Deakin Rural Health (DRH), a new University Department of Rural Health, was established in May 2016 as part of the Commonwealth Government’s Rural Health Multi-disciplinary Training (RHMT) programme. This initiative combines previously separate rural health training and research programme funding into one core contract with the University linking activities across schools of Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health in the Faculty of Health. DRH, therefore, runs an integrated programme of student education, training and rural health research designed to increase the number and range of multi-disciplinary health professionals practising in the rural health workforce to improve the health status of rural communities.
DRH is one of 12 (soon to be 15) such units around Australia supported by the Australian Rural Health Education Network (ARHEN) established to build a multi-disciplinary rural health workforce. University Departments for Rural Health were designed to expand and enhance the rural and remote health workforce through multi-disciplinary education and training, research, professional support and service development. They are the only rurally based academic facilities that work with all health disciplines at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and with the existing workforce.
DRH has offices in Hamilton and Warrnambool and our student support, research and administration teams work with local organisations and collaborative academic units to increase health systems development, teaching and research across Western Victoria. Our health service development and research activities focus on chronic illness, mental health and Indigenous health and articulate with other national and international programmes in these fields.