$8.5m training hub boost

Glenn CordingleyBroome Advertiser
Professor Juli Coffin welcomed the announcement of a Federal Government grant
Camera IconProfessor Juli Coffin welcomed the announcement of a Federal Government grant Credit: Jakeb Waddell

Notre Dame University has secured millions of dollars from the Federal Government to establish a major new training hub at its Broome campus to address a growing shortage of healthcare professionals in the region.

Notre Dame will lead a consortium of universities to establish the Kimberley University Department of Rural Health, substantially increasing training opportunities for nursing, midwifery, allied health students and professionals.

The move aims to help ensure health students and profession-als have a greater opportunity to live, study and work in Broome and in other Kimberley communities.

The Broome campus will receive about $8.5 million — a share of $26 million set aside specifically for additional university rural health departments.

The KUDRH in Broome — due to open next year — will provide training and undertake research focused on advancing health outcomes for Aboriginal and rural people.

Health training and support include collaboration with primary health networks and Aboriginal health organisations to help undergraduate students study and return to work in the Kimberley, as well as increasing community and student-led rural clinical placements.

The department will also offer transition support to rural and remote practices for those new to the Kimberley, professional development opportunities for the existing workforce and increased research relating to rural and remote health and inter-professional practice. Head of Notre Dame Broome campus, Professor Juli Coffin, welcomed the announcement.

“The Federal Government has recognised the need for a multi-disciplinary health training hub in the Kimberley to meet the region’s growing demands for highly skilled allied health professionals,” she said.

“It will not only provide greater access for students in an indigenous health context, but also a rich personal and professional experience that you can’t find anywhere else in Australia.”

Notre Dame vice-chancellor Professor Celia Hammond said the university was delighted to lead the initiative.

“It will provide opportunities for our students and collaborating universities,” Professor Hammond said.

“We are confident it will make a difference to addressing health workforce shortages and needs within the Kimberley region, and continue our longstanding commitment and presence in Broome.”

Shire of Broome president Ron Johnston said the announcement was hopefully a catalyst that would contribute towards attracting overseas students.

“In the future, I can see the Broome campus becoming a regional university for South East Asia,” he said.

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