About Us


Linking and supporting University Departments of Rural Health across Australia

The Australian Rural Health Education Network or ARHEN is the national peak body for Australia’s 15 University Departments of Rural Health (UDRHs) in every State and the NT. All are members of ARHEN.

UDRHs are well established, diverse and complementary, forming the most significant rural health academic consolidation in Australia.

A key UDRH activity is to provide and coordinate clinical placements in rural and remote locations for health science students from universities across Australia. 

Well-supported rural and remote placements such as those offered by UDRHs have been shown to encourage students to return to these locations to practice professionally after graduation.

UDRHs also focus on expanding and enhancing the rural and remote health workforce through multidisciplinary education and training, research, professional support and service development.  They form the only rurally based academic units that work with all health disciplines at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and with the existing workforce.

As a group, UDRHs are committed to ensuring that the health workforce needs of rural and remote areas are addressed by national strategies.

ARHEN was established in 2001 and is an incorporated company under the Corporations Act 2001.


Achievement of better rural health through learning.

Guiding Purpose

To lead and initiate the rural health agenda in the areas of education and research.


  1. Provide leadership and strategic direction in rural health education and research.
  2. Strengthen the UDRH network through coordination and communication.
  3. Represent UDRH interests through a national voice and conduit for members.


Page update: July 2017

ARHEN assumes no responsibility or liability for damages arising from any error or omission, or from the use of any advice contained in this website.

Photos courtesy of UDRH students and staff