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SoRHA Council

wilson mitchell

Wilson Mitchell

SoRHA Co-Chairperson


Wilson is a fifth-year medical student at the University of Otago based at Wairau Hospital, currently undertaking the Rural Medical Immersion Programme.


He is one of two co-chairs on the Students of Rural Health Aotearoa (SoRHA) Council and attends as a student representative on the New Zealand Rural General Practice Network Committee.  Wilson is the current President of the Matagouri Rural Health Club based in Dunedin who has been heavily involved in the coordination of numerous talks and events that develop and promote rural healthcare as a rewarding career option for students across all of the health professional programmes. For the last four years, he has also been heavily involved in organising rural school and community trips to regions all over the South Island with the intent to inspire the next generations of rural health professionals at the grassroots level.


Growing up on a farm just out of Outram, Wilson developed a passion for the wellbeing of rural communities from a young age, acknowledging healthcare to be an integral part of this. Having been brought up, schooled and working rurally, he genuinely cares about how these communities function, network and strive to ensure equitable access to quality health and wellbeing services for their people.

Ben Alsop-ten Hove

SoRHA Co-Chairperson

Ben is a final-year medical student at the University of Auckland and comes from the small South Island town of Leeston, an hour outside of Christchurch. His initial interest in rural health grew from a love of the rural lifestyle, and blossomed in rural placements in Ashburton, Hāwera, and Kaitaia.

He has held various student leader roles including the Vice Presidency of the New Zealand Medical Students Association (NZMSA) in 2019. He is currently the Co-chair of SoRHA, of which he is a founding member. Supported by the Network, SoRHA is the national interdisciplinary rural health student network.

Ben brings a wide-ranging experience in rural health promotion having been the 2018 President of the Grassroots Rural Health Club, the largest rural health club in the country. He has led numerous trips to rural schools to promote rural health as a career, in the time Ben has been involved with the trips through the Grassroots Rural Health Club and subsequently SoRHA, he has seen the trips grow from reaching 1,000 rangatahi in just a few regions to over 4,000 across the country in 2019.

He has also presented both oral abstracts and keynote speech at the National Rural Health Conference in 2019 and hat year, Ben was also awarded the Ministry of Health Youth Volunteer of the Year as well a New Zealander of the Year Local Hero Medalist. Ben is passionate about the pre-tertiary and tertiary elements of the rural health workforce pipeline and very excited to bring rural health to a national stage.

Nominations for 2020 SORHA Council open now!


You can either self-nominate or nominate another student currently enrolled in an undergraduate health course for a role on the Students of Rural Health Aotearoa (SoRHA) Council. If you are nominating another student you must have discussed this with them.

SoRHA is New Zealand’s only multidisciplinary rural health student network, so if you are passionate about rural health and well being, regardless of whether you see your discipline or tertiary institution listed in the form, please apply.

To be a member of the Council you must also be a member of SoRHA. Membership of SoRHA is free so if you would like to be on the Council you can sign up here.

Meetings are held monthly and it is anticipated that over and above this Council members will only spend a few hours a month on SoRHA related activities. Co-chairs will be required to share the responsibility of attend NZRGPN Board meetings and NZRGPN Te Rōpu Arahi (Maori Advisory Committee) meetings. Travel and accommodation expenses associated with these meetings are paid for by the NZRGPN.

A SoRHA Council position is for the period of up to two years. SoRHA Council members are responsible for being the main contact for their peers and other stakeholders to ensure a consistent point of contact.


If you would like to attend the meeting or have any questions or concerns please contact Esther at sorha@rgpn.org.nz or 021 547 853


I’d like to submit a nomination for myself or someone I know!