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University's School of Rural Health in Dubbo

State of the art medical education facilities open in Dubbo

21 November 2022
New facilities to help grow the future health workforce
New state-of-the-art medical education facilities were officially opened at the University's School of Rural Health in Dubbo today, to support our continued growth in rural medical education in Central Western NSW.
Sandra Riley, Aunty Pat Doolan, Mark Scott, Robyn Ward, Cheryl Jones and Ruth Stewart at the official opening.

Sandra Riley, Aunty Pat Doolan, Mark Scott, Robyn Ward, Cheryl Jones and Ruth Stewart unveiled the plaque at the official opening.

Over $10 million in Australian Government, philanthropic and University funding has enabled the redevelopment of the School of Rural Health in Dubbo into a fully resourced graduate clinical school of medicine.

The Dubbo campus now offers the entire end-to-end four-year University of Sydney, Sydney Medical School, Doctor of Medicine (MD) program in addition to the one and two-year placements it has supported for almost 20 years.

The new teaching building, Marra-dha Ngurang meaning ‘Hands-on Place’ in Wiradjuri language, was officially opened by Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO today.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO said:

“When it comes to the future of medical education, the University of Sydney is committed to making sure accessibility and quality go hand in hand,”

“The goal of this facility will support not only this commitment, but also its students and the future of rural health in this region.”

Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson said the University is delighted to see the project come to fruition. 

“We are excited for the official opening of these facilities at the School of Rural Health in Dubbo, which offer rural and regional students the opportunity to stay and train in the region”.

“The knowledge and experience our students gain in rural medicine when studying in Dubbo is invaluable, and this redevelopment will play an important ongoing role in the future growth of the medical workforce in rural Australia.”

Prof Mark Scott with medical students at the opening of the new teaching building, Marra-dha Ngurang meaning ‘Hands-on Place’ in Wiradjuri language.

Adjunct Professor Ruth Stewart, National Rural Health Commissioner said:

“I am really pleased to be in Dubbo to celebrate the opening of Marra-dha Ngurang. Western NSW is in crisis with health workforce," she said.

"We know that the best way to create a medical workforce for a regional, rural, or remote community is to enrol students from the region and provide them with well supported clinical placements in the region and an explicit curriculum to prepare them for rural practice.

“Those students are highly likely to become rural doctors.

"I look forward to seeing the graduates of the School of Rural Health as doctors throughout western NSW and rural Australia.”

New facilities

The new purpose-built teaching building features state-of-the-art facilities and the latest in medical education technology, including:

  • Two dedicated learning studios for team-based collaborative work.
  • An anatomy teaching lab with a SECTRA Virtual Dissection Table, a large immersive and interactive touch device, that enables students to swipe, scroll, zoom, rotate and navigate inside 3D anatomy models that are generated from CT and MRI scans of anonymous patient cases from around the world.
  • The Lonergan Foundation Simulation Suite featuring six simulation training rooms providing students with an immersive and realistic hospital-like environment in which to train.
  • A comprehensive range of training simulators and manikins able to simulate medical events such as a seizure or heart attack for students to practice and develop clinical skills.

Art by artist Cara Shields, winner of the Wiradjuri Artwork Competition is incoporated in the design of the new buildings.

Artwork by artist Cara Shields, winner of our Wiradjuri Artwork Competition, is incorporated into the design of the new and existing buildings.

Her artwork “Learning on Scar Tree Country” is inspired by the intricate line work that forms on tree trunks of Scar and Dendroglyph trees when bark is removed or carved.

“Trees represent a strong connection to everyone as they create the air we breathe and have a variety of cultural and medicinal uses,” said Cara.

Her artwork also features four circles that represent the cities of Sydney, Orange and Dubbo and the School of Rural Health site in Dubbo on a background of crisscross patterns that represent the travel pathways between these University of Sydney sites.

“Building on almost 20 years of delivering medical education in the central west and western NSW, the expansion of the site in Dubbo supports the University’s strong and continued commitment to rural workforce development and rural health,” said Professor Cheryl Jones, Dean of the Sydney Medical School.

The new facilities, built by Patterson Building Group were funded by the Australian Government under the Murray-Darling Medical Schools Network (MDMSN) combined with a generous philanthropic gift to the University.

They were developed in collaboration with the Western NSW Local Health District, hospitals and doctors of the region, and the Dubbo community, including the Wiradjuri community who have been generous with their support and input.

Media contact

Michelle Blowes

Media and PR Adviser (Health)

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