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The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health

Providing health services, research and policy engagement to improve the health of Indigenous people
We aim to help close the gap in life expectancy, seek solutions and achieve health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples facing complex health problems.

About us

The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Sydney was established and funded in 2008 by philanthropists Greg Poche AO, Kay Van Norton Poche and their friend Reg Richardson AM.

With the support from Commonwealth, State, philanthropic funds and a partnerships with Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations, we aim to: 

  • provide specialist health services and dental health services for Aboriginal people
  • build and support education and career pathways for Aboriginal people
  • develop opportunities for students and graduates to participate in Aboriginal health service delivery, and
  • develop and sustain collaborative co-designed research with evidence translated to practice wherever possible.

Since establishing the first Poche Centre at the University of Sydney, a network of centres has been created across the country with different areas of focus. The Poche Indigenous Health Network was created in Australia to make the most of the efforts and resources of the individual Poche Centres for Indigenous Health and to focus on issues best dealt with at a national level. There are presently Poche Centres 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 has been appointed Professor of Practice (Indigenous Engagement) in the Faculty of Medicine and Health at The University of Sydney to undertake this vital role.

 

Research highlights

1

Published over 80 papers in the peer reviewed literature. Our global AF paper published in Circulation has been cited 169 times. Leading global Indigenous AF project with five other countries. Seeking to add screening for AF to chronic disease checks for Aboriginal people over 45 years old as a result of our 16-site iECG study.

2

Shaping course design methods to improve Aboriginal students’ participation in TAFE – 505 qualifications (93% completion rate). 5 graduates of our TAFE program have gone to university and two have graduated from the University of Sydney.

3

Leading the development of a national approach to fluoride varnish. Enabled a change in the Fluoride Varnish guidelines of the Australian Dental Association and second national workshop in October 2020.

4

Invited presentation to Australian Genomics conference on co-design and Aboriginal precision medicine. Poche staff and partners have also presented at the Agency for Clinical Innovation (ACI) Aboriginal Chronic Conditions Conference in 2019. The Poche Centre is now leading the Indigenous engagement process for Mackenzie’s Mission with support from Australian Genomics.

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 poche.admin@sydney.edu.au.

To help fund and support the work we do, make a donation

Upcoming events

Key Thinkers Forum - Precision Medicine

What is Precision Medicine, will it benefit Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and what’s the next step?

Tue, 27 October 2020
9:30 AM – 12:00 PM AEDT
Register to attend this online event 

Precision medicine involves tailoring medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient, based on their genetic makeup. It is poised to transform rare disease and cancer management - in the populations where sufficient genomic data exists - to inform diagnosis and is the gold standard treatment of rare disease and cancers. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples cannot access precision medicine in the same way as other Australians because there is no Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander genomic data in the international database gnomAD. Aboriginal people have an average ten year shorter life expectancy than non-Aboriginal people. Access to the latest therapies is critical to closing the gap in health outcomes.

The esteemed panel will discuss and explore the potential benefits of genomic medicine, what is happening in Australia and internationally to engage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in genomic medicine and research and what role does government have to play to ensure all Australians can benefit equally from innovative medical interventions. Case studies will illustrate how to genuinely and respectfully engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to explain why precision medicine is important, how to collect and store samples and how people can become involved in genomics activities.

Panelists:

  • Professor Alex Brown
  • Azure Hermes
  • Greg Pratt
  • Tiffany Boughtwood

Facilitated by Professor Tom Calma AO

Director

Headshot of Boe Rambaldini
Poche Centre Sydney
Boe Rambaldini
Email

Contact us

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