Goldfields’ health hub a game-changer

Curtin University’s new Goldfields’ health hub plans to work closely with healthcare providers such as WACHS and the Royal Flying Doctor Service to deliver education, placements, research and local careers for the regional health workforce.

About $10 million for the Goldfields University Department of Rural Health was provided by the Department of Health and Aged Care under the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program. 

It was launched at Curtin’s Kalgoorlie campus last week by Emma McBride, Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention. 

“This university department of rural health will play a critical role in improving health outcomes in the Goldfields region, as well as offering social and economic benefits,” Ms McBride said. 

“Everyone has a right to quality health care, no matter where they live, and giving health care students outside the major cities a chance to remain close to home and study in the communities they know and understand is important to improving health care in rural and regional areas.” 

Curtin’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Professor Paul Brunton, said the Kalgoorlie-based hub built on the university’s existing medical education and training presence in the region. 

“Curtin believes every Australian deserves the best healthcare, no matter where they live. This hub will offer our health workers of the future the opportunity to learn their skills in the regions where they will deliver them,” Professor Brunton said. 

“We are delighted to have welcomed our very first cohort of GUDRH nursing students to Kalgoorlie, who have undertaken placements at Kalgoorlie Health Campus, supported by WACHS. The first semester of operation has seen the GUDRH provide a rural experience for 27 nursing and occupational therapy students. 

“Curtin looks forward to continuing to work hand in hand with the local communities to build capacity to respond effectively to the contemporary health challenges they face.” 

The health hub will also develop and establish a pipeline for First Nations and rural/remote-based students to enter various health professional training programs; as well as undertake research informed by local health care priorities and health service gaps. 

Prior to commencing their placements, all students will participate in an orientation session and a site-specific cultural awareness workshop, facilitated by Wendy Boyle, the Department’s Aboriginal Cultural Liaison, imparting culturally safe ways of working in remote communities.