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The port town of Derby lies near the mouth of the mighty Fitzroy River, on the eastern shore of King Sound, surrounded by vast tidal mud flats. The Kimberly boasts the largest tidal range in Australia - more than 11 metres. Derby is situated at the southwestern end of the Gibb River Road and is the gateway to northern Australia's gorges, meaning it is prime country for rural adventures. The Shire of Derby-West Kimberley's population is comprised of more than 50 per cent Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent peoples across 54 communities.

Established in 2005, Derby RCSWA is one of the oldest sites in the school. The RCSWA office is located within Derby Aboriginal Health Services and is a short distance from the hospital. With study spaces, a common room and kitchenette, the office is accessible to students 24 hours a day.

  • Accommodation

    The RCSWA house is a four-bedroom open plan house with wide verandas that overlook the Derby marsh, providing a vantage point for viewing sunrises. The house is furnished, and wireless internet is provided.

  • Transport

    Students who come to Derby should bring their own vehicles. Many of the local attractions are accessible only in the dry season, and most only by 4WD. If students have a 4WD, that is great, but if not, they can borrow the RCSWA 4WD for weekend excursions. Derby is a great place to ride a push bike, however, this has its limitations in the wet season and should not be relied upon after dark.

  • Health Services

    Derby has two main health providers, WA Country Health Service and Derby Aboriginal Health Service (DAHS). There are no private GP practices in Derby. DAHS has a walk-in clinic for acute medicine and clinics for antenatal care, child health, sexual health, and adolescent health.

    Derby Hospital has an emergency department, an adult ward, a children’s ward, and birthing suite, which is staffed by District Medical Officers with rotating junior doctors. There is an allied health team based at the hospital.

    DAHS employs GPs, nurses, an Aboriginal Health Practitioner, with visiting allied health professionals. A general physician, obstetrics and gynaecology, general surgeon, paediatrician, developmental paediatrician, and psychiatrist visit regularly from Broome, while other specialists visit from Perth or further afield.

    There is a Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service office based in Derby, and a Social and Emotional Wellbeing Unit embedded at DAHS.

    Students will have a rich and diverse medical experience in Derby.

  • Extra Activities

    Derby is a mecca for outdoor living: camping, fishing, boating and 4WDing are the things you will find most people doing when they aren’t busy working. Each year a mountain biking event called “The Gibb Challenge” leaves from Derby. Teams or soloists ride from Derby to El Questro along the Gibb River Road.

    In town, Derby has a library, public swimming pool, sporting fields, a horse racing track, a speedway, and historic jetty. Past RCSWA students have taken advantage of these facilities, playing AFL, volleyball, netball, basketball, golf, and lawn bowls, to name a few.

    Each year during the dry season, Derby has a Boab Festival which includes events such as the Kimberley Art and Photographic Awards, the Boab Festival Basketball Carnival, the Mowanjum Festival, the Long Table Dinner, the Bush Poet’s Breakfast, film nights, quiz nights, and the Derby Cup Races.

Floods, bushfires, gorges, fishing, crocodiles, mangoes and mossies: Derby RCSWA is a dynamic and engaging small site. It will suit students who are flexible and adventurous, and who have an interest in Aboriginal Health. Susannah Warwick
Lead Medical Coordinator

Staff Profiles

Derby has this special vibe that you have to see to love it. The community is lovely and welcoming, and for a small town it has a lot of energy.SinKaan Chan,
Medical Coordinator

Out and about

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Let's Chat

Call the RCSWA Administrative Headquarters from 8.30am to 5.00pm (Western Standard Time):

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Visit us

Our headquarters are located at Kalgoorlie Regional Hospital, St Alban's Road, Kalgoorlie

Or you can visit the UWA School of Medicine in Perth

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