University of Wollongong School of Medicine students had their first look at the house that will be home for future students while they are gaining practical experience in Mudgee.
Community groups including Club Mudgee, the Mid-Western Regional Council, Wilpinjong Coal Mines and Moolarben Coal are working with the University of Wollongong to build the house, in the hope that it will make students’ time in Mudgee more enjoyable and encourage them to return to a rural area to practice when they graduate.
The new house in Lions Drive is on schedule to be completed in June, in time for a new group of students to move into when they arrive in July.
Medical students Elizabeth Whitmore, Lloyd Malone and Clair Spry, who are currently working with practices and health services in Mudgee, had only one complaint about the house: It’s won’t be ready before they finish their year-long placement.
There’s high interest to come here from Wollongong and the house is one of the first things they ask about.
“It’s certainly a lot more spacious and it’s purpose built for students,” Elizabeth said.
The students currently share a small house on the Mudgee Health Services grounds.
The location of the new house was chosen to give students time away from the hospital grounds when they are off duty, as well as providing privacy.
The five-bedroom house is designed so that it can be divided into two self-contained units, one with two bedrooms and the other with three. This will allow the house to accommodate a student with a family, as well as single students.
Lloyd said the availability of the house was already making Mudgee a popular choice with students planning their rural placements.
“There’s high interest to come here from Wollongong and the house is one of the first things they ask about,” he said.
University of Wollongong Graduate School of Medicine Facilities Development Manager Keith Smith said Mudgee Rotary would assist with furnishing the house and local tradesmen were planning a “Backyard Blitz” style effort to landscape the grounds.
The annual Mudgee Trades Day golf day has also raised money for the house.