The AOA Rural and Remote ASM Bursary Program

Please note the Rural and Remote Conference Bursary for 2024 is closed and will open at a later date. 

AOA, the AOA president and Rural Surgeons Committee are pleased to provide a Rural and Remote Conference Bursary to provide opportunity for rural and remote emerging and practicing orthopaedic surgeons to participate in AOA's flagship annual scientific meeting. The bursary is offered as a way of engaging with new and current rural and remote members and recognises the accessibility issues faced by these members.

One bursary will be available for each participating state/territory – VIC, ACT, QLD, WA and SA/NT allocated to an associate member or fellow, and fellow – NSW only. TAS will not be available in 2023. 

The 83rd AOA Annual Scientific Meeting, with the theme 'Rural Surgery – Build it and they will come', will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 12 to 16 November 2023.

What's included?

Successful applicants will have the opportunity to attend:

What's covered?

  • Full costs of the conference registration, including social functions – an approximate value of $400-$1400+ (depending on member category).
  • Accommodation at a premium CBD hotel in Melbourne for up to four nights (valued up to $1,600). 
  • Return flights to Melbourne if required (not applicable to VIC state branch members). 

Eligibility criteria

Applications are open to any applicant who meets the below criteria:

  • is an AOA trainee (associate) member or fellow in part or full-time employment or is on maternity/paternity leave
  • has not received any other AOA awards or bursaries in the last two years
  • is currently practicing in an identified rural or remote area as per the Modified Monash Model M3-M7 category or Rural, Remote and Metro Area Classification. The Health Workforce Locator can be used to help determine a rural or remote classification. 
  • a financial member of AOA and of the relevant state/territory branch in which they reside. 
Applicants are asked to provide brief supporting detail on their interest in the ASM and how their attendance will benefit them and their practice.

Application and allocation

Members who meet all of the eligibility criteria are welcome to apply. Review the criteria above to ensure you are eligible before applying. 

Applications should be submitted via the online form below by 31 July 2023. Please note, SA/NT applicants will have until 31 August 2023 to submit their applications due to the delayed opening of applications in the state and territory. 

Download the AOA Rural and Remote Bursary application form

Allocation of bursaries will be undertaken by a conference bursary panel – this may include representatives of the Rural Surgeon Committee, AOA head office allocated staff representative, state branch chair and regional manager based on the following key factors:

  • eligibility criteria
  • aim of offering support to members from as many rural and remote geographical regions as possible
  • aim of offering support to rural and remote members and encouraging ASM attendance
  • increasing rural and remote representation at the ASM. 

Applicants are advised to discuss their attendance at the conference with their relevant employers and supervisors (if applicable). 

Applicants can expect notification about the outcome of their application by 15 August 2023. SA/NT applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by 15 September 2023.
Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified of the results.

It is not possible to provide feedback on applications, and no correspondence regarding decisions on applications will be entered into.
If you have any questions related to the AOA Rural and Remote ASM Bursary, please contact Chief Member Experience Officer Michelle White at
For members interested in financially supporting future rural and remote bursaries, please contact