Join a close-knit group of rural generalists invested in the health of the communities of the Torres Strait and Cape York Peninsula.
Training in the Torres and Cape region
The breadth of interesting tropical medicine, laid-back lifestyle and the chance to make a difference in Indigenous health inspire doctors to live and train in the Torres Strait and Cape York Peninsula.
Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS) consists of 31 rural and remote primary health care centres, two hospitals, a multipurpose health service and an integrated health service across Cape York, the Northern Peninsula area and the Torres Strait Islands. With facilities on 13 Torres Strait Islands, TCHHS provides culturally safe care to a population of more than 25,000, 66% of whom identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples. The variety of medical work in the Torres Strait, with fly-in-fly-out clinics on remote outer island communities, is unparalleled in Australia.
Thursday Island Hospital, Bamaga Hospital, Weipa Integrated Health Service and Cooktown Multi-Purpose Health Service are the four main health facilities, scattered across a vast region. Telehealth services are available throughout TCHHS to give residents access to many specialist services without having to leave their communities. Outreach teams and visiting specialist services from Cairns and other health services help support patient care in TCHHS.
With a population of Melanesian and Indigenous Australian cultures, training opportunities include infectious diseases, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, diabetes, tuberculosis, women’s health and sexual health. Medical officers in the Torres Strait manage tropical diseases that are rare or unheard of elsewhere in Australia.
Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) has a research facility on Thursday Island (Waiben). AITHM’s research focuses on diseases of high burden in the Tropics, Tropical Health Security and Tropical Health Systems. The AITHM Clinical Research and Training Facility on Thursday Island is adjacent to the Thursday Island Hospital and has a community space that provides an ideal platform for engagement and collaboration with the Torres Strait community.
Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre (TAAHC) is a collaboration between northern Queensland’s five hospital and health services, the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network, JCU and the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine.
- Relocation Assistance of up to $5,000 (excluding GST)• Relocation Assistance of up to $5,000 (excluding GST)
- If in Queensland Health accommodation, rent is waived for up to 17 months from commencement; if sourcing own rental accommodation, assistance of $82.50 per week is available for up to 17 months from commencement
- Inaccessibility allowance for Bamaga and Torres Strait Islands (other than Thursday Island) $48,300 per year; Thursday Island, Weipa, $41,400 per year (50% paid after 6 months, 25% paid in 3 monthly instalments thereafter)
- SMOs receive an additional 15% of their base salary as a Regional and Rural Attraction Allowance for working in Torres and Cape HHS
Specialties in Torres and Cape
24 months training available in Torres Strait and Cape. Indigenous Health available as an Advanced Skill.
|Map your career in Rural Generalism
|For RACGP pathway: 24 months training available in Torres Strait and Cape. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health available as an Advanced Skill.
For ACRRM pathway: 21 months training available in Torres Strait and Cape. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health available as an Advanced Skill.
|Map your career in General Practice
One accredited training post available at Torres and Cape HHS
|Map your career in Public Health
Developing Rural MedicineBurdekin based doctor Michael McLaughlin was a medical student at James Cook University when he discovered a love of working in rural and remote communities. Growing up in central Queensland he’d always been attached to the regions, but it was his rural placements in Cooktown, Innisfail and on Thursday Island that cemented his plan to specialise as a rural generalist.
Upskilling doctors at the coalface of remote community health
Rural generalists in the Cape and Torres will be enhancing health services available to remote communities after receiving specialty training grants from the North Queensland Regional Training Hubs (NQRTH), an initiative of James Cook University (JCU).
Indigenous doctor’s Cape ENT surgery dream
Torres Strait Islander doctor Lisa Waia first glimpsed herself as an ear, nose and throat surgeon during a James Cook University medical placement on Cape York Peninsula.
Living in the Torres and Cape region
With some of Australia’s most spectacular scenery, Cape York Peninsula and the Torres Strait are the definition of tropical paradise.
The stunning, untouched beaches of the Torres Strait Islands lead into sparkling, crystal clear waters, while the Cape York Peninsula landscape takes in remote savannah and rainforest-clad national parks.
From the Western Cape and the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef, this remote part of Australia captivates visitors with amazing wildlife, cultural experiences, characters and adventure. There are plenty of opportunities for great fishing, 4WD adventures and bush camping.
Each September, the Winds of Zendath Cultural Festival showcases the rich cultures of the Torres Strait over four days on Thursday Island. Flights operate from Cairns to Horn Island, which links to Thursday Island via a ferry service.
Archer Point, south of Cooktown, is one of the best beach fishing locations on the coast with one of the most spectacular views of the coastline. There is reef close to the shore, which can be walked to at low tide.
“We’re lucky that we have a small, tight-knit group of clinicians here. It’s a unique place with a unique culture and unique medicine. It’s a real privilege to be able to train in the region where you have exposure to an incredible number of interesting people and pathologies that you may not see if you trained elsewhere in Australia.”
Dr Allison Hempenstall on training in the Torres Strait
We acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Custodians of the Australian lands and waters where our staff and students live, learn and work. We honour the unique cultural and spiritual relationship to the land, waters and seas of First Australian peoples and their continuing and rich contribution to James Cook University (JCU) and Australian society. We also pay respect to ancestors and Elders past, present and future.
NQRTH is an initiative of the Australian Government's Integrated Rural Training Pipeline (IRTP) and is facilitated by James Cook University in partnership with public and private hospitals, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC), health services, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) and GP clinics.