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Bush Bursaries and Country Women's Association Scholarships

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What is a Bush Bursary?

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 the costs associated with participating in the program, including travel to and from the placement, meals, and other discretionary spending during the placement. 

Recipients are paired up by RDN and spend two weeks on a placement in country NSW during their university holidays. The placement aims to provide a rural immersion experience by combining the enjoyable aspects of country life and rural medicine. 

The program is funded by individual rural councils across NSW and scholarships are funded by the Country Women's Association of NSW. They are administered by RDN. As such, available placement locations may differ each year due to the involvement of different councils.  

Placements are typically undertaken between November and January, but can be at different times of the year if circumstances require. Itineraries and accommodation are coordinated by the rural councils hosting the placement. 

Students not honouring their commitment to undertake a rural placement and subsequently provide the necessary documentation from their experiences are required to pay back all money granted to them. 

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Who is eligible?

To be eligible to apply for the program, students must meet the following requirements: 

  • Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident of Australia 
  • Enrolled in a NSW or ACT university in 
    • First or second year medical degree 
    • Any year nursing degree 
    • Any year midwifery degree 
  • Completed all university study requirements at the time of application 
  • Read and understood the information set out in the 2023 Program Guidelines

Both rural and urban based students are eligible to apply for the program.

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How to apply

Applications for the 2023 Bush Bursaries and Country Women’s Association Scholarships are now closed

Further information about the program can be found in the 2023 Program Guidelines.

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What previous Bush Bursaries and Country Women's Association Scholarships recipients have said about their placements:Giselle_Bush_Bursary_CWA_Scholarship


“Whether it was sitting in on consultations, asking questions or even assisting with treatment, the patients were happy for me to be included and all of the learning opportunities I had were hands-on. 

“My rural experience has confirmed my desire to work rurally in the future and to do all I can to support rural patients."

Giselle Capacchione 



“The most monumental thing I learnt while on the Bush Bursary placement in Bega was the impact of healthcare accessibility on small communities. Each day I met patients who had travelled up to two hours just to get to Bega’s South East Regional Hospital (SERH). 

“This highlighted to me the importance of making rural medicine more accessible for the health and wellbeing of patients and their families. 

“Outside of the placement I explored the area, went bush walking, whale watching and sightseeing. The community of Bega was friendly, warm and welcoming. I feel like I now have a home away from home in Bega.” 


Maddy Hawthorne | Read Maddy's story




Nicola Marshall and Tim Macmillan

"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 


Find out more

For more information about the NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN) Bush Bursaries and Country Women's Association (CWA) Scholarships, please see our 2023 Program Guidelines.

For more help exploring the exciting opportunities of a rural health career, email students@nswrdn.com.au.

To receive information about events, programs, and scholarships for students, subscribe to RDN's mailing list and select "Student Opportunities" as an interest:


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