NAHRLS turned one on Sunday 1 July 2012

Sunday, 1 July 2012 marked the completion of NAHRLS’ first year of operation. To celebrate, the NAHRLS team hosted a morning tea to commemorate one year of support to rural and remote nurses, midwives and allied health professionals around Australia.

NAHRLS invited the Department of Health and Ageing (DoHA), Aspen Medical Group, Remote Area Health Corp (RAHC) and Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) to join in celebrating one year of operation.

General Manager, Mark Ellis welcomed all staff and supporters of the NAHRLS programme “NAHRLS celebrated its first birthday yesterday and in one year of operation has placed 471 health workers. This means that nurses and allied health professionals have been able to get away from their work and have a break. It’s important to look at some of the feedback about the programme. Recently, in the Australian Optometry magazine an optometrist said that without NAHRLS he would not have been able to get out of his workplace to have a break. I have met with people optometrists at conferences who said they have not been able to take leave for a number of years because they can’t afford to get a locum...and I think it is a very important programme for that reason”.

Mark also extended his thank you particularly to the NAHRLS team including previous staff members that assisted in the establishment of the NAHRLS programme and to RAHC who set the ground work for NAHRLS. Mark said “without RAHC and the benefit of their experience, particularly in the Northern Territory, we would not have been able to learn as much and as quickly”.

Aspen Medical has continued to be a great supporter of NAHRLS as the programme administrator. Mark thanked Aspen staff and said “we are all one big team...with the clinical team, the HR team and the project team we were able to learn and look forward into the future. Thank you all for your support”.

Glenn Keys, Managing Director for Aspen Medical Group congratulated NAHRLS on their achievement in last financial year and in particular said “it was good to hear that over 100 people were placed last month and 471 placements for the year which is a brilliant result.

“[NAHRLS] is gathering momentum and, if it is anything that we have learned from other projects, we know that these sorts of initiatives take time... and that we need to get out and continue telling our stories. I think the results we are starting to see from NAHRLS has proved that [NAHRLS] has really given them a chance to get away and do the things that their meant to do.

So to all team involved from the very start, for all the team involved and the people that we have supported, not just within NAHRLS but also the rest of the company and the organisation, thank you and enjoy your celebration today. We look forward to many more birthdays for NAHRLS”.