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Our people 

The Poche Centre is a working collaboration with the University’s School of Indigenous Studies, Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health, and Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

  • Professor Jill Milroy

    Jill Milroy headshot

    Professor Jill Milroy is a Palyku woman whose country is in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. She is Dean of the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia and has more than 30 years experience in Indigenous higher education, which has included serving on a number of national advisory bodies including three terms of appointments on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Advisory Council. In 2011 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of her services to Indigenous education.

  • Professor Dawn Bessarab

    Dawn Bessarab headshot

    Professor Dawn Bessarab is an Aboriginal woman of Bard (West Kimberley) and Yjindjarbandi (Pilbara) descent who is the Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health at the University of Western Australia.

    Dawn is engaged in research looking at interventions and collaborative approaches to addressing health issues affecting Aboriginal people. She is a highly regarded and experienced senior social worker and researcher who graduated with her PhD in 2007.

    Dawn is particularly interested in the application of Indigenous research methodologies, participatory action research and the translation of research into policy and practice.

    Dawn is a chief investigator on several NHMRC health grants and a Centre for Research Excellence in Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing at the Telethon Kids Institute. She is also a member of the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN) and has published and presented both individually and collaboratively on her work.

  • Professor Pat Dudgeon

    Pat Dudgeon headshot

    Professor Pat Dudgeon is from the Bardi people of the Kimberly area in Western Australia. She is a psychologist and research fellow at the School of Indigenous Studies at the University of Western Australia. Her area of research includes social and emotional wellbeing and suicide prevention.

    Amongst her many commitments, she is a Commissioner of the Australian National Mental Health Commission, on the executive board of the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association, and co-chair of the commonwealth Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Advisory Group.

    Pat is currently the project leader of the National Empowerment Project: a Indigenous suicide prevention project working with eleven Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the country. She has many publications in Indigenous mental health, in particular the Working Together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principals and Practice. She is actively involved with the Aboriginal community and has a commitment to social justice for Indigenous people.

  • Winthrop Professor Sandra Thompson

    Sandra Thompson headshot

    Winthrop Professor Sandra Thompson, Director of the Western Australian Centre for Rural Health (WACRH), has been engaged in many Aboriginal health issues including the growing problem of prevention and management of chronic diseases.

    Sandra believes this includes the need to recognise and address community trauma and depression as part of chronic disease care and to ensure high quality care is delivered to Aboriginal people at all health services.

    Sandra leads the Health Service Interventions for Better Prevention and Management of Chronic Disease for Aboriginal People area of UWA’s Poche Centre.

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