Belinda O'Sullivan

Adj Assoc Prof

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Rural health systems research, rural pathways, workforce, access, distribution and quality


Research activity per year

Personal profile


Belinda is a national and internatioal rural health systems researcher with a focus on workforce capacity building, access, quality and distribution.

Belinda did her PhD with the Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life Survey (MABEL), applying the large longitudinal panel survey of Australian doctors to research rural outreach service patterns by specialists. She applied her findings to rural oncology outreach service frameworks to assist with contracting sustainable accessible cancer care for rural Australians. She continues to collaborate with Melbourne University, University Queensland and Monash colleagues and across the rural university network and policy and program stakeholders to progress strategic priorities in rural health research.

She was the Chief Investigator of the Monash Medical School rural medical workforce tracking study, and produced six publications highlighting new evidence about the Monash rural medical program to inform program design, support national recommendations for rural training and attract new funding for end to end training.

Belinda was the Director of Research and Evaluation in the Office of the National Rural Health Commissioner. She supported consultation and development of the national Taskforce Advice about the Pathway, leading to new investment in rural generalist training nationally.

She recently led a WHO consultancy producing a Checklist for implementing rural pathways for training and supporting health workers in low and middle income countries (LMICs), which was translated into 13 languages and applied to benchmark and plan LMICs rural pathways development. She went on to foster research within the Mayne Academy of Rural and Remote Medicine at The University of Queensland and lead an international call for research about rural pathways.

Belinda has been CI of a range of Education Research Grants to expand evidence about postgraduate medical training and most recently worked at the University of Queensland Regional Training Hub to expand understanding about how to foster more generalist doctors. She has recently attracted funding from the Victorian Department of Health to lead the evaluation of the statewide Victorian Rural Generalist Training Program. She is currently employed as the Director of Policy and Engagement at General Practice Supervisors Australia, where she is involved in policy and research to promote high quality supervised learning as Australia transitions to college-led training.

She graduated from the NSW Public Health Officer Training Program at NSW Health in 2002, after working across the NSW public health system in substantial leadership roles.

She has nearly twenty years’ experience of developing and implementing workplace-based training and development to produce health workers with the right skills, distributed and working in areas of community need. She led the development and implementation of NSW Health competencies for biostatistics and public health postgraduate training, implemented national training methods for the Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine, supported design and implementation of the Aboriginal Population Health Training Initiative and instituted multiple workforce tracking studies.

Belinda is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow and mentors rural health students and supervises Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) and PhD students in the Monash University School of Rural Health.

Belinda's PhD:

"Rural outreach by specialist doctors in Australia"

Monash University - APA Award

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

External positions

Director Policy and Engagement

1 Feb 2021 → …

Senior Research Fellow University of Queensland

1 Jul 20191 Feb 2021

Director of Research and Evaluation, National Rural Health Commissioner (Australia)

9 Jan 2018 → …

Loddon Mallee Integrated Cancer Service

1 Jul 201731 Jul 2017

Independent consultant BosHealth

1 Jun 2003 → …

Research area keywords

  • Rural health policy
  • Health systems
  • Workforce training and development
  • Recruitment and retention
  • Rural service models including outreach and telehealth
  • Program evaluation
  • Rural Generalists

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or