Close this search box.

About RuralMedEd

Why We’re Here

Rural Medical Education Australia (RuralMedEd) (RuralMedEd), formerly known as Queensland Rural Medical Education (QRME) began in 2002 when a group of rural doctors formed an organisation with a vision to ‘train to retain’ doctors in Rural Queensland. The initial training was directed at General Practitioners but grew to include medical students and junior doctors.

In 2010 RuralMedEd entered into a partnership with Griffith University which represented the successful collaboration of a large, established and well-resourced university with a flexible, responsive, not-for-profit community-based organisation that is acutely attuned to the changing needs of the rural communities it serves.

RuralMedEd’s flagship Longlook program supports one-to-two year clinical placements for medical students in rural communities. These lengthy placements provide an alternative to the model of short-term clinical rotations for city-based medical students, many of whom have not considered careers in non-metropolitan settings. The Longlook program addresses medical workforce shortages in rural communities through the achievement of a rural retention rate of 80% for Longlook students who have trained in a rural community for two years.

RuralMedEd is the only health training organisation in Australia graduating a broad spectrum of health practitioners, from high school students, VET students, medical students through to specialists.

RuralMedEd has 18 years experience in successfully graduating rural General Practitioners in the AGPT program for both ACCRM and RACGP. Following the change in training funding arrangements in 2014, RuralMedEd has continued to successfully deliver private training to AGPT candidates.

Commenced training of rural general practice registrars in the Australian General Practice Training Program.
In partnership with Griffith University, RuralMedEd attains $8.3M federal funding through Health Workforce Australia for the construction of training and accommodation facilities. These assets lead to an immediate increase in rural training capacity and clinical training. Clinical placements continue to grow every year. RuralMedEd and Griffith University establish the LongLook program.
Clinical Training Centres completed at Stanthorpe, Warwick and Kingaroy Hospitals and Hume Street Toowoomba. Students accommodation facilities completed at Stanthorpe, Warwick and Kingaroy. Griffith University dental training clinic is established in Warwick.
Griffith University and RuralMedEd commence a rural midwifery program based in Toowoomba.
RuralMedEd purchases student accommodation in Toowoomba to support expansion of the LongLook program Griffith University dental training clinic is established in Kingaroy.
Griffith University, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service and RuralMedEd collaborate to expand investment in rural health training through the establishment of a training centre at the Dalby Hospital. RuralMedEd purchases student accommodation in Dalby to support the expansion of the LongLook program.
The rural midwifery school offers a LongLook program, with a cohort of 8 students to train for two years in Stanthorpe, Warwick, Dalby and Kingaroy hospitals. A pilot placement program for 3rd year medical students based in General Practices and outreaching to specialist hospital services commences in Toowoomba. RuralMedEd purchases student accommodation in Jandowae to support the expansion of the LongLook program.

Our Vision & Mission


Educate a highly skilled health workforce in rural communities to meet the needs of rural communities.


Rural health education by rural communities, in rural communities, for rural communities.

RuralMedEd (RuralMedEd) promotes and advances the rural and remote health workforce through training, research and collaboration with government and strategic health agencies.

Our Values

Strategic Plan

Educate a highly skilled medical workforce in rural communities to meet the needs of rural communities.

Our Strategic Objectives
Achieving our objectives

With a faculty of highly valued, skilled rural and clinical academics and researchers leading

Our Board

Mr Stewart Gordon

Chairman and Company Secretary

Stewart is the General Manager (Primary Health Programs and Engagement) of the Darling Downs West Moreton Primary Health Network. He began his career in healthcare, first as an Accounts Clerk in the early 1990’s at the Roma Hospital before working for approximately four years in Community Health positions in South West Queensland. He worked in the Corporate Office of Queensland Health in both Team Leader and Manager roles, before returning to South West Queensland in 2004 to assume the role of District Manager with the Roma Health Service District. Due to his strong negotiation and leadership skills, Stewart was able to successfully lead the amalgamation of the former Roma and Charleville Health Service Districts. A highlight of Stewart’s time at Roma was the establishment of an innovative recruitment model to attract and retain critical, clinical vacancies. Stewart then assumed an executive position with the Darling Downs West Moreton Health Service District, where he gained significant leadership experience as Executive Director Rural Health and Aged Care. He was the single point of accountability for the delivery of health services and aged care in 21 rural hospitals. Stewart’s passion for workplace law stemmed from his role as Executive Director People and Culture with Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service where he led the Human Resource Management and Corporate Services support functions. He has recently practiced as an employment lawyer in the private sector. Stewart holds a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Business (Marketing and Human Resource Management), University of Southern Queensland.

Mrs Elizabeth (Lizzie) Adams

Deputy Chairman and Chair of Finance

Lizzie is the CEO of Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Company Limited based in Toowoomba which provides regional services (oral health and child protection services) throughout South West Queensland and Home and Community Care in the Darling Downs region. Lizzie commenced her health career in 1988 as an Assistant in Nursing and went on to successfully complete her Enrolled Nurse training in 1990. Lizzie has been involved in Aboriginal Affairs (housing, legal, education and health) from a young age and is passionate and committed to enhancing the health outcomes and status of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Lizzie was the State Chair of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council for four years and also the Queensland Representative for four years on the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and is currently Chair Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak Limited.

Lizzie’s qualifications include: Enrolled Nurse, Cert III in Aboriginal Primary Health Care, Cert IV in Aboriginal Primary Health Care, Diploma of Aboriginal Primary Health Care, Cert IV in Governance Training, Diploma of Business and Frontline Management, Cert IV Mental Health (Non-Clinical), Cert IV Workplace Training & Assessment, and Graduate Certificate in Health Service Management.

