The Director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health reports to the Head of the School of Public Health, who reports to the Dean of Sydney Medical School.
Members of the Poche Board
The Poche Board meets quarterly and monitor implementation of the agreed strategy. The Board is chaired by the Dean of the Sydney Medical School. The Poche Board has eight members and provides advice, direction and accountability for the Director and the Centre.
- Prof Bruce Robinson, AM – Chair
- Dr Tom Calma, AO
- Prof Sandra Eades
- Prof Shane Houston
- Prof Chris Peck
- Prof Kathy Refshauge
- Mr Reg Richardson, AM
- Prof Tania Sorrell
- Prof Jill White, AM
- Kylie Gwynne – ex officio
Professor Robinson is an Endocrinologist and Head of the Cancer Genetics Laboratory in the Kolling Institute at Royal North Shore Hospital. He was appointed Acting Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Sydney in April 2006 and Dean in March 2007. Professor Robinson graduated from the University of Sydney in 1980 and then undertook studies for a Master of Science degree. His further molecular research work was performed at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School from 1986-1989 and he was awarded a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Sydney in 1990. He has developed and led the Cancer Genetics Laboratory since 1990 and has supervised over 30 doctoral and masters students working on the genetic basis for tumour formation and gene therapy. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific articles. In 2003, Professor Robinson was awarded the Daiichi Prize by the Asia and Oceania Thyroid Association for this work on the pathogenesis of thyroid cancer.
Prior to his current University appointment, Professor Robinson was Associate Dean (International) in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Sydney and was Head of the Division of Medicine at the Royal North Shore Hospital from 1998-2006. He also served on the Council of the Endocrine Society of Australia from 2001-2005. He is on the Editorial Board of the International journals 'Nature, Clinical Practice and Endocrinology' and 'Thyroid'. Professor Robinson has a strong interest in furthering relations between Australia and Asia and he is the Founding Chairman of Hoc Mai, the Australia-Vietnam Medical Foundation, which sponsors and supports medical nursing, allied health and scientific exchanges between Australia and Vietnam. He was awarded the People's Health Medal by the Vietnamese Government in 2008. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dr Calma is an Aboriginal elder from the Kungarakan tribal group and a member of the Iwaidja tribal group in the NT. He has been involved in Indigenous affairs at a local, community, state, national and international level and worked in the public sector for 40 years and is currently on a number of boards and committees focusing on rural and remote Australia, health, education, justice reinvestment and economic development.
Dr Calma, a consultant, is the National Coordinator, Tackling Indigenous Smoking where he leads the establishment and mentoring of 57 teams nationally to fight tobacco use by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Dr Calma's most recent previous position was that of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2004 to 2010. He also served as Race Discrimination Commissioner from 2004 until 2009.
Through his 2005 Social Justice Report, Dr Calma called for the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to be closed within a generation and laid the groundwork for the Close the Gap campaign. The Close the Gap campaign has effectively brought national attention to achieving health equality for Indigenous people by 2030.
Dr Calma is a strong advocate for Indigenous rights and empowerment and has spearheaded initiatives including the establishment of the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples and Justice Reinvestment.
In 2010, Dr Calma was awarded an honorary doctor of letters from Charles Darwin University and in 2011, an honorary doctor of science from Curtin University.
In the Queen's Birthday 2012 Honours Awards Dr Calma was awarded an Order of Australia; Officer of the General Division (AO) and in December 2012 he was announced as the ACT Australian of the Year 2013.
Professor Eades is a Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney with key expertise in Indigenous health. She is a medical epidemiologist and completed her undergraduate medical training at the University of Newcastle and her PhD in epidemiology at the Institute for Child Health Research, Perth.
Professor Eades' PhD examined causal pathways to poor birth outcomes and significant illness in the first year of life among urban Aboriginal infants. Her NHMRC research program follows on from this early work and includes work on smoking in Indigenous communities including a randomised controlled trial of a culturally specific smoking intervention for pregnant Indigenous women. She is leading a current NHMRC RCT to test the effectiveness of a systems based collaborative to improve treatment for type 2 diabetes in Indigenous community controlled health services.
Professor Eades helped establish a major cohort study that examines various influences on the health of NSW urban Aboriginal children (SEARCH study). Another major Capacity Building grant led by Professor Eades supported the training of five Indigenous researchers and 6 non-Indigenous researchers involved in programs related to Indigenous health.
Professor Shane Houston is a Gangulu man from Central Queensland. He has worked in Aboriginal Affairs for more than 35 years holding many roles at local, state, national levels. Shane has worked intensely in the community sector over a number of decades including as a CEO of an Aboriginal Medical Service and National Coordinator of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Organisation. He has also held senior executive positions in the public sector for more than 17 years.
Professor Houston took up his current position at the University of Sydney as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Strategy and Services) and is the first Aboriginal person to be appointed to such a senior role at any Australian university.
