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PITCHit Western NSW is an exciting new annual Western NSW Local Health District event that focuses on and encourages a culture of research and innovation by supporting LHD staff to launch or progress their idea - no matter how big or small.​ 

For more information regarding Pitchit contact Dr Alice Munro on (02) 6369 8535.

Our 2020 Partner​​​s

We'd like to extend a huge thank you to all of our partners for Pitchit 2020.​

​GOLD Partner​​

Cadia Valley O​perations

Cadia Valley Operations is one of Australia’s largest gold mining operations and is 100 per cent owned by Newcrest. It is located approximately 25 kilometres from the city of Orange in central west New South Wales and is 250 kilometres west of Sydney.

Cadia comprises two mines including the Cadia East underground mine, which is one of the largest gold and copper deposits in the world. Constructed at a cost of over $2 billion, Cadia East commenced commercial production in January 2013.

Cadia East uses the large-scale mining method known as panel caving and production continues 24 hours a day, every day of the year on 12-hour rolling shifts.

The site also comprises the Ridgeway underground mine which is currently in care and maintenance.

For more information on Cadia Valley Operations, visit

SILVER Partner​​s

 ​​Three Rivers University, Charles Sturt University


​​Three Rivers University Department of Rural Health (UDRH) is a Commonwealth Department of Health initiative embedded within Charles Sturt University; with the aim of enhancing the recruitment and retention of rural health professionals.

The key activities of Three Rivers UDRH include:

  • Raising the aspiration and success of Indigenous and rural students from regional and remote communities;
  • Growing capacity for rural clinical training across expanded practice areas such as disability, aged care, mental health and primary care;
  • Conducting rural health research and building opportunities for student engagement in rural health service delivery; and
  • Fostering the development of rural health capabilities through multidisciplinary resources and training programs.

Ochre H​​ealth

​​​​​​​Established and still owned by two procedural GPs, Ochre Health operates a network of over 40 medical centres around Australia and we partner with nearly 300 doctors.

We were founded in the NSW Outback town of Bourke with the aim of supporting doctors to improve the health of rural and remote communities. That is still our core purpose and we are unique amongst our peers in tracking and reporting on patient health outcomes. Our business includes Ochre Recruitment, a medical recruitment agency that works with Ochre Health as well as hospitals and clinics throughout Australia and New Zealand to source and place quality locum and permanent doctors across a wide range of specialties.

For more information, visit the Ochre Health website​.​

BRONZE Partners

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GREEN Partner

The University of Sydney Sc​hool of Rural Health (Dubbo/Orange)

The University Of Sydney School Of Rural Health is a rural clinical school in Dubbo and Orange NSW.

Established in 2001, it offers medical students the opportunity to complete the third and/or fourth year of their degree here in the Central West. From 2022, the entire four-year University of Sydney Doctor of Medicine degree will be offered in Dubbo, giving even more regional students the opportunity to pursue a career in medicine.

For more information visit the University of Sydney School of Rural Health (Dubbo/Orange) website​.​

​A strong focus on ​research

Western NSW Local Health District aims to deliver world-class health care, at the right time, closer to home, to people living in Western NSW. To achieve this a vibrant rural health research culture needs to be at the heart of core business. ​

It is an exciting time for our District as we build research leadership and excellence across the continuum - from the research laboratory to the patient’s bedside. The challenges involved in health care service delivery in the bush create unique opportunities for health research and innovation to develop solutions appropriate to our rural context.

The Western NSW Local Health District Research Strategy 2018-21​ maps our vision for embedding a robust research culture across our organisation, to ensure healthier rural people and thriving communities.

Building capacity for meaningful exchange and co-creation between researchers, policy makers, health managers, clinicians, patients and communities underpins all components of the strategy. This is important in helping to achieve our strategic priorities, including a strong focus on improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal people living in our region. 

The strategy complements a range of NSW Health initiatives and builds on their commitment to support high quality research, evaluation and translation with the overarching aim of keeping people healthy. We are committed to driving innovation, to ensure we make a real difference to the health of people living in our region. We believe this strategy will foster research translation and strategically position Western NSW Local Health District to become even more proactive in regards to research opportunities and continue to be a leader in the delivery of high quality rural health research.


