ARHEN regularly holds a photo competition to encourage nursing and allied health students to ”show off'” the many great opportunities that exist to undertake clinical placements in rural and remote Australia.

Every year, thousands of students from many different universities are supported by UDRHs to undertake these placements, often for several months at a time.  UDRHs offer high quality accommodation and study support for the duration of students’ placements.

Students get to experience what it’s like to work professionally with others in their field – and in other health professions – while also finding out what it’s like to live and work outside a capital city where many have spent their lives.  Research shows that positive placements such as those offered by UDRHs  encourages students to return to practice professionally after they graduate.

The photo competition (which includes cash prizes) is a fun way for eligible  students to showcase their creativity, as well as their placement experience, and show others the many benefits of  ‘going bush’ as part of their health science studies.


Winner, $500: Patrick Foster, Centre for Remote Health, Alice Springs, NT.

Whilst on placement here Alice Springs, my fellow dental students and I have made the decision to meet,
explore and engage ourselves in all our new home has to offer. Pictured here, we are dressed as tooth fairies,
racing to victory in our home-made (quickly breaking down) boat, in the annual Henley on Todd, dry-river boat race.

Runner-up, $300: Carrington Bond, Centre for Remote Health, Alice Springs, NT. 

This photo is the reflection of a perfect winters’ day placement experience with St. John Ambulance, Alice Springs. This unforgettable remote student placement experience  is one I’ll never forget. The diverse demographic, remoteness of the environment, limited access to resources and rich traditional culture is something that has not only helped me to grow as clinician but as a person.  To capture the essence of this experience is the deserted backdrop, clear beaming cloudless sky and one of the most important resources in central Australia, the St. John ambulance.

Special award, $200: Sophie Roberts, Centre for Remote Health, Alice Springs, NT. 

This is a photo of myself and a friendly bush dog in front of the dental truck that was parked in Haasts Bluff. I worked in this dental truck for one week as part of my 18-week placement with Northern Territory Oral Health Services in Alice Springs. Haasts Bluff is a small Indigenous community of approximately 200 people, four hours drive out of Alice Springs. During the week I was able to  provide both emergency and preventative dental care to patients of all ages from Haasts Bluff and the surrounding communities. This was a unique experience for me, and is one that I will treasure for the rest of my career.

Special award, $200: James Cheesman, Flinders Rural Health, SA. 

G’day from Areyonga, population 300! People are always happy to see us and I’m learning from some amazing health professionals. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to sneak a look at some beautiful remote places, and there’s always a cup of tea on offer.

Special award, $200: Koula Syrkiadis, Deakin Rural Health, Warrnambool, Vic. 

The photo is taken at Venus Baths, Halls Gap.  As Hippocrates stated “Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity” hence the 3 dimensions of the photo with the depth portraying humanity into rural regions and beyond. The stethoscope on the rock encapsulates the strength and divinity medicine brings.

Special award, $200: Aaron Chan, Western Australian Centre for Rural Health, Geraldton. 

This photo was taken at the HMAS Sydney II Memorial in Geraldton.  I (on the far right) and eight other students used our mobile phones to light paint “GERALDTON” as a way to commemorate the amazing clinical placement and life experience the town provided us. Additionally, the nine students in this photo were from various health faculties including pharmacy, podiatry and nursing, this highlights the significance of a multidisciplinary approach to health care.

Special award, $200: Marg Richardson, Centre for Rural Health, Launceston, Tasmania.

During my Social Work Placement, we created an Equine Assisted Therapy program with students from various schools, adults with mental health problems and adolescents who are challenged for various reasons.  These sessions were done with a herd of horses who live in a beautiful rural property in NW Tasmania.  The program deals with issues such as respect, responsibility, relationship skills, boundaries, empathy, choices and consequences.  To see the relationship build with the participants and the horses is truly humbling.  Taking people back to nature and getting the feedback from the horses is empowering not only for the participant but for myself in the role of co-facilitator.