The University of Melbourne acknowledges and pays respect to the Traditional Owners of the Yorta Yorta Nation, upon whose lands the Shepparton and Dookie campuses are situated.

The University of Melbourne in the Goulburn Valley

The University is investing actively to build the facilities, research capacities and educational assets to develop the Goulburn Valley and support its local communities. The University’s ten faculties are all involved in the region as deliverers of innovation projects and world-class higher education.

The core facilities and services which the University operates:

World-class Research

The University supports a diversity of research exploring alternative methods to determine best practice in relation to the provision of and access to healthcare in rural communities, some examples of this work include:


Through a partnership with nine local health and local government organisations, the Department of Rural Health leads a 15-year follow-up longitudinal study to understand the prevalence of chronic health conditions in the Goulburn Valley and the impact of access to care. The first of the results are due to be released in March 2020.

Rural Health Academic Network (RHAN)

As a health workforce initiative, RHAN academics through consultation of clinicians apply systematic enquiry and education to facilitate local clinical research and collaborative network-wide research.

Rural Health Services

Doctors in Secondary Schools Program

Delivered at Shepparton High School, the Shepparton Medical Centre provides a general practitioner and nurse to see students in the school on a weekly basis with the aim of improving access to primary healthcare whilst increasing awareness of preventative health care. Shepparton Medical Centre is Australia’s first purpose-built teaching clinic which provides more than 40,000 healthcare services each year to local residents.

Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health (CERSH)

Funded by the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria and located within the University of Melbourne’s Department of Rural Health, the centre designs, implements and evaluates programs that provide practical solutions for the improvement of sexual health in the Hume and Loddon Mallee regions.

Student Education Pathways and Support

The facilitation of programs and tertiary pathways to equip students with the resources, knowledge and informal mentoring to attain qualifications which may enable them in future to gain employment to support the needs of rural, regional and remote communities.

Academy of Sport Health and Education (ASHE)

Formed in 2004 out of a partnership between the Rumbalara Football Netball Club (RFNC) and the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, the ASHE seeks to support young Indigenous people in an educational setting to transition to further education and or employment whilst providing initiatives in health and sport to participants. The academy supports 100 Indigenous students.

Diploma in General Studies

A 1-year qualification delivered at Dookie providing a pathway for students from rural and low-socioeconomic status backgrounds to gain entry to University of Melbourne bachelor’s degrees in agriculture, science, design, commerce and biomedicine.

Doctor of Medicine (Rural)

Fifteen students of the first cohort of Latrobe University’s Biomedical Science (Medical) in 2019 will be provided with a guaranteed pathway into the University of Melbourne’s rural Doctor of Medicine in Shepparton, subject to a rigorous joint selection process designed by the two universities. This pathway will enable the delivery of more doctors for rural, regional and remote communities.

Community Engagement


Hosted by the Department of Rural Health, the annual conference facilitates discussion of successful initiatives in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing. The conference aims to inspire through the delivery of high impact keynote addresses by national leaders from within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. In 2018 the conference was titled ‘Yanikan-werritj’ meaning ‘everyone’s journey’ in Wadawurrung language and was held in Ballarat on Wathaurung country. The conference is attended widely with representatives from academia, health organisations, medical and allied health student cohorts and senior executive teams.

A portrait of three keynote speakers for the annual health conference who are dressed in formal attire.

Keynote speakers at the 2018 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Conference included Professor Tom Calma AO, Chancellor of the University of Canberra; Professor Kerry Arabena, Chair for Indigenous Health and Director of the Indigenous Health Equity Unit; and Professor Sandra Eades MDHS, Centre for Epidemology and Biostatistics.

Dungala Kaiela ‘Defining Goulburn Murray’ Oration

An annual forum facilitated in partnership with the Kaiela Institute. The purpose of the oration is to celebrate Aboriginal cultural identity, create a shared vision for the people of the greater Goulburn Murray region and establish the connections necessary to promote Aboriginal social and economic development.

Shepparton Arts Museum (SAM) Learning Partnership

A collaboration with the Shepparton Arts Museum seeking to establish an interdisciplinary platform for cultural impact research. The partnership will also support the development of significant Indigenous initiatives and activities with the aim of building Indigenous inclusivity.


Dookie Campus Farm Estate is a living laboratory with its broad acre farm, dairy, orchard and bush reserve. Connecting the campus to broader regional and national issues, Dookie’s state-of-the-art robotic dairy facilities contributes to research into milk production which is of local and international significance. The broadacre farm is a valuable resource for food security and climate change adaptation research and teaching.