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Broken Hill Site Information

The learning centre at Broken Hill is run and administered by The University of Sydney, specifically their Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health (BHUDRH). They kindly take students from The University of Adelaide for a variety of programs.

University Department of Rural Health (The University of Sydney)

Student Programs at Broken Hill

The student program of the Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health (BHUDRH) provides opportunities for students in the health sciences to undertake rural and remote clinical placements in a variety of settings in far west New South Wales.

The Broken Hill UDRH organises each student’s clinical placement, provides accommodation and access to library and Internet facilities. Staff ensure that every student has appropriate support for the duration of their placement. Academic teaching, close supervision by highly trained health professionals and regular clinical skills training enhance student learning. Close liaison with the student’s home university ensures that each student can meet the assessment requirements for their particular clinical placement.

As the Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health has a multi-disciplinary focus, there are many opportunities for students to be exposed to interprofessional learning contexts.

Students can experience placements within a busy regional hospital, or community-based activities within a primary health care framework. Students are also able to work within health services in various small isolated communities which provide a rich indigenous health experience. Communities within far west New South Wales welcome students from a range of health sciences disciplines and placements are undertaken in a variety of settings.

Wilcannia near Broken Hill

Of course, non-clinical activities are equally important so there are plenty of opportunities to get out and about in the far west, to visit national parks, to enjoy the slower pace of life and learn what it is like to live and work in the bush. The people of the far west are generous, hospitable, the climate is pleasant during the academic year and every student will learn something new and enjoy a rewarding experience here. So visit the far west and see for yourself.

Broken Hill Hospital

Medical ward/team

The Medical ward is a 32-bed unit primarily catering for patients with medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, including stroke and mental illness. Two physicians provide medical care in conjunction with medical registrars and residents on rotation from Concord Hospital.

Surgical ward/team

Surgical Ward has 25 beds catering for patients admitted for elective and emergency surgery and other associated surgical conditions. The most common of these include trauma, skeletal pain, abdominal pain and cellulitis. The ward uses resident and locum surgeons and a number of visiting specialists and sub-specialists including ENT, Plastics, Urology, Ophthalmology and Orthopaedics.

Sub-Acute Rehab

Opened in 2013 the Sub-Acute Rehab Unit has 10 beds and provides a recovery service in a purpose built rehabilitation environment to patients recovering from surgery, stroke and similar conditions.


The Intensive Care/Coronary Unit is situated within the Surgical ward and contains 5 beds, including one ventilated bed.

Accident & Emergency

A&E provides a general practice service as well as emergency care to the community, using locum medical officers and career medical officers. Additional medical support is provided by a part-time Director of Emergency Services. The Department is an 8-bed unit including 3 monitored bays and 3 beds for general use.

Primary Health Care

Community Health

This includes Women’s Health, Sexual Health, Community Midwife, Genetic Counselling, Child and Family Services including school health and Chronic Diseases. Outreach clinics for some services are held in the smaller communities around Broken Hill on a regular basis.

Ambulatory Care Services

Providing care for aged and disabled patients in their homes, this placement includes working as part of a multidisciplinary team.


Four paediatricians provide paediatric services to Broken Hill and surrounding communities (inpatients, outpatients and community). This also includes blood lead level screening and Audiology clinics.

Diabetes Educator

This service enhances patient education services, has a major complication screening service and provides training opportunities for general practitioners and other health care providers.

Aboriginal Health

The multi-disciplinary team at Maari Ma Primary Health Care Service includes a medical practitioner, primary health care nurses, Aboriginal health Workers and community development officers. A range of services are offered including community care, GP clinic, primary care clinics, prison health, community development and client transport.

Mental Health

A 24-hour crises management service, ongoing case management for the mentally ill, as well as counselling and prevention services to Broken Hill and surrounding services are all offered through the Mental Health Service. The Hospital also operates a Special Care Suite for people requiring inpatient care. Counselling services also cater for sexual assault, domestic violence, corrections service and drug and alcohol.

