About the Centre
The Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, established in 2015, sits within the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne. The Centre’s aim is to support Indigenous leaders and provide advice across the board on Indigenous development.
Following a grant by philanthropists Mr Greg Poche AO and Ms Kay Van Norton Poche AO, funding for the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health was announced in late 2014. Launched in November that year, the Centre is located at the University of Melbourne and is a member of the Poche Indigenous Health Network, which consists of five centres at five universities across Australia.
Meet our staff
Professor Shaun Ewen, Director
Professor Ewen is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) at the University of Melbourne and Foundation Director of the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne. In his role as PVC Professor Ewen has responsibility for institutional policy, strategy and advice in relation to all aspects of Indigenous higher education.
As Foundation Director of the Melbourne Poche Centre he provides academic leadership to the Centre and maintains a strong sense of Indigenous leadership in the health and higher education sectors. Professor Ewen held the position of Associate Dean (Indigenous Development) from its inception in 2010 until his appointment to Pro Vice-Chancellor in 2017. In this role he was charged with progressing the Indigenous development agenda, in concert with the Reconciliation Action Plan, for the Faculty. He also provides the academic and Indigenous leadership for the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) project, a bi-national project of Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand.
Professor Ewen has a clinical background in physiotherapy and holds postgraduate qualifications in international relations and education. His area of research expertise relates to Indigenous health and health professional education.
Shawana Andrews, Associate Director
Shawana is a Palawa Trawlwoolway woman and is Associate Director of the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Melbourne.
Shawana has a long history working across Aboriginal communities in Victoria with 20 years experience working in Aboriginal health. Beginning as an Aboriginal hospital liaison officer, Shawana established a co-designed Koori mental health program, an Aboriginal child and family case management program and a comprehensive Aboriginal child outpatient clinic. Shawana has since held policy, project management and teaching roles across the health and higher education sectors.
Her current research interests include Indigenous health and mental health, Aboriginal women’s experiences of family violence and cultural revitalization. She is currently a CI for the Safer Families Centre of Research Excellence, a five-year program funded by the NHMRC to lead research into family violence and an AI for the Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future Study, funded by NHMRC and the Lowitja Institute, which is co-designing perinatal strategies for Aboriginal parents experiencing complex trauma.
Shawana is also undertaking a PhD titled: Cloaked in Strength – An exploration of Aboriginal mothers’ experiences of family violence and the role of cultural practice as a tool of engagement, resilience and resistance.
Warwick Padgham, Manager Indigenous Student Programs
Warwick (Taungurung), is the Manager Indigenous Student Programs at the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and is responsible for the recruitment and support of Indigenous PhD students within the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. Further to this, Warwick provides advice regarding Indigenous graduate development across the University and its partners, as well as working on projects and activities specific to Indigenous doctoral advancement nationally and globally.
Prior to his current role, Warwick was Project Officer for the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Network, predominantly working on the LIME Connection conferences
Jenn Johnston, Executive Assistant
Jenn Johnston oversees the administration for the Melbourne Poche Centre and provides executive support to the Director, Professor Shaun Ewen. Jenn has worked at the University of Melbourne for over 20 years in various centres and departments including the Department of Microbiology, and the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
Péta Phelan, Manager Alumni Development
Péta holds the position of Manager of Alumni Development with the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health. An allied health professional (Rehabilitation Counsellor), she has a key interest in trauma and psychological injury, and clinical and educational expertise in social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) particularly in the context of Indigenous health.
Previously she has worked as an academic (lecturer and clinical supervisor) at Flinders University, working in the Disability and Community Inclusion Unit (DCIU) within the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and served on the national board of the Rehabilitation Counselling Association of Australasia (RCAA). Born in East Melbourne, Péta has family connections to the Riverina region of New South Wales.
Odette Mazel, Senior Research Fellow
Odette is a Senior Research Fellow for the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health and a PhD student at the Melbourne Law School. Her research focuses on the rights of Indigenous peoples and LGBTIQ+ people and the cultural, social and legal avenues through which to pursue those rights. Her work draws upon a range of critical theories particularly those influenced by postcolonialism, feminism and queer theory. Odette was the Senior Research Fellow and Senior Program Manager of the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Network and prior to that worked as the Research Fellow and Manager of the Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements (ATNS) Project. Odette has also worked with Australian Government Solicitor in South Australia and holds a Master of Laws from The University of Melbourne and an honours degree in Law and Arts from Flinders University.
Members of the Strategic Advisory Committee
Professor Glenn Bowes
Chair of the Strategic Advisory Committee, Associate Dean (Advancement) Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences
University of Melbourne
Professor Papaarangi Reid
Tumuaki and Head of Department of Maori Health at the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand
University of Aukland
Professor Fiona Stanley AC
Founding Director and Patron, Telethon Kids Institute
Britt Walker has had a lengthy career in the public sector where she has worked with diverse stakeholder groups domestically and internationally to support and implement government programs. She is committed to human rights and social justice and is an advocate for philanthropic partnerships that bring tangible benefits.
The Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health is associated with a network of international centres, Departments and Institutes involved in Indigenous health research and student capacity development.