This exciting program weaves together past research activity in rural and remote health with the work of the new wave of researchers who are taking the sector to the next level.


The program

The 6th Rural and Remote Health Scientific Symposium will offer something for everyone with high quality keynote speakers; interactive Rogano sessions for researchers wanting feedback on projects; a series of short Lightning Talk presentations from emerging and active researchers; as well as general presentations.

With its sights fixed on the future, the Symposium program will reflect the breadth and depth of current research being undertaken in the rural and remote health sector today.

Twenty years since the first Infront Outback, rural and remote health research has much to celebrate. Whether it is evolving geographic classifications, practical clinical innovations, a more sustainable workforce, overcoming the challenges of providing health systems that work in the bush, or the many other insights into the challenges of rural and remote health, this is the time to take stock of the many milestones and achievements that provide the foundations of current and future practice.

The new Minister for Rural Health, Senator the Hon Bridgete McKenzie, has been invited to open the Symposium. Together with Emeritus Professor Paul Worley, Australia’s first Rural Health Commissioner, Melbourne Laureate Professor Hugh Taylor will help set the scene for the Symposium and the future of rural health research in Australia.

Emeritus Professor Lesley Barclay will anchor a panel of senior researchers to lead an informal review of key research that has shaped direction and growth in the rural and remote health sector. Look for 20 years of rural and remote health research: the story and the legacy in the Symposium program.

In a complementary session, Emeritus Professor John Humphreys, Professor John Wakerman and Adjunct Professor Bob Wells will lead a session - The rural and remote health policy impasse: why hasn't research evidence generated policies to improve rural and remote health services?

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Professor Paul Worley, National Rural Health Commissioner
  • Professor Tom Calma, Chairman, Ninti One Limited and Chancellor, University of Canberra, Aboriginal Community Researchers informing policy and practice in remote and rural health
  • Professor Alan Cass, Director, Menzies School of Health Research on chronic disease research
  • Louise Gates, Director, Health Section, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People: Smoking Trends, Australia, 1994 to 2014-15
  • Dr Judith Katzenellenbogen, Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow, University of Western Australia, Cardiovascular disease in Aboriginal Western Australians; findings from a decade of research and current initiatives
  • Professor Leonie Segal, Professor Health Economics, School of Population Health, University of South Australia, The role of economics in studies of rural and remote health: costing, outputs, outcomes, efficiency, funding, access and equity
  • Ms Claire Sparke, Population health Unit, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
  • Melbourne Laureate Professor Hugh Taylor, Harold Mitchell Professor of Indigenous Eye Health, University of Melbourne
  • Adjunct Professor Debra Thoms, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer
  • Professor Amanda Kenny, Professor of Rural and Regional Nursing, La Trobe Rural Health School.