Greg and Kay Poche acknowledged for philanthropic support

December 15 / 172

Chancellor Elizabeth Alexander, Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis, Dr Tom Calma, Professor Shaun Ewen with Greg and Kay Poche (seated).
Chancellor Elizabeth Alexander, Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis, Dr Tom Calma, Professor Shaun Ewen with Greg and Kay Poche (seated).

Philanthropists Greg Poche AO and Kay Van Norton Poche have been named as Fellow of the University of Melbourne in recognition of their extraordinary generosity and vision for improving Indigenous health throughout Australia.

The award of Fellow recognises exceptional contributions or service to the University, or to a community engaged with the University. The philanthropic leadership of Greg Poche and Kay Poche, and their ambitious vision for improving Indigenous health, stands as a model for all who are in a position to help others. This is only the second time the award has been made after Allan Myers was made a Fellow of the University in July this year.

Profoundly aware of their financial privilege, Greg and Kay Poche asked themselves what they could do to improve the lives of others and answered their own question with the establishment of five Poche Centres for Indigenous Health located in Universities across Australia. Each Poche Centre focuses on different priorities: oral, child and cardiac health (Sydney); mental health, child development and disability and chronic disease (Western Australia); building an Indigenous health workforce (Flinders); the health of urban Indigenous communities (Queensland); and clinical and academic leadership (Melbourne).

The Poches' strategy is to empower Indigenous Australia to reset its own course for the health of its communities by supporting and growing existing expertise. Their aim is to effect systemic change in Aboriginal health by using specialist knowledge and skills to introduce upstream interventions in clearly identified health determinants.

Under the leadership of its Director, Professor Shaun Ewen, the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health is providing support and opportunities for graduates and emerging or established leaders to grow their influence and networks; to mobilise an agenda for change through mentoring, strategic influence and partnerships; and to develop upstream interventions that build healthy Indigenous communities.

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