The Ramaciotti Regional and Remote Health Sciences Training Centre (Menzies-Ramaciotti Centre) is developing a sustainable, local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander biomedical and health sciences workforce in the Northern Territory. The Centre facilitates biomedical and health sciences career progression for regional and remote youth, with a focus on career development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. The Centre is guided by overarching values of equity, reciprocity, self-determination, mutual support and trust.


In regional and remote areas of Australia, hurdles to education can be exacerbated by distance and extreme social disadvantage. Approximately 50% of Northern Territory youth do not complete high school. Low high school completion rates result in reduced biomedical training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth who live in regional and remote communities in northern Australia.

One of the main barriers to a local biomedical workforce in northern Australia is a lack of supported pathways into employment for youth. This gap is addressed by the Menzies-Ramaciotti Centre. The Centre focuses on delivering high-quality training in order to develop a local biomedical workforce for rural and remote northern Australia. Students benefit from training in the latest technology, industry partnerships, dedicated trainers, mentoring programs, internships across institutions, and access to Menzies School of Health Research teams and networks.

Our governance structure includes the Management Team, Steering Group and a Youth Advisory Group. Non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander representatives will be included as members of these groups; however, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives will be sought for the majority of positions. Youth advisors will be included as key members in the Management Team and Steering Group. This governance structure will enable the Centre to grow and connect youth from across the Northern Territory to previously unimagined pathways into the biomedical and health sciences workforce.


The Menzies-Ramaciotti Centre enables regional and remote youth to overcome barriers to the biomedical and health workforce by providing multiple entry points for training in health sciences. Youth can enter the program via:

  • High school engagement pathways
  • Certificate level training
  • Undergraduate training
  • Postgraduate training and research

The Centre leverages existing partnerships with communities, schools, training organisations and employers in order to deliver high-quality training in biomedical and health sciences. The Centre also builds on existing programs in remote community schools.

Our program is co-led by highly experienced researchers who are committed to creating opportunities for young people entering the biomedical and health sciences workforce. A dedicated project manager and student placement coordinator facilitates student placements, ensures students receive recognition for the skills they acquire, and works with the team and other Menzies personnel to ensure that students receive academic support, pastoral care and mentoring.

Students can undertake a range of educational and workplace training experiences, including laboratory techniques, data analysis, computer literacy, literature reviews, coding and bioinformatics, health promotion and allied health. Laboratory-based training includes microbiology, immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry, parasitology, genomics, metagenomics, microbiomics and transcriptomics. Students also undertake training in Good Clinical Laboratory Practice and clinical trials.

For students completing laboratory-based placements, the Centre employs a dedicated laboratory supervisor who is responsible for training students. The laboratory supervisor is committed to supporting remote and regional students in the successful completion of placements to meet defined competencies.

Banner image: Mark Mayo, Dr Robyn Marsh and Assoc Prof Heidi Smith-Vaughan.
Photo credit: Charles Darwin University

Training opportunities:

The Menzies-Ramaciotti Centre offers laboratory and non-laboratory training to the following groups:

  • Work experience students: students 15 years and over seeking to undertake work experience in the field of health sciences
  • Traineeships: school-leavers seeking pathways prior to, or instead of, tertiary study
  • Cadetships: students currently enrolled in undergraduate study

For all training enquiries, please complete the training enquiry form. For any other enquiries, please email or call us on (08) 8946 8635.


Partners and collaborators:
Funders and donors:

We would like to thank all who donated to the Bridging the Gap Foundation fundraiser which is now supporting three trainees, and a film being created by one of our trainees about staying healthy in the blackfella and whitefulla way.

The Centre’s waiting list is long so please donate to support a trainee. Please email or call us on (08) 8946 8635 to make a donation.

Centre co-leads: 
Project manager and student placement coordinator:
Laboratory supervisor: 
  • Karla Cardenas Gomez
Centre administrator:
  • Dr Sophie Bowman-Derrick
  1. Ramaciotti Foundations recognise strides in Australian-based research

    Ramaciotti Foundations recognise strides in Australian-based research


    Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan and her team at Menzies have been awarded the biennial Ramaciotti Biomedical Research Award, worth $1 million.

  2. Ramaciotti Biomedical Award worth $1 million granted to Northern Territory research team

    Ramaciotti Biomedical Award worth $1 million granted to Northern Territory research team


    The biennial Ramaciotti Biomedical Research Award, worth $1 million, has been granted to a biomedical research team at the Menzies School of Health Research, based in Darwin.

  3. Ramaciotti awards

    Ramaciotti awards


    Menzies' researchers are developing a new centre to develop the biomedical workforce in the Northern Territory. Associate Professor Heidi Smith-Vaughan, Dr Robyn Marsh, Dr Kalinda Griffiths and Mark Mayo have received the biennial $1 million...

For more information about the Centre, please email or call us on (08) 8946 8635.