Notre Dame Students experience life in remote WA

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 25-7-2007

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle

Publication Place



The University of Notre Dame Australia’s School of Medicine is again providing the opportunity for its second year students to spend time working and experiencing life in remote Western Australia.

From August 24th until September 1st, students will spend two weeks visiting regional areas in the Kimberley, near the towns of Derby, Fitzroy Crossing and Broome.

On arriving, they will be billeted to pastoral stations, remote Aboriginal communities and town-based organisations where they help with day to day tasks. Students will interact with the local communities and health professionals to gain a deeper understanding of remote health issues.

School of Medicine Associate Professor, Dr Donna Mak, said the School’s mission is to graduate skilful, knowledgeable and ethical doctors who will practise in areas of unmet need, which is why they take the trip to the Kimberley.

“Remote and rural Australia is an area of unmet need. While the nature of remote area medical practice might attract doctors to these areas, it’s not enough to keep them there for just a few months. The doctors who stay and are effective are those who like living, as well as working, in remote areas.

“If we are to fulfil our mission, our students need to experience the joys and challenges of life in regional Australia, and the best people to teach them this are the locals themselves,” said Dr Mak.

While away, the students will hold several debates about issues in the Kimberley and the trip itself. Two topics which will be debated are: ‘A transformational change in medical culture is needed to fix medical workforce shortage in rural and remote areas,’ and ‘It should be mandatory for doctors to work for three years in remote areas.’

They will also take part in the annual Broome Pearl Festival, competing in the Dragon Boat Race and Tug of War events.