18 December 2020
Thank you, Mark (Arnold), Professor (Cheryl) Jones, great to be here. Lewis, thank you so much for your welcome.
And I acknowledge we’re also here on Wiradjuri country, and it’s certainly great to be here.
Other distinguished ladies and gentlemen. I’m looking around at Dubbo health royalty and people who have been working across a multitude of organisations to improve the health in Dubbo.
Today we’re here talking about the Sydney University School of Medicine. And Sydney University aren’t newcomers to Dubbo. They’ve been working on this campus now for over 20 years, giving their students the opportunity of experiencing what it’s like to work in rural health.
From 2022, the beginning of 2022 onwards, people will be able to do their full degree here. And ultimately their specialty, whether it’s GP or another specialty within their own communities.
And Aunty Pat, I’ll acknowledge you’ve been here. There’s no fierce a champion for education and education for Aboriginal people in this area than you. And you’ll get to see some of our local young people coming through the school system, ultimately being able to train as doctors in this area. And that will be a wonderful thing.
We do know that if you train in the regional areas, the more chances are that you will stay and practice there. And that’s because it takes such a long time to train as a doctor, and quite often other life issues get in the way. And if you’ve done your training away in the capital city and you find a life partner and you want to start a family, then there’s other considerations when it takes the, you know, the move to set up and practice in a regional area.
But if you are from here or you have been here for the entire time of your training, the chances are of you staying here, are much, much greater.
And that’s why the government has committed to the Murray Darling Medical School. There’s five campuses, the CSU campus in Orange will take students commencing after Christmas next year.
It’s nearly 12 months to the day since we were at the launch of that project in Orange. And I’m very, very excited about this one.
Mark – I shouldn’t single people out – but there’s been no one more fiercely campaigning for this project than you.
It hasn’t been plain sailing. Nothing worthwhile ever is plain sailing, but you’ve stuck at it. And we’ve got to this point, and I’m looking forward to being back here about this time next year where we might be cutting a ribbon and making ready for the students to come after Christmas of next year.
So congratulations to everyone.
I think anyone that’s been in Dubbo for a while, would have to pinch themselves to understand where this health precinct has come from in the last decade.
We’ve seen great work from the local health district, Western Health District, with the redevelopment of the hospital.
The cancer centre is nearing by this time next year, hopefully, we’ll be seeing patients come into the Western Cancer Centre. And through that, we are starting to have that snowballing effect where Dubbo is recognised as a health precinct and people are choosing to come here to enhance their career, to help with their training, but also understanding that they can be at the top of their game and live in a town like Dubbo and have all the benefits of regional town where you’re five minutes from work, five minutes from the shops, five minutes from sport, and you’re at the top of the field.
And we had a conversation earlier about doing research, and I think that’s the next step. So that we’ve got our researchers based out here, so that if you are a clinician, you can also be working in research.
So not only do the people of the West have the advantage of taking part in life saving research- medical research, but we’ve got a chance as a medical professionals being at the top of the field by undertaking that research, whether it’s connected back to a metropolitan university or some other way.
So a very, very exciting day. We’ve been looking forward to it a long time. And congratulations to Sydney University and everyone else involved. Thanks so much.