GP Clinic

Placement is available in three general practice clinics within Broken Hill. This placement is only available to medical students participating in the Broken Hill Extended Clinical Placement Program.

Remote Health

Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section)

The RFDS is a not-for-profit charitable organisation providing aeromedical emergency and primary health care services to people living in Australia’s remote outback. It provides a 24-hour medical on-call and emergency service as well as running general medical practice, selected primary care and specialist clinics throughout their network. The RFDS also transports patients between Broken Hill Hospital and city-based tertiary referral hospitals.

The RFDS, based in Broken Hill, provides medical and nursing students with opportunities to work with and observe Medical Officers and Flight Nurses. Medical students are offered an opportunity to fly to a more remote location and observe how the RFDS provides GP services to community members. Nursing students have the opportunity to attend a transfer flight with a stable patient from the Broken Hill Hospital with a RFDS Flight Nurse. Please contact the student placement team for more information.

Wilcannia Health Service

Located two hours north east of Broken Hill, Wilcannia has a population of 688, mostly Aboriginal. The health team operates out of a multipurpose service providing 24-hour primary health care (including emergency care). The RFDS also runs a General Practice Clinic four days a week.

Menindee Health Service

The township of Menindee has 400 people and is located 100kms east of Broken Hill. About one third of the population is Aboriginal. The local primary health care facility is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and provides an emergency service after hours. The RFDS also runs a General Practice Clinic three times a week.

The Broken Hill program is an integrated program, where all aspects of the program will be covered weekly rather than in block rotations. You will be ‘based’ at a General Practice but will be doing more than GP work each week.

Please refer to the information on the General Info tab to see the extent of what is on offer.

Broken Hill provides educational training for many students from many universities and many different programs. This creates exceptional interprofessional learning opportunities as well as social opportunities for students.

The Rural Clinical School provides 9 week surgical attachments in Broken Hill for Year 4 MBBS students. During your placement you will be under the guidance of experienced rural surgeons, practitioners and visiting surgeons from the Queen Elizabeth and Royal Adelaide hospitals.

Broken Hill is equipped with student facilities, including student accommodation, study areas, libraries and up to date IT equipment, including video conferencing facilities.

When allocated to the Year 4 Surgical Home Unit, students are provided with free accommodation, IT & internet access at accommodation, and 1 return trip to Adelaide in addition to your travel to and from your placement.

For more details about this program please go to Surgical Home Unit Program.

Broken Hill is located in ‘outback’ far western New South Wales. Coming from the east coast and Sydney it is approximately a 1200km (or 12hr) drive through some amazing countryside and interesting outback towns. The town is located 30mins drive from the border of South Australia and approximately 500km from Adelaide.


The climate of Broken Hill is usually dry, with temperatures ranging from a chilly 1-2o C overnight during winter with the average daytime temperature around 19o C, to very hot in summer with maximum temperatures of 40o C or higher. So pack your woollies in winter and your sunscreen, hat and swimmers in summer!

Getting There

  • Bus & Train combination running daily from Sydney, via Dubbo through Countrylink. Student concessions apply. See their web site at
  • Bus only – Adelaide to Broken Hill return four times a week with student concessions available. Call Buses R Us on (08) 8262 6900.
  • Train only – The Indian Pacific leaves Sydney for Perth twice weekly and stops in Broken Hill. The trip is approximately 15hrs and options are sitting or a first or second-class sleeping car. See their web site at
  • Plane – Regional Express (REX) Airways flies from Sydney and Adelaide seven days a week. No student concessions apply for either of these flights, however there are often special prices and advanced purchase tickets available. See their web site at
  • Driving – If you are considering driving to Broken Hill, please contact the Rural Attachment Programs Coordinator for further information including routes and distances.

