Rural and regional partnerships

The Faculty is committed to responding to the health and medical needs of rural and regional communities, particularly western Victoria.  This is reflected in a formal partnership with the Victorian Department of Health / Department of Human Services, as well as innovative partnerships that have resulted in the establishment of two research centres.

Department of Health / Department of Human Services (Barwon - South Western Region)

This formal partnership, operating from Geelong, brings together knowledge, experience and resources that benefit both organisations and the region's residents.

It represents a unique and innovative partnership committed to protecting and promoting the health and wellbeing of regional and rural Victorians. The objectives of the partnership include brokering and encouraging collaborative research, education and evidence-based policy to enhance the health of people living in this region of Victoria.

The partnership's four major strategies to date have been:

  1. public health forums: to enhance the public's awareness of knowledge of public health matters by promoting professional development and knowledge
  2. teaching and workforce development: to improve the capacity of the human services sector workforce to respond to changing needs through collaboration on professional training and placement activities
  3. research and evidence-based practice: to improve health and wellbeing outcomes - particularly for disadvantaged people and places - through research activity that aligns to Department of Health / Department of Human Services priorities and contributes to the evidence-base of human services practice
  4. health and wellbeing / health and community services: to establish the partnership as a key player in regional health and wellbeing initiatives through engagement with key bodies responsible for planning and policy development.

Centre for Rural Emergency Medicine

The Centre for Rural Emergency Medicine is a partnership between Deakin University, Alcoa of Australia and the Victorian Government.  Alcoa provided seed funding for the Centre.

The Centre operates through Deakin's School of Medicine, hospitals at Portland District Health and South West Healthcare Warrnambool and through a network of regional doctors.

The Centre is making an important contribution to coordination and delivery of effective emergency medical management in western Victoria and provides national leadership in emergency medicine research of special concern in rural and regional areas. These include bushfires, road trauma, farm and agricultural accidents and the management of medical and psychiatric emergencies.  The Centre is also playing a major role in the development of emergency medicine teaching programs for the Deakin Medical School. 

National Centre for Farmer Health

The National Centre for Farmer Health is a partnership between Deakin University and Western District Health Service and is based in Hamilton.  The partnership was made possible by a philanthropic donation from Mr Geoff Handbury to seed fund the initiative.

The Centre is one of the most exciting initiatives in agricultural health care in more than a generation. It is a new university research, service delivery and education centre that will provide national leadership to improve the health and wellbeing of farmers, farm workers and their families across Australia.

The National Centre for Farmer Health will bring together university research, service delivery, government and education by focusing on these five key areas:

  • Professional training and education: providing undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education for health professionals, including GPs, nurses, allied health practitioners, vets, agronomists and associated primary industry personnel.
  • Applied research and development: expanding the evidence base for effective interventions to improve farm and agricultural workers' health.
  • Web-based information and services: increasing knowledge and understanding by providing links to quality information and in future by providing e-learning and telemedicine services.
  • AgriSafe clinics: introducing innovative occupational health and safety services to farm and agricultural workers.
  • Sustainable Farm Families programs: maintaining the farmer health programs with an increasing emphasis on the dissemination of research results from the programs.

Comprehensive information on the Centre is available at:

Greater Green Triangle

The Greater Green Triangle University Department of Rural Health is a partnership between Flinders University and Deakin University.  The Department was established in 2000 and is supported by the Australian Government and Primary Health Care Research, Evaluation and Development.

The Department undertakes an integrated program of research, education and training in an effort to promote excellence in rural and remote health education, training and research, and to ensure practical outcomes and long-term benefits for the communities of the Greater Green Triangle region.

The Greater Green Triangle region extends from north of Horsham in Victoria to west of the Coorong in South Australia, east to Apollo Bay in Victoria, and south along the coast in between.  It includes the towns of Ararat, Camperdown, Casterton, Colac, Hamilton, Horsham, Millicent, Mt Gambier, Naracoorte, Portland, Stawell and Warrnambool.
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