North West Victoria Regional Training Hub

The North West Victoria Regional Training Hub works to help grow the next generation of rural medical practitioners across our footprint: Victoria’s Loddon Mallee region, from Mildura to Swan Hill, Cohuna and Kerang, down past Bendigo to Gisborne, Macedon, Woodend, Kyneton, Castlemaine and Maryborough. We are here to help doctors work and train in North West Victoria, and embrace the rewarding lifestyle on offer in the region.

We work with our local health services to build accredited training and supervisory capacity, and we connect with students and junior doctors interested in rural practice in North West Victoria,supporting them to complete as much as possible of their studies and medical training locally. As part of this, the North West Victoria Regional Training Hub provides professional development courses locally, mentoring, career advice, DRIVERS conference, research support, events and a range of other services.

Our team works closely with local health services, including Bendigo Health, Mildura Base Public Hospital, Mildura Health Private Hospital, Swan Hill District Health as well as primary care providers and GP clinics throughout the region and the Loddon Mallee Pathway of the Victorian Rural Generalist Program, hosted by Echuca Regional Health.

Our people

Academic staff

Associate Professor Janelle Brennan


Associate Professor Janelle BrennanAssociate Professor Janelle Brennan is a urological surgeon who has lived and worked in Bendigo for the last ten years. As Director of the North West Victoria Regional Training Hub, Janelle leads a team focused on improving training opportunities for junior doctors in the Loddon Mallee region.

Alongside her hub role, Janelle is currently the Head of Urology at Bendigo Health. She also runs her own practice, Goldfields Urology, providing urology services to Bendigo and the surrounding regions and provides urological surgery services at St John of God Hospital Bendigo, Swan Hill District Health, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and St Vincent’s Private Hospital.

Janelle is actively involved in research, with a focus on female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, benign prostatic disease, and health service delivery. She is currently Principal Investigator on two local clinical trials and her work has been published in the World Journal of Urology, BJU International and the Medical Journal of Australia.

As a local medical leader, Janelle has twice served as president of the Bendigo subdivision of the Australian Medical Association. She holds a number of professional and industry appointments, including the Urology Society of Australia and New Zealand (USANZ) representative on the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ Rural Health Equity and Advisory Group.

Janelle has a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) with Honours from the University of Melbourne and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS Urol).

Outside of work, Janelle tries to play golf, enjoy good food and wine, tinker with Lego and watch her beloved Richmond Tigers with her dog, Dusty.

Associate Professor Hieu Pham

Deputy Director

Associate Professor Hieu Pham, Deputy Director of the North West Victorian Regional Training Hub

Associate Professor Hieu Pham is a psychiatrist and psychogeriatician, who has worked in Mildura for over a decade. As Deputy Director of the North West Victoria Regional Training Hub, Hieu is passionate about creating new regional training pathways for junior doctors across the Loddon Mallee region.

Alongside his hub role, Hieu is a consultant psychiatrist and oversees postgraduate psychiatry training at Mildura Base Public Hospital. He holds clinical roles with West Wimmera Health Services and the Melbourne Clinic. Hieu also coordinates the Medicine in the Mind program for Year 4C medical students at Monash Rural Health Mildura.

Hieu has provided his mental health expertise across a range of professional and community activities, including as an OSCE examiner for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and advisor for the Murray Primary Health Network on pathways to mental health care.

Hieu has a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) and a Master of Medicine (Psychiatry) from the University of Melbourne and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (FRANZP).

A Mildura convert, Hieu enjoys exploring the region's food and arts scene and performing as a member of the Mildura District Orchestra.

