Australian Rural Health Education Network

What does ARHEN do?

ARHEN is the peak body for Australia’s 16 University Departments of Rural Health (UDRH) located in every State and the NT.

ARHEN supports UDRHs around Australia to address rural health workforce maldistribution and improve the health of some 7 million Australians who live and work outside capital cities and major metropolitan centres.

Vision:      Better health through a skilled and effective health workforce for rural and remote Australia.

Purpose:  To lead the rural and remote health agenda in education and research by advocating for UDRHs that work in partnership with communities, health organisations and tertiary institutions to increase and enhance the rural and remote health workforce.


  • COVID-19 – ARHEN and UDRHs are committed to offering whatever assistance is required to support students and rural and remote communities throughout the COVID-19 crisis.  See more here.
  • COVID-19 – ARHEN supports comments made by the Rural Health Commissioner about the vulnerability of of people living in rural and remote areas during the COVID-19 crisis. See more here.
  • ARHEN has developed a position paper about allied health rural generalism and support the UDRH network may be able to offer.  See the March 2020 position paper here.
  • ARHEN made a submission to the recent Australian Government consultation, Rural Allied Health Quality, Access and Distribution, Options for Commonwealth Government Policy Reform and Investment. 
  • ARHEN is participating in a review of the Australian Government’s Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program which funds UDRHs.
  • The next ARHEN Board meeting will be held online on 27/28 May 2020.

University Departments of Rural Health

What do UDRHs do?

Each University Department of Rural Health (UDRH) is a leader in multidisciplinary rural health education and research, working with their local community to address unmet health care needs.  There are now 16 UDRHs.  All are part of ARHEN.

A core UDRH activity is provision of clinical placements in rural and remote locations for health science students from universities around Australia.

Positive clincial placements such as those offered by UDRHs can help address the maldistribution of health professionals in rural and remote communities, an issue which affects some 7 million Australians who live and work in the bush.

UDRHs are funded under the Australian Government’s Rural Health Mutlidisciplinary Training Program.

find out udrh locations