After acting in the role for over a year, Associate Professor Maree Meredith has this week been appointed Director of Poche SA+NT at Flinders University.
With nodes in Darwin, Alice Springs and Adelaide, Poche SA+NT is an Aboriginal-led centre focused on improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through collaborative, holistic and community-driven approaches.
Funded through the generosity of philanthropists Greg Poche AO and Kay Van Norton Poche AO, the centre recently celebrated its 10th Anniversary by unveiling a new advisory board and strategic direction.
Associate Professor Meredith’s appointment was welcomed by Professor Jonathan Craig, Vice President and Executive Dean of the College of Medicine and Public Health and co-chair of the Poche SA+NT Advisory Board.
“As acting director, Associate Professor Meredith has led Poche through a year of significant progress and I am delighted she has accepted the position of Director,” says Professor Craig.
“I look forward to working together on Poche’s new direction as we build new collaborations and commit to driving extensive change across communities in the Northern Territory and South Australia.”
Beginning her career at Flinders University in 2012 as both an academic and student, Associate Professor Meredith would later become the first PhD graduate of the Flinders Poche Centre for Indigenous Health (Alice Springs) in 2018.
Appointed Deputy Director of Poche SA+NT in August 2019, she stepped into the acting director role in June last year.
A Bidjara woman, Associate Professor Meredith’s PhD research looked at how Aboriginal art centres are critical to maintain and improve health and happiness in remote Indigenous communities, and how western health systems should embrace – and even learn from – the unique positive holistic health benefits and social networking created by remote art centres.
Associate Professor Meredith says being officially appointed as Poche’s director gives her the opportunity to give back to Flinders University and the wider community.
“It also demonstrates a commitment to growing grassroots leadership at Flinders as I was the first Poche PhD graduate and now as the Director, I can help to grow the next generation of leaders and scholars,” says Associate Professor Meredith.
“Importantly, it is also a clear example of new pathways being forged that are grounded in excellence, achievement and social vision.
“Under my leadership, the vision for Poche SA+NT is ambitious, including to grow 500 health leaders by 2025.”