(03) 9349 7800

What We Offer

How can the Health Workforce Scholarship Program help you upskill?

Nitin Madan is a physiotherapist working in a private sports medicine clinic in Traralgon. In the Latrobe Valley area, there are no sports physicians so Nitin is part of the primary care network for those with sports or musculoskeletal injuries.

Being in an environment where he is constantly challenged, he wanted to pursue a Masters in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy and Sports Therapy which would advances his scope of practice – a service vitally needed for the community.

That is why he applied for the Health Workforce Scholarship Program through RWAV, which provided him the financial support to undertake his master’s degree. We caught up with Nitin to chat about how his studies are progressing and what it would mean for Traralgon to have an APA titled Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist.

What’s your rural health journey been like so far?

I graduated as a Physiotherapist in 2015 from Monash University and was looking for a way to break into the sports physiotherapy field. This is an extremely competitive field in Melbourne and I knew I needed to go about it through an alternative route. 

An opportunity came up in Traralgon, Victoria, which is about two hours away from Melbourne. This opportunity was at a clinic that had a focus on sports medicine and had invested in some brilliant technology. The clinic was well known by all the local sporting clubs. 

I grabbed the opportunity and relocated right after graduation. The decision to move was a good one. Almost three years on now and I feel that I have fast tracked my development by being exposed to complex and challenging cases early as well a strong patient load. I have worked with local sporting clubs and have had the opportunity to run healthy living seminars at the local power stations. 

You are a recipient of the Health Workforce Scholarship Program, which you are using to undertake a Master of Musculoskeletal and Sports Physiotherapy. How has this helped you to upskill?

In terms of development, my goal was that in three years I wanted to achieve what most physiotherapists traditionally achieve in eight to 10 years post-graduation. As a result, I invested thousands of dollars into my personal and professional development. As most students will agree, more HECS debt is the last thing you need after studying for so long and this would have been a barrier for me in undertaking the masters. However, with the Health Workforce Scholarship Program, I was able to rid myself of the financial dilemma and proceed with the post graduate education. This has helped me to take on more complex and challenging cases as well increased many referrals from local GPs.     

What would it mean for your community to have a masters level sports and musculoskeletal physiotherapist?

The community already has many excellent physiotherapists that are not masters level qualified. I have found that academic progress does not always translate to clinical success. However, the masters qualification gives you access to a network of likeminded professionals and an avenue to focus your continuing education in a structured, streamlined manner. The benefit for the community is that they know they will be seeing someone who is committed to professional growth and improvement. This normally translates to a more passionate practitioner. Passion leads to greater influence which in my opinion is the major contributor to your success as a practitioner. 

How did you find the process of applying for this grant? Would you recommend it to other rural health professionals?

The process was quick and easy and hassle free. I just had to provide proof of my enrolment and a statement of marks to prove I was performing adequately. 

I would HIGHLY recommend it to other professionals. However, I would caution against using the grant just because it is available. Make sure you genuinely want to take on extra study and can balance it with the rest of your life before making the choice to proceed with it. 

What do you enjoy the most about working and living rural? What are some of the things you get up to in Traralgon or surrounding areas?

Traralgon is such a nice town! My experience was amazing. The patients tend to be very loyal and appreciative and really value your advice and care. Traralgon has every sporting club and exercise facility you could want. I trained with a local cricket club for a while and used the gym regularly. There are some beautiful restaurants and cafes that could rival those in Melbourne CBD. Also, as it is less than two hours away from Melbourne, I did end up going back to Melbourne almost every weekend to see friends and family. 

If you are interested in pursuing further studies to upskill like Nitin, consider applying for the Health Workforce Scholarship Program. RWAV offers grants and scholarships to allied health professionals working in rural and regional Victoria. Find out more here. 

If you are interested in working in rural Victoria, see current vacancies on the RWAV website or contact our Recruitment team to learn more: screeningAHN@rwav.com.au.

