Candidate: Anna Ryan
Rural Health Club: RAHMS
Discipline: Medical Science
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 would love to undertake the role of Sponsorships and Publications Officer as I am excited to share the work and advocacy of the NRHSN with Rural Health Clubs and other stakeholders. I am passionate about Indigenous and rural healthcare and would love to use my previous Publicity Officer experience for RAHMS and UNSW Teach Learn Grow to inspire others to pursue rural health careers through Cooee and other NRHSN publications. I am experienced in representing the views of larger organisations and have really enjoyed collaborating with others who are passionate about rural health at NRHSN Council meetings and RHC event collaborations. I am excited to meet more like-minded people and believe that being NRHSN Sponsorship and Publications Officer would be a fantastic forum to do this when collating individual and RHC experiences for Cooee, in addition to assisting Rural Health Club Presidents and communicating with stakeholders. I have really enjoyed my experience with the NRHSN this year, and am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of a team who is so enthusiastic about rural and Indigenous healthcare and advocacy.
Please provide a response to the Key Selection Criteria. (Word limit: 1000 words)
1 and 2: I have access to email, phone and internet and the availability and capacity to travel to all meetings required as part of the NRHSN executive role
3: I have a range of experience with NRHSN, including attending all three councils in 2021 as RAHMS Vice President (2021) and Publicity Officer (2020). I am an avid follower of the opportunities that NRHSN has provided to upskill in rural and Indigenous multidisciplinary healthcare, whether this be attending seminars, such as the Indigenous Health Series facilitated by Nicki and Nicola and other opportunities like the Mentorship with the Office of the Rural Health Commissioner
4: I’m driven to pursue a career in rural medicine and have jumped at every opportunity to be involved in learning more about my role as a future healthcare professional and how I can best work in a team to support these communities. During my first year of university, I immersed myself in RAHMS by attending clinical skills and networking events. I also sought out opportunities with NSWRDN Go Rural and the Rural GPs Conference – Medical Student Forum which highlighted the need for rural health practitioners and gave insight into the diversity of rural communities. These experiences and NRHSN Councils, enabled me to share my passion for rural health with some amazing like-minded people and work together to host events like the Rural Health Symposium and Rural High School Visits, sharing ideas with and learning from a multidisciplinary team to inspire others to pursue rural health careers.
5: I have continued to develop my skills in leadership, teamwork and communication through a range of club executive and volunteer roles. As Publicity Officer for RAHMS and UNSW TLG, I have developed my skills in creativity and scheduling to ensure that stakeholders are notified of events in a timely manner and that information is communicated effectively. I have also aided in the direction of large teams through my positions as UNSW Fred Hollows Society Secretary and RAHMS Vice President. This has enabled me to develop decision making confidence to ensure a cohesive and supportive environment. In managing a portfolio of events this year, like the Rural Health Symposium, RHSV and Careers in Eye Health Night, I have learned the importance of asking for assistance when needed, delegating tasks and constructing timelines. Thorough prior planning is key to a successful event, and I have reflected and implemented changes after each experience.
6: I have chaired meetings as part of my President, Vice President and Secretary and have presented at club and NRHSN Council meetings, such as providing a summary of RAHMS events in Council 3. My experience of media interviews includes writing a piece for Cooee regarding Council 2 and writing event summaries for RAHMS newsletters. I also have experience in speech delivery in conference settings, for example at the Wagga Wagga High School Leaders Program final dinner.
7: The NRHSN executive committee works to advocate for and assist rural health clubs in providing opportunities to support students to pursue rural health careers. The NRHSN executive facilitates a supportive and collaborative environment in which like-minded students can work together to run events and share ideas regarding the support and advocacy of rural and Indigenous health. This occurs through annual councils, and ongoing communication between members of the NRHSN and RHC executive. The NRHSN executive also acts as a sounding board for health students interested in rural practice by acting on and communicating feedback to national stakeholders through conference attendance and portfolio publications.
