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Rural students announce new National Body: ARHA

Rural students announce new National Body: ARHA

For immediate release: 20 May 2005

A new national body, Aotearoa Rural Health Apprentices (ARHA), has been launched by medical students attending the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network’s 2005 Conference.

The founding members of ARHA represent students studying nursing, medicine, physiotherapy, pharmacy and dentistry from regional clubs based in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland.

The students have a passion for rural health careers within New Zealand, citing an enviable quality of life and interesting and varied clinical work, which they believe have not always been fully recognised or valued.

ARHA’s aim is to promote student interest in rural health careers, by:
providing support and membership for students from a rural background
promoting careers in rural medicine through for example school visits
representing rural student’s concerns at a national level
encouraging interaction between students studying different disciplines.

ARHA is modelled on a national body in Australia (NRHN) that has been established for some time and has been successful in achieving similar goals. A need for this national co-ordination of student efforts in New Zealand was seen after several students attended the NRHN conference in 2004.

Regional student health clubs supporting the ARHA are Matagouri Club in Otago, Grassroots in Auckland and Waikato, Wellington Boot in Wellington and the Christchurch students’ rural health club.

The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network has offered support to the new body and is currently working with the ARHA executive on a website that the Network will host on its site.

ARHA is seeking further support through membership and sponsorship. Chairperson, James Johnston (Wellington School of Medicine), and the executive (Hilary Burbidge – Wellington School of Medicine; Naomi Crooks and Rawiri Keenan – Otago School of Medicine; Lucinda Thatcher – Christchurch School of Medicine; Jono Macleod, Misty Curry, Kit Boyes – Auckland School of Medicine) can be contacted on


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