On the road again: Pollie Pedal 2011

1 April 2011

Associate Professor Ngiare Brown (left) with The Hon Tony Abbott at the launch of the 2011 Pollie Pedal.
Associate Professor Ngiare Brown (left) with The Hon Tony Abbott at the launch of the 2011 Pollie Pedal.

The 2011 Pollie Pedal is underway with politicians from both sides of the house leaving Canberra for a week on the road.

The bike ride will raise money to support the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, a centre within the Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney.

Departing from Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast this Saturday 2 April, the committed team of cyclists will journey through the NSW north coast and New England regions finishing their 1000 kilometre journey in Manly, just over a week later.

The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health Director, Associate Professor Ngiare Brown, says the Centre is delighted that Indigenous health will again be the beneficiary of the annual fundraising event.

"The money raised will be used to fund the Poche Centre's successful Specialist and Student Clinical Outreach Placements program, "says Brown.

"The program sends medical students to regional and remote communities in Western NSW and the Northern Territory. They spend either a couple of days on clinical outreach placements or anywhere between one week and six months in regional rural and remote areas better understanding Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal health," she said.

"We work closely with Aboriginal communities, community health services, and clinicians to help reduce health outcome disparities, particularly in the areas of vascular and chronic disease and peri natal health. We are also working closely with early childhood development and adolescent health practitioners and specialists."

Medical student, Priyanka Dixit, a participant in the program, says her visit this year to the Bourke region changed her view on rural medicine.

"In smaller communities you are able to see the change you can bring by using the skills you have been taught. You are able to build lasting relationships with a whole host of people and work as part of a greater team," says Dixit.

Pollie Pedal was started in 1998 by The Hon Tony Abbott and other politicians as a way to raise money for various charities. It also provides opportunities for politicians to meet and exchange views and ideas with various communities and local organisations.

Media enquiries: Victoria Hollick, 0401 711 361, 9351 2579,

Kath Kenny, 0478 303 173, 9351 1584,