Undertaking health research in our District

We encourage health research being conducted in our region. Our Research Office should be the first point of contact for researchers seeking advice and ethics approval for health-related research projects being conducted in Western NSW, including clinical trials.  

Contact Us

Research Capacity Building Manager - Dr Alice Mun​ro

Executive Director of Allied Health & Innovation - Richard Cheney

Manager Research Ethics and Governance - Mr Phil Sanders​

Current research & opportunities 

There are also a number of current research opportunities and grants available for our staff to access. 

Current research opportunities:
  • HETI Rural Research Capacity Building Program
  • CEC Clinical Leadership Program
  • Sax Institute Research Action Awards

Current grants:

  • ​​NSW Health Translational Research Grant Scheme

The Translational Research Grants Scheme (TRGS) funds research projects that will translate into better patient outcomes, health service delivery, and population health and wellbeing. Grants ranging from $50,000 to $1 million will be provided to successful applicants for projects of one to two years’ duration. While TRGS research projects must be led by one of our employees, partnerships with other research organisations such as universities and medical research institutes are strongly encouraged.

For more information visit the TRGS pages on the NSW Health websi​te or contact our Research Manager, Dr Alice Munro.​

Health Research Conferences

Greater Western Human Research Ethics Committee (GWHREC)

The Greater Western Human Research Ethics Committee is constituted and operates in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council’s National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007​ and has been accredited by the NSW Ministry of Health as a lead committee to provide the single ethical and scientific review of research proposals within the NSW public health system.

GWHREC oversees all research ethics for Far West LHD and Western NSW LHD, and also has Service Level Agreements with Murrumbidgee LHD and Southern NSW LHD. 

Each research project is reviewed by a Human Research Ethics Committee who considers whether it is scientifically and ethically sound to proceed.

Download the GWHREC Guide for Researchers for more information about how to obtain ethics approval and conduct research in Western NSW.

The Committee meets on the first Wednesday of each month, except for January. There is also a sub-committee which meets in between full committee meetings to review Low or Negligible Risk (LNR) research proposals. In 2017/18, the average length of time for a full ethics review was 35 days and for an LNR review 19 days.

For details of upcoming meeting dates, download the Schedule of Meeting Dates​. 

For all GWHREC ethics and governance queries, phone (02) 6330 5948 or e-mail

Complaints process 

Complaints about the conduct of an approved research project or the conduct of the Human Research Ethics Committee are governed by standard operating procedure SOP 037 and SOP 038 in the Greater Western Human Research Ethics Committee Operations Manual.  These procedures are publicly available by contacting the GWHREC at the email address above.

Complaints about the conduct of the Human Research Ethics Committee may be submitted to:  The Chief Executive, PO Box 4061, Dubbo NSW 2830.  Phone: 02 6809 8600 

Our partnership with the Western NSW Health ​​Research Network (WHRN)

In April 2018, we signed a three year agreement with the Western NSW Health Research Network (WHRN), to drive innovation in health research across our Health District.

Formed in 2013, WHRN is the peak body for health research in Western NSW and now has over 250 members. The Network is a collaboration between four universities, Western NSW Local Health District, Western NSW Primary Health Network, Hospitals, community managed organisations and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs).

The network aims to improve health and wellbeing and reduce the health inequalities of people living, studying and working in western NSW through research. The focus of WHRN’s activities is to: 

  • Promote and facilitate local health research.
  • Provide opportunities for people interested in health research to meet, support, mentor and collaborate with each other.
  • Support the training and education needs of local researchers.

For more information about WHRN please sign up to their newsletter here.

WHRN Research Appreciation Groups

Are you interested in dipping your toe into research, but not sure where to start? Monthly Research Appreciation Groups are for you!

The Western NSW Health Research Network host monthly Research Appreciation Groups in Dubbo, Bathurst and Orange. Virtual Research Interest Groups will be commencing in March 2019. These groups aim to bring together local clinicians and novice health researchers with academics in each region.