The Rural Immersion Placement Program – Allied Health (RIPPAH) is a clinical education initiative for students undertaking allied health university programs in Queensland. RIPPAH experiences provide students with wrap around social and financial support during the extended placement as well as opportunities to immerse themselves in the rural community.

Watch our RIPPAH video to find out more.

Life is about spreading your wings and experiencing all that this wonderful country has to offer.

What’s wonderful about South West is that the supports are, wonderful facilities but even better, wonderful staff.

We believe that if we look after each other, care for each other’s needs, socialise with each other, that we can develop relationships. It’s very exciting as a professional out here to get that whole generalist approach. Generalism is around dealing with complexity and uncertainty and really in sense, life is about complexity and uncertainty, so you expand yourself as a human being and you’re actually far better prepared for any of what life brings to you, let alone in your professional life.

I think you will build those strong relationships; they won’t diminish your relationships that you have back at home. But out here you will actually develop a sense of community and you actually start to realise that this might be home and can be home.

It’s a point in the placement where it just clicks, and you see that they feel as though they belong here. Which makes it hard when they go to leave.

Southern Queensland Rural Health is so very pleased to be collaborating with the Queensland Office of the Chief Allied Health Officer and South West Hospital and Health Service for the RIPPAH program across south west Queensland. SQRH as a university department of rural health, is tasked with supporting students in rural placements across the region. We know how incredible the South West is, and you will not meet more welcoming people who want to actually embrace health professionals and students when they come into communities in the South West.

I really like that the model is aiming to get students who are really interested in coming out here as well. I think it’s really important for our students to become immersed in the community. We’ve had a number of people in the Dietetics team alone that have actually done their placement here and they’ve come back and done either a locum placement or they have got a permanent job here.

You know what I’ve really loved about being out here, and being here for this length of time, is that we’ve been accepted as part of the community too, which is really beautiful. I’ve really enjoyed building that relationship and finding how strong the community is out here in these rural areas.

Welcome to anyone who would consider joining this program, I urge you to consider it deeply because I think this will be a life changing event for you on a positive side, that you will come to experience another paradigm, that you will develop new relationships, that you’ll develop yourself, that you’ll develop your professional skills and reliance and in the end you will think, actually I will come and work in the South West because that’s where I’m going to be most actualized as a professional and as a human being.

The Rural Immersion Placement Program Allied Health, or RIPPAH as known, is a clinical education initiative designed for students who have a special interest in rural health and a desire to practice rurally following graduation. Students have the opportunity to express interest in a RIPPAH experience to ensure those most enthusiastic about a career in rural health are provided with a pathway to live and work rurally. Students will be immersed in the community, where they are offered opportunities including social activities, part-time paid employment and sporting team membership, just to name a few. We are extremely excited to be able to offer this innovative model to our future Allied Health workforce.

Rural placements offer a fun and unique learning experience that looks great on a resume. When students undertake placement in a rural and remote area, they play a valuable role in delivering healthcare for some of the most vulnerable populations in Australia.

A RIPPAH experience gives students the opportunity to work in a minimum of 2 health service caseloads while immersed in the community for at least 10 weeks. This longer placement opportunity will provide richer experiences and deeper connections for both the student and the community.  Health service settings a student may work in include:

  • hospitals
  • aged care
  • primary care
  • education.

Students will either be placed in pairs, or placements will be aligned with students from an alterative program to ensure everyone has access to peer support. Students will also have a coordinator as a single point of contact in addition to the placement supervisors.

Because RIPPAH placements are longer in duration, students will have the opportunity to become immersed in the community and take part in optional experiences such as:

  • social activities
  • part-time paid employment
  • sporting team membership.

Students may be eligible for financial benefits that they may not receive in a usual short-term placement such as free accommodation and bursary support.

Find out more

  • Placement options and dates

    Learn about Rural Immersion Placement Program - Allied Health (RIPPAH) placements and when they are offered.

  • Placement benefits

    Rural Immersion Placement Program – Allied Health (RIPPAH) students may be eligible for financial benefits associated with this extended placement model.

  • Placement locations

    Rural Immersion Placement Program – Allied Health (RIPPAH) experiences are currently available in the South West Hospital and Health Service (SWHHS).

  • Apply for a placement

    Find out how to apply for a Rural Immersion Placement Program – Allied Health (RIPPAH) experience

Last updated: November 2023