The grants were awarded in January by eligible local volunteer-run foundations of the Country Education Foundation (CEF) to support students studying in health-related fields.
To be eligible student applicants had to originate from a country town within the Three Rivers ‘footprint’, an area that covers a large part of NSW, incorporating the Murrumbidgee, central west and western areas. CEF has strong local connections within these regions via its local foundation network.
A shared aim to improve access to university-level health study education for rural and regional young people prompted CEF, Three Rivers UDRH and CSU to come together to administer these grants.
Three Rivers Lead, Pathways and Student Support, Dr Pip Southwell said, “No-one understands the needs of a local area more than its community members.
“Three Rivers UDRH, through CEF, have been able to respond to the needs of local communities by affording those communities the autonomy to shape the grants into a system that worked for the young people of that area.
“We chose to trust the local committee members’ knowledge, insights, and passion for the education of young people, and can see that this trust has been well placed.
“The 34 young people starting and continuing their studies in health at CSU and other universities, represent the diversity of health careers as well as the health workforce needs of rural NSW.
“We look forward to continued collaborations with the CEF, their local foundations, and the grant recipients as they progress their careers in rural health.”
Three Rivers UDRH is a new department within the CSU Faculty of Science and is one of 16 UDRHs around Australia funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health to increase the rural health workforce.
Three Rivers UDRH is in a unique position among the URDHs, as it is embedded within the area of service, rather than being an outpost of a metropolitan university, and has on-the-ground support for students based in Albury, Dubbo, Griffith, Orange, and Wagga Wagga.
Three Rivers UDRH has a specific focus on increasing the rural health workforce of nursing, midwifery, allied health, and dentistry professionals. As a result, the impact and importance of local communities being equipped and enabled to support local people to address local needs is of highest importance.
CEF is happy to have facilitated these grants to young people in regions across NSW and looks forward to seeing the impact it will make on their lives, and the communities with which they have strong ties.
This is a joint press release from CSU and CEF:
Image credit: CSU