Our driving themes

Our themes inform how we implement our strategic objectives and goals.

The Melbourne Poche Centre uses placerelationships and futures as our driving themes for ensuring and to advance Indigenous peoples’ achievement in higher education and leadership in health.


Indigenous philosophies of place represent significant epistemological and ontological departures from those that have emerged from Western understandings.

An Indigenous ontology of place prioritises and centres the connectedness between place and its collective constituents that include humans, animals, the natural world – both living and non-living – and the spiritual world.

Indigenous peoples emerge from place and actively draw on the power of place, both physically and spiritually - to be Indigenous means to be ‘of place1’.

We draw on the power of place in our work, giving both ourselves and our stakeholders permission to be in place and culture while in the academy.


Relationships ‘are the spiritual and cultural foundations of Indigenous peoples2’.

Relationality refers to connectedness, a view of the world that underlines how no person or thing exists in isolation, because existence necessarily means being ‘in relationship’.

As a practice of responsibility to kin, our work privileges Indigenous relationality and its prescribed protocols.


Often referred to as time that is to come, future is a temporal element that, along with present and past, relates to the linear progression of time and spatial position.

Distinctly different is the Indigenous concept of futures which are defined using an Indigenous worldview. Indigenous futures refer to horizons of insight that support prosperous communities, they are references to ‘felt’ time that are multidimensional, circular and relationally positioned3.

We use an Indigenous concept of futures in our work to support Indigenous horizons and flourishing communities.


  1. Tuck, E. & McKenzie, M. (2014). Place in research: Theory, methodology, and methods. Routledge.
  2. Alfred, Taiaiake, and Jeff Corntassel. “Politics of identity - IX: Being Indigenous: Resurgences against Contemporary Colonialism.” Government and Opposition, vol. 40, no. 4, 2005, pp. 597–614. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/44483133
  3. Janca, A. & Bullen, C. (2003). The Aboriginal concept of time and its mental health implications. Australasian Psychiatry, 11(1), S40-S44. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1038–5282.2003.02009.x