Seeking rural generalist superheroes

We are seeking to identify medical practitioners keen to train towards GP Fellowship through the Remote Vocational Training Scheme pathway.

The ideal candidate will have a passion for rural generalism, be committed to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people and be comfortable working in an isolated and remote location.


This role requires a medical practitioner who is training towards Fellowship with the College of Rural and Remote Medicine (FACRRM) or Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practice (FRACGP). The Remote Vocational Training Scheme training pathway is preferred for these positions, which are very remote. 

The successful applicant must demonstrate recent significant emergency department experience and be interested in Indigenous Health. Primary health care knowledge and skills are a pre-requisite by virtue of the training position.

Erin Pawson - IMG_20190524_164629_resized_20190529_031229860

The Rural GP trainee position provides clinical service to the hospitals of the Kimberley as well as outreach clinics in surrounding remote communities. 

Clinical supervision

This position reports to and is supported by the Senior Medical Officer at each site, and clinical supervision is provided by District Medical Officers (rural generalist GPs). The successful candidate will be rostered to clinical duties in the Emergency Department and/or GP clinics at each hospital as well as being rostered to the on call roster 1:3 maximum (backed up by the DMO).

The challenges and the opportunities

While the East Kimberley is rich in natural resources, the local Aboriginal population experiences significant disadvantage, particularly relative to its non-Aboriginal population. The figures below come from the 2011 Census:

East KimberleyNational rate
Completed Year 1217.5%54%54%
Bachelor or post-graduate degree1%19%15%
In a real job*25%87%58%
Not in the labour force60%12%35%
≥ 8 residents in house14%0%0.3%
Homes owned or mortgaged10%41%68%
Median person income/week$280$1050$577

* Wunan Foundation

Relative to the region’s non-Aboriginal population and overall Australian population, the Aboriginal population in the East Kimberley experiences significantly higher rates of: chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes; foetal alcohol spectrum disorders; incarceration; substance abuse; and suicide. Consequently, the median Aboriginal male in the region dies up to 30 years earlier than his non-Aboriginal counterpart. 

The complex, inter-related causes of this situation include the intergenerational legacy of colonisation, dispossession, dislocation, racism, inadequate infrastructure and services, and introduction of alcohol and welfare. 

Working in these communities can be complex, challenging and at times, confronting. The roles require people who are well-equipped to live in isolated and remote communities.

Clinical practice has been described as 'feast or famine'. Clinical loads can be demanding and highly varied at times, with lulls in activity at others. Candidates are likely to be working across the full scope of their practice and will have significant exposure to a variety of chronic and acute presentations. 


Registrar Year 1-3 $129,990 p.a - $143,314 p.a. This scale applies to PGY 5 – PGY 7.

More senior registrars may be considered for a Health Service Medical Practitioner role depending on their years of experience in rural ED/GP work.

District Allowance applies to $7,436 pa. Rates effective as 1st Oct  2015.

Additional benefits (in line with operational requirements):

  • shift penalties apply for rostered after hours shifts
  • rental and travel subsidies
  • 9.5% employer contributed superannuation
  • access to salary packaging up to $19,000 pa
  • professional development allowance
  • professional development opportunities/assistance
  • flexible leave arrangements.

This is a fixed term full time (80 hours per fortnight) appointment for 12 months with possibility of extension.