NSW Governor thanks rural health professionals for resilience through natural disaster
25th September 2020
The NSW Governor, Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, has delivered a touching message of thanks and support to rural health professionals across NSW.
Until the COVID-19 travel restriction, the Governor and her husband, Mr Dennis Wilson, travelled extensively to drought and bushfire-affected areas of NSW.
“Dennis and I listened to stories of the difficulties our rural communities were experiencing and the impact the long drought was having on all facets of their lives,” she says in her video message, delivered through NSW Rural Doctors Network (RDN).
“I also learned that what the communities were experiencing was not something new, but a severe exacerbation of their normal.”
The Governor pointed to RDN’s ‘Resilience, Recharge and Recovery’ (RRR) Program, established to support health professionals in remote, rural and regional NSW who have faced an unprecedented number of natural disaster and emergency situations including drought, bushfires, COVID-19 and flood.
Many of these events have been drawn out and difficult, compounding the stresses already faced by health professionals working in regional, rural and remote areas.
“We also know that the crises rural communities have been experiencing have resulted in greater anxiety and mental health issues. This raises the question: Who cares for the carers? Or – to put it another way: Who looks after you?
“Our highly skilled and dedicated rural health professionals care about keeping people and our rural communities healthy,” Her Excellency said.
“Your health and wellbeing, therefore, is our priority. On behalf of the people of New South Wales, and personally, a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for everything you do to promote ‘healthier Australians – no matter where they live’.”
RDN’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Richard Colbran, thanked the Governor for supporting the RRR Program.
“RDN has received a high number of requests for support and feedback from health professionals who feel emotionally and professionally strained due to natural disasters and emergencies, indicating that workforce capability may have been negatively impacted,” he said.
“The RRR Program aims to strengthen the conversation about mental health and support the wellbeing of remote, rural and regional health professionals in NSW. The Program will provide tools and resources to help health professionals enhance their wellbeing and capability.
“We anticipate this will have a positive impact on workforce capability, and in turn, the patients accessing health care in remote, rural and regional communities.”
Download the media release [PDF 140 KB]
Watch the Governor’s video message.