UOW Shoalhaven campus - Friday 15 and Saturday 16 March 2024

UOW Rural Health Research Conference 2024

Join health carers and researchers on Friday, 15 and Saturday, 16 March, 2024, at the UOW Shoalhaven campus, as we explore the theme of "Innovative Models of Rural and Regional Health Care". Engage in insightful discussions, dynamic presentations, and valuable networking opportunities focused on Rural Health Workforce Education & Training; Rural Health Workforce; Innovations in Rural Health Care; and Rural Health Community Partnership. Together diverse professionals and researchers will share expertise, exchange knowledge, and foster collaborations that drive innovation in rural communities. Get involved in shaping the future of rural and regional health care!

Sarah Larkins Keynote Speaker Rural Health Conference 2023, wearing a floral nd blue top, leaning against a railing under an outside cover. Green trees are in the background.

Professor Sarah Larkins

Professor Sarah Larkins is an experienced research leader, academic general practitioner and Professor of Health Systems Strengthening in the College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University.  Sarah has particular skills and experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research and health services and workforce research and is an internationally recognised expert in social accountability in health professional education. Sarah is also a current member of the NHMRC Research Committee (2022-24) and Co-Director of the Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening, a centre of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine.


To date, Sarah has over 160 published peer-reviewed journal articles and several book chapters, with an h-index of 33, more than 3600 citations and well over $97m in grant funding.  This includes seven current NHMRC/MRFF grants as a CI (3 as CI A), investigating participatory strategies to strengthen quality improvement in Indigenous primary health care centres and a recent DFAT grant on strengthening implementation research capacity for surveillance and response in the Pacific. She currently supervises 10 students at HDR level with 19 PhD completions. Other recent funding is from the CRC-NA, the Commonwealth Department of Health and the Department of Education. 

Sarah's particular focus is on collaborating to improve equity in health care services for underserved populations, particularly rural, remote, Indigenous and tropical populations, and on training a health workforce with appropriate knowledge, attitudes and skills for this purpose.  She is a past co-chair, Primary and Chronic Care Panel and Guideline Leadership Group Member of the National Living Evidence Guidelines for COVID-19, Director, Townsville Mackay Medicare Local and past member of the World Health Organisation Technical Working Group on Health Workforce Education Assessment Tools and the National Technical Advisory Group for Health Workforce Australia. 

She currently serves as the Convenor, Clinical Leadership Group for the NHMRC-recognised Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre, and serves on Research Australia University Round Table and IRU Research Committee.

We welcome the submission of research abstracts for workshops, concurrent sessions, and posters in the following session themes. Abstracts addressing health care of First Nations People are encouraged across all sub-themes.


  • Innovations in education for rural health workforce
  • Innovations in interdisciplinary rural health workforce development
  • Innovations in rural health workforce training
  • Innovations in Indigenous workforce and cultural safety


  • Rural health workforce wellbeing
  • Rural health workforce needs and distribution
  • Innovative models of rural health workforce recruitment and retention


  • Continuity of care between rural community & hospital care
  • Innovations in telehealth
  • Innovations in preventative care
  • Innovative models of intersectoral team-based care
  • Innovations in addressing social/cultural determinants of health


  • Consumer-led research
  • Lived-experience research
  • Innovative models of community engagement

Opens: Wednesday, 23 August, 2023
Closes: 5.00pm Monday, 6 November, 2023

Health educators, workers, practitioners, researchers, and students are all encouraged to submit.


Guideline for submissions for each presentation type

Please use the Abstract Template provided for your submission.


All submissions must relate to at least one of the Conference sub-themes and address methods, results, and implications for rural health. 

Abstracts must report on recently completed or published work.

Specific submission criteria for:

  • 20-minute concurrent session presentation (20mins + 5mins Q&A)
  • 10-minute concurrent session presentations (10mins + 5mins Q&A)
  • poster presentations
    • No more than 350 words (Abstract Template form saved as pdf)
    • No more than 100 characters for the title
  • 90-minute workshops (Friday afternoon)
    • No more than 500 words (Abstract Template form saved as pdf)
    • No more than 100 characters for the title
    • Clearly identify aims, format of the workshop presentation and the expected outcomes for the participants for rural health

Successful submissions will be notified Monday, 18 December, 2023.

Authors will only present one paper or workshop during the conference.

Registration enquiries can be made to gsm-research@uow.edu.au.

Thank you for your interest in attending the Shoalhaven Rural Health Research Conference. 

The conference program will be confirmed in January 2024; stay tuned for more information.

Registration opens on Wednesday, 23 August, 2023 

Register online

Full conference 1.5 days

(Friday afternoon & full day Saturday)

  • Access to the full program including:
    • workshops on Friday afternoon
    • concurrent sessions Saturday
    • Keynote speakers
  • Catered afternoon tea Friday, and morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea Saturday.

Cost: $200 (students: $50)

Friday, 15 March, 2024

(Half Day - afternoon)

  • Access to workshops Friday afternoon
  • Catered afternoon tea

Cost: $70 (students: $20)

Saturday, 16 March, 2024

(Full day)

  • Access to the full Saturday program including keynote speakers and concurrent sessions.
  • Catered morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea

Cost: $130 (students: $30)

Optional: Conference Dinner, Friday 15 March, 2024

$40 per person (separate to conference registration fees).

The Conference Dinner is a networking opportunity to connect with researchers, clinicians, and professionals in the industry.

Held at Café on Campus, following the Friday afternoon conference workshops. 

Conference location

UOW Shoalhaven campus has been providing the local community with access to world-class university education for 27 years; proudly producing over 2,100 UOW graduates. Located on George Evans Road, Mundamia, the campus offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, a pathway program and academic support throughout your degree.

Getting to UOW Shoalhaven campus


A range of accommodation options is available, including those in popular tourist towns like Berry and Huskisson, situated approximately 25 minutes away by car from UOW Shoalhaven Campus.


Recommended accommodation options in the Shoalhaven area:

Recommended areas to visit:

Have a question? Reach out to enquire.



Inaugural Rural Health Conference

The first Rural Health Conference was held in March 2023 and examined acute challenges facing rural health system.

Read more about the 2023 inaugural conference