Nicola Murphy

Candidate: Nicola Murphy

Rural Health Club: ROUNDS

Discipline: Medicine

Please provide summary of why you are interested in the position, your ability to fulfill the position and your previous experience related to the position. (Word limit: 300 words)

I grew up on the Darling Downs in South East Queensland, before moving to Brisbane to complete my undergraduate degree, which was a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences with Honours. Given my family farming background and significant rural personal experience I have an immense interest in rural health. Stemming from this, as well as professional experience of providing rural healthcare as a medical student throughout rural NSW and QLD is a strong commitment to drive change by advocating for satisfactory rural healthcare provision and the prosperity of the rural communities – the underpinning from which the NRHSN stems its core objectives.  Coupled with my rural values are the leadership experiences of Alumni Representative to the Medical Association of Notre Dame Sydney and Administrative Officer in the Australian Army Cadets program and as a Residential Assistant at the Women’s College UQ and my involvement as 2020 Secretary in ROUNDS, the University of Notre Dame Sydney’s Rural Health Club, which I would bring to the role. Throughout 2020 under the pressure created by COVID19, I have relied more than ever on my communication abilities and interpersonal skills to ensure ROUNDS was able to deliver an interesting program. Through managing my time efficiently, supporting all of our committee members and coordinating events, these experiences equip me well for the role of a Community and Advocacy Officer and in overseeing other Rural Health Clubs across the nation.

Please provide a response to the Key Selection Criteria. (Word limit: 1000 words)

1. I am very contactable via email, phone and internet as I have demonstrated throughout my term as Secretary of ROUNDS. I am able to use email features, such as email signature, automated responses and out of office responses. 2. In 2021, I will be attending Notre Dame’s Clinical School at Werribee and living in Melbourne. As such, I will have access to a car and will be in an easy position to travel in order to attend Rural Health Club, stakeholder and NRHSN events and meetings, providing circumstances allow for such travel. 3. In 2020, I have been Secretary of ROUNDS and as such had experience working with the NRHSN to achieve our goals. A key goal in 2020 was increasing the engagement of the Nursing cohort at Notre Dame University, which we achieved by hosting a number of nursing specific events, ultimately increasing our membership by 50 Nursing students in 2020. 4. I have an immense interest in rural health with significant rural personal experience given my family farming background. I have experienced first-hand the challenges of rural medicine, such as the struggle to find a local GP and travelling a distance to seek medical attention and reduced health literacy in the local community due to the lack of medical support. Stemming from this, as well as professional experience of providing rural healthcare as a medical student throughout rural NSW and QLD, is a strong commitment to drive change by advocating for satisfactory rural healthcare provision and the prosperity of the rural communities – the underpinning from which the NRHSN stems its core objectives. My professional experience in rural healthcare includes short immersion opportunities with Rural Doctor’s Network, GoRural Trip and Student Outreach Placement Program as well as an independently arranged placement at Temora, NSW. In addition to these clinical experiences, I also volunteered at the 2019 Rural Medicine Australia Conference on the Gold Coast, which presented a fascinating insight into research conducted in rural healthcare, and opportunities to meet rural clinicians from across the country. 5. My previous leadership experience includes as an Alumni Representative, a Secretary of ROUNDS, an Administrative Officer in the Australian Army Cadets and a College Residential Assistant. Throughout 2020, as the Secretary of ROUNDS, I have supported our RHC executive in the leadership of our RHC. In addition to that, I have been an Alumni Representative for the Medical Association of Notre Dame Sydney. Managing both roles has been an interesting experience in dealing with conflicting interests at times and working efficiently to ensure the best outcome for all parties. Prior to starting my medical degree, I have had a long involvement with the Australian Army Cadets, as first, a participant (progressing from Cadet to Cadet Under Officer) and then as a staff member, working in a variety of roles, including as an Administrative Officer to a unit of 50 cadets. Whilst in Brisbane, I stayed at the Women’s College, within the University of Queensland, where I was a Residential Assistant in my final year. 6. Throughout my undergraduate degree, there were a number of experiences that required presentations to small conference groups, such as thesis presentation for my Honours project. As a research assistant to the BRAIN Training Study at the University of Sydney, I have been responsible for arranging interest and conducting media interviews to increase study recruitment. 7. The role of the Executive Committee within the NRHSN is to represent the views the broader council of 28 Rural Health Club (RHC) Presidents and their RHCs throughout Australia, in its aims of providing a voice for students interested in improving health outcomes for rural and remote Australians but also promote rural health careers to students. The role of the Executive Committee is to work together to lead and support the Council and Rural Health Clubs (RHCs) to achieve the NRHSN’s aims and priorities. 8. As with all aspects of health, it requires a multi-disciplinary approach. A doctor can not create meaningful impact without the support of a complete multi-disciplinary team. It is important that this is carried across into the NRHSN and its advocacy for all health disciplines for the improvement of rural and remote health. Having a degree in allied health, this has been very important for me to ensure that my approach always incorporates a multi-disciplinary approach. 9. In preparing for my placement at Temora Medical Centre, I relied on the NRHSN’s Rural Placement Guide to ensure that I would be able to make the most from my experience. I am a subscriber to the NRHSN’s mailing list, Instagram and Facebook, where I have relied upon these forums staying up-to-date with policy and resources. 10. In my previous leadership experience in ROUNDS as well as Australian Army Cadets, it has been extremely important to represent the view of the business and representative bodies rather than personal views. Furthermore, throughout my time in these roles, I have upheld and promoted the views of the organisation. 11. As the Secretary of the ROUNDS Committee for 2020, ensuring the Committee achieves its tasks has been one of my primary responsibilities. This has been a constant theme for this year, as the unique situation COVID-19 has presented has meant that many of my colleagues have had additional competing priorities. I have managed this through the Committee by maintaining detailed minutes and actions logs, which are raised with the Committee members (including myself) informally on a weekly, and formally on a monthly basis. These skills were hard won through experience in Army Cadets and in my working life with USYD. In both cases, I have had to work to achieve tight timeframes and manage the inputs from others in the team to make sure my own tasks could be completed prior to deadlines. 12. Between my undergraduate study and medicine, I worked in a professional environment as a Research Assistant. 13. I am regularly required to work in teams, and have done so since early in my teenage years. These groups have varied significantly in their formality, and so I have spent many years honing my abilities to work within all different sorts of teams to ensure the team is as effective as possible. 14. In my capacity as Secretary, I have worked closely with the NSW Rural Doctors Network to ensure as a RHC, we achieved our goals, as well as with the administration of the medical school, which I have found to be very rewarding.

