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Bush Bursaries and Country Women's Association Scholarships

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What are the scholarships?

The NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) Bush Bursaries and Country Women's Association (CWA) Scholarships provide selected medical, midwifery and nursing students in NSW/ACT with $1,500 each to assist with costs associated with their studies. Recipients also spend two weeks on a rural placement in country NSW during their university holidays. The placement combines the enjoyable aspects of country life and rural medicine.

The Bush Bursaries are funded by individual NSW rural Councils and Scholarships are funded by the Country Women's Association of NSW. They are administered by the NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN).

Placements are coordinated by the rural Councils. Placement locations may differ each year due to the involvement of different Councils. 

The two-week placements are usually undertaken in December or January.

Applicants must demonstrate:

  • an interest in rural practice and lifestyle;
  • an understanding of the realities of rural medical practice; and
  • the motivation to undertake a placement in a rural area as part of the scheme.

Students not honouring their commitment to undertake a rural placement are required to pay back all money granted to them.

NOTE: Travel and accommodation costs incurred by undertaking placements must be covered by the scholarship payment.

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Who is eligible?

Rural and urban students are eligible to apply for the bursaries and scholarships.

  • Applicants must be enrolled in a NSW or ACT university in a:
    • first or second year medical degree; or
    • any year nursing degree; or
    • any year midwifery degree. 
  • Applicants must be Australian or New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of Australia.
  • Applicants must have completed all university study requirements at the time of application and demonstrate this by provision of proof of enrolment.

Recipients cannot hold a John Flynn Scholarship at the same time. Students who are holders of a Bonded Medical Place (BMP) are eligible to apply.

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How to apply

Applications for 2019 are now closed. Check out our other RDN Scholarships for more rural health initiatives.

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Nicola Marshall and Tim Macmillan

What previous Bush Bursary/CWA Scholarship recipients have said about their placements:

"If anything the appeal of rural medicine has just strengthened - I've definitely seen a lot of the challenges that it brings, but it also seems so rewarding and the kind of relationships I saw between doctors/nurses and patients is what I want from my career."

Nicola Marshall | 2018 scholarship recipient 

"I knew that I wanted to work rurally before attending this placement, and it has served to further cement this desire. It gave me an insight into how a rural hospital works and the level of responsibility a GP can have when working in a rural hospital such as Tenterfield community hospital. The opportunity and skills base that rural GPs have is huge when compared with city GPs and this is an extremely exciting prospect."
Amelia Fitzgerald | 2014 scholarship recipient | Amelia in the media

"I was able to assist with several procedures including ear syringing, ultrasound-guided steroid injections, paediatric development assessments, taking histories and performing physical examinations independently. Staying in the nurse’s accommodation, I made fast friends with some of the other allied health students also on placement. We discovered Goulburn’s cafes and restaurants, quickly identifying the best coffee place in town. We also attended the hospital Christmas party, where aside from three helpings at the buffet, we mingled with staff from across the hospital. I really enjoyed my fortnight in Goulburn, learning more in two weeks there than in an entire year of clinical sessions. I was surprised by the variety of patients seen in rural practice, and really appreciated the patient-centered approach and continuity of care that occurs in a regional area. This scholarship is a great opportunity for early clinical practice in a rural NSW setting, and I would strongly encourage first and second year students to apply." (Excerpt, ANU Rural Medical Society Magazine, Issue 2, December 2014.)
Katie Burkitt | 2014 scholarship recipient | Read Katie's full story


Find out more

Email students@nswrdn.com.au for more information. 

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