Prof Ann Bonner

Head, School of Nursing and Midwifery at Griffith University

Prof Ann Bonner is Head, School of Nursing and Midwifery at Griffith University. She is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the Kidney Health Service, Metro North Health, leading the Kidney Nursing Collaborative Research Centre and a Visiting Research Fellow at Gold Coast University Hospital. She has over 30 years clinical, education and research experience
including working two rural universities. 

Ann has received NHMRC funding for her research, attracting over $7 million in competitive funding. She has over 150 publications and has delivered over 200 peer reviewed conference presentations and invited papers. Ann is recognised nationally and internationally as an expert nephrology nurse and is a member of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Chronic Kidney Disease Expert Advisory Group and the External Advisory Board for the Australian Kidney Trials Network (AKTN). 

She is life-member of the Renal Society of Australasia, and in 2021 was inducted into Sigma International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame.

Phillip Stork

Vice President (Marketing and Communication) at Griffith University

Phillip is Vice President (Marketing and Communication) at Griffith University. As a member of the University executive, Phillip is responsible for the University’s brand and communication strategies, prospective student engagement and media relations. 

Prior to working for Griffith University, Phillip held senior roles in Queensland Health and the Department of Premier and Cabinet. Phillip spent over a decade working corporate marketing, communication, stakeholder management and consumer liaison roles in the Queensland and UK health systems. His marketing and communications work for the Queensland Government received multiple accolades including Australian Marketing Institute and Public Relations Institute of Australia awards.

Phillip is on advisory boards for Griffith Review, the Griffith Policy Innovation Hub and Constellation Impact Advisory. 

Dr Leo Zeller

Executive Board Director

Dr Leo Zeller is a Senior Orthopaedic and Spinal Surgeon in Toowoomba. He has previously been the Director of Orthopaedic Surgery, Toowoomba Hospital. He is also a VMO Orthopaedic and spinal Surgeon Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital. Leo is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and is an Examiner for the Fellowship Examination in Orthopaedic Surgery for the college.

He has a Master’s Degree in Health and Medical Law from University of Melbourne Law School 2020 and graduated from University of Queensland MBBS 1985.

Mrs Julie Reid

Company Secretary

Julie is the Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary of RuralMedEd with expertise in accounting and finance.  Julie joined RuralMedEd in 2005 after previously working in a commercial finance role.  Julie has an interest in corporation law and corporate governance and has volunteered in finance roles for local sports clubs.  Julie holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from the University of Southern Queensland, a Master of Business Administration from Deakin University and is a Certified Practicing Accountant.  She has previously served on the Board of RuralMedEd during its time as QRME.  She is also a Commissioner for Declarations and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Michelle McKay

Michelle McKay is an experienced Health Executive having held CEO roles over the last 20 years in the public health sector in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory in Australia and in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. Michelle also has five years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector in aged, community and disability services, leading services across regional Queensland and the Northern Territory. Currently, Michelle is the CEO of the Adelaide Primary Health Network.
Michelle is a Director of DisAbility Living in Adelaide, an Independent Director of Apollo Care Alliance and a Board member of Health Translation South Australia. Past Director roles include Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Top End Research Partners.
Areas of particular skill include developing and implementing organisational strategy, performance improvement and developing and leading effective organisational and workforce culture change. Michelle has a strong personal commitment to service to the community and a particular interest in aged care and health system transformation.

Dr Rebecca Calder

Dr Rebecca Calder is a Rural Generalist Registrar with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and is currently working in General Practice in Toowoomba and at Oakey Hospital. She has a Diploma of Advanced Obstetrics and Gynaecology and also advanced skill training in Emergency Medicine. Rebecca is an Alumni of Griffith University, graduating with a Doctor of Medicine in 2016. Rebecca completed both her clinical years of Medical School through the RuralMedEd (formerly Queensland Rural Medical Education) Longlook Program, undertaking training years in both Kingaroy and Goondiwindi and travelling on their placement program to Kiunga, Papua New Guinea in her final year. Rebecca has also served as the National Secretary on the National Executive of the General Practice Student’s Network (GPSN) in 2016.

Dr Ross Hetherington

Dr Ross Hetherington is a rural GP with more than 30 years experience in rural Queensland hospitals and GPs. He is member of the DDHHS Board Executive and Board Safety and Quality Committees and holds the following positions: Board Chair, RHealth Chair, Rural Health Workforce Australia, Foundation member, Regional Health Board, Longreach Board member, Health Workforce Queensland Board member, Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited Member, Aviation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand. He was also a foundation member of the Menopause Society of Australasia. Ross co-founded the Central Queensland Rural Division of General Practitioners. He holds a number of aviation and medical memberships, and is a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME). Ross has held previous directorships with Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) and the Australian Rural and Remote Workforce Agency Group.

Our Strategy & Stakeholders

Governance and Member Groups

RuralMedEd has partnered with Griffith University to deliver the university’s rural clinical training, funded by the Commonwealth Government Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program. RuralMedEd’s qualified, experienced clinical educators also deliver the general practice exam preparation programs, the Considering Medicine Program and Pathways to Health Program, aiming to increase the number of rural and indigenous students entering and graduating from health career courses. RuralMedEd’s research program is supported by clinical academics living and working in rural Queensland.

As RuralMedEd is locally based, locally led and locally governed, it ensures a focused rural stream for the Griffith University health schools.
Established in January 2002, RuralMedEd is a private company, limited by guarantee.
All activities of RuralMedEd are overseen by a skills based Board of Directors. Organisations and interest groups passionate about rural general practice education and training form the membership of the company.

The Board has responsibility for the strategic direction, future development and overall operation of the company.

Enquire now

What is your enquiry related to?