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Regional, rural & remote training deliveries
Published 04 June 2024

Benchmarque Group are proud of the work we do, particularly the work we do bringing face-to-face education to Regional, Rural and Remote parts of Australia. In 2023 we delivered a tick under 500 workshops, with approximately 60% of these delivered to Regional, Rural and Remote locations. We find we have the most success in these locations when we work closely with local stakeholders to ensure we address the clinical and cultural profile of individuals in the classroom.

In April 2023 we worked with the Northern Territory PHN (NT PHN) to deliver several workshops in Darwin:

NT PHN supported participation in the classroom for individuals outside of Darwin via the Health Workforce Scholarship Funding Program.

The Northern Territory PHN is a not-for-profit independent organisation funded by the Australian Government. Their role is to identify areas of need, such as a lack of health care services and difficulty in accessing these services, so they can commission primary health care services to address these needs. Unlike other PHNs, they are unique in that they are also the NT’s Rural Workforce Agency (RWA). This means they support the recruitment, development and retention of a professional primary healthcare workforce across the NT.

After a successful delivery of eight workshops in Darwin, NT PHN facilitated an introduction to the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC) who were interested in supporting education to support health professionals in areas of Central Australia where podiatry services are not easily accessible. To support this, we worked collaboratively with NT PHN and CAAC to schedule two Chronic Conditions of the Foot workshops in Alice Springs in October 2023 and Chronic Conditions of the Foot and Wound Management workshops in April 2024.

For almost 50 years, the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (Congress) has provided support and advocacy for Aboriginal people in the struggle for justice and equity.

Since that time, Congress has expanded to become the largest Aboriginal community-controlled health organisation in the Northern Territory, providing a comprehensive, holistic and culturally-appropriate primary health care service to Aboriginal people living in and nearby Alice Springs, including six remote communities; Amoonguna, Ntaria (and Wallace Rockhole), Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa), Utju (Areyonga) and Mutitjulu.

Today, they are one of the most experienced Aboriginal primary health care services in the country, a strong political advocate of closing the gap on Aboriginal health disadvantage, and a national leader in improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal people.

The Chronic Conditions of the Foot workshop is delivered with funding support from the Australian Government Department of Health. In recognition of the challenges facing primary health care providers in remote parts of the Country, we were able to remove the online course, Foundations of Chronic Disease, which enables participants in these workshops direct access to the classroom without the requirement of completing pre-work. 

In advance of workshop delivery, we worked with the Congress to ensure that the content delivered reflected best practices within Central Australia and linked to local resources. In the first instance, we provided access to the content and resources to CAAC’s Education and Engagement Podiatrist who was able to provide feedback and input into what would be the workshop deliveries in Central Australia. In addition, our Trainer was linked in with CAAC in advance of the workshop to discuss local resources and practice. On the workshop days, our contacts at CAAC were able to introduce our Trainer to ensure that those in attendance engaged fully and learnt skills they could bring back to their practice. 

When speaking to our local stakeholder, Chelsea Newfield, the Health Workforce Education Team Lead, she said; ​​‘’Our collaboration with Benchmarque Group has enabled us to deliver localised and accessible education to NT clinicians, particularly in essential areas like chronic disease and wound management. Their partnership with organisations such as the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress (CAAC) and the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory (AMSANT) ensures that health professionals receive culturally and clinically relevant training tailored to the specific requirements of the NT”.

These workshop deliveries shared many similarities with the project we are working on with the Western Australian Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) which will see 16 workshops delivered across the South West, Great Southern, Goldfields, Midwest, Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia, between August 2023 - May 2024.

It was a privilege to work with CAAC and NT PHN to deliver these workshops, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to replicate this work with the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory (AMSANT) and NT PHN in June of 2024.

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The course has really helped me develop knowledge and enhanced my skills in making recommendations and evaluations of nutrition in the context of chronic condition management.
Chronic Conditions and Nutrition Student
Chronic Conditions and Nutrition, Virtual Workshop 2023

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