BH UDRH building

Australian Rural Health Research Collaboration

The Australian Rural Health Research Collaboration is a joint venture of research and health service partners working together to build health research capacity. The Collaboration was established in 2002 and consists of four research centres:

  • The Broken Hill Centre for Remote Health Research, University of Sydney, Broken Hill
  • Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety, University of Sydney, Moree
  • Northern Rivers University Department of Rural Health, University of Sydney, Lismore
  • New South Wales Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, University of Newcastle, Orange

There are associated NSW Local Health District partners in the Collaboration:

  • Far West
  • Western
  • Mid North Coast
  • Hunter New England
  • Northern NSW, and
  • Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol Office, NSW Ministry for Health

The mission of the Collaboration is to undertake an innovative and robust program of research and development that leads to sustained improvements in the health of rural communities and informs national and international health policy and practice through:

  • Establishment of effective research partnerships between academia, industry, health services and local communities
  • Fostering the development of a culture of enquiry and evidence based practice in health workers
  • Building a skilled research workforce
  • Establishment of effective mechanisms for translation of research results into improved health practice

Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Rural and Remote Primary Health Care

Overcoming access barriers in relation to primary health care is crucial to achieving equitable health outcomes for Australians living in rural and remote areas. To address this issue, the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute has established a Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in accessible and equitable primary health service provision in rural and remote Australia.

This Centre is a collaboration between Monash University School of Rural Health (Professor John Humphreys and Dr Matthew McGrail), the Centre for Remote Health, a joint Centre of Flinders University and Charles Darwin University in Alice Springs (Professor John Wakerman), and the University of Sydney Department of Rural Health in Broken Hill (Professor David Lyle).

The CRE in rural and remote primary health care aims to develop:

  • A better understanding of health behaviour relating to primary health care service utilisation in rural and remote Australia
  • Better measures of access to guide resource allocation relating to primary health care in small rural and remote communities
  • A comprehensive framework for evaluating the impact of rural and remote primary health care services on access and equity of health outcomes; and
  • Evidence-based models of sustainable primary health care for different rural and remote contexts.

CRE Research Capacity Building Program

The CRE Research Capacity Building Program for early career researchers is a two year program involving nine early career researchers from service provider organisations associated with the three CRE partner research centres.

The CRE Research Capacity Building program is supervised by postdoctoral fellows Dr Bernadette Ward (Bendigo); Dr Susan Thomas (Alice Springs) and Dr Sue Kirby (Broken Hill). The early career researcher participants are mentored through their projects from ethics application, through data collection and analysis to report writing and publication. In addition, the participants are provided with training in research methods.

The table below shows the CRE Research Capacity Building Program participants’ research projects and organisations.

Participating Organisation  Project

Mental Health Association of Central Australia, Alice Springs

Suicide follow up in the Aboriginal community
WA Country Health Service, Broome Fitzroy Crossing Hospital model of care following the incorporation of primary health care into the acute role
Far West Local Health District, Broken Hill Exploring deaths in restraint and seclusion in mental health patients
Outback Medicare Local, Bourke Evaluation of impact of drink safe program in Brewarrina
Brooke St Medical Centre, Woodend Can GPs do more for residents of Aged Care?
Chronic disease management, Kyabram Implementing Self-Management for Diabetes
Community Health Services, Sunraysia The perceptions and understandings of allied health services in the culturally diverse population of Sunraysia.