Rural and remote Australia is home to some of the most diverse and culturally rich communities and land in the country. This provides incredible potential to promote the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities from social, economic and ecological standpoints. However, the health and social inequities faced by those living in rural and remote areas are well documented, particularly among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Access to health services, including primary health care services, can be limited; the influence of social and cultural determinants of health are often poorly addressed; and the attraction, retention and mobility of the health workforce is an ongoing problem. These issues create significant challenges for the rural and remote health promotion community that differ markedly from their urban counterparts. While there have been some important investments in rural and remote health promotion over the past few decades—particularly in relation to mental health promotion strategy development and settings-based health promotion approaches through sporting clubs, men's sheds and field days, —there is still much work to do. While promising workforce initiatives are also underway, such as the federally funded Rural Health Multidisciplinary Training program, a greater emphasis on the non-clinical workforce, and the role that the health promotion community can play within a multidisciplinary team context, is warranted. Similarly, the relative distribution of funds between acute and primary health care contexts remains a significant issue.
- health promotion
- rural Australia
- Remote Australia
- health inequalities
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health