The Health Workforce Scholarship Program is an initiative of the Australian Government Department of Health administered by RWAV in Victoria.

Msc (Fin), FCCA, FGIA, CA

Shay brings over 20 years of financial
management experience in commercial and not-for-profit organizations. He has a
rich and varied experience in multiple finance and leadership roles in the
United Kingdom and Australia, including CFO, GM Finance & IT, Commercial
Manager Operations, Finance Manager and Accountant.

His extensive leadership experience is
augmented by an FGIA, FCCA, CA, a Masters in Finance and an undergraduate degree in
accounting and finance.

RN, GradDip(Health Promotion), PRINCE2, Mini MBA

Kate is a Registered Nurse highly experienced in health promotion and project management. Her people and program management skills enable her to be agile and adaptable while maintaining an outcomes focus on improving quality access to primary healthcare.

Kate’s extensive experience working with all levels of government, the community and stakeholders across the sector have provided her with insights into the challenges rural communities and health professionals face. Kate has led the design and delivery of many innovative and strategic health promotion and grants programs, supporting better access to health services, health information and activities across communities. Whilst at RWAV, Kate has led the transformation of the RWAV grants program, enhanced the administration of a number of programs and developed the RWAV allied health portfolio. She has also led the development of the RWAV research program of activities.

Having worked at RWAV since 2020, Kate will continue positively influencing the rural healthcare workforce and access to services.

Social Work (BA Hons), DipSW

With a background in social work and a proven record in recruitment, project management, and business development, Jo brings strategic leadership and a wealth of experience in driving positive outcomes within the health, human services, and State Government sectors.

Jo specialises in managing health professional recruitment and outreach programs, including the More Doctors for Rural Australia and 3GA programs. Her focus is on implementing innovative workforce strategies and clinical governance to bolster RWAV’s mission of enhancing healthcare accessibility in rural and regional Victoria.

Having previously excelled at RWAV, Jo spearheaded successful internal change initiatives while fostering strong relationships with external stakeholders. Her efforts consistently align with RWAV’s strategic direction, ensuring a cohesive approach to driving impactful change.

Beyond her professional expertise, Jo’s passion lies in uniting communities and championing positive transformations in rural healthcare in Victoria.

Martin is a governance professional and lawyer with experience in private practice and in-house legal roles. He has been a company secretary for public and private sector organisations across a range of industries including VicTrack, Regis Healthcare Limited and Dairy Australia Limited. He holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia (GIA) and is a fellow of the GIA.

With a rich background of consulting and in-house people and culture roles with the corporate, government and community sectors, Andrea is responsible for leading the implementation of RWAV’s People and Culture strategy, policies, processes, functions and team.

Andrea has significant experience in leading teams across culture, capability, diversity, equity, leadership, organisational development and learning programs as well as core human resources partnering.

With a strong focus on building and maintaining psychologically safe organisations, Andrea’s team is dedicated to ensuring that RWAV is a place where people can work well and be well at work.


Rosemary has had a varied career as an academic teaching economics, public policy and industrial relations, and as a consultant, advocate, health union official and as a director.

She brings strong governance and strategic skills to the Board, as well as knowledge and depth of experience in health policy, economics and investment.

Rosemary was a Director of Aware Super for nine years, and Chair of the Investment Committee for three years. She was also a member of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, the Governance Committee and the REM and HR Committee. Rosemary is currently a member of the Investment Committee of Cbus.

She was the Secretary of the Victorian Psychologists Association Inc for 20 years and knows first-hand the difficulties in attracting and retaining health professionals in rural and regional Victoria.

Dr Louise Manning is a rural GP Obstetrics trainee practising in Central Victoria where she delivers general practice, obstetric and sexual health services. Growing up in a small town she has lived experience of the difficulties accessing healthcare in rural and regional areas, and is dedicated to advocating for equitable health outcomes regardless of geography.

