Community & Business

29 May, 2024

Medical students get taste of the region

THE future of medicine is looking bright according to Health Workforce Queensland, after a cohort of medicine students completed their third event of the GROW Rural North Queensland (NQ) program.

Medical students get taste of the region - feature photo

In the bid to attract medical students to the Tablelands once they graduate, GROW has brought over 30 young people to the region to learn about the area and the local health sector.

The group began their adventure at Cairns Airport, catching up before heading to Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Medical Centre in Mareeba. 

There, they learned traditional weaving from a Torres Strait Islander family and explored the benefits of coconut oil. 

The students created a lightning bolt from coconut palm fronds and enjoyed the cultural exchange.

In the afternoon, the group attended a tree-planting ceremony at Mareeba Hospital to honour the community and health professionals for their commitment to growing the local workforce with GROW Rural. 

Mayor Angela Toppin and Dr Brian Treanor were also in attendance for the tree-planting.

The students then spent time with their billet families before gathering for a community dinner at the Mareeba Leagues Club, where they enjoyed a night of comedy.

On the second day, the group travelled to Atherton for scenario-based skills sessions titled “When Larry, Yasi and Jasper came to Town!”.

The day began with a talking circle featuring local community members, health professionals, and government representatives discussing community resilience. Local high school students with an interest in health care also participated.

A standout session was led by Laura Rutherford, a former GROW Rural Central Queensland student now practising as a physiotherapist in Cairns.

Her session received positive feedback, alongside other sessions on zoonotic diseases and a local resident's experience with Q Fever.

The day concluded with the "Hats off to GROW Rural dinner" where guests wore creative hats to celebrate the program. 

More than 70 guests, including local health professionals and community members, celebrated the students' three-year journey and the program's role in addressing workforce needs.

On the final day, the group visited Boonooloo Psychology and Cairns Equine Therapy, exploring the benefits of equine therapy with psychologist Anneke Bayer. 

Interactive activities helped the group connect and understand vulnerability.

After some free time browsing the markets in Kuranda, the group took the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway back to Cairns, stopping at Barron Falls for photographs.

HWQ will continue supporting the GROW Rural NQ students through university placements, bursaries, and employment. 


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