Prof Ross Bailie, Director UCRH; Prof Robyn Ward, Executive Dean Faculty Medicine and Health, University of Sydney; Kevin Hogan MP, Member for Page

On Thursday 30 August 2018, a fortnight before returning to Canberra to take up his new cross-bench seat in the Parliament, the Nationals’ MP for Page Kevin Hogan officially opened the University Centre for Rural Health’s 30-bed student accommodation building in Lismore.

In tune with the government’s “jobs and growth” refrain, the construction and fit-out of the building was undertaken by local builders and contractors. The accommodation, off Uralba Street in what has become the Lismore health precinct, includes multiple accessible rooms, high-speed internet access and environmentally friendly features such as water recycling and solar hot water.

The building was funded by the University of Sydney to assist in accommodating the growing number of students supported by UCRH as part of the Commonwealth Government Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program.

Concept design for Act 1, part of Nicholas Roerich's designs for Diaghilev's 1913 production of Le Sacre du printemps - Wikipedia

Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, was first performed in Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on 29 May 1913. It broke with many of the established musical traditions and challenged the perceptions of the traditional supporters of the ballet while being enthusiastically embraced by the avant-garde.

During the opening night’s performance arguments developed between the two groups. Forty members of the audience were ejected in the fracas and one member of the orchestra reported, “Everything available was tossed in our direction, but we continued to play on”.

The advent of the Spring season sees a new beginning for the North Coast Primary Health Network. In August Julie Sturgess took over the role of Chief Executive from interim CE, Sharyn White, following the departure of Dr Vahid Saberi. Julie has had extensive experience in corporate roles in eHealth, Aboriginal health services and community care. Prior to to joining the NCPHN she was the CE of Northern Australia Primary Health Limited (NAPHL) that delivered primary health care to the people of northern Queensland through contractual arrangements with the Northern Queensland PHN. On page 5 Robin Osborne reports on the challenges Julie faces as she takes the helm at the NCPHN.

Julie Sturgess, CEO

It’s only day 12 in the CEO chair at one of Australia's most important health coordinating bodies and Julie Sturgess is understandably cautious to predict how the North Coast Primary Health Network will evolve under her stewardship.

This is not to say she is unfamiliar with what the Commonwealth-funded PHNs, totalling 31 in Australia, are intended to achieve. In short, to quote the department, the PHNs are aimed at “increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical services for patients, particularly those at risk of poor health outcomes, and improving coordination of care to ensure patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.”

Whatever our ability, it pays to keep moving, as Mark Liberatore explains.

People living with disabilities like cerebral palsy are often encouraged to participate in weekly therapy interventions from a very young age. The goal of such interventions include reaching milestones, improving gross and fine motor skills, mobility, communication and  daily living activities. When combined, these therapies help to increase the social and community participation of the individual, which can have profound benefits on emotional and psychological well-being.

UOW Lismore Hub  students visiting Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service on their first Regional Academic Day

The Lismore, Grafton and Murwillumbah hubs of UCRH have welcomed 18 University of Wollongong (UOW) Phase 3 medical students for their 12-month rural clinical placement. The longitudinal placement offered by UOW enables senior medical students to develop extended clinical competence and achieve a range of professional development objectives, including greater understanding of and appreciation for the complex personal and professional demands of rural clinical practice.

Students will participate in multifaceted interactions with patients and their families, clinical teachers and other health care professionals through their placements in our local hospitals, community centres, Aboriginal medical services and general practice clinics. These rural based learning opportunities provide rich experiences into their medical journey and evolving notions of professional identity as rural practitioners.