Teresa Neale Prize Recipient for 2013

The winner of the Tersea Neale Award for 2013 is Rachael Purcell. Rachael won this award on her strong application outlining her involvement and passion for Rural Health matters.


Rachael has been a member of WILDFIRE, the Monash University Rural Health Club for seven years where she held positions including President, Vice President and Liaison Officer. She was the Rural and Indigenous Officer for the 2012 National Executive of the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) and was instrumental in the development of the AMSA Indigenous’ Advisory Committee and the AMSA Indigenous Students’ Engagement Program. Rachael has been involved in Rural High School Visits (RHSVs) at both a local level in Bendigo as a rural clinical school student and through coordinating support for other students undertaking RHSVs whilst on the WILDFIRE Council.

Her BMedSc honours thesis, “Preparing rural General Practitioners and health services for extreme weather and climate change” was based in my hometown of Wagga Wagga. This research has been presented at local, national and international conferences, including the 2013 International Conference for the Environment and Health, the 2012 Rural Medicine Australia Conference and the 2012 NSW Rural Health and Research Congress.This research was accepted for publication by the Australian Journal of Rural Health in October 2013.

Rachael Purcell is an incredibly deserving recipient of this award. WILDFIRE would like to wish her, and her fellow 2013 medical graduates, all the best for the future!