The former health administrator brought an unfailingly positive attitude with him when he arrived at the University of Sydney in April 2011, tasked with making the University a central national player in bridging the social divide that confronts Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Professor Houston completed his PhD at Curtin University in 2003, graduating with a Chancellor's Commendation. He was appointed Adjunct Professor of Health Sciences at Curtin University in 2006 and Professor in the School of Medicine University of Note Dame, Sydney in 2008. In 2009, Professor Houston was awarded the Chief Minister's Public Service Medal for meritorious and outstanding public service for his contributions aimed at improving the cultural security of services in the health sector.
Professor Chris Peck is Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at The University of Sydney. He has completed postgraduate training in pain management at the University of Sydney and jaw structure-function relationships at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
He is currently President of the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Orofacial Pain and he maintains clinical practice in orofacial pain management. He has published widely in the field and is leading an international consortium to develop a diagnostic classification system for Temporomandibular disorders. He has worked with the government to develop a dental heal action plan for NSW and the promotion of oral health for Australia.
Professor Kathryn Refshauge is the Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences and Professor of Physiotherapy at the University of Sydney. Prior to this she held the positions of Deputy Dean; and Associate Dean (Research and Innovation) at the faculty, and Head, School of Physiotherapy. Professor Refshauge holds a PhD in neuroscience.
Professor Refshauge is an eminent and widely published researcher with more than 200 papers, and 20 books and book chapters. She has attracted a total of more than $15 million in external grant funding. Professor Refshauge has been awarded several prizes for her work with various groups, including the Australian Physiotherapy Association and the Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease association.
In recognition of the quality of her supervision, Professor Refshauge has been awarded: the Faculty award in 2010, the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research Student Supervision in 2011; and a national award for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council in 2011.
Professor Refshauge holds several honorary research appointments, including Honorary Professor at the University of Cardiff and University of Malaya, and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Neuroscience Research Australia and at St Vincent’s Clinic, Sydney. She is a member of the editorial board of several international journals.
Professor Refshauge has made sustained contributions to numerous government and professional organizations, including membership of: the Board of Sports Medicine Australia, the NSW Population and Health Services Research Ethics committee, the Australian Physiotherapy Council, and the University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee.
Professor Refshauge is an internationally recognized leader in research in musculoskeletal injury, in particular sports injuries, back pain and neck pain. Professor Refshauge is often invited to present her work at international conferences - she has presented in all continents
Reg has been self employed for over 40 years, owning and operating businesses in the service industries, including pharmaceutical distribution, information management and self storage. He currently operates mini storage sites in the inner west and northern beaches.
In recent years he has been heavily involved in charitable organisations. He is Chairman of Melanoma Institute Australia, a director of the Mater Hospital Foundation, University of Sydney Poche Centre of Indigenous Health, Flinders University Centre of Indigenous Health and University of Melbourne Centre of Indigenous Eye Health.
Prior to that he was Deputy Chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art, director of the Art Gallery of NSW Foundation, The Mercy Foundation and the Ted Noffs Foundation.
Professor Tania Sorrell is Professor of Clinical Infectious Diseases and Director of the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, University of Sydney at Westmead, New South Wales; and the Director, Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity. She has had a longstanding clinical interest in mycology and infections in the immunocompromised host. Her research has focussed on the pathogenesis of fungal infections, new antifungal drug development, new diagnostics and clinical trials of antifungal diagnostic and treatment strategies. She has served on state and national advisory committees in Infectious Diseases and therapeutics and the Research and Human Ethics Committees of NHMRC..
Professor Jill White has been an academic for over 30 years in the areas of nursing, midwifery and education. Jill became Dean of Sydney Nursing School, at the University of Sydney, in 2008. Previous to this Jill was the Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at the University of Technology Sydney for 10 years.
Jill has provided strong leadership in the academic development of nursing and midwifery, including strategic planning in education, research and consultancy. She has been responsible for developing policy, implementing quality administrative and academic processes, and also for developing new, innovative graduate programs which are recognised both nationally and internationally.
Jill has held several prominent positions within Nursing and Midwifery. Currently she is Chairperson of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council.
Jill is a Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife and has a master's degree in Education and a PhD, titled The Commodification of Caring.
Jill is passionate about nursing and midwifery's contribution to improving health services and the experience of those in need of our care.
In 2011 Jill received an AM for the nursing and midwifery education programs she has helped design and implement, and her many contributions to government health committees and professional organisations.
Kylie Gwynne has twenty five years' practice, policy and management experience in health and human services. Kylie has a deep interest in innovative financing approaches for health and human services and improving the outcomes of human services' interventions. She specialises in translating policy and research into practice.
Poche key thinkers group
The Poche key thinkers group is to act as a policy voice for the Poche Centre. It meets three times a year and was formed to consider contemporary research and issues in Indigenous health.
Chair: Dr Tom Calma
Executive academic working group – research
The executive academic working group for research is to provide advice on development and implementation of the Poche Centre research strategy. It meets twice a year.
Chair: Kylie Gwynne
Poche clinicians/scholars exchange – clinical services
The clinicians/scholars exchange was formed to provide advice on opportunities, issues and challenges of providing health services. It meets twice a year.
Chair: Kylie Gwynne