Bush backdrop at Faculty retreat a great success
21 October 2005
Faculty members dusted off their Akubra hats and headed “bush” for the annual Faculty of Medicine retreat held over October 20 and 21, 2005.
Hosted by the University Department of Rural Health (UDRH) in Broken Hill, the outback setting was the perfect location to discuss rural issues facing the Faculty such as the recruitment of rural medical students and the retention of academics in rural areas.
Faculty support of Indigenous students was also addressed, with particular attention given to increasing Indigenous enrollments, supporting Indigenous students through to graduation and increasing the number of Indigenous academic and general staff working in the Faculty.
Other topics covered over the two days included: early career support for researchers within the Faculty, the changing nature of postgraduate education and training, and proposed changes to research training.
Staff also took the opportunity to speak with local high school students about studying at the Faculty, discussing the possibilities of attending a major university and then returning home to work in Broken Hill.
It was the first time in Broken Hill for many delegates who enjoyed the opportunity to visit a regional centre. Maureen O’Donnell, a Paakantji Elder and representative of the traditional owners of Broken Hill extending a warm welcome and the Mayor of Broken Hill, Cr Ron Page, hosted a reception for all participants and their partners.
"It was great to have the Faculty in Broken Hill", said Professor David Lyle, Head of the UDRH. "Apart from the success of the meeting, having our Sydney colleagues here had a great impact on the town and it did a lot to raise the profile of the UDRH in the community. We look forward to their next visit."
Broken Hill is the largest regional centre in the western half of New South Wales and has a population of 24 500 people. It lies in the centre of the sparsely settled New South Wales Outback, close to the South Australian border and midway between the Queensland and Victorian borders.
Pictured, from left: Head of the University Department of Rural Health, Professor David Lyle, University of Sydney Vice Chancellor, Professor Gavin Brown and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Professor Andrew Coats.
Photo courtesy of Barrier Daily Truth