Please provide your Curriculum Vitae. This can include a summary of specific previous experiences you have had related to rural health and leadership (events, courses, positions held, relevant previous or current employment). (Word limit: 500 words)

Education: • Doctor of Medicine (2019 – 2022) • Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Sciences (First Class Honours) (2013 – 2017) • ECG Analysis and Interpretation Course (2016) • Fairholme College, Toowoomba (2008 – 2012)

Leadership: • Secretary of Rural Organisation of the University of Notre Dame Sydney (ROUNDS) (2020) • Alumni Representative of Medical Association of Notre Dame University Sydney (MANDUS) (2020) • Administrative Officer of St Paul’s School Cadet Unit, Australian Army Cadets Program (2015-2020) • Residential Assistant at the Women’s College within the University of Queensland (2015) • Cadet Participant (Cadets through to Cadet Under Officer), Australian Army Cadets (2008-2015) Leadership Awards • Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Program (2009-2014) • ADF Long Team Teamwork and Leadership Award (2010, 2011, 2012)

Occupational Experience • Completed independent placement at Temora (NSW) (2019) • Volunteer at the Rural Medicine Australia Conference on the Gold Coast (2019) • Participant on the NSW RDN GoRural Trip August 2019 • Completed NSW RDN Student Outreach Placement Program June 2019 • Research Assistant to the University of Sydney’s BRAIN Training Study (2019-2020) • Research Assistant to the University of Queensland’s BRAIN Training Study (2018-2019) • Tutor at the University of Queensland for HLTH10000, HMST3001, and HMST4314 (2019) • Receptionist at Queen Street Dental, Brisbane (2017-2019)

Rural Experience: • Grew up as an active member of the community at Leyburn on the Darling Downs, in South East Queensland • Completed independent placement at Temora, NSW (2019)

Last updated: December 24, 2021