Indigenous Health is not usually synonymous with good news, but a reception at UWA this week showed that generosity, collaboration and research is a winning formula in promoting Healthy Minds and Healthy Lives for Indigenous peoples in Australia.
At the Welcome Reception and Celebration for the UWA Poche Centre of Indigenous Health on Monday, Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson welcomed Mrs Kay van Norton Poche, Mr Reg Richardson, Dr Tom Calma AO, key stakeholders and Poche directors and researchers from five Australian universities who were in Perth this week for a two-day national network meeting of Poche centres.
The Vice Chancellor told guests that Mr Greg Poche’s generosity not only gave UWA the opportunity to undertake research in the area of Indigenous health but also gave a greater gift to the future lives of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Reporting concerning statistics in chronic disease, mental health and Aboriginal children’s health he embraced the hope of bringing positive change to many Aboriginal communities and people in Western Australian and nationally.
Guests were also treated to moving speeches by Mr Ken Wyatt AM MP, 5th year medical student Vinka Barunga and Mrs Kay van Norton Poche who proved that generosity also comes from within as she thanked her guests for their work in helping close the gap in life expectancy and achieving health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Professor Jill Milroy, Executive Director of the Poche Centre at UWA and Dean of School of Indigenous Studies, said: ‘We are very fortunate to have some of the country’s best researchers working with us in this priority area. These two days of research, governance and networking with other Poche centres will inform strategies for a positive future for Indigenous communities and peoples.’
Sabrina Swift (UWA School of Indigenous Studies) (+61 8) 6488 7647