RDAQ Conference 2018

Sixteen TROHPIQ students were fortunate enough to attend the RDAQ (Rural Doctors Association of Queensland) Conference in Brisbane from the 7th-9th June as part of the sponsor-a-student program. The conference featured many pre-eminent speakers in rural health, with plenaries from Rolf Gomes, founder of the Heart of Australia outreach bus, and Victoria Brazil, a pioneer in medical simulation. The emerging role of social media in education, obstetric services, Aboriginal and rural health challenges and doctor wellbeing were focusses of the event, culminating in a medico-political forum where these issues were hotly debated.

Students had the opportunity to network with various organisations such as the College of Rural and Remote Medicine, Health Workforce Queensland and the RACGP, garnering invaluable insight into rural medicine (and many free pens!). Two TROHPIQ students were fortunate enough to be selected as finalists for the Academic Award, with Elise Witter and club president Shaiba Chatterjee delivering speeches on mental health and Aboriginal health challenges to the conference, while past president Laura Frederiksen was awarded the RDAQ-UQ prize in recognition of her commitment to rural medicine.


The event was closed with the David Horn memorial gala, where students enjoyed a night of live music and merriment, with TROHPIQ hosting the Recovery Breakfast the following day. The conference was described as the “highlight of the year”, with students describing that they “met the doctors they’d like to be” and were greatly inspired by the conference. Thank you to the generous sponsors who made this trip possible and helped to further cultivate our students’ passion for rural health!

~ Elise Witter, Member of TROHPIQ Management Committee

Congratulations to Shaiba Chatterjee and Elise Witter, finalists in the RDAQ Academic Award. Elise Witter was the overall recipient of this prestigious Award.

Cherbourg Trip 2018

The annual TROHPIQ Cherbourg Trip has always been very popular amongst students, and 2018 was no different. Over the weekend of the 26th and 27th of May, 34 medical and allied health students gathered to travel via bus to Wondai, Cherbourg and Goomeri to get a comprehensive tour of what life as a rural healthcare worker can offer.

The Saturday started with a community healthcare outreach stall at a local footy game in Wondai, featuring the ever popular Big Ted. The group then moved on to the Ration Shed Museum of Cherbourg to learn more about the history of the area and how this still impacts the Indigenous community living within in. Saturday night was spent in Goomeri, camping in the cold surrounded by new friends.

Sunday was kickstarted by a tour of Cherbourg Hospital and discussions with the local medical super intendant and pharmacist. The weekend finished with some free time at the local Goomeri Pumpkin Festival, featuring the Great Australian Pumpkin Roll.

(Thank you to Elise and Taylor, Cherbourg Trip Convenors for all their hard work organising this trip!)

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Allied Health Events

TROHPIQ’s Nursing and Allied Health team have already been hard at work in 2018 to bring you a range of fantastic events! From stalls at Market Day to the recent Bush Challenge Day, there’s been lots going on – and it’s only March! Check out these reviews from some of our Nursing and Allied Health Representatives.

Bush Challenge Day

TROHPIQ’s Bush Challenge Day was a great success! Participants enjoyed a morning of team building and communication activities- playdoh, cotton wool, rope and jars of water were all utilised to bring teams together. A barbeque lunch of sausages and veggie skewers replenished the crew before the main event- the bush health scenario. The two teams were challenged to consider an accident scenario from both a medical and allied health perspective, to identify and solve hypothetical problems, and work together to make clinical decisions in complex circumstances. Both teams were certainly challenged! A scavenger hunt around Wivenhoe Dam wrapped up the event before the weary squad headed back to Brisbane.


~ Magginis Connell, UQ Occupational Therapy Representative

Careers in Rural Health Evening

Our first Careers in Rural Evening consisted of speakers with various rural health experience. Attendees found it incredibly valuable and were able to get a sense of what life is like when working in rural communities; they all really embrace your presence and knowledge. The speakers were very friendly and welcomed questions from students and some were even encouraging TROHPIQ students to get involved in upcoming conferences!


~ Amelia Young, Allied Health Social Officer

TROHPIQ Skills Day 1 2018

On March 10, a group of over 90 TROHPIQ and Hope4Health members had the opportunity to join us for our first Skills Day of the year. In two action-packed half day sessions, attendees were given a chance to get some hands on experience and try out new and valuable skills that are used every day in rural health care.

Stations on offer included suturing, venepuncture, plaster casting, airway management and basic life support. We were fortunate enough to have an incredible group of doctors and senior medical students who very kindly donated their time and expertise to ensure that this was a fantastic learning experience for the students. There were also some excellent entries to our Instragram competition – congratulations to the winners, and thank you to MIPS and the Co-op bookshop for sponsoring us with prizes on the day.

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Overall, this was a fantastic start to our Skills Day program and we hope that TROHPIQ members will continue to enjoy Skills Day 2 & 3 later in the year!

~ Belinda, Skills Day Convenor

(Thank you to Belinda Burgess, Grace Boyd and Patrice Brennan for all their hard work organising this event).

Congratulations to BUSHkids Chairman Dr Neil Bartels

On behalf of the TROHPIQ team we would like to congratulate Dr Neil Bartels, Chairman of BUSHkids, who has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2018 Australia Day Honours List for his service to medicine in rural and regional areas. TROHPIQ is a proud supporter of BUSHkids, a not for profit organisation providing primary health care to children and their families in rural Queensland communities.

Statement from BUSHkids:
The award recognises his many decades of commitment to the health of children, families and communities across rural and regional Queensland, a calling nurtured early in Neil’s medical studies by his father Reg Bartels, Chair of the Bush Children’s Health Scheme Council at the time and himself a recipient of the OAM in 1984.

“This is a tremendous honour not only for me, but for my wife Annette and my family,” said Dr Bartels. “It also reflects the work of a dedicated team of great Queenslanders and the many people who have gone before us and laid solid foundations.”

Reg Bartels OAM had joined the Bush Children’s Council in a voluntary role in 1966 and served for more than 25 years. Shortly after his father’s death in May 1991, Dr Neil Bartels followed in his footsteps and joined the Council where, more than 25 years later – and after 11 years as its Chair – he has been similarly recognised for his volunteer efforts.

Neil was inspired by his father’s work with BUSHkids whilst studying medicine. After graduating from The University of Queensland, Neil married Annette, a primary school teacher, and they moved to regional Queensland when Neil started work as Medical Superintendent in Dysart. After the birth of the first of their five children, the family relocated to Brisbane when Neil was appointed Paediatric Registrar of the Royal Children’s Hospital. Later opening his own medical practice on the Gold Coast, Neil maintained his “burning desire” to continue to serve rural children and families across Queensland.

Please click here to read the full media release.

BUSHkids Chairman Dr Neil Bartels at the TROHPIQ Bowties and Beauties Charity Gala. This is an annual event run by TROHPIQ to raise money for BUSHkids.