About the Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research

The Centre was established in December 2019 following a $3 million investment from the VV Marshman Charitable Trust.

The investment by the Trustees was one of the largest donations in La Trobe University’s history.

We are undertaking world-class studies aimed at narrowing the gulf between metropolitan health outcomes and those in regional, rural and remote areas.

“For almost every health indicator, the disparities between metropolitan and rural health are striking,” says Acting Director, Professor Jane Mills. “Rates of chronic conditions such as heart disease and cancer are higher in rural communities. So too are mental health issues and rate of suicides.”

Our researchers are co-partnering with rural communities to address these challenges, build an evidence-base, prioritise initiatives and translate findings into practice. All activities are underpinned by impact and translation plans and reports.

Projects occur across the lifespan and address the challenges facing a range of community groups including those with mental illness, disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, refugees and those who are homeless. Projects are connected through whole-of-system approaches to address complex and intractable rural problems.

The Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research is embedded within the La Trobe Rural Health School, the largest rural health school in Australia with over 3,000 students distributed across four regional campuses.


The Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research will conduct high quality research focused on primary health, innovative health services and contemporary workforce approaches to ensure the delivery of exceptional, place-based rural healthcare.

  • The Centre will increase the national and international profile of La Trobe University in the area of rural health.
  • The Centre will lead in cutting-edge methodologies and integrated knowledge translation to maximise healthcare outcomes for vulnerable rural people.
  • The Centre will establish strong regional and rural industry partnerships with communities to enhance the reputation of the research at the grassroots level.
  • The Centre will provide a vibrant research training environment for honours and doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers, early career researchers and more experienced researchers.
  • The Centre will establish strong international partnerships to help address the complex issues that impact vulnerable rural people.
  • The Centre will provide sustainable recognition for the legacy of Mrs Violet Vines Marshman.

Research areas

The Violet Vines Marshman Centre for Rural Health Research aligns with the Australian Federal Government’s strategic priority of health and wellness.

The Federal Government has prioritised better models of health services to reduce disparities for disadvantaged and vulnerable groups; manage local and regional health threats; create better health outcomes for Indigenous people and implement effective technologies to improve health.

Our Centre’s remit and activity is focused on these key priority areas: