BURRA Venture

The BURRA Venture is an exciting research project, bringing together experienced academics from Australia and Internationally, to learn more about rural general practice and make positive change for the benefit of rural and regional communities and their future health outcomes.


Members of the BURRA Venture seek to provide evidence to support rural medical workforce policy reform. Our key priorities include researching:

  • Impacts of demographic changes in the workforce since 1997 on recruitment, retention, education, training and clinical practice;
  • Geographic differences in workforce composition, work practices and supply issues (differences between States and Territories and between types of regional, rural and remote areas);
  • Emerging patterns of clinical practice, and their implications for workforce supply, education, training and service design;
  • The influence of policies and programs implemented over the past twenty years on workforce composition, distribution and scope of practice;
  • Relationships between these factors and the changing economic, demographic and social nature of Australia’s rural communities; and
  • The critical issues likely to face rural general practice and rural general practitioners over the next twenty years.


  • Are a loose collective of rural medical workforce research enthusiasts
  • Aim to build rural medical workforce research opportunities across states and across countries with priority being Australia
  • Seek to engage systematically to keeping each other and others informed of relevant projects and opportunities
  • Aim to having an annual face to face forum for discussion

Research in Action - Advanced Studies in Burra

Megan Bentley and Nadine Drummond (pictured right, with local GP Dr Gerry Considine), worked on an Advanced Studies Research Project in Burra during their Medical degree studies from 2015 -2017. The students surveyed alumni of the Flinders University full-year clinical immersion program in rural general practice, seeking to understand whether rural practice self-efficacy correlated with current and intended location of practice. Outcomes to date include the below conference presentation, and a journal article has been submitted for publication.

Rooke N, Bentley M, Hodge H, Carson D, Walters L. The relationship between self-efficacy and rural practice intentions in a South Australian medical student cohort. ICEMEN Conference, Sault Ste Marie Canada, June 2016


The BURRA Venture brings professionals from right across academia, at universities both locally and internationally, to work towards a common goal - developing better understanding about rural general practice for a better health future. You can find out more about them and their research backgrounds by clicking on their names below (each opens to a new page at their university website):

Lucie Walters (chair) - Flinders University

Dean Carson - Charles Darwin University

Richard Hays   - University of Tasmania

Max Kamien - University of Western Australia

Matthew McGrail - Monash University                    

Belinda O’Sullivan - Monash University                          

Deborah Russell - Monash University            

Roger Strasser - Northern Ontario School of Medicine

Local and international academics meeting in Burra in 2016
Local and international academics meeting in Burra in 2016



Walters LK, McGrail MR, Carson DB, O'Sullivan BG, Russell DJ, Strasser RP, Hays RB & Kamien M. Where to next for rural general practice policy and research in Australia? The Medical journal of Australia 2017;207:56-8.

Walters L, Seal A, McGirr J, Stewart R, Dewitt D, Playford D. The effect of medical student preference on rural clinical school experience and career intentions . Rural and Remote Health 2016