Nursing students hope to establish inaugural health club

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 19-3-2007

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Broome

Publication Place



Three Broome nursing students have flown to Albury, NSW to take part in the 2007 National Rural Health Alliance (NRHA) Conference entitled, “Staying Strong: Thriving in the Bush.”

Second year nursing students Kristie Ballagh, Clare Kennedy and Jerry Moore were awarded scholarships by the National Rural Health Network to attend the five-day event and are among 250 nursing students from around the country taking part in the conference. In total there will be, 1000 delegates attending a forum focussing on mental health and self care entitled, “When the Cowpat Hits the Windmill.”

The National Rural Health Network is the peak body for health students and has a membership of more than 5000. It currently comprises of 19 rural health clubs from a range of health disciplines. One of the aims of the conference is to encourage the formation of rural health clubs in areas not currently represented. It is a goal also shared by the three Notre Dame Nursing students.

“We want to start up a rural health club here so we can go around visiting remote schools to get school children interested in joining medical, nursing or allied health organisations,” Mr Moore said.

Mr Moore said Northern Territory Health Clubs were inviting Perth clubs to visit their remote locations and he hoped a Broome Club could do the same.

“We are going to this conference more to listen, but being so remote we will pass on our experiences too,” he said. “It will be a two way thing.”

Ms Kennedy believed the conference would provide ideas on how to establish the health club and encourage more to join.
“It will be the three of us to start and hopefully we can get many people involved after that,” she said.

“We are hoping to formalise it between all three nursing years on campus and the Enrolled Nursing too. It’s not just health. It is health orientated, but not exclusively,” she said.

All three students agreed the forum was a great opportunity to network and hear from leading people in the industry including representatives from the Department of Health and Ageing, Health organisation CEOs and former Victorian Premier and Beyond Blue director, Jeff Kennett.

“It will make for an intense week,” Ms Ballagh said.

“But this is what we want to do. We want to work in rural areas and gain more insight into what goes on, the issues they are dealing with and how we can help.”