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2022 NRHSN Executive Committee

  • Chair – Jean-Baptiste Philibert
  • Vice Chair Internal– Nicola Murphy
  • Vice Chair External – Maddy Brown
  • Vice Chair Operations – Baneen Alrubayi
  • Allied Health Officer – Hayley Johns
  • Community and Advocacy Officer – Natasha Polzin
  • Indigenous Health Officer – Emily Thomson
  • Medical Officer – Debra Lee
  • Nursing and Midwifery Officer – Jordan Thomas
  • Sponsorship and Publications Officer – Anna Ryan
  • Social Media Officer – Ellen Jeon


The Executive can be contacted via: executivecommittee@nrhsn.org.au

Chair – Jean-Baptiste Philibert

  • RHUWS Rural Health Club 
  • Medical Student 
  • Western Sydney University 
Jean-Baptiste (commonly referred to as JB) is a fourth-year medical student at Western Sydney University. He developed a keen interest for other cultures through his early journey; born in France, moved onward to attend school in Africa and lived in several Australian states. After travelling to 40 countries and working in public service, his experiences led him to seek a purpose in life. Accepting a place in medicine lead to Jean-Baptiste starting his journey from the very bottom once more. His passion for rural and remote health was further ignited following several placements in Central Australia. In 2021, he was elected Chair of the National Rural Health Student Network (NRHSN) that represents over 11,000 rural health students in 29 University rural health clubs.  Jean-Baptiste has embraced the opportunities to give back to his community by facilitating first year medicine Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) and mentoring junior facilitators. He is also an academic representative on several faculty committees, listed on the Dean’s merit list and a recipient of several scholarships, including the prestigious NSW Rural Resident Medical Officer Cadetship, the John Flynn Placement Program and the RACGP Rural Medical Student Award. 
You can reach JB at chair@nrhsn.org.au

Vice Chair Internal – Nicola Murphy

  • ROUNDS Rural Health Club 
  • Medical student 
  • University of Notre Dame Sydney in Ballarat 

Nicola grew up on the Darling Downs in Queensland and is currently a long way from home, studying Medicine at the University of Notre Dame Sydney in Ballarat. Nicola was the NRHSN Community and Advocacy Officer in 2021 and was the Secretary of ROUNDS Rural Health Club in 2020, along with leading the Medical Association of UNDS Alumni Committee. Prior to this, Nicola completed a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science (Hons) at UQ in Brisbane. In 2022, as a fourth-year medical student, Nicola is looking forward to working with JB and our NRHSN 2022 Executive team to continue building on our relationships with the Rural Health Clubs across the country and use the NRHSN to create better and stronger networks amongst all health students interested in Rural Health. 
You can reach Nicola at vcinternal@nrhsn.org.au

Vice Chair External – Maddy Brown

  • RHINO Rural Health Club
  • Medical Student
  • James Cook University

Maddy grew up in regional and rural NSW and relocated to Far North Queensland to study Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery at JCU, Townsville. Her experiences of regional and rural medicine growing up, along with the amazing opportunities she has been granted throughout her studies have solidified a strong passion for offering high quality health care to all people, regardless of their location. Maddy has been strongly involved with her rural health club, Club RHINO, acting as Medical Faculty Representative in 2019, and Club President in 2020. In her spare time she loves exploring nature through trail running and hiking, and hopes to complete a 100km event sometime in 2022. She is excited by the opportunity to represent medical students across Australia with a shared passion for rural health in her new role as Vice Chair External and is excited to contribute to the positive change that is occurring nation-wide for rural health. 
You can reach Maddy Brown at vcexternal@nrhsn.org.au

Vice Chair Operations – Baneen Alrubayi

  • RHUWS Rural Health Club
  • Medical Student
  • Western Sydney University

Baneen Alrubayi is a fourth-year medical student at Western Sydney University (WSU). Her story is one of a refugee experience, having travelled to Australia in-utero, crossing the perilous seas via an illegal boat with patents who had dreams of a safer life and to set roots in a new community. For her that community was Cobram, a beautiful rural town on the banks of the Murray River. Her experiences growing up sparked a passion for rural and global health and encouraged her become intensely involved in pursuing opportunities that expand her skill-set, strengthen her voice and help her to connect with other like-minded individuals. Baneen was named the 2019 Young Australian of the Year for the Moira Shire, is the successful applicant of the competitive internship with the National Rural Health Commissioner, Professor Ruth Stewart and the recipient of the prestigious NSW Rural Resident Medical Officer Cadetship. Baneen has worked at a national level as the Global Health National Coordinator for the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) representing Australia’s 17,000 medical students and, as the Sponsorship and Publications Officer for the National Rural Health Student Network (NRHSN) representing 11,000 rural health students from 29 University Rural Health Clubs. She has been elected as the NRHSN’s Vice Chair of Operations for 2022 and is excited to work with the rest of the executive committee to continue advocating for rural health equity on a national level. Baneen aspires to practice holistic-patient centred care as a Rural Generalist with advanced skills in obstetrics and gynaecology.
You can reach Baneen at vcoperations@nrhsn.org.au

Allied Health Officer – Hayley Johns

  • BREAATHHE Rural Health Club
  • Podiatry student
  • University of Newcastle

Hayley studies Podiatry at The University of Newcastle and her goal is to provide podiatry services to communities in rural and regional areas. Hayley’s understanding and appreciation of allied health services and medical practice was demonstrated with her involvement in the NRHSN and BREAATHHE, which stemmed from her desire to increase awareness and knowledge among fellow health students, about the importance of lower limb health. With a passion for helping others and her active role in the community, Hayley’s philosophy is that helping one person might not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person! Her dream job is to provide podiatry services to communities in rural and regional areas. 

