Abstract: I would like first to acknowledge the Aranda people as the traditional owners of the land on which this conference is being held. Thank you for the opportunity to address the 8th National Rural Health Alliance Conference. This biennial conference has become a landmark on the rural health calendar because of its importance in bringing together such a diverse group of people united by their common concern to improve the health and well-being of rural and remote Australians and its role in informing the policy agenda of governments and rural health stakeholder organisations. I feel privileged to be invited to address this auspicious gathering of friends and colleagues. My talk this evening will be brief as I do not want to limit the time available for you to network with colleagues and friends who have gathered together here from all parts of Australia. I shall take my cue on how long to talk not from the chair but the expressions of delegates sitting furthest away from me. As our church Minister says to the congregation “You have to be early the get a good seat at the back”!! This evening I would like to focus on two issues. First I want to take the opportunity to celebrate some of the achievements that have resulted since the first National Rural Health Alliance Conference was held in Toowoomba in 1991. Secondly, I would like to use the occasion to reflect on what more is needed in our quest to ensure optimal health and well-being for residents of the many rural and remote communities throughout Australia.