Keeping your finger on the pulse

First-of-its-kind aged care education hub in Chinchilla underway

Date - 26 July 2023


There is a hive of activity at the aged care education and training hub SQRH have established in partnership with Southern Cross Care Queensland (SCCQ) at Illoura Village in Chinchilla, as building and development gets underway.

The newly built aged care facility and education and training space will provide unique learning opportunities for nursing and allied health students while delivering high quality innovative care for residents.

SQRH’s purpose is to grow rural health nursing and the allied health workforce by supporting university students to undertake part of their health education in rural and remote communities.

We know that there are difficulties in recruiting and retaining a highly skilled health workforce in rural locations, particularly in rural aged care settings, so this program provides specific activities to support rural health education for health students.

As part of the program, we are refurbishing a section of the current Illoura Village to transform it into an education hub for students who are on placement in Chinchilla.

This will ensure that students have access to spaces to enhance their education in addition to the practical training they receive by working with residents whilst they are on placement.

Our Clinical Educators in Chinchilla have facilitated several student placements at Illoura Village this year from nursing, dietetics, psychology, pharmacy, social work and exercise physiology.

The feedback from students about their experiences have been extremely positive.


University of Southern Queensland Master of Clinical Psychology student Rachael Brice has recently completed the inaugural placement at Illoura.

“It’s been an amazing experience to be the first student psychologist at Illoura,” Rachael said.

“The highlight so far has been enhancing the general understanding of what a psychologist can do and the role they can play – especially in small communities like this one.

“I’ve loved being able to spread my wings and collaborate with other students and industry professionals to bring medicine and allied health together to help the residents at Illoura Village.

“Everyone has welcomed me with open arms and made this feel like my home away from home – it didn’t take any time at all before residents were remembering my name, waving to me and looking forward to seeing me again.

“The more time I spend here, the more I love it – working within this community has really opened my eyes up to all of the possibilities.

“My experience in Chinchilla has exceeded my expectations and cemented that rural practice is definitely the right career choice for me.”

We look froward to the SQRH and SCCQ teams working together long into the future to grow the rural aged care workforce.


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