(l-r) Prof Ross Bailie, Susan Parker-Pavlovic, Emma Walke, Dr Veronica Matthews, A/Prof Megan Passey, Kerryn Harkin, David Edwards

The Northern Rivers based University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) will share in federal government funding totalling $2.5 million as part of the latest funding round of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The funding, announced in early September, was awarded to The Centre of Research Excellence in Strengthening Systems for Indigenous Health Care Equity (CRE-STRIDE), a new phase of ongoing collaborative work in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander primary health care that goes back to the early 2000s. 

Sharyn White, CEO NCGPT

The North Coast Primary Health Network (NCPHN) has recently commissioned North Coast GP Training to deliver a range of professional development and networking events across the North Coast over the next 12 months. 

Sharyn White, the new CEO of NCGPT, outlines their plans.

NCGPT is excited at the prospect of being able to facilitate educational events for the NCPHN. We have made a commitment to deliver educational opportunities that are high quality, locally clinically relevant and that will build strong local clinical neighbourhoods.

Under the contract NCGPT will deliver a range of CPD events and support local clinical societies and nurse networks across the region.

Clinical education groups (referred to as “Clinical Societies”) that are supported by NCGPT can expect administrative support and assistance with obtaining professional development points for the meetings. This will be welcomed by local educational groups which have struggled with this administrative burden in the past. 

Dr John Vaughan receiving the Supervisor of the Year Award (North Coast) in 2017

Farewell to Hastings Macleay General Practice Network 

At the Annual General Meeting of the Hastings Macleay General Practice Network (HMGPN) on 19 March 2019 it was announced  that the organisation would be wound up. 

HMGPN started in 1994 as part of the Labor government’s initiative to build a framework for supporting general practice at the local level. It was one of four Divisions of General Practice, as they were then known, covering the North Coast footprint from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie. 

The Divisions and later Networks ceased further direct Federal government funding after the establishment of Medicare Locals in 2013, putting great financial pressure on these organisations and causing many of them to cease operation. 

John Langill, heading off to new lands

John Langill, CEO, North Coast GP Training (2006 – 2019), looks back on his time skippering the iconic regional organisation.

As I sat down to write about my time with North Coast GP Training, I couldn’t decide whether to take you on a nostalgic journey back to when the company was just starting out, or  concentrate on the wonderful GPs-in-training with whom we worked over the years or perhaps focus on new beginnings, fresh starts and a continuation of the story. 

Let’s go with the last, the future is always more interesting, and if things change then I can’t be held to account!

Pictured at William Creek airfield before flying over Kati Thander-Lake Eyre, now in a dramatic flood phase, are (l-r) Seair Pacific pilot and guide Kirk Campbell, Ruth Tinker, Susan Brown, Jane Griffin, John Haggerty, Andrew Binns, Jeni Binns, Emily Yorston, Mark Hartcher, Maree Beek, Jurriaan Beek, and pilot and GP Izaac Flanagan.

Named for an English audience after the explorer Edward John Eyre, who first sighted it in 1840, Australia’s Lake Eyre is still one of the natural wonders of the world. Not for thirty years would the lake’s expanse be determined, and was 113 years before the site would be renamed Kati Thander, the sacred Aboriginal name for its more common characteristic, a flat salt pan. Showing how dry and hard it can be, it was chosen in 1964 as the site for Donald Campbell’s successful world land-speed record (of 403mph) in his wheel-driven Bluebird.

The traditional name refers to “how the lake was formed after the skin of a kangaroo was spread over the ground”.

When full, it is one of the largest inland seas in the world as well as being the lowest natural point in Australia at 15 metres below sea level. On the rare occasion when totally full - a major flood may occur about every eight years - it covers 9,500 square kilometers. The feeder rivers such as Warburton Creek, Cooper Creek and Diamantina River from Queensland’s Channel Country turn the whole basin into a vast wetland.