Network booth.

Toby and a colleague from the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health (WACRH) spoke with many students about placements and rural-remote pharmacy in general.

The Centre for Remote Health and Remote Primary Health Care Manuals sponsored a Rural-Remote Student Placement Competition. Matthew Vuksanovic (University of Western Australia) and Salifya Sichone (University of Queensland) each won a copy of the Medicines Book for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Practitioners and Health Workers.
Centre for Remote Health, Mental Health Academic, Tanja HirvonenCRH Mental Health Academic Tanja Hirvonen, recently featured in an SBS article where Australian Aboriginal psychologists talk about why Australia needs more Indigenous recruits to join the team. It comes after the Australian Psychological Society said sorry for their silence on the Stolen Generation.
Read full article
Toby SpeareIn a recent article published in the Australian Journal of Pharmacy, Centre for Remote Health Pharmacy Academic Tobias Speare outlines how you can encourage culturally safe and responsive practice in your pharmacy.

Read full article
Professor Tim Carey, Aboriginal Health Practitioner Co-ordinator, Iris Raye and Tanja Hirvonen at Milikapiti Health Clinic on Melville IslandCentre for Remote Health’s Professor Tim Carey and Tanja Hirvonen visited Tiwi Islands in December 2016 to meet with Aboriginal Health Practitioners and team leaders to discuss mental health/wellbeing and self–care learning needs.  

This forms part of research about whether the development of training for Aboriginal health Practitioners (AHP) is needed, to enhance the good work they are currently performing.  

The discussions confirmed that future training would provide significant benefits for the AHP workforce, in particular the remote AHP workforce.  The Centre for Remote Health is very interested in upskilling AHPS’s in Mental health and self-care as it is felt that this will also have great benefits in retaining this cohort and their longevity in Aboriginal Primary Heath care.  

This most recent trip was very encouraging and it is hoped that this is the beginning of enhancing relationships with the North of Australia.
Atoifi Adventist Hospital, Solomon IslandsTobias Speare, Pharmacy Academic at the Centre for Remote Health, visited the Atoifi Adventist Hospital (AAH) in remote Solomon Islands in October 2016 to assist in the establishment of medicines management processes. The trip to the Solomon Islands was very successful with the establishment of important partnerships, the development of a number of protocols around how medicines are managed in AAH including consultation with stakeholders, the redesign of the pharmacy and support for local pharmacy officer.

In addition Toby was able to provide guidance to members of the Atoifi Health Research Group who were presenting at an upcoming Pacific Nurses Forum , where the Atoifi Health Research Group was recognised as an extremely high performing organisation.
Professor John Wakerman, Associate Dean Flinders NT, Rosalie Schultz, CARPA chair and Professor Tim Carey, Director Centre for Remote Health with the original painting that appears on the CARPA Standard Treatment ManualThe original painting which has appeared on the front cover of the Central Australian Rural Practitioner’s Association (CARPA) Standard Treatment Manual since 1992, will soon be displayed at Centre for Remote Health where the team coordinating the revision and production of the manuals is based.

The artwork was commissioned by Dr Steve Skov, a District Medical Officer for the communities, and a member of the editorial committee for the first edition of the CARPA Manual along with Sabina Knight, Nick Williams and Penny Silwood. Kumantjai Tjampitjimpa Nolan a practising ngangkari, established artist and senior elder in the Papunya, Mt Liebig and Haast’s Bluff areas was asked to paint something of his choice for the first edition.

The painting tells the story of some women who are unwell from having their kurrunpa or 'soul' displaced and a ngangkari restoring their kurrunpa to them. The concept of kurrunpa is central to Western Desert people’s understanding of health and well-being. Disturbances in kurrunpa are very common causes of illness and reason for people to seek the assistance of a ngangkari. The painting also underscores the importance of recognizing that Aboriginal people maintain their traditional concepts and practices concerning health and illness as well as making use of the health clinic and the need for health care practitioners of a different paradigm to understand and respect those beliefs and work in with them.

The CARPA Standard Treatment Manual forms part of the Remote Primary Health Care Manuals suite, designed to support good clinical practice in primary health care in central, northern and remote Australia.

The suite of manuals includes:
  • CARPA Standard Treatment Manual, 6th edition
  • Minymaku Kutju Tjukurpa Women’s Business Manual, 5th edition
  • Clinical Procedures Manual for remote and rural practice, 3rd edition
  • Medicines Book for Aboriginal Health Workers, 3rd edition
  • Reference Book for the Remote Primary Health Care Manuals
The organisations that have collaborated to produce this suite of manuals are:
  • Central Australian Rural Practitioner’s Association Inc (CARPA)
  • CRANAplus Inc
  • Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Alukura Branch
  • Centre for Remote Health
Professors Sue Lenthall (award winner), Centre for Remote Health, Eileen Willis, Flinders University and Tim Carey, Centre for Remote HealthCentre for Remote Health’s Academic Leader, and longest serving staff member, Associate Professor Sue Lenthall has been awarded the Staff Award for Outstanding Contribution to Flinders University.

Sue has made an outstanding and sustained contribution to the crucially important discipline of Remote Health in both research and education since the late 1990s. Flinders University is a national and international leader in Remote Health and Sue has played a key role in Flinders achieving this well-deserved status.

Sue was instrumental in the development of the Remote Health education programs, has continued to lead their development and expansion and is a pioneer who is at the cutting edge of our understandings regarding the discipline of Remote Health and how remote services can be improved.

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