More Information

Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health,

Far West Local Health District

Travel and Tourism details on this area

History of Broken Hill

Aboriginal Health

Transport in Broken Hill

Having your own transport is a distinct advantage when coming on placement to Broken Hill, however it is not essential. Broken Hill has a local bus service, which goes to the main shopping areas around the town. A timetable is available from the Student Coordinator. There are two local taxicab services, “Broken Hill Yellow Radio Cabs”, and “Independent Taxi’s”, both operate 24 hrs.

There are also car hire firms that include 4 wheel drives for hire. Be aware, however, that they will require deposits and excess payments for drivers under 25 years of age.


Broken Hill has two major shopping areas - the Central Business District area of Argent Street and Centro Westside Plaza, a new Coles facility will be opened from approximately Easter 2014. The Centro Plaza houses Woolworth's and Big W, as well as specialty shops. The new Coles facility will house a Coles grocery store and Target, as well as specialty shops.

Eating Out

Broken Hill has several cafes most of which are situated in the main street (Argent Street) offering a range of food. Restaurants can be found in local clubs, hotels, motels, local galleries and in the main street. Broken Hill has four major fast food chain outlets as well as Chinese restaurants and several local takeaway stores.


Broken Hill has Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Broken Hill Christian Fellowship (Churches of Christ), Assemblies of God- Outback Church, Crusade Centre, Seventh Day Adventist, St. Paul’s Lutheran, Uniting Church, Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, Jehovah’s Witness, Saltbush Evangelical Church, and an Afghan Mosque.

Most weeks of the year there are other students here and you will probably spend most of your off- duty time socialising with them and local health professionals.


The Silver City hosts a number of large events including the St. Patrick’s Races (2 weeks before Easter), Silver City Races, Ag Fair (May-biennial), the Silver City Agricultural Show (September). There are a number of social functions throughout the year, such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service Gala Ball or the West Darling Pastoralists Association Dinner Dance, which are a great night out!

There are more than 40 art galleries, sculpture symposium, Living Desert Reserve, a heritage trail (includes Mario’s Palace Hotel and Trades Hall), Silverton, mine tours, National Parks, film-making, Royal Flying Doctor Service, School of The Air and the Menindee Lakes. The Tourist Information Centre is located on the corner of Blende and Bromide streets Tel 8087 6077. More details are provided during Orientation about after- hours

Student Housing

Student Accommodation

The Student Accommodation is located 20 minute walk from to the main street or shopping precinct.

Student Bedroom Example

Rural Health Library

The UDRH has mountain bikes for hire; please ask the student program team for more information.

Activities & Sport

YMCA Broken Hill offers many options to students on placement from gym packages, group fitness classes, squash and racquetball and many indoor team sports including soccer, netball and volleyball. The Broken Hill Aquatic Centre is also managed by the YMCA and provides high-quality aquatic and recreation facilities and programs. Facilities include;

  • Heated indoor 25 metre pool
  • Heated outdoor 50 metre pool (open seasonally)
  • Heated indoor hydrotherapy pool
  • Gym
  • Water Slide (open seasonally)
  • Kiosk / Cafe
  • Beach Volleyball

Temple Of Fitness is another facility which has served the Broken Hill community since 2004. Temple Of Fitness offers state of the art resistance and cardiovascular equipment, fully qualified staff, and a welcoming and positive environment to workout in. The Temple of Fitness also offers the Les Mills range of group fitness classes.

Broken Hill also caters for dancers with several dance academies as well as the very popular dance workout craze, Zumba. Running groups, bushwalking groups, horse-riding schools and many more fun and exciting activities await you in Broken Hill.

Major sports include AFL, soccer, gymnastics, cricket, tennis, motor cycling, shooting, harness racing, indoor cricket, indoor/outdoor hockey, baseball, golf, basketball, indoor/outdoor volleyball, indoor/outdoor netball, speedway and bowling/ bocce.

Broken Hill caters for a wide range including gardening, outdoor adventure, quilting, rostrum, music groups, dance, cake decorators, family history etc.

Site Contacts
Find out who to speak to
Rural Clinical School

Ground Floor, 122 Frome Street
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005


T: +61 8 8313 6280