New Poche Centre Director to drive Indigenous health improvements

With a focus on the powerful use of data to lift health and improve the lives of Indigenous Australians, Associate Professor Kalinda Griffiths (pictured) has accepted a role as the new Director of Poche SA+NT, Flinders University’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research Centre.

Professor Jonathan Craig, Vice President and Executive Dean of Flinders University’s College of Medicine and Public Health, says Associate Professor Griffiths will bring experience and rigour to the Centre.

‘An epidemiologist with an impressive pedigree as a Scientia Fellow at the Centre for Big Data Research at UNSW and honorary positions at the Menzies School of Health Research and University of Melbourne amongst her many appointments, Associate Professor Griffiths has more than 20 years’ experience in research health disparities affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

‘Associate Professor Griffiths will drive efforts to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through collaborative, holistic and community-driven approaches – underpinned by knowledge borne of research data.

‘It’s not enough to simply identify the issues and challenges; the evidence generated by research needs to then be applied in order to make a difference, and that’s where Associate Professor Griffiths’ skills and vision will prove transformative’.

‘Flinders University is deeply committed to the Northern Territory, with some 25 years of contributing to the health of Territorians including our highly successful Northern Territory Medical Program which is graduating doctors who truly understand the needs of Territory communities, including increasing numbers of indigenous graduates. The research and education mission of Poche SA + NT is a pivotal part of our Territory presence and is making important contributions to the health and wellbeing of communities – a mission that will continue to grow under Associate Professor Griffiths’ leadership” Professor Craig says.

Associate Professor Griffiths says she’s excited by the potential of Poche SA + NT to support collaborative change, hand in hand with community.

‘I am looking forward to taking the Poche SA+NT into its next iteration of supporting and building capabilities in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research and education across our corridor,’ Associate Professor Griffiths says.

‘There is still much to do in bridging the health gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people. Through building our partnerships and growing our own, the Centre will work to drive translational, excellent research in order to Close the Gap.

‘We will also put a spotlight on education and training pathways to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and staff, working to develop supportive and sustainable programs into the future.

“’It is an exciting time in the design and development of equitable systems and programs in health and medicine. I want the Poche SA+NT to be front and centre in these developments to drive equitable services and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across the South Australia and Northern Territory Corridor and beyond,’ Associate Professor Griffiths says.

The Poche SA + NT centre is focused on building healthy country, healthy communities, and health leaders throughout Australia’s central corridor, across the Northern Territory and South Australia.

Proudly founded through the generosity of philanthropists Greg Poche AO and Kay Van Norton Poche, Poche SA + NT reflects Flinders University’s commitment to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement and leadership, underpinning authentic Reconciliation.

Associate Professor Griffiths will commence at Poche SA + NT on 1 April 2023.

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