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ONRHC Mentorship Program

Rural Healthcare Student Mentorship Opportunity 2022

The Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner (‘the Commissioner’) and the National Rural Health Student Network are proud to present the Rural Healthcare Student Mentorship Opportunity.

Outline of the Opportunity

The Office of the Commissioner has created a Rural Healthcare Student Mentorship opportunity. The goal is to offer a healthcare student interested in rural practice the opportunity to gain insight and experience at the national level of rural health sector leadership and policy development.


This unique up to 20 day immersion program may be completed face to face or virtually and will provide the successful applicant the opportunity to work directly with the Commissioner and Deputy Rural Health Commissioners (Allied Health and Nursing and Midwifery) while supported by the Office.  Activities may include attending meetings with key stakeholders and experts in rural health (medical, allied health, nursing and midwifery), networking with peak rural body leaders, assisting in report writing and research, and attending seminars and workshops. The experience will support the student to develop skills in health policy leadership and encourage them to advocate for rural and remote healthcare priorities within the sector.

To learn more about the Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner click here.

Objectives of the program

Learning and insights for the successful applicant:

  • develop an understanding of national policy debates, the role of peak bodies and policy advisors within the sector;
  • gain firsthand experience from, and access to, leading experts in the healthcare sector, including academics, practitioners and government stakeholders;
  • gain insight into rural health policy reform work;
  • develop professional networks; and
  • assist the Commissioner in developing a written piece on the rural health system.

Learning and insights for the Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner:

  • understand a rural healthcare student’s perspective and their reflections and advice on rural health reform work;
  • gain additional perspective on how to support health students through their studies and placements in rural areas; and
  • build capability and capacity for rural health reform in upcoming leaders.

Goals and Outputs:

During the Rural Healthcare Student Mentorship opportunity, the successful applicant will support the Commissioner with a written piece on one of the following areas:

  • immediate challenges and opportunities in the rural healthcare sector
  • reforms the student would like to see within the rural health system;
  • the role of students within the rural health care system and policy reform; and
  • another topic as agreed with the Commissioner.

The successful applicant will also write a short reflective piece to be used by the Commissioner and her office. The reflective piece should include their:

  • experience as a rural health student (student journey, aspirations for career etc.);
  • learning and findings while undertaking the Rural Healthcare Student Mentorship opportunity; and
  • recommendations for the Rural Healthcare Student Mentorship opportunity in future.

Funding and provisions

This program is non-renumerated. Successful applicants will be required to cover all costs associated with the placement such as transport, meals and accommodation, etc. If financial constraints are of concern, students are encouraged to apply to attend virtually.

Application process

How to apply

  • Applicants will be asked to provide a current CV (maximum 2 pages) and cover letter (maximum 500 words) describing their experience, interests and why they would like to be selected for the opportunity.
  • Applicants may be required to attend a virtual interview.
  • Applications open 2pm (AEST) 2 August 2021 by emailing applications to: onrhcmentorship@nrhsn.org.au
  • Applications close 11pm (AEST) 16 August 2021.
  • Award to the successful applicant will be made in September 2021. The successful applicant/s will be notified by telephone and in writing. Unsuccessful applicants will receive written notification.


Applicants must:

  • be a member of the National Rural Health Student Network or their University’s Rural Health Club;
  • be a healthcare student in their final two years of study at a tertiary institution (all healthcare disciplines are encouraged to apply); and
  • have a current police check (completed within the last 12 months).


Successful applicants will need to demonstrate:

  • leadership within the rural student/broader community;
  • ability to work with and learn from a broad range of people; and
  • a desire to advocate for, and work within, systems to create change to benefit the rural health system and local communities.

Students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, rural and remote, LGTBIQ+, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities and people with a disability are strongly encouraged to apply.

Successful applicants will be asked to sign relevant Code of Conduct, Deed of Confidentiality, relevant security and media release forms. Further advice on these requirements will be provided following a formal offer.


Successful applicants will have the option of participating in this program on location at the Commissioner’s office in Cairns, or from anywhere in Australia virtually.

Program Scope

Once accepted, the successful student will have six consecutive months to complete the program. Full attendance (virtual or face to face) is required during agreed times of work.

An extension beyond 6 months may be granted due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness or injury.


All applications will be assessed based on merit by the Office of the Commissioner and the National Rural Health Student Network. The Commissioner will chair the Assessment Committee and the decision of the Assessment Committee will be final. There will be no disclosure in relation to process or outcomes and there will be no avenue to appeal the decision.

The Health Insurance Act 1973 (the Act) provides the legislative basis for the appointment and the functions of the Commissioner and the office.

In accordance with the Act, the Commissioner provides independent and objective advice in relation to rural heath to the Minister responsible for rural health.

The National Rural Health Commissioner (the Commissioner) and her Office acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. The Commissioner recognises and deeply respects the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their continuing connections and relationships to community, rivers, land and sea.

The Commissioner and her Office pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging and extend that respect to all Traditional Custodians of this land and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Email application or enquires to ONRHCmentorship@nrhsn.org.au.

Last updated: December 24, 2021