After four action-packed days, the 14th National Rural Health Conference with its theme of 'A World of Rural Health', has concluded with the delivery of the priority recommendations to emerge from the event to Assistant Minister for Health, David Gillespie.
Also part of the conclusion proceedings, Chief Advocate for World Vision Australia, Rev. Tim Costello addressed delegates on advocacy, equity, and access around the world for health services.
According to CEO of the NRHA, David Butt, “the Conference provided an excellent opportunity for learning and sharing the evidence of what works in rural and remote health.
"People who live and work in rural and remote Australia have the knowledge about what works and what needs to change to improve health and wellbeing.
"Very importantly, through the conference they have identified key recommendations for health systems reform, to improve the health and wellbeing of the seven million people who live in rural and remote Australia,” Mr Butt said.
Held in Cairns this week, almost 1,200 delegates participated in the most comprehensive program ever presented by the organising body, the National Rural Health Alliance, confirming the event's standing as the most important of its kind in the country for rural and remote health.
First-time delegate Monica Murray from the Western NSW Rural Health District, who presented on remote tele-home monitoring as part of a Hospital in the Home trial, said the diversity the Conference offered was one of the many highlights.
“The experience has been unbelievable. I've been blown away by the passion of all the speakers and the participants. It's been such a unique mix of technical, clinical, artistic, Indigenous and social elements. I would most definitely come again.”
Other important moments during the closing day were the presentations of the Des Murray Scholarship and the Unsung Hero Award.
The Scholarship provided for 20-year-old Shanae Eikelboom, involved in the provision of aged care services in her hometown of Albany, Western Australia, and 26-year-old Harper Dalton-Earls, an LGBTIQ advocate from Lismore, to attend and participate in the Conference.
And for the first time, the Friends of the Alliance Unsung Hero Award was presented to a family – John Lawrence, his wife Mandy and their 18-year-old daughter Pantjiti for years of dedication to the Alliance and the Conferences themselves.
In yet another first and of considerable interest, videos of the Plenary Sessions were live-streamed on YouTube and are still available to view at: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLy3L8K8X91YyQ4iGBTphuvVq5y2AgLGQK