News & Events

UNSW-led Rural Appreciation Weekend in Tarcutta a hit with students

More than 100 health students have been welcomed with open arms by the Tarcutta community over the weekend. It was the 9th time the Rural Appreciation Weekend has been held but it was the first time Tarcutta had hosted.

The event was launched and is run by UNSW's rural health club, the Rural Allied Health and Medical Society (RAHMS), to expose health students to country life, and hopefully inspire them to conisder working in the bush in the future.

The weekend aims to attract more health professionals to country areas by teaching students about life in the country. 

UNSW medical student, Helen Zhang, said it was her first time experiencing farm life.

“I’ve never been so close to farm animals before, cows are so much bigger than I thought,” Helen said.

“It’s so beautiful here and at night the stars are so clear.”

This positive experience is what organisers aim to give all students in a bid to attract them back to rural areas in the future.

“It has made me consider moving to the country. It is an eye opening experience,” Helen said.

Most students had never experienced farm life before and were exposed to shearing demonstrations, sheep and cattle work and were even putting out fires with the Rural Fire Service.

Farm experience co-ordinator and UNSW medical student, Joe Murphy, said the day is made as hands on as possible.

“They can feel the wool, class the sheep, use the cattle crush and weight the cows and put out a fire,” Mr Murphy said.

“We want everyone to have a positive and fun experience to have a better understanding of country life.”

The students are camping in Tarcutta on the town oval but the farm demonstrations were held on Bruce and Lyn Angel’s property just outside of the township.

“We are happy to help bridge the gap between city and country,” Mr Angel said.

“As a landholder you strive to breakdown the barriers and the perceptions of what happens on the land.

Mrs Angel, who also works at Charles Sturt University as Acting Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, said the day also showcases what life in the country is like.

“It’s good for the students who have never seen it to have an appreciation for what the country is all about,” Mrs Angel said.

The couple have both lived in the country their entire lives and realise how important having health care professionals is in the region.

“Often they may not even think about it (working in the country) if they haven’t experienced it before,” Mrs Angel said.

Story originally published in the Wagga Daily Advertiser by Elizabeth Habermann, with some additions from Joel Katz.Original story here.