Benjamin Petersen

Candidate: Benjamin Petersen

Rural Health Club: SHARP

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)

To fight health disparities within Indigenous, regional, and rural communities, it is my career ambition to become a primary care physician within regional or rural Australia. Becoming the Medical Officer of the NRHSN would undoubtedly aid me in achieving my career ambition by providing countless opportunities to learn more about rural medicine, network with affiliated health organisations, and meet likeminded people from all around the country. I would take full advantage of the incredible platform granted to me by listening to and empowering, fellow aspiring rural health care practitioners, as well as advocate rural health to Australia’s future health care workforce. In addition to following my values and contributing to the broader community, I believe becoming the NRHSN Medical Officer is a fantastic opportunity to take on new and exciting challenges, work as both a team player and leader, and step outside of my comfort zone. Throughout my tertiary education, I have strived to pursue challenges that align with my values of community service, growth, and leadership. This has led me to fulfil such positions as the University of Wollongong (UOW) SHARP Junior Medicine Representative, University of Newcastle (UON) Student Ambassador, ACSME poster presenter, Hunter Medical Research Institute Open Day intern (project development and manager of volunteers), UON biomedical science Student Representative, UON Faculty Scholar, UON PASS Leader and more. During these roles, I have gained invaluable life experience, worked with incredible people, and refined my skills in such areas as teamwork, leadership, public speaking, media engagement, project development, communication, and time management. I believe the experience I have gained from these positions, as well as my passion for rural health, goal to contribute to the broader community, and desire to step outside of my comfort zone would make me an exceptional Medical Officer and an attribute to the success of the NRHSN team.

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

1) Full access and availability to email, phone, and internet communications throughout the term. 2) I will make every effort to work around the compulsory requirements of my MD to attend RHC, stakeholders and NRHSN events and meetings throughout the term. I have an unrestricted drivers’ licence, reliable car and experience travelling for work-related tasks as a UON Student Ambassador. 3) I have maintained a strong presence within the UOW SHARP executive committee as the Junior Medicine Representative. I have consistently been an active, enthusiastic voice during executive meetings and have worked hand-in-hand with the team to organize the Beach to Bush Relay fundraiser, bonded medical placement presentation, Alice Springs school presentation and rural health camping weekend. I have taken full advantage of the opportunity the position offers to learn more about rural health and take on exciting challenges. 4) Since volunteering at my local regional physiotherapy clinic in Tamworth, I have fostered interest and passion for regional and rural health which has only grown since commencing the UOW MD. Unfortunately, 2020 UOW rural placement opportunities have been cancelled, however, I am looking forward to the possibility of becoming a John Flynn Placement Program scholar in 2021 following the acceptance of my application. My contributions to UOW SHARP and my pursuit of these opportunities has been driven by my desire to become more involved and learn more about rural health. 5) Through multiple roles, I have developed a strong ability to work within a group as either a team player or leader depending on what is needed. Chief roles/experiences include: • UOW SHARP Junior Medicine Representative – Support Senior Medicine Representative, Vice President and President. Fortnightly executive committee meetings, rural health event/presentation organization and execution. Collaborate with all members and delegate roles within the committee depending on strengths. • UON Student Ambassador (SA): – Led by communications department, event organization, work with other SAs, delegate roles depending on strengths, organize and execute presentations, lead student groups, event management, lead career expositions & school visits • UON PASS Leader: – Lead group of allied health students, foster study habits, simplify complex concepts, organize student work content & facilitate active discussion • UON Biomedical Science Student Representative/Spokesperson – Represent the biomedical science student body at Open Day, School Visit Day and Orientation week – public speaking, event organisation with university faculty and lead peers during events • Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) Open Day Intern – Work with and guided by HMRI communications and science department, develop Open Day science presentations, interactive activities and displays for visiting community members (n >5000) and manage volunteers (n > 50) • UON Faculty of Health and Medicine Scholars Program – Workshops, lectures, training, and volunteer opportunities for leadership, public speaking and global citizen development. 6) •2019 Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (ACSME) poster presenter – Student stories: “The Benefits of Applying Theory in Undergraduate Biomedical Science Education” •UON Student Ambassador – Biomedical Science Student Representative interviewee – Used for UON Bachelor of Biomedical Science social media advertisement 7) The NRHSN Executive Committee works together to lead and support the 28 Rural Health Clubs (RHCs) across the Nation and the NRHSN council. Executive Committee members maintain reasonable availability and serve as a consistent point of contact for RHCs and stakeholders. Individual members responsibilities vary depending on their position and they may be allocated specific RHCs and stakeholders to engage with and support. 8) UOW SHARP consists of a cohesive, multi-disciplinary team that executes rural and remote health initiatives through teamwork and delegation of tasks depending on background and strengths. The Executive Committee values diversity and is always open to suggestions and ideas from its members of all backgrounds, regardless of the project. General organizational and administrative tasks are worked through as a team, while the more nuanced tasks are appropriately delegated to discipline-specific members to ensure the best execution and outcomes. 9) • Position papers – Position/priority papers express the support of the NRHSN for specific topics relevant to the future rural health workforce. Papers are developed to reflect the position of RHC representatives, NRHSN Executive Committee and NRHSN members. Rationale and recommendations are also provided in position papers by the NRHSN to guide the future rural health workforce. Papers are regularly re-assessed to ensure they remain relevant and useful. • Publications – The NRHSN publishes evidence-based materials relevant to the future rural health workforce • Resources – The NRHSN offers a wide range of resources available to guide any aspiring health professional towards a career in rural health. Resources include rural health training pathways, rural health scholarships, career opportunities and more. 10) As an HMRI Open Day Intern, I represented and advocated the institute’s stance regarding pro-mouse model research to the general public. My personal thought on the issue is that it is a complex ethical dilemma, but nonetheless, I kept my personal thoughts and feelings separate from my role to best represent the HMRI. 11) I have developed strong time management and organizational skills through various positions. During my undergraduate, I maintained a strong GPA, worked as a concurrent student ambassador and PASS Leader, in addition to taking on an internship, poster presentation, social sports, study for the GAMSAT and medical interviews. Assignments, presentations, worksheets, and projects were always on time for myself and others. 12) Being with friends is a great time to joke around and be silly. However, professionalism and respectfulness are of the utmost importance when representing an institution (or otherwise) to ensure positive impressions are made. I have been in many representative positions that have required me to display professionalism. – As a Student Ambassador – represented UON at many events (and interviews) – As an Open Day Intern – represented the HMRI – As the Junior Medicine Representative – represented UOW SHARP. – Other examples include representing UON as a poster presenter at the Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education and as a student leader/representative at its 2018 & 2019 Open Day, School Visit day and Orientation week 13) As the HMRI Open Day intern, I worked with both the researchers and communications team as the “middleman”. I would translate complex scientific concepts from the research division into simpler ideas for the communications team (with no science background) so that we could develop engaging presentations, displays and interactive activities for the visiting community members (ranging from children to seniors). Communication skills, project development and teamwork were essential for our success. 14) I have no experience working with RWAs, but I believe my previous collaborative experiences and exceptional communication and organisational skills would be of benefit.

