Rural health conference tackling many issues

Friday, January 25, 2019

Australia’s leading conference for rural and remote health will feature leading local and international speakers sharing their knowledge and experience on the issues of concern to rural communities, their health needs and the solutions necessary to improve health outcomes for the 7 million people living in rural, regional and remote Australia.

The 15th National Rural Health Conference is a biennial event being held in Hobart from 24 to 27 March 2019. With a theme of ‘Better Together!’ the conference program highlights how we can work better together to improve the health and wellbeing for everyone living in country areas.

Alliance CEO, Mark Diamond, said the Conference has traditionally been the ‘go-to’ conference event for rural health workers, clinicians, leaders, researchers, academics, policy decision-makers and everyone involved in providing and receiving health services in rural Australia.

“This year we have an exciting complement of speakers and a program packed with some 250 presenters in 50 concurrent sessions – there really is something for everyone,” Mr Diamond said.

“We won’t just be highlighting health issues in the bush, we will also be providing for discussion a range of innovative solutions to address these complex issues.”

Topics range from the importance of the social, economic and ecological determinants of health, access to health care, new technologies, a skilled and supported workforce and Indigenous health to name a few.

This important four-day event provides learning and networking opportunities to public and private healthcare professionals, health consumer advocates and carers, students and researchers, and interested people from sectors such as education, transport and housing.

The Conference will feature a number of prominent Keynote speakers presenting on a range of topics, including:

  • Isabelle Skinner, CEO of the International Council of Nurses, on how addressing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Gals will lead to healthy people in a healthy world;
  • James Buchan, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre, will provide a global view of the rural health workforce;
  • Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, on early childhood trauma, social determinants of health and an anticipatory care approach;
  • Bo Remenyi, Paediatric Cardiologist and NT 2018 Australian of the Year talking about her work tackling Rheumatic Hear Disease in the NT;
  • Kelvin Kong, an otolaryngology head and neck surgeon and Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons  on hearing loss and poor educational outcomes for rural children;
  • Saul Eslake, economist and Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Tasmania, on a Tasmania case study for education, employment participation and health outcomes;
  • Sandro Demaio from ABC’s Ask the Doctor, Chief Executive Officer of EAT; and founder of the Sandro Demaio Foundation;
  • Cassandra Goldie, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council of  Social Services will join Richard Di Natalie, Leader of the Australian Greens, and Kalinda Griffiths from the Centre for Big Data Research, University of NSW to discuss managing health into the future; and
  • James Ward, Head Aboriginal and Aboriginal Health Infectious Disease, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute will be addressing sexually transmitted infections in remote Australia.

The full list of keynote presenters and the Conference program can be found on the Conference website at

The Conference will be held at the Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart from 24 to 27 March 2019 and online registration is available via the Conference website at  

Further information:   Leanne Coleman, Manager, Programs and Events, (02) 6285 4660 or at [email protected]

Contact Details: 

Allan Yates     
Director Communications and Media Liaison      0421 150 229