Rural health boost for La Trobe

La Trobe University has received $3 million from the Violet Vines Marshman Charitable Trust to invest in its pioneering rural health research.

One of the University’s largest philanthropic donations, the investment establishes the Violet Vines (VV) Marshman Rural Health Initiative, whose focus is on rural and regional health research at La Trobe’s Rural Health School - Australia’s largest rural health school based across the regional campuses of Bendigo, Shepparton, Albury Wodonga and Mildura.

Mrs Violet (Vi) Marshman devoted much of her life to improving the health and wellbeing of people, particularly those living in regional and rural Australia. Later in life Vi Marshman established a charitable trust, with funding to be spent on high impact rural health initiatives.

Following a competitive process, La Trobe’s Rural Health School was successful in receiving the largest amount of money donated by the VV Marshman Charitable Trust.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar thanked the VV Marshman Charitable Trust for its substantial donation and said it would make a tangible difference to the lives of those living in regional and rural Australia.

“Outstanding rural health research and education is one of La Trobe’s greatest strengths, recognised most recently with the announcement of a new joint Rural Medical Program with the University of Melbourne to help address rural doctor shortage,” Professor Dewar said.

“Not only will this generous donation help improve health and wellbeing outcomes through funding crucial research that makes a difference at a community level, it will also act as a pipeline for creating more healthcare jobs in the bush.”

Vi Marshman’s son and trustee, Associate Professor Ian Marshman, said the work being done by La Trobe’s Rural Health School aligns perfectly with the Trust’s mandate, i.e. to improve the lives of people living outside metropolitan areas.

“When my fellow trustees and I saw La Trobe’s proposal, we knew our mother would have wanted to invest in the kinds of research and capability development programs offered at a grass roots level by the Rural Health School,” Associate Professor Marshman said.

“The work the La Trobe Rural Health team is doing in helping empower local communities to devise their own health programs and strengthen their own networks is consistent with what Vi was doing during her own lifetime.”

The Initiative includes the appointment of a Violet Marshman Chair in Rural Health, a Research Fellow, scholarships for postgraduate students and opportunities for co-funded, industry-focused PhDs.

Professor of Rural Nursing and Midwifery Amanda Kenny, who led the establishment of the La Trobe Rural Health School, will be the first Violet Marshman Chair in Rural Health.

“I’m delighted to be appointed to this new position which recognises La Trobe’s research strengths in rural healthcare and in particular our focus on research around community driven models of primary health care, designed to support the best health outcomes for rural people,” Professor Kenny said.

Violet Vines Marshman (1917-2014) and the VV Marshman Charitable Trust

Born in the rural village of Branxholme in western Victoria and trained as a nurse, Mrs Violet Vines Marshman devoted much of her life to improving the health and wellbeing of people living in regional and rural Australia.

Ten years before her death in 2014, Violet established the VV Marshman Charitable Trust, with her sons – Ian, Neil and Ken – as three of its Trustees. The Trust has supported a number of rural health initiatives including the Royal Flying Doctor Service, a new rehabilitation centre and GP clinic in association with West Wimmera Health Service and a regional Hearing Voices program run by Uniting Care.  The $3 million investment in establishing the Violet Vines Marshman Rural Health Initiative at La Trobe is the Trust’s largest investment.

PHOTO: far left, Violet Marshman graduating as a nurse in 1939

Media Contact: Claire Bowers - c.bowers@latrobe.edu.au - 9479 2315 / 043727990

Find an expert

Search our experts database.