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 • 2020 to 2023- Doctor of Medicine, University of Wollongong (UOW) • 2017 to 2019- Bachelor of Biomedical Science, University of Newcastle (UON) – Faculty of Health and Medicine Scholars Program (leadership workshops, public speaking & global citizen training)

Volunteering and Contributions to Community • Apr 2020 – current – UOW SHARP Executive Committee – Junior Medicine Representative – Experience: Rural health endorsement, public speaking, fundraising, project development, teamwork & leadership • 2018 & 2019 – UON Biomedical Science Student Representative/Spokesperson – Open Day, School Visit Day & Orientation week – Experience: Public speaking, project development, teamwork & leadership • 2019 Aug to Oct (8 weeks) – Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) Open Day Intern – Experience: Community engagement (>5000 visitors), project development (science presentations), leadership (volunteer manager) & teamwork (worked hand-in-hand with the science department and communications team) • 2015 Mar to Jul (4 months) – Pro-Active Physiotherapy & Sports Workshop – Physiotherapy aide – Experience: Regional primary health care

Employment history • 2019 Mar- Dec (10 months) – UON Student Ambassador – Experience: Public speaking (school visits, university, career expositions etc), media engagement (interviews, advertisement), leadership, teamwork & organisation • 2018 & 2019 semester 1 & 2 (2 years) – UON Biomedical Science PASS Leader – Experience: Leadership, communication skills, time management & organisation

Honours and Awards • 2019 Nov – UON Student Volunteer of the Year nominee • 2019 Nov – Keynote Speaker of the Faculty of Health and Medicine Scholars Program Certificate Ceremony, UON • 2019 Oct – Poster presenter, Australian Conference on Science and Mathematics Education (ACSME) • 2019 Jan to Feb (7 weeks) – HMRI Student Research Project Scholarship – Medical Cannabis