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What is Southern Queensland Rural Health?

Southern Queensland Rural Health (SQRH) is a University Department of Rural Health (UDRH) and is a collaboration between The University of Queensland, University of Southern Queensland, Darling Downs Health and South West Hospital and Health Service. SQRH is funded through the Commonwealth Department of Health under the Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training Program.

SQRH exists to increase rural health education and training opportunities for nursing, midwifery and allied health students and health professionals in regional, rural, and remote communities across Southern Queensland.

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Our History

In early 2016, discussions between The University of Queensland (UQ), University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ), Darling Downs Health and South West Hospital and Health Service identified the need to build and improve the rural health workforce in Southern Queensland. In late 2017, Southern Queensland Rural Health was established through a formal joint venture between the four organisations and funded by the Australian Government under the Rural Health Multi-Disciplinary Training (RHMT) Program.

Through the strong collaboration between UQ (one of the top 50 universities in the world), UniSQ (known for their long history of providing regional health education across Southern Queensland), and two highly respected regional and rural health services, SQRH is well placed to develop a true rural health workforce pipeline from university to employment.

Since 2017, we have worked tirelessly to build a strong reputation in rural health education and training, engaging with numerous valued stakeholders across the region. Starting from a single office in the Toowoomba Hospital, SQRH has grown to:

  • Cover 13 local government areas spanning across 400,090 square kilometres,
  • Employ over 40 staff across the region,
  • Support over 1,400 nursing, midwifery, and allied health student placements per year,
  • Establish two clinical training facilities located in Toowoomba and Charleville,
  • Supply over 60 rooms for student accommodation across the region to students on placement and
  • Establish the student-led Health and Wellness Clinic in Toowoomba
  • Establish two clinical education centres in Toowoomba and Charleville and two education hubs in St George and Chinchilla

Our Priorities

SQRH is funded to work across 7 key priority areas.

  1. Delivering effective rural training experiences for allied health, nursing and midwifery students (prior to gaining professional registration).
  2. Ensuring rural training experiences are of a high quality.
  3. Developing processes to improve rural student recruitment.
  4. Engaging with the local community to support the delivery of training to students.
  5. Maintaining and progressing an evidence base and the rural health research agenda.
  6. Supporting improvements in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
  7. Providing regional leadership in developing innovative training solutions to address rural workforce recruitment retention.
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Student Accommodation

We have student accommodation in several locations across the Darling Downs and South West regions.

  • Toowoomba
  • Chinchilla
  • Charleville
  • St George
  • Kingaroy
  • Goondiwindi
  • Roma

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