Centre for Remote Health

Centre for Remote Health Pharmacy Academic, Tobias SpeareCongratulations to Centre for Remote Health Pharmacy Academic Tobias Speare, who has received a 2018 Flinders University Vice President and Executive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award, for the Pharmacotherapeutics for Remote Area Nurses online course.

The course in safe medicines management for the remote nursing workforce has great capacity to improve knowledge, confidence, awareness, competence and preparedness for nurses to work in remote locations.



Participant feedback states that the Pharmacotherapeutics course:
• is relevant and appropriate to remote context
• provides better understanding of RAN scope of practice and constraints and
• promotes holistic practice to ensure safe, effective and appropriate treatment

The course is seen as an important part of preparing and upskilling the remote health workforce. It provides a variety of techniques to enhance learning experience and its online delivery provides increased access to educational opportunities.

Find out more about Pharmacotherapeutics for Remote Area Nurses

Primary Health Care GameThe Centre for Remote Health recently delivered its two-day Primary Health Care Workshop in Broome with participants from the Kimberley Population Health Unit and Kimberley Aboriginal Health Service.

The challenging and team-structured Primary Health Care (PHC) Game forms part of this workshop, and forces consensus to be found, decisions to be made and priorities to be reached by community advisory groups, with the clock ticking!

Primary Health Care: Making a difference examines the environmental, structural and philosophical issues that impact upon health provision in remote Australia. It looks at the core principles of primary health care as they currently apply in the Australian context. These principles should form the framework by which we deliver care in remote Australia. This is based on a comprehensive PHC approach which takes a ‘more than ever” into account as well as the social determinants of health, health inequalities, health promotion, illness prevention, treatment and care of the sick, rehabilitation, community engagement and development, advocacy and collaboration and population health approaches. This inevitability leads us to look at local policies to determine whether in fact the service is on track.

This workshop can be tailored to suit the needs of your organisation and state. The workshop applies the big picture to the local context.

For more information about this course please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Flinders University staff at the Indigenous Health Staff Forum held 13 - 14 NovemberThe inaugural three part College of Medicine and Public Health (CMPH) and College of Nursing and Health Sciences (CNHS) Indigenous Health Staff Forum was held on 13 and 14 November. This was well attended by over fifty Flinders University staff from all over the SA/NT Flinders University footprint.

Participants included staff from the CMPH, the CNHS and Yunggorendi at Bedford Park, as well as local and remote staff from the Poche Centres for Indigenous Health and Well-Being (Adelaide and Northern Territory), Flinders Northern Territory (Darwin and Katherine), the Centre for Remote Health (Alice Springs) and Flinders Rural Health South Australia (Riverland, Mt Gambier, Barossa and the Hills Mallee region).

Clinical placements: challenging and rewardingAs part of her Masters in Clinical Psychology, Tanu Joshi from Macquarie University completed a two-month placement through the Centre of Remote Health (CRH) in Alice Springs. On placement she worked with several mental health teams including the sub-acute facility, hospital inpatient unit and the remote mental health team.

Tanu had the opportunity to work with clients around their treatment, learn about their cultural and family life and their unique beliefs about mental health.

“Throughout my time in Alice Springs I developed a deeper understanding of the complexities and nuances of working with Indigenous cultures”.

“For me, the most interesting aspect of this placement was visiting remote Indigenous communities and engaging in outreach”.

While working across the mental health departments Tanu also received ongoing supervision from staff within the teams, as well as weekly supervision with CRH clinical staff. This provided a great environment to support ongoing learning and reflection from supervisors who are well experienced in working in this field.

“This placement was definitely challenging, however if you are open minded, flexible and able to adapt to your surroundings there is a lot to be gained. Overall, my placement was a great unique experience that I couldn’t have had anywhere else but in Alice Springs.

Developing future psychologistsThe Flinders NT student placement program supports clinical supervisors of students on placement in the Northern Territory. One program supervisor, Clinical Psychologist Professor Tim Carey, has provided an insight into the benefits of clinical supervision. Some of his students undertaking placements are completing the requirements for generalist registration while others are also working towards a specialist endorsement in clinical psychology or some other area of specialised psychological practice.