You can reach Hayley at allied@nrhsn.org.au

Community and Advocacy Officer – Natasha Polzin

  • ARMS Rural Health Club
  • Medicine student
  • Australian National University

Tash has lived in almost every state and territory in Australia with NSW being the most recent move to pursue a career in Medicine at ANU. Tash is currently in her third year of medicine and on long term rural placement in Cooma. She aspires to work in rural Australia when she graduates and is a keen advocate for rural health having served as Vice President of the ANU Rural Medical Society (ARMS) Rural Health Club in 2021.  She looks forward to working closely with the rural health clubs across Australia in 2022.
You can reach Tash at advocacy@nrhsn.org.au

Indigenous Health Officer – Emily Thomson

  • RAHMS Rural Health Club
  • Medical student
  • University of New South Wales
Emily is a proud Wiradjuri woman who grew up in a small country town called Parkes, NSW before moving to Sydney on a tennis scholarship at a private girl’s school. With a passion for helping people and making a difference in rural and Indigenous health, Emily is studying in her 4th year of Medicine at the University of New South Wales. Being the Vice President of her university’s rural health club, Emily is also passionate about rural and Indigenous health advocacy.
You can reach Emily  at indigenousofficer@nrhsn.org.au


Medical Officer – Debra Lee

  • SHARP Rural Health Club 
  • Medical student
  • University of Wollongong

Debra is a Perth girl who has moved to NSW to study medicine. She has been a pharmacist going on 8 years now, and still currently works from time to time. She has been lucky enough to work in regional and remote areas all over Australia, from places as small as Meekatharra in WA, to larger hubs like Mildura and Cairns. Her favourite thing about working in smaller areas is being a part of the local, tight-knit community. Debra hopes to encourage as many students to be a part of their local rural health club. Her goal is to get everyone thinking about rural health, even if they plan on working in the city. She looks forwards to advocating for her fellow peers and bringing new ideas to meetings as the new Medical Officer for 2022.
You can reach Debra at medical@nrhsn.org.au

Nursing and Midwifery Officer – Jordan Thomas

  • Nursing Student
  • University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Jordan grew up in a small regional town located in the south west of WA. This exposure to the coastal life, and the small population that it held gradually inspired her to pursue her dream of becoming a rural and remote nurse/midwife. Growing up, Jordan had the opportunity to travel to a number of remote locations within WA such as Exmouth, Ningaloo and Port Hedland. These experiences allowed Jordan to witness first hand not only the rich and diverse culture that these places encapsuled, but more apparently the ever-pressing need for an increased number of health professionals and resources to become available within these locations. Once graduated as an RN, Jordan dreams of studying midwifery where she will be able to combine her deep passion for women’s and neonate’s health, with her clinical nursing skills. Jordan’s ultimate dream is to deliver holistic, culturally safe and appropriate care as both a nurse AND midwife in the warm and remote sunny towns scattered across beautiful WA.
You can reach Jordan at nursing@nrhsn.org.au

Sponsorship and Publications Officer – Anna Ryan

  • RAHMS Rural Health Club
  • Medical Science Student
  • University of New South Wales

Anna is a final year Medical Science student who grew up in the NSW Riverina. She has been volunteering with RAHMS since beginning university in 2019 and loves being involved in all things rural health! Going Rural with NSWRDN and attending an Indigenous Diabetes Education Placement have only strengthened her dream to pursue rural medicine. As Vice President of RAHMS in 2021, she was fortunate to attend NRHSN Council 1 and meet some awesome and similarly passionate people from rural health clubs across Australia! This spurred her to join the team and inspire others to pursue careers in, and support Indigenous and rural health in Australia. Anna loves being involved in different communities, whether it be through volunteering, sport or study and as Sponsorships and Publications Officer she hopes to continue to develop engagement within the NRHSN community through Cooee!, infographics and much more!!
You can reach Anna at publications@nrhsn.org.au

Social Media Officer – Ah Dam (Ellen) Jeon 

  • RH Positive
  • Pharmacy Student
  • Charles Sturt University

Ellen was raised in Sydney before moving to Orange to pursue a study in pharmacy. Since 2020, she has volunteered as a RH POSTIVE Student leader and has found a strong feeling of belonging. She was fortunate enough to volunteer as a Future Moves leader in the Central West of New South Wales, where she was responsible for promoting aspiration and awareness for university education among low socioeconomic and First Nations students. Ellen is currently Vice President of RH+ and aspires to bring in as many students as possible to their local rural health club. Her goal is to inspire everyone to think about rural health, even urban students. She is excited to spread the word as the new social media chair and hopes that everyone will join her on this adventure.
You can reach Ellen at socialmedia@nrhsn.org.au

Last updated: August 2, 2022

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