Fundamental to the Alliance’s work is the belief that, wherever they live, all Australians should have the opportunity for equal health outcomes, and equivalent access to comprehensive, high-quality and appropriate health services.
The Alliance comprises 39 Member Bodies, each of which is a national organisation. They include consumer groups (such as the Country Women’s Association of Australia), representation from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector, health professional organisations (representing doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, dentists, pharmacists, paramedics, health students, chiropractors and health service managers) and service providers (such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Rural Hospitals Forum of Catholic Health Australia, and Frontier Services of the Uniting Church in Australia).
With such a broad representative base, the Alliance is in a unique position to represent the views on health and health-related issues of people in rural and remote Australia. It collects and disseminates information so that it can determine the key issues affecting rural and remote areas and provide a coherent view on them to governments, the public, educational and research institutions and other bodies.
The Alliance takes a broad view of health and a long-term view of the development of rural and remote Australia. It supports initiatives that help the diverse communities of rural and remote Australia to be sustainable, healthy and health-promoting places in which to live and work.
The Alliance manages the biennial National Rural Health Conference and the Australian Journal of Rural Health, and produces position papers, submissions, media releases and newsletters. It is also the national management agency for the Australian Government of the Rural Australia Medical Undergraduate Scholarship (RAMUS) Scheme and Stream 2 of the Rural Health Continuing Education program (RHCE2).
There are many and varied determinants of health, and work to improve it in rural areas will continue to depend in part on strong partnerships between individuals, organisations and governments in metropolitan as well as rural and remote Australia.
The Alliance has a secretariat in Canberra, with an Executive Director who is responsible for delivering the mission of the organisation and managing the work of the Alliance and its staff.
The core support the Alliance receives for its work from the Australian Government is testimony of the partnership between the government and non-government sectors that is bringing greater equity and access for rural people.