Over the weekend of August 18-20th, 34 representatives from Rural Health Clubs from around Australia met in Melbourne for the National Rural Health Student Network (NRHSN) Council. This was a fantastic opportunity for our representatives, Cath (2017 President) and Heather (Senior NRHSN Representative) to meet and network with other rural health club representatives from around the country, see the different events and opportunities for rural health promotion which occur in other states and to hear updates on rural health training, funding and policy. The NRHSN is our primary advocacy body as a rural health club and executive presented the Network's position statements on Mental Health, Rural Training Pathways, Indigenous Health and Climate Change for discussion.
This year has seen a lot of change in the funding of rural health promotion and training and we were lucky to hear from both the Department of Health and Health Workforce Victoria on behalf of the rural workforce agencies in regards to these changes and their commitment to supporting the network moving forward. Cath was invited to present HOPE4HEALTH's Indigenous engagement activities, along with UQ's TROHPIQ President, and answer questions regarding effective indigenous health promotion and engagement; both recieved great feedback on the work being done by the South East Queensland Clubs.
The weekend was not all work, however. On Thursday evening, we took to the streets of Melbourne's CBD for a scavenger hunt, stopping strangers to congratulate them on wearing their RM William's boot with pride and encouraging city slickers to "go rural". Personally, the highlight of the weekend may have come when RHINO's president took the opportunity to teach us how to crack a stockman's whip in the centre of treasury gardens.
A big thanks must go to Billy, Ben, Carolyn and the whole NRHSN team for putting together a cracking weekend!