Established in 2003 in conjunction with the Institute of Rural Health (IRH), Grassroots Rural Health Club, based in Auckland, became one of the four recognized regional student health clubs in New Zealand. The other three other regional clubs are established in clinical schools around the country; Matagouri in Dunedin, Country Scrubs in Christchurch and Welly Boot in Wellington. Each has a unique flavour (due to each unique locale) and all come together as one happy rural whānau for various national conferences and events.
Our organisation became formalised in 2005 when we elected a formal executive and ratified our constitution. In 2006, Aotearoa Rural Health Apprentices (ARHA), a national student organisation was formed, again in conjunction with IRH to co-ordinate student efforts at a National level.
Grassroots works closely with organisations such as IRH, Rural GP Network, Students of Rural Health Aotearoa (SoRHA) and other local student organisations, namely Auckland University Medical Students Association (AUMSA) and New Zealand Medical Students Association (NZMSA).
Unlike other student organisations the student rural health clubs are not GST registered, not for profit organisations. There is no profit margin in any of our events and all monies received through events and sponsorship are re-invested into the club and its activities.
Grassroots has gone from strength to strength. Our membership has risen to over 1,600, which now includes a number of Nursing, Pharmacy, Optometry, Medical Imaging and Audiology students. Our reputation and popularity amongst the student body has continued to grow and Grassroots is now considered one of the foremost student organisations at the University of Auckland FMHS.
Well known for running events which provide high quality educational experiences, we maintain our originality by ensuring that the fun, rural flavour, which has inevitably become enmeshed in the culture of our organisation, is ever present.