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Poche Centre for Indigenous Health 

Healthy Minds - Healthy Lives

The Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at UWA brings together the University’s expertise, programs and resources in a strong collaborative partnership focused on a central theme for Aboriginal people and communities - Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives. The Centre aims to drive a transformative intergenerational Aboriginal health research agenda, which delivers tangible, measurable health outcomes and services directly to Aboriginal people and communities.

The establishment of the Poche Centre at UWA is made possible by an extraordinarily generous gift by leading Australian health philanthropist Greg Poche AO and his wife, Kaye van Norton Poche, and the dedicated work of Mr Reg Richardson AM. UWA’s Poche Centre joins a family of Poche Centres at the University of Sydney, Flinders University (Adelaide and Alice Springs) and the University of Melbourne.

Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives has three key focus areas:

  • Culture, Wellbeing and Mental Health
  • Aboriginal Children’s Health, Disability and Developmental Outcomes for Aboriginal Children
  • Prevention and Management of Chronic Disease for Aboriginal people.

Poche Centre Home - Bilya Marlee

Fully funded by UWA, Bilya Marlee is the visible embodiment of UWA’s strategic vision, celebrates Aboriginal Culture and provides culturally designed facilities and spaces for Indigenous staff, students and communities. The building and landscape was designed and positioned with the guidance of Whadjuk Noongar Elder Dr Richard Walley OAM, who is the Senior Cultural Advisor at UWA.

The design recognises the cultural significance of the site, the stories of the Whadjuk Noongar people, the local flora, fauna and the relationship with the river (Derbal Yerrigan). The gardens are insired by the Noongar six seasons, Birak, Bunuru, Djeran, Makuru, Djilba and Kambarang, with trees and plants selected to ensure year round coverage and vibrancy. The circular seating and grassed area at the front is a place to relax, and to gather for stories, learning and ceremony. It includes a ‘fire pit’ which has already been used for smoking ceremonies.

The colours of the Swan River (Derbal Yerrigan) from the bases of the colour palette and the Black Marlee (Swan) was an important reference for the internal colour scheme. This also provided a subject for Danjoo Kaartdijin (Learning Together), by Noongar artisit Sharyn Egan. The building design was inspired by the swan’s nest, a place of fertility, birth, parenting and teaching that offered a safe haven until and individual was ready to go out and create their own nest.

Get in touch

Co-located with the School of Indigenous Studies

School of Indigenous Studies
The University of Western Australia
Crawley, Perth Western Australia 6009
(+61 8) 6488 3248
(+61 8) 6488 7647
[email protected]
Office open Mon-Fri from 9am - 5pm
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