The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health

On 23 September, the Chancellor Marie Bashir joined the Dean of Medicine, Bruce Robinson, in launching the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, which has been set up to address the inequities and barriers in access to healthcare for Indigenous Australians.

The Centre will work closely with Aboriginal communities, health services and individuals. Developing strategies to improve communication and encourage shared decision making, is one of the priority tasks.

"When healthcare for Indigenous patients is built around trust, reciprocity and shared decision making, health programs and interventions are more effective," said Professor Alan Cass, who was appointed this month as co-director of the Poche Centre.

The establishment of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health follows a donation of $10 million in February 2008 by philanthropist Mr Greg Poche.

The Centre has three primary aims:

  • to work with local and community health services to improve Indigenous health in western NSW and the Northern Territory
  • to conduct essential research into critical aspects of Indigenous health
  • to educate medical and health students in matters concerning the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

There are currently cardiology clinics running every 2 months in Brewarrina and dental clinics at the Bourke Aboriginal Health Service. This is made possible by flights with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and also attended by both medical and dental students. The Centre has it's main offices in Sydney but also maintains an outreach office in the University's Department of Rural Health in Broken Hill. The profile of the Centre is growing but includes administration and research officers, research students and part time academics from the Schools of Public Health and Nursing.

The Directors ask that health professionals who would like the opportunity to contribute to the remote area clinics, register their interest online. The senior manager of clinical services, Dr Tara Walker can be contacted on 08 80801200 or Email