Destination Spotlight: Wollongong & The Illawarra

Destination Spotlight: Wollongong & The Illawarra

  • July 24, 2023

Just over an hour south of Sydney you’ll find the Illawarra region, a popular stretch of coast nestled between lush Australian bushland and pristine beaches. With great job opportunities for GPs, a laidback lifestyle and excellent schools and amenities, let’s take a look at why this destination is a popular option for general practitioners looking to make their next move.

Getting to know the Illawarra region

The vibrant city of Wollongong is at the heart of the Illawarra region and is a regional city renowned for its liveability, with a thriving CBD, beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and an established arts and cultural scene.

Wollongong is the gateway to NSW’s South Coast region, with many locals commuting north to Sydney or south to Nowra in the Shoalhaven region. Its location makes it an ideal choice for general practitioners who are looking for the iconic Australian coastal lifestyle, good working conditions, and access to schools, sporting facilities and tertiary education for their families.

As an MMM1 / Distribution Priority Area (DPA), Wollongong is an eligible location for vocationally registered GPs still within their moratorium, or international medical graduates who are deemed substantially comparable on the RACGP PEP Specialist Stream.

An Illawarra region snapshot:

According to the 2021 Census, Wollongong has a population of 214,564, and the median age is 39.

Hospitals, other social assistance services, aged care facilities and higher education are the region’s top employers, and 24.5% of people are educated to (at least) Bachelor Degree level.

The Illawarra region is popular with families and young professionals, with excellent recreational facilities - including surfing, kayaking, bushwalking and cycle paths that hug the coastline, parks and playgrounds.

The Early Start Discovery Space is Australia’s first dedicated hands-on children’s museum, ideal for children 0-10 years old, and the Science Space is the only dedicated immersive science experience in NSW. Both are hugely popular with locals and visitors to the region.

Housing is still more affordable in the Illawarra in comparison to Sydney, with a range of excellent suburbs to choose from with access to the beach, cafes, restaurants, childcare and quality schools. Popular suburbs include Thirroul in the region’s north, with a buzzing town centre and beautiful beachfront, leafy Mangerton centrally located with easy access to the hospital, and Balgownie, with its views of the escarpment and the ocean and friendly village centre. Further south in the region, Shell Cove is a waterfront suburb featuring an impressive marina and purpose-built town centre with restaurants and cafes.

Local schools and opportunities:

The Illawarra Grammar School (TIGS) is an exceptional private school in the heart of Wollongong, and other highly rated private schools included St Mary’s Star of the Sea, Edmund Rice College, the Illawarra Christian School and Cedars Christian College. Amity College in Shellharbour is reputedly one of the best Islamic schools in Australia.

Local public schools such as Smith’s Hill (selective), Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts, Bulli High School and Woonona High School are also highly rated.

The University of Wollongong is listed in the top 1% of universities worldwide and their medical school has trained more than 1,000 medical practitioners. The school’s rural outreach program now has more than 70 partner teaching medical practices across regional and rural NSW.

Live life the way you want to, with countless options on your doorstep. Whether you’re into cheering on the local sporting teams at WIN Stadium and Arena, chilling at the beach, exploring the nearby mountains and coastal villages or enjoying the region’s produce and wines.

Transport links include direct trains to Sydney and the South Coast, a local airport with flights to Melbourne and Brisbane, and Sydney airport which is just an hour by road.

GP Opportunities in Wollongong & The Illawarra

The Illawarra is home to a variety of medical centres, from large, corporate medical ‘health hubs’, to smaller independent family practices. The DXC Medical team is headquartered in Wollongong and have helped more than 25 GPs secure new positions in the area. These have included;

  • Newly ‘fellowed’ (FRACGP/FACRRM) GPs relocating back to the area in which they completed their hospital training and/or undergraduate degree.
  • International GPs from the UK & Ireland via the RACGP PEP Specialist Stream who enjoy the large ex-pat community
  • Sydney-based VR GPs relocating to the area for more affordable housing and a more peaceful lifestyle

Ready to take the next step?

Explore all current Illawarra GP job vacancies via our interactive map, or view our current Illawarra GP vacancy list here.

Get in touch with our Wollongong office to find out more about local opportunities.

Darren Compton

+61 (0)405 234 852

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