8: Experiences such as Go Rural, rural health seminars and outreach placements have highlighted the importance of a multidisciplinary team in providing effective healthcare, especially for rural and remote communities. Health is holistic in nature, thus requiring a range of different skills in it’s support. Chronic disease is just one health issue experienced in these communities and in the case of diabetes, a team of educators, nutritionists, Indigenous health workers and endocrinologists work together to ensure the best care is provided.
9: The NRHSN publishes a range of documents annually, including portfolio research papers such as those in Allied and Indigenous health which act to provide resources for health students in respective fields. Publications of submissions to stakeholders on issues such as JFPP advocacy and rural training pathways are also a major part of NRHSN.
10: My current executive roles are as a representative of a larger body, be that NRHSN, the Fred Hollows Foundation, or Teach Learn Grow. Thus I have experience in ensuring that the views presented in my documents and presentations align with the broader organisation mission.
11: As an executive member in multiple positions, it’s important to schedule my time between roles and tasks to ensure deadlines are met by myself and others. In my portfolios I have ensured that myself and my team have submitted slides and documents according to schedule and will ensure that support is provided if meeting the deadline may prove challenging.
12: Professional behaviour has been an integral part of my participation in conferences and programs such as Go Rural, RHSV and Outreach Placement. I understand the importance of presentation, timely attendance and enthusiastic participation in all my endeavours, in addition to clear communication about deadlines and capacities with a team.
13: As RAHMS Vice President, I have worked in a range of smaller teams to coordinate successful events which have reflected a high level of effective teamwork and collaboration. I have worked with executives of Mirage and ROUNDS to facilitate a successful Rural Health Symposium, and also with RAHMS and RH+ executives to provide multiple rural high school visits. I enjoy working in teams and sharing ideas to provide the best experience for stakeholders.
14: In my executive roles with RAHMS and UNSW Fred Hollows Society, I have worked closely with administrators at the Foundation and NSWRDN. My effective communication and time management skills in addition to my experience in a range of rural health activities reflect an ability to collaborate with Rural Workforce Agencies and administrators.
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)
I am studying Medical Science majoring in Anatomy at UNSW with a strong interest in all things Indigenous and rural health. During my undergraduate degree, I have been involved in a range of rural health and community initiatives through my rural health club, RAHMS, NSWRDN and other groups.
As 2021 RAHMS Vice President, I have collaborated with a fantastic team to encourage the pursuit of rural health careers and opportunities. In conjunction with Mirage and ROUNDS, I assisted in coordinating the 2021 Rural Health Symposium, facilitating an Indigenous health focus provided by Ms Nicki Turner. I have also collaborated with my fellow Rural High School Visits and Projects Officers at both RAHMS and Rh+ to plan and present an online rural highschool visit for students of the Riverina. My role has provided the opportunity to support the presentation of RAHMS’ Multidisciplinary ‘Healthletics’ event, in addition to a ‘Minds Matter’ mental wellbeing event in collaboration with Rh+. I have thoroughly enjoyed attending NRHSN Councils 1-3 and the Indigenous Health Webinar series, gaining insight into the rewarding and at times challenging nature of a career in rural and remote health in addition to learning how to best support rural and Indigenous communities as a future healthcare professional.
I recently enjoyed the opportunity to observe a diabetes educator on the NSW RDN Outreach Placement Program at Marathon Indigenous Chronic Disease Clinic and am grateful to have built on the rural multidisciplinary healthcare experiences developed from NSW RDN Go Rural and Rural GPs Conference Medical Student Forum in 2019.
My experience as UNSW Fred Hollows Society Secretary (2019, 2020) and later President (2021) in addition to UNSW Teach Learn Grow Grievance and Publicity Officer (2021) has allowed me to continue supporting rural, remote and Indigenous communities in the areas of health and education. I was able to advocate within my university community to raise awareness of preventable blindness in addition to aiding to bridge the education gap between rural and metropolitan students through volunteering opportunities such as mentoring primary schools students. I value education as a factor in the holistic nature of health and have supported this through my volunteering and later employment with the UNSW Aspire and Gateway programs (2019-2021) in providing support and pathways for outer metropolitan and rural students to access university education.