Professor Frank Bowden

Clinical Champion

Frank BowdenProfessor Frank Bowden is an infectious disease physician and researcher. Professor Bowden has published in the New England Journal of Medicine, BMJ and the Australia and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. His work has attracted significant funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, ACT Health and the Department of Health and Ageing. Most recently, Professor Bowden served as the Medical Lead and Executive Officer for the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre, which brought together Australian and Victorian Government agencies to manage the response to COVID-19 in residential aged care facilities. Prior to this, he held roles as the Director of Clinical Services (Medical) at Calvary Bruce Public Hospital, Professor at Australian National University Medical School and Director of Postgraduate Medical Education and Training at ACT Health. As a clinical champion with the North West Victoria Regional Training Hub, Professor Bowden looks forward to mentoring medical students, junior doctors and supporting supervisors across the Loddon Mallee.

Dr Lisa Hall

Education Champion

Lisa Hall Lisa Hall is the Senior Lecturer of Education and Evaluation at Monash Rural Health Bendigo and the Education Champion for the North West Victoria Regional Training Hub. She developed and led the implantation of the successful Monash Rural Health Clinical Teaching and Education Pathway across the Monash Rural Health footprint. In 2022 she was awarded the Deans Award for Excellence in Education – Industry and Community in recognition of the CTEP program.  In 2023 Lisa became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Lisa does research in rural, regional and remote education with a current focus on building teaching capacity in the rural medical workforce. Lisa also has a strong interest Indigenous knowledge representation and culturally embedded practices in all aspects of her work.

Professional Staff

Sophie Burke


Sophie Burke, Manager of the North West Victorian Regional Training HubSophie Burke is the Manager of the North West Victoria Regional Training Hub. Sophie is passionate about place, community, social and environmental justice and has worked in roles that require collaboration and partnerships which look to create systems change for local impact.

Sophie’s career spans over twenty years in the not-for-profit and philanthropic sector and came to Monash Rural Health from the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal (FRRR) - the only national foundation specifically focused on ensuring the strength of remote, rural and regional communities. During this time at FRRR, Sophie worked to design and implement the first ABC Heywire Youth Innovation and Trailblazer Grants and collaborated on fundraising activities with groups such as Blaze Aid, Australian Farmers for Climate Action and Queensland Rural Regional and Remote Women's Network. Sophie has also held roles with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation and Eucalypts Australia and Board positions with Friends of The Earth Australia and the Castlemaine Childcare Cooperative.

As Hub Manager, Sophie has led a range of initiatives to provide medical students and junior doctors opportunities to live, work and train in North West Victoria - from GP jaunts, commissioning the Doctor What? Doctor Where? Podcast, development of the regional medical training website and supporting the Doctors for Regional Innovation, Vision, Excellence, Research and Scholarship (DRIVERS) conference.

Sophie keeps busy in the local community of Castlemaine, where there's nothing comparable to a wild rambling walk, coffee at all hours of the day and the thrill of thrifting things up.

Lauren Evans

Administration Officer

Lauren EvansLauren Evans is extremely passionate about healthcare systems on a broader scale, with particular interest in building up our regional areas with a strong medical workforce.

Lauren has worked in the health field for over 14 years and has come to Monash with a range of experience in Medical Administration and expertise in practice management and office management within private medical practices. Originally Lauren is from the rural city of Horsham in the Wimmera and understands first-hand the demand for recruiting and retaining Medical Health Professionals to these regional areas.

Coming from a medically-minded family consisting of a range of healthcare workers, Lauren has always been passionate about a collaborative response to a sustainable medical workforce in remote, rural and regional Australia.  Lauren knows first-hand the benefit of rural focused programs such as those that the Regional Training Hubs offer and was accepted on a Melbourne Access Scholarship as a rural student to the University of Melbourne where she commenced a Bachelor of Arts. Since then Lauren has relocated to Bendigo 8 years ago and is part-way through a Bachelor of Nursing.

Lauren has lived and worked in Bendigo for the past 8 years working mainly in private practice for some of the region’s best medical specialists. She has 3 beautiful children and enjoys spending time with them. Lauren loves reading, design, styling and anything that is art/crafty. She also enjoys walking and pilates.

Contact the North West Victoria Regional Training Hub

Phone: 0428 553 155