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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

The Australian Rural Health Research Collaboration: building collaborative population health research in rural and remote NSW Volume 22 Issue 1-2

David A. Perkins, Lesley Barclay, Kim M. Browne, Lou-Anne Blunden, Lyn J. Fragar, Brian J. Kelly, Tony Lower, David M. Lyle, Vahid Saberi, Helen J. Stain, Jan R. Sidford

NSW Public Health Bulletin 22(2) 23-26 Published: 19 April 2011

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About the author/s

David A. Perkins

Lesley Barclay

Kim M. Browne

Lou-Anne Blunden

Lyn J. Fragar

Brian J. Kelly

Tony Lower

David M. Lyle

Vahid Saberi

Helen J. Stain

Jan R. Sidford


The health problems faced by rural and remote communities are complex and not amenable to simple or short-term solutions. The Australian Rural Health Research Collaboration, which comprises rural research centres, area health services and policy makers in NSW, investigates these problems. Founded in 2002, it has grown to become the leading rural research collaboration in Australia. It aims to: conduct high quality research; build the capacity of researchers and clinicians; and encourage the translation of research evidence into practice for the benefit of rural and remote communities. The success of the Collaboration is illustrated by the increase in research outputs, funds generated, the strength of the relationships between partners and the ability to address complex research problems such as the mental health of rural and remote communities often deemed too difficult or expensive to include in metropolitan-based research. Keys to success have been the inclusive public health ethos, the participation of senior researchers and service managers, the critical mass of researchers achieved through collaboration and effective leadership and governance. This demonstrates the value of supporting cooperative research and capacity building in rural and remote areas where the size of research groups is small and where effective multi-disciplinary and co-operative research can pay dividends.