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The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health

Research and policy to improve the health of First Nations peoples

Through excellence in research, the Poche Centre aims to close the gap in life expectancy and other health outcomes with First Nations people. 

About us

Our focus at the Poche Centre is on delivering world class research by working with First Nations communities, health care institutions and providers. In partnership we actively seek to achieve health equality and solutions to the complex health problems First Nations people face. 

We have worked together at the Poche Centre in NSW over a long period of time*.  Our donors are incredibly proud of this history and are particularly grateful to all organisations and volunteers with whom we have worked towards closing the gap in life expectancy and other health outcomes.

We are now transitioning to be one of Sydney University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health’s seven leading ‘flagship’ research centres. Flagship centres undertake world-leading research in order to address significant, long-term challenges. They focus on delivering outcomes through multiple research programs in their defined field aimed at delivering transformational change

Our relaunch and new focus, recognises the fact that as a fully focused research centre, the Poche Centre, in genuine partnership with empowered communities, is best placed to deliver world-class research that leads to transformational change in health care practice and policy.

In order to drive innovation in First Nations research, national health policy and practice, the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health Research is currently focused on:

  • Empowering First Nations communities by developing research capability as a real partnership between the university and the communities
  • Attracting and developing the best and brightest to work on the most critical health issues and long-term challenges facing First Nations people
  • Becoming the centrepiece for First Nations research and community engagement at the University of Sydney.

During transition we worked with NSW Health to ensure the smooth transition of all clinical services previously provided by the Poche Centre to appropriate health care institutions and providers.

These services still continue. For more information on services contact the following:





Cardiovascular (Healthy Hearts)

Dr Colin McClintock

Western NSW Local Health Department

Oral Health

Sheree Vickery

Senior Project Policy Officer, Aboriginal Oral Health Services, Centre for Oral Health Strategy, NSW Health

TAFE program      

Janet Wallace

Sydney Dental School

 More information will become available soon. 

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section is in development and will be available soon. 

*The University of Sydney Centre was originally established and funded in 2008 by philanthropists Greg Poche AO, Kay Van Norton Poche and their friend Reg Richardson AM – See more on our history here.


Poche Indigenous Health Network

Since its establishment, the national network of Poche Centres has honed the area of focus appropriate to each location to make sure specific local, remote, rural and regional issues are best dealt with.

The current Poche Centres are in Queensland (University of Queensland), Western Australia (University of Western Australia), South Australia/Northern Territory (Flinders University), New South Wales (University of Sydney), and Victoria (University of Melbourne).

Professor Tom Calma AO leads this network as its Chairperson and is also the Professor of Practice (Indigenous Engagement) in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at The University of Sydney to undertake this vital role.


Research highlights

Our global AF paper published in Circulation has been cited 169 times.

Our research team with collaborators from the National Centre for Indigenous Genomics has also had a paper published in the American Journal of Human Genetics on “Equitable Expanded Carrier Screening Needs Indigenous Clinical and Population Genomic Data”.

Shaping course design methods to improve Aboriginal students’ participation in TAFE – over 505 qualifications (93% completion rate).

5 graduates of our TAFE program have gone to university and two have graduated from the University of Sydney.

Enabled a change in the Fluoride Varnish guidelines of the Australian Dental Association and second national workshop in 2020.

This work was recently showcased by the Deeble Institute.

Our Professor of Practice (Indigenous Engagement) Professor Tom Calma AO was recently appointed as a member of the Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) by the Hon Greg Hunt MP Minister for Health and Aged Care.

The AMRAB advises the Government on research and innovation priorities under the landmark $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). Professor Calma AO is a key member of the Poche Centre’s Research team and leads our engagement work.

Get involved

We work in partnership with communities and existing health and other services to promote sustainability and the development of solutions that work.

To get involved, email

Past events

Poche Indigenous Health Network 10th Annual Research Showcase

17-18 November 2021

The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Sydney on behalf of the Poche Indigenous Health Network, hosted the 10th Annual Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Research Showcase 17-18th November, 2021.

The online event, chaired by Professor Tom Calma AO, brought together an array of researchers, scholars and community collaborators to share experiences and findings from some of the great initiatives happening in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health research from across NSW and Australia.

Contact us

  • Poche Indigenous Health Network, Edward Ford Building (A27), University of Sydney NSW 2006