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MedConnect | Shaping the future of rural health

14 August 2024
6.00pm – 7.00pm AEST

Rural communities play a central role in building capacity to improve health outcomes for groups encountering health challenges in regional Australia. Rural and remote areas cope with issues around funding, attracting and retaining medical professionals, particularly general practitioners (GPs), ensuring adequate healthcare access within rural and remote communities and facilitating educational pathways for students interested in studying rural healthcare across diverse, widely spread areas.

Until recently aspiring doctors could not study for a full medical degree in rural NSW, but now UNSW offers end-to-end medical training at two regional locations and clinical training at three others. We have an increasing body of evidence that students who study medicine for the entire six years in a rural location, are much more likely to become long-term rural practitioners. This is just one of the proactive initiatives emerging within regional communities that demonstrate a clear focus on wanting to implement hopeful and systematic solutions in support of rural health.


This event will be streamed via the UNSW YouTube channel. A link to watch the livestream will be sent ahead of the event.

Can't tune in to the event? Register to receive the on-demand recording.

Dr Barbara Cameron

Dr Barbara Cameron

General practitioner in Gundagai, UNSW graduate, lecturer and clinical skills coordinator for the UNSW Rural Clinical School, Wagga Wagga

Dr Cameron graduated from the University of New South Wales in 2010. She worked at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital and Peter St Medical Centre before following her love for general practice to Gundagai. She has worked in Gundagai since 2015, gaining her fellowship with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. She has special interests in medical education, rural health policy and mental healthcare.

Professor Tara Mackenzie

Professor Tara Mackenzie

Consultant respiratory physician, Riverina Respiratory & Sleep Centre, and Associate Dean & Head of School of Clinical Medicine (Rural) UNSW Medicine & Health

Prof. Tara Mackenzie is an Australian-based health professional, trained as a Respiratory & Sleep Medicine Physician, practicing in Wagga Wagga. As Associate Dean of Rural Health at UNSW, with 17 years of experience in rural and regional clinical practice, Professor Mackenzie is a significant and influential figure in the rural health ecosystem.

Karen Murray

Karen Murray

Senior Careers Adviser, Kildare Catholic College, Wagga Wagga

Karen Murray is an award-winning Careers Adviser with nearly 30 years of experience, dedicated to ensuring equity of access to tertiary education for regional students. Recognised with accolades such as the Excellence in Career Education & Development Award and the NSW Government Community Service Award, Karen is also committed to community service, notably volunteering at Ronald McDonald House and founding the Kildare Bushfire Donation and Collection Centre. As President of the Wagga Wagga Careers Advisers Association, she brings expertise to discussions on rural health development and is a sought-after speaker at educational conferences.

Professor Cheryl Jones

Host: Professor Cheryl Jones

Dean, UNSW Medicine & Health

Professor Cheryl Jones is a world-renowned paediatric infectious diseases physician clinician-scientist and health and medical educator. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health & Medical Sciences, she has secured over $35 million in peer-reviewed funding and published more than 170 peer reviewed publications. Her research, particularly on childhood encephalitis, vaccination and mother to child transmission of infections, has significantly influenced global health policy. Professor Jones has held senior executive positions at leading University and Health and Medical research institutions, professional societies and statutory authorities and actively contributes to government policy and clinical practice guidelines. She is a Director of the Australian Medical Council, an Executive Member of the AAHMS Council and a Director of the Ramsay Health Care Research Foundation. Her work in supervising postgraduate students has earned her recognition for mentoring excellence.