Andrea's Story

Date: March 2024
Location: Charleville
University: The University of Queensland
Field of Study: Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)

What did you enjoy most about your rural placement?

What I most enjoyed about my rural placement in Charleville was the opportunity to travel to other towns and provide outreach programs. Engaging in this endeavour has provided me with a profound understanding of the diverse lifestyles across various regions. It has fostered a greater sense of open-mindedness within me.

More than anything, I really loved the opportunities that I was afforded whilst completing my rural placement. For example, I got to have my own cases, interview clients, travel for 2 to 3 hours to meet them in their respective communities, shadow other Allied Health team members and make connections within other Allied health teams and community members.

My rural placement with SQRH also helped me find further passions into different fields in social work because even though I began in Women's Health and Safety in the position of a Rural Generalist I was able to experience Child Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS) and Alcohol and other Drugs Service (AODS).

Would you recommend a rural placement to other students? Why?

I would unequivocally recommend undertaking a rural placement to other students. Having grown up in Charleville, I have firsthand insight into the critical need for expanded healthcare provision and social services within rural and remote communities.

Furthermore, as a former social work student who has experienced remote placements, I can attest to the profound personal, educational, and professional rewards such placements offer.

Rural placements not only afford broader learning opportunities but also foster stronger connections with patients, enhancing the depth of clinical experience.

Additionally, the employment prospects post-placement are promising, as rural healthcare settings often prioritise retaining students who have demonstrated dedication and commitment during their placement period.

Overall, I firmly advocate for rural placements as they offer unparalleled opportunities for learning, personal growth, and meaningful contribution to underserved communities.

What are your top tips for students considering a rural placement?

For students considering a rural placement, my top tips include:

  • Be prepared for seasonal weather variations; pack warm clothing for winter placements and insect repellent for summer placements to ensure comfort and protection.

  • Embrace the opportunities presented during your placement and actively engage in learning experiences.

  • Approach the placement with an open mind and a positive attitude; don't let apprehensions deter you from making the most of this valuable experience.

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From Toowoomba to Charleville, Kingaroy to Goondiwindi, our students’ complete rural placements all over regional, rural, and remote Southern Queensland (across more than 400,000 square kilometres).

Learn first-hand from students, just like yourself, about their experience going on a rural placement, and why it’s an experience like no other!


Get In Touch

If you want to share your rural placement experience with us, please email sqrh@uq.edu.au.

We would love to hear all about it!