Sonia HinesCongratulations to new Centre for Remote Health (CRH) Senior Research Fellow, Sonia Hines, on being awarded the Florence Nightingale Memorial Scholarship by the Australian College of Nursing. This $10,000 award will contribute to Sonia’s ongoing PhD study of an educational intervention to improve nurses’ research literacy and evidence-based practice self-efficacy.

Sonia’s new role at CRH is to focus on conducting systematic reviews and building the output of the newly created Centre for Remote Health Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Affiliated Group. The role has grown from Sonia’s long association with JBI, as an author, reviewer, committee member, and journal editor. JBI, for those unfamiliar with the organisation, is an international collaboration for the promotion of evidence-based healthcare with over 70 centres worldwide. Sonia says, “I’m looking forward to continuing my PhD research here in Alice as well as expanding on the work I’ve previously done with JBI.”

NSW Health Minister visits the Centre for Remote HealthThe NSW Minister for Health visited the Centre for Remote Health (CRH) in early August when the Federal, State and Territory Health Ministers met at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council in Alice Springs to discuss a range of national health issues.

Centre for Remote Health’s Lecturer in Indigenous Health, Kathleen Martin greeted the dignitaries and provided an overview of CRH’s activities. Nursing Lecturer Jessie Anderson expanded on student placement activities in particular students and universities from New South Wales taking part in the program.

The dignitaries were also interested in the Remote Primary Health Care Manuals administered by CRH and Tobias Speare provided a brief history of the Manuals and how they are utilised in remote communities. They were presented with a special gift of bush medicines on departure. The Health Minister’s visit also included opportunities to visit various community organisations including the Purple House.

Artwork: Patricia Ansell-Dodds Photo: Courtesy Sydney Opera HouseCongratulations to Central Arrernte/Anmatyerre artist and lecturer in Indigenous History at the Centre for Remote Health Patricia Ansell Dodds, whose artwork will light up the sails of the Sydney Opera House every night for the coming year.

Patricia is one of six Indigenous artists who have been selected for this second iteration of the Badu Gili light installation with the seven minute animation projecting Indigenous art styles from across the country onto the Opera House’s eastern Bennelong sail twice each night. Patricia’s work (pictured above) depicts women, wild bush foods, ceremonies and the use of symbols.

Since its launch in July 2017, Badu Gili has been experienced by more than 160,000 visitors to the Opera House, with another 620,000 people from around the world viewing the projection online. Curator, Rhoda Roberts, Opera House’s head of First Nations programming, also curated last year’s Parrtjima, A Festival in Light in Alice Springs, where Patricia’s artwork featured.

Badu Gili means ‘water light’ in Gadigal, the language of the first people of the Sydney area.

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Love for community inspires remote area nursingJessica Payne’s recent nursing placement in Tennant Creek coordinated by Flinders NT Remote and Rural Inter Professional Placement Learning Team (RIPPLNT) has confirmed her intention to become a Remote Area Nurse.

A third year Nursing Student with Charles Darwin University and an Aboriginal woman based in Queensland, Jessica received financial support through a Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM) and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) scholarship to complete a four week placement at the Tennant Creek Hospital.

Her interest in Aboriginal Health is one that is deeply personal and her sole motivation to pursue a career in health care. Jessica describes how becoming a mother inspired her to contribute to the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Project team members Michelle Lincoln, Heather Jensen, Kerry Taylor, Margaret Smith, Lee Ryall and Victoria Flood at the Poche Seminar Series in June. Margaret and Lee presented aspects of the project, ‘Walykumunu Nyinaratjaku: To Live a Good Life’.Women from the NPY Women’s Council recently met in Alice Springs for a three-day workshop to plan and develop resources for sharing findings from a collaborative research project about disability issues. Facilitated by the Poche Centre’s Deputy Director, Associate Professor Kerry Taylor, the workshop was another in a series that looked at the report ‘Walykumunu Nyinaratjaku: to live a good life’.

The women discussed key findings of the research that Anangu and Yarnangu with disabilities want more than anything, to stay in their home communities, regardless of a lack of services or resources. This was not to say people were accepting of a lesser standard for disability care, but that service providers need to help people stay on country as a matter of priority.

This research project gave an opportunity for Anangu and Yarnangu voices to be heard. The Malpa (Aboriginal researchers/mentors) then worked out how best to communicate the findings back to participants and their communities.

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