Supporting Placements Across Rural Queensland (SPARQ) – TROHPIQ is excited to revamp our bursary (previously named TAHRPS)! SPARQ is a TROHPIQ- funded scholarship that aims to support nursing, midwifery and allied health students in completing placements in rural and remote areas. Applications for three bursaries of $250 for nursing, midwifery or allied health placements commenced or to be completed in the second half of the year. All nursing, midwifery and allied health students who are TROHPIQ members completing or who have completed a rural placement are eligible to apply – Applications are open!! Click here to apply

Here are some testimonials from previous students:

Maginnis Connell – Fourth Year Occupational Therapy Student (University of Queensland)

As a final year occupational therapy student, I undertook a 10-week placement in a school in Normanton, a town in far North Queensland. 

Arriving in Mt Isa, after two days in 42-degree heat I boarded a 30-person plane to fly to Normanton, which was flooded in (thanks wet season!). The bumpy flight took us via Doomadgee, Mornington Island and Karumba before finally delivering us in the not-much-cooler-than-the-last-place town of Normanton. 

After having a chance to drop my bags at the accommodation, I was taken to the school where the placement was run. They often tell us at uni that you get thrown in the deep end when it comes to rural placement, however I had never imagined that deep end would be helping a room full of excited 6-year-olds making slime! That was certainly an exciting introduction to the school….

During placement, I was part of a student-led clinic in a local school, where myself and another OT student worked alongside speech pathology students, teachers, a chaplain and our clinical educators to assess students, plan and implement interventions, adapt classrooms and create home programs. The placement was very independent, as there was rarely direct supervision over interventions- it was learn on the go from day one. To add a further challenge, the lives of many of the students were just so different to what I see in the city, meaning I had to adapt what I know every day to create an intervention that fit the kids I worked with. While the aforementioned challenges certainly pushed me, they also enabled me to develop my skills as an OT, and more importantly my confidence, very quickly.

While I was there, I enjoyed a multitude of rural experiences, including camping, canoeing, croc spotting, pub karaoke, enjoying the sunset by the sea, and seeing a night sky more glorious than you could ever imagine. Aside from that, I managed to take literally hundreds of photos of black kites, other birds, frogs and wallabies. It basically became a daily routine for me to go for a walk and geek out over wildlife…

For the entirety of the placement, I not only worked in a community, but was immersed in it. For anyone considering rural placement, I can’t recommend it enough- there’s a whole other layer of the uni experience out there that you just don’t get in the city.

Kate Thomson – Third Year Pharmacy Student (Queensland University of Technology)

Karumba is a small town located in the Gulf of Carpentaria nine hours west of Cairns. The population is around 500 people which fluctuates during the winter. I was lucky enough to experience life in this small fishing town for two weeks during May 2019. I experienced firsthand how difficult it is for a pharmacy to operate in such a remote location, the value of a tight knit community and how delicious fresh barramundi tastes. Significant difficulties with the timely supply of medicine and lack general practitioners in the area were just some of the obstacles the community of Karumba faces. Deliveries for the pharmacies from main suppliers only arrived on Tuesdays and Thursdays as they
are flown into the town. This makes it very difficult to supply urgently needed medicines if the pharmacy did not have them in stock.

For one week of my placement there was no doctor practising within the town. Cases which could not be managed by a nurse practitioner had to drive to the next closest town, Normanton. Despite these difficulties, I thoroughly enjoyed working within the pharmacy and was humbled with how well I was treated and taken care of by the owner Tracy. Often on weekends she would show me around the town, shout some lunch and ensured I felt welcome and enjoyed my stay. I would highly recommend any student to undertake a placement in Karumba and would like to thank TROHPIQ for the financial support which made my placement


The CRANAplus Undergraduate Remote Placement Scholarship – click here to visit the website.

Each year CRANAplus offers a number of scholarships, providing financial assistance of up to $1000 per successful applicant. The scholarship specifically targets undergraduate students studying in an Australian University who have a genuine interest in remote health.  The purpose of the scholarships is to assist  with travel costs, meals and accommodation incurred by a student undertaking a placement in a remote area of Australia and its external Territories.

Pharmacy Students – 

Funding is available for placements through the pharmacy placement portal. It covers accommodation and travel expenses up to $3000AUD. Additionally, there are scholarships available through UQ funded by The Guild for students who are from rural backgrounds, click here for more information.

Dentistry Students – 

Dentistry students who have completed at least their first year of their dentistry degree and are residing in a rural or remote area may be eligible to apply for one of seven $5000 grants. Click here for details and terms and conditions.

Featured Photo by Fiona Edwards