Louise is also a Board Director of the Rural Doctors’ Association of Victoria.

BAppSci GradDipBus MBus GAICD FIML

John Biviano is an experienced senior executive who has held many senior roles in government (Health Dept) and also in professional associations related to healthcare. Until recently, John was the CEO of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, where he oversaw the digitisation of a range of Member offerings, including aspects of training. 

BA (Politics/Philosophy) BEc GDipBus MBA GAICD FGIA

Roger is an accomplished CEO, Non-Executive Director and Chair with experience in the health, human services, law enforcement, education, transport, and environmental industries – across private, public sector and not-for-profit organisations

.He brings strong governance experience, commercial acumen, risk management and strategy skills combined with a passion for innovation and business development having also been Chair of numerous Finance, Audit, Risk, Investment and Community Advisory Committees.


Assoc Prof Phelps has practiced as a Gastroenterologist and Acute Physician in regional Victoria for more than 20 years.

He trained in safety and quality at Dr Brent James’ Institute at Intermountain Healthcare in the US and has held management and leadership roles in Victoria and Tasmania. More recently he completed a two-year project as Director of Clinical Governance for Central Adelaide Local Health Network.

Grant currently works as an independent consultant providing advice to hospitals and organisations on clinical leadership and safety and quality

LLB BSc MMgt (Strategic Foresight) GAICD

As a lawyer and business consultant Jane has worked with company boards and senior management across a range of areas including IP commercialisation, internet-based businesses, healthcare products/services, privacy and data/IT security. Jane is currently general counsel for .id Consulting – population demographers, economists and forecasters.

Jane served as a director of BreastScreen Victoria for 10 years, is a current director of Ballarat Health Services and chairs RWAV’s Governance Committee.

BMed MMedSci FRACGP FARGP FACRRM DipPractDerm DipMedHyp DipFP DipBusAdmin GAICD

Assoc Prof Rawlin is an experienced General Practitioner and medical educator. He is currently in clinical general practice in suburban Melbourne and previously practiced in rural Victoria for 10 years.

Assoc Prof Rawlin is Chair of the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaborative and a past Chair of the Mental Health Professionals Association and is a board member of the Mental Health Professionals Network. He is also the Medical Director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Victoria.
He is a member of the RACGP Victoria Council.

Albert Giorgini is the Senior Advisor to CEO at RWAV.

As an experienced finance executive, with an extensive career in public transport and in the automotive and industrial gas sectors, Albert has honed his skills in driving financial performance improvements with a commercial and business transformation focus.

Through his strategic financial skills, Albert has demonstrated an exceptional capacity to lead and develop large teams in complex and changing environments to achieve the financial and regulatory requirements of the business. His extensive experience has given him a deep understanding of the industry and its challenges, equipping him with the expertise to drive impactful change.

Albert has highly developed communication and stakeholder management skills to support his strong planning, analytical and financial performance improvement acumen, always striving to create innovative solutions that drive growth and success.


Lauren commenced in the role of Manager People and Culture in August 2018 and is responsible for leading the implementation of RWAV’s People and Culture strategy, policies, processes, functions and team.

Lauren’s team is committed to implementing activities and initiatives to support the achievement of RWAV’s strategies and strengthen RWAV’s position as an ‘Employer of Choice’.

Lauren is an experienced Manager and HR professional, with a career spanning the professional services, automotive, defence, and not-for-profit sectors.

BHlthSci(Hons) MPH PostGradDipMgt GAICD AFCHSM

Lauren Cordwell commenced in the role of Chief Executive Officer in August 2023. She took on the role of Acting CEO in April 2023 and previously served as the General Manager since February 2020.
Lauren has leadership responsibilities for strategy, communications, data, stakeholder engagement and program delivery.

Lauren’s team is committed to supporting communities in rural and regional Victoria to have timely access to affordable and safe health care.

Send this to a friend