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Hay Barrels


The purpose of RAINS is to offer a support network for rural and remote Nuclear Medicine professionals. The support network aims to engage with and develop strategies to overcome the unique professional difficulties encountered in rural and remote Australia.

About Us

The Australian health care system has been described or defined by the ‘inverse care law’; those Australians in the most need of health services receive the least. This might equally reflect life for rural Nuclear Medicine professionals; those with the greatest need for support and representation actually have the least.

Rural Nuclear Medicine professional are often called upon to develop unique skills and capabilities not generally manifest in metropolitan counterparts; an evolutionary adaptation (‘survival of the fittest’). Despite these attributes, rural Nuclear Medicine professionals are confronted with professional isolation that fosters a number of inequities.

The vision of RAINS is equitable provision of representation and professional opportunities for rural and remote Nuclear Medicine professionals; strategic networking and support to foster professional development, continuing education and collaborative solutions to issues of isolation; recognition and exploitation of distinctive competencies of rural practitioners.



While regional and rural Australia faces the devastation associated with prolonged drought it is the relative paucity of health care services, in particular specialist services like Nuclear Medicine, that will leave the greatest mark on the rural Australian landscape over coming decades. Professional, cultural and social isolation remain barriers to recruitment and retention of highly qualified practitioners. Need and demand for specialist services in rural and remote Australia are artificially deflated compared to metropolitan counterparts as a result of centralisation of specialist services in state capitals. Disease and risk factors have been broadly documented to be elevated in rural Australia and, thus, rural communities either forgo services or travel significant distance for said services.

In rural Australia there is poorer health, an older mean age, higher morbidity in many diseases, and increases in almost every risk factor for disease. Given that Nuclear Medicine is predominantly (but not exclusively) associated with morbidity of old age, the fact that rural per capita referrals do not exceed that of metropolitan areas simply reflects a lack of specialist services and barriers to service (eg. distance).


RAINS was conceived at the Adelaide Annual Scientific Meeting of the ANZSNM in May 2007 as a direct response to concerns regarding continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities in rural Australia. Issues relating to professional isolation and lack of representation had been discussed over a number of years, although the requirements of CPD to maintain accreditation provided the impetus for action.


RAINS is a proactive approach aimed at solving a major CPD imbalance and to broaden the representation of rural practitioners. RAINS provides a network to allow equitable CPD opportunities for those confronted by professional isolation.

The founding members of the RAINS committee were:

Matt Ayers, (NSW)

Michael Crook, (QLD)

Geoff Currie, (NSW)

Narelle Harrison, (VIC)

Carla Robertson, (NSW)

Pete Tually, (WA)

Following the success of RAINS CPD programs the association expanded its activities, in conjunction with our academic hub at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga, to provide licenced medical imaging training programs for practitioner credentialing in the hybrid technologies such as SPECT-CT. Later, RAINS advocacy efforts to the commonwealth government helped contribute to improved equity in the delivery in radiopharmaceuticals and highlight the importance of a rural voice.


Peter Tually (WA, SA and NT) - President                

Dr Geoff Currie (ex-officio education and training)   

Christopher Skilton  - Secretary (NSW)                    

Leighton Rogan - Treasurer (NSW)                          

Stephanie Robbie  - (QLD)

Nat Lenzo (ex-officio physician representative)

Matt Ayers (ex-officio rural representative)

Russell Pearce (ex-officio associate member representative)


P.O. Box Wagga, NSW



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