Hannah Jackson and Prue Walsh would agree - you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl.
In addition to their passion for rural health, the two latest practitioners to join the team at Zacharia Naumann Optometrists (ZNO) share a deep connection to the country and a commitment to improving regional health.
These two rising stars share more than just a profession. Both realised early on that a role in health services could keep them close to their country roots.
"Optometry offers an opportunity to help people in a health profession and stay in the country," Hannah said.
The approach of ZNO, with their strong emphasis on patient care and eye health was also a strong motivator.
"The team are all working towards the same goal, providing our patients with the best possible care," Prue said.
Having grown up on a sheep and cropping farm in WA, Hannah recognises the challenges that come with a remote lifestyle. Grong Grong native Prue also wanted an "opportunity to help combat the health inequities rural Australia often faces".
Both women have a genuine understanding of issues that can impact upon rural health and recognise the importance of patients having access to the best services.
Prue is thrilled to be working with "the best and latest in diagnostic technology". Hannah agreed, saying the cutting-edge technology the team has access to is often difficult to find in other practices, regional or otherwise.
One such technology currently in use at ZNO is the Rodenstock DNeye, which is changing the face of optometry diagnostics.
In 2018, ZNO was selected from a pool of more than 200 practices across Australia to pilot the scanner, the only one of its kind in the region. It maps the surface of the eye, resulting in more accurate eyeglass lenses - a huge win for patients.
"The real innovation lies in the ability to incorporate these measurements into each individual design," Hannah said.
Owner Zac Zacharia said feedback on the DNeye was incredible, with many happy customers saying their vision is now in "high definition".
This combination of a regional location, a patient-centred practice, and the latest in diagnostic technology meant that ZNO was the perfect place for both Prue and Hannah to start their career journeys.
"The similarity between home and here has made the transition from WA very easy," Hannah said.
"The team at ZNO are some of the kindest and most people oriented I've ever met. I share a lot of the same values."
Prue said as a Riverina local, it was great to have the opportunity to be able to care for family and friends.
"Almost every day, I see a patient who I know or have a connection with," she said. "From the very first day, I felt like I was at home. I'm learning from the best, and really value the mentorship of [owners] Zac and Kathryn."
Kathryn Naumann said the feeling for their new team members was mutual.
"We are thrilled to have Prue and Hannah join our team," she said. "Now we just have to keep them here."