2015-10-15 Scholarships to help build stronger, healthier farming communities

Scholarships to help build stronger, healthier farming communities

Farming is second only to mining for the highest industry death toll.

“For too long too many farmers have not even acknowledged illness, let alone allowed it to slow the hectic work schedule now demanded by 21st century farming”. Dr Susan Brumby, Director of the Hamilton-based National Centre for Farmer Health is encouraging Health and Agricultural professionals to get on board to help our farmers and their families build healthy and sustainable farming communities.

With a sobering record of farmers literally working themselves to death because it is too difficult to access appropriate health services, and a long dry summer forecast for much of Australia, the time is now to ask:

“How can I make a difference to farmers’ lives?”

Scholarships of up to $2,500 are now available to prospective students who wish to expand their knowledge of Agricultural Health and Medicine, a postgraduate course offered by the National Centre for Farmer Health and Deakin University which provides a foundation for those who are on the frontline with our farmers. Scholarships close 30th October, 2015.

“The course has already attracted doctors, nurses, veterinarians, counsellors, agriculturalists and public health specialists from across Australia, some of them travelling thousands of kilometres to participate”.

“Over the 22nd-26th February 2016, students will work with an outstanding line-up of medical and industry presenters who will provide an insight of the challenges facing farmers, their families, their staff and their industry” Dr Brumby said.

The topics cover a broad spectrum of agricultural health, safety and wellbeing issues ranging from agricultural medical conditions, mental illness and addiction, through to emergency medicine, agrichemcials, veterinary chemicals, and agricultural trauma. Students gain hands-on experience at local agricultural businesses, developing practical skills that can be applied as soon as they get home.

Rural GP and former student, Dr. Christel Smit Kroner, explains: “The course helped me gain a deeper understanding of the work and life style factors impacting on my patient population. I feel more confident to open up conversations with farmers about their daily work, stresses, worries and joys”.

Felix Ho, a paramedic in Darwin, NT and previous scholarship recipient agrees: “You’re not just looking at the medical conditions, but the range of factors that impact on these conditions in an agricultural context – the family, community and economic aspects.”

Agricultural and Health professionals living or working in rural and remote areas of Australia, and postgraduate students are encouraged to apply.

Scholarship applications are open until 30th October 2015.

For further information visit the National Centre for Farmer Health website at https://farmerhealth.org.au/page/education/what-is-hmf701 or call (03) 5551 8533.

For course and scholarship details, please contact:

Dr Vanessa Vaughan (Lecturer, Rural Health)
National Centre for Farmer Health.
Phone: 03 5551 8533