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Student story: my intrastate odyssey

3 Apr 2022

University of Wollongong Nutrition and Dietetics student Gynette Reyneke recalls her placement in Broken Hill. A warm welcome, heritage and culture, and rewarding project work awaited her in the far reaches of her home state.

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My place­ment for Com­mu­ni­ty and Pub­lic Health Nutri­tion was based in Bro­ken Hill as part of my final year of my Bach­e­lor Nutri­tion and Dietet­ics. Get­ting there involved a long dri­ve through diverse ter­rain. I’m still amazed that a per­son can dri­ve for 14 hours and remain in the state of New South Wales at the point of destination!

This was my sec­ond remote expe­ri­ence in Aus­tralia and I found a lot of sim­i­lar­i­ties between Bro­ken Hill and Kal­go­or­lie in WA. It is qui­et in Bro­ken Hill but peo­ple are real­ly friend­ly and hap­py to have a chat.

Most of my time was divid­ed between the Bro­ken Hill Hos­pi­tal, Dietet­ics Depart­ment, Bro­ken Hill Uni­ver­si­ty of Rur­al Health (BHURH), and a local high school. The weeks were very busy with project work and it was hum­bling to be embraced into the school com­mu­ni­ty by stu­dents and teach­ers alike. 

BHRUH pro­vid­ed accom­mo­da­tion, which was shared with three oth­er stu­dents from var­i­ous health dis­ci­plines. The accom­mo­da­tion was con­ve­nient­ly close to town, com­fort­able, well equipped and pro­vid­ed an oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet oth­er stu­dents on placement.

Week­ends pro­vid­ed an oppor­tu­ni­ty to go out and explore the local and sur­round­ing areas includ­ing the Region­al Art Gallery, which is a beau­ti­ful old build­ing con­tain­ing some amaz­ing col­lec­tions of art. Bro­ken Hill itself is packed full of his­tor­i­cal build­ings and the famous Palace Hotel was fea­tured in an Aus­tralian movie (Priscil­la, Queen of the Desert) many years ago. Get­ting around Bro­ken Hill is inter­est­ing, as you dis­cov­er the min­er­al and rock theme of the street names.

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There are some great pho­to oppor­tu­ni­ties not far from Bro­ken Hill, includ­ing the Liv­ing Desert Sculp­tures for some cul­ture and incred­i­ble sun­sets, and the his­tor­i­cal town of Sil­ver­ton, home to the Mad Max Muse­um, John Dynon Gallery, an out­back pub and sun­set camel rides!

A spe­cial thanks to CRANAplus for the Under­grad­u­ate Stu­dent Remote Place­ment Schol­ar­ship that pro­vid­ed mon­e­tary assis­tance towards my Bro­ken Hill placement.

If you are look­ing for diver­si­ty and a rich expe­ri­ence on place­ment, Bro­ken Hill has it all. I will look back fond­ly and cher­ish the five weeks I spent in this unique, remote rur­al town!