Ochre Health’s story began in 2002, when doctors Hamish Meldrum and Ross Lamplugh worked in the quintessential NSW Outback town of Bourke, surrounded by hundreds of kilometers of “wide brown land” in every direction. Challenged by the need for quality locum doctors, Ross and Hamish established a business called Australian Outback Locums to market the family-friendly, outback Australian lifestyle to like-minded and capable doctors.

In 2003, Australian Outback Locums became Ochre Recruitment, which grew to include rural and remote healthcare services and management. From Bourke, the company advanced into other rural regions, adding Ochre Health, a one-stop healthcare provider for outback communities, shortly after. Improving healthcare across Australia’s disparate environments became an enduring purpose and passion for Ross and Hamish.

Ochre Health today is a leading provider of healthcare to communities spanning rural, regional and urban areas of Australia. We operate a network over 30 medical centres across five states and territories and we partner with more than 200 doctors. Through Ochre Recruitment, we also work with hospitals and medical practices around Australia and New Zealand to source and place locum and permanent doctors across a wide range of specialties.

We are still a family-orientated business and we operate by a management framework called The Ochre Way which translates our founding purpose into a strong set of values and promises to our key stakeholders – patients, doctors and our people. We remain inspired by the challenges and beauty of the Outback landscapes so aptly described by Dorothea Mackellar in My Country – but rather than “brown”, it’s “The wide Ochre land for us!”.



The story of Ochre Health’s first decade is the subject of a book by Graeme Brosnan entitled A Medical Centre On The Moon. As Ross and Hamish have shaped healthcare across Australia, the country has inevitably shaped them as well as the company. From Tasmania to Palm Island, Bourke to Brewarrina, and Condobolin to Lightning Ridge, the story is as diverse and eclectic as the places themselves. Copies of the book are available from Ochre Health’s Support Office in Sydney.


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