One of Australia’s most successful businessmen and a major benefactor of Flinders University, Mr Greg Poche AO, is the winner of the Award for Outstanding Philanthropic Support of Higher Education 2010.
Presented to Mr Poche by the Business/Higher Education Round Table (B-HERT) at a ceremony last night in Melbourne, the award recognises commitment to higher education philanthropy and broadening support for Australia’s higher education sector.
Since 2005, Mr Poche has donated more than $60 million to Indigenous and non-Indigenous health initiatives in four major Australian universities.
The funds include $40 million to establish the Melanoma Institute of Australia with the University of Sydney; substantial funds to the University of Melbourne to support research and clinics in Indigenous eye health; and $10 million to the University of Sydney to establish the first Poche Centre for Indigenous Health.
Last year, Mr Poche made a $10 million endowment to Flinders University to establish two new Poche Centres, one in Adelaide, and another in Alice Springs in conjunction with Charles Darwin University.
Flinders Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Barber said the B-HERT Award was fitting recognition for a remarkable contribution to the work of the universities.
“Mr Poche is an inspiration to all Australians,” Professor Barber said.
“On behalf of my university colleagues, I can say Mr Poche’s donations have already led to substantial and sustained improvements in the capacity for education, training and research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and in the prevention, diagnosis and management of melanoma,” he said.
“His legacy through these donations will last long into the future.”
Mr Poche initially made his donations anonymously but later realised that speaking publicly about his own contributions and his motivation would inspire others to follow his lead.
“We congratulate Mr Poche on winning this award and thank him for the contribution he is making in supporting the work of our universities. It is a reflection of his extraordinary generosity of spirit,” Professor Barber said.