Centre for Remote Health

Nursing and Allied Health students on placement in Central Australia

The Centre for Remote Health welcomes a large group of Nursing and Allied Health students starting their placements in Central Australia this week.

The Nursing, Physiotherapy, Radiography and Optometry students attended CRH’s award winning Introduction to Central Australian Culture and Contexts Day before starting their placements at various locations including Alice Springs and Tennant Creek Hospitals, Community Pharmacies and Primary Health Clinics.

Find out more about Nursing and Allied Health placements in Central Australia


Kellie Stafford University of Queensland pharmacy student, Danny Tsai Alice Springs Hospital pharmacist, Tobias Speare Centre for Remote Health Pharmacy Academic, Carleigh Tongs Alice Springs Hospital pharmacy internKellie Stafford, a final year pharmacy student from University of Queensland on placement in Alice Springs, is undertaking a project to investigate antibiotic usage in infants at Alice Springs Hospital (ASH).

The project, involving ASH pharmacy department and Centre for Remote Health Pharmacy Academic, will assess the appropriateness of gentamicin use in neonatal patients in line with recommended guidelines and therapeutic drug monitoring.

The student project has the potential to benefit the Central Australian population though assessing whether current practice is appropriate and whether a change in practice is necessary.


Tanja HirvonenSummer May Finlay and Tanja Hirvonen at the National Suicide Prevention Conference in Brisbane from the Centre for Remote Health and Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association, and Summer May Finlay from co-presented at the National Suicide Prevention Conference held in Brisbane in July.

Professor Pat Dudgeon chaired the symposium with various presentations around suicide prevention for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Tanja and Summer May’s presentation discussed language, sensitivity, considerations and control of key messages when talking about suicide prevention to the media with a focus on who has the right to talk, and what can we talk about to ensure our voice is heard.

The conference was well attended and there were various presentations around what works and what needs to be considered when working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

Many attendees reported that they enjoyed the conference and were able to acquire new perspectives and skills, and develop ongoing connections with others working in this challenging area. Tanja and Summer May were both very grateful for the opportunity to be able to contribute to such an important discussion.


Artwork created by NPYWC Director Margaret Smith to represent the project: Adults with a disability living a good life in the NPY Lands

Adults with a disability living a good life in the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Lands was presented by Centre for Remote Health, Allied Health Academic, Heather Jensen at the National Occupational Therapy conference in Perth in August.

Heather’s paper was based on the preliminary results of a research project, instigated by NPY Women’s Council (NPYWC) in collaboration with Sydney University, Centre for Remote Health (CRH) and the Poche Centre in Alice Springs.  



Anangu (Aboriginal people from the NPY lands) and service providers agreed that some of the determining factors in living a good life include:

  • the importance of country and family
  • challenges experienced by carers
  • violence, vulnerability and disadvantage
  • the need for aids and equipment

Anangu were also concerned with immediate issues such as housing and food security, while the focus for service providers was on the challenges of providing services in this context.

The results of this research will be incorporated into CRH courses, in particular Working with People with Disabilities in Remote and Indigenous Communities offered in Alice Springs, and recently for the first time in Adelaide.

Heather also presented The Purple House: Occupational therapy practice in an Aboriginal community controlled organisation which compared models of Occupational Therapy practice with the philosophy of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, based on her experience at the Purple House in Alice Springs.


Pictures of health

PhD Scholar and Centre for Remote Health Academic, Maree Meredith has undertaken a three-year research study into why art centres are considered essential for community health and wellbeing on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.

Read more about Maree’s research

Maree’s project, Pictures of health has also been selected for inclusion in a new Flinders University brand campaign which builds on the 50th Anniversary campaign, ‘Making a Difference’


Centre for Remote Health Alice SpringsRecently the Federal Government committed to fund research for innovation in dementia and aged care choices.

A successful recipient of this funding is a consortium established to explore the use of remote community art centres in linking older Aboriginal people to community aged care services.

The project will be the first of its kind to explore and build on the ways in which community controlled art centres, located in remote Aboriginal communities, are currently providing support to older community members living with dementia, frailty and other conditions associated with ageing.

The consortium led by the National Ageing Research Institute includes the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women's Council (NPYWC), the Centre for Remote Health, Ikuntji Arts Centre at Haasts Bluff and Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency at Fitzroy Crossing.


Orientation to Remote Primary Healthcare ManualsAn orientation video is now available for the Remote Primary Health Care Manuals, a suite of clinical guidelines designed to support primary health care practitioners in remote Australia.

An identified absence of standardised and appropriate orientation to the correct and proper utilisation of the manuals led the Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association to undertake production of the video. The aim of the video is to improve delivery of health care in remote Australia through improved use of recommended clinical guidelines.

The Remote Primary Healthcare Manuals are developed under the governance of Central Australian Rural Practitioner’s Association, CRANAplus, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Alukura Branch, and the Centre for Remote Health.

View the orientation video which includes an overview of the purpose, layout and correct use of the manuals.

Associate Professor Mark DavisThe Centre for Remote Health is pleased to welcome Associate Professor Mark Davis in the position of Coordinator Remote Health Education Programs.

Mark is a registered clinical psychologist who earned his PhD at the University of Georgia, USA, before completing a two year post-doctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Washington School of Medicine (USA). 

Prior to joining the Centre for Remote Health, Mark was an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Master of Psychology (Clinical) course at Charles Darwin University, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Master of Social Science Programme in Clinical Psychology at the University of Macau, Assistant Professor at Georgia Gwinnett College (USA), and Head of Evaluation and Training at the University of Georgia’s Regents’ Center for Learning Disorders.

In addition to his role at the Centre for Remote Health, Mark provides psychology services to remote communities for the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress.


Alice Springs Naidoc March 2017The Poche Centre and the Centre for Remote Health, were among the many organisations who joined in the July 6 NAIDOC celebrations in Alice Springs.

The weather was perfect for the hundreds who participated in the march from ANZAC Hill over-looking the town, all the way down through the streets to the Town Council lawns, and it was a beautiful commencement to this important celebration of community.

Colourful banners and balloons, the smell of barbequed kangaroo tail in the air, live music and a jumping castle added to the relaxed picnic atmosphere. The day was topped off by the presence of local elder Margaret Kemarre Turner OAM and the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove.

Celebrations focussed on the 2017 National NAIDOC theme, Our Languages Matter, which emphasizes the importance, resilience and richness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages

Nicole HarwoodNicole Harwood is the 2017 recipient of the award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in the Charles Darwin University Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner).

The award, sponsored by the Centre for Remote Health (CRH) was presented by Professor Tim Carey, CRH Director, at the Engineering, Health Science and the Environment (EHSE) Prize Giving Ceremony held on 31 May 2017.


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