Scott Winch joins the Sax Institute as Director, Aboriginal Health

The Sax Institute welcomes Dr Scott Winch as Director, Aboriginal Health, to lead the Institute’s Aboriginal Health program as it broadens its scope.

Dr Winch, a proud Wiradjuri man, has nearly 30 years’ experience in Indigenous affairs at local, state and national levels. He has previously held leadership roles with the NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations, World Vision Australia, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, and the University of Wollongong.

Dr Winch says he’s delighted to work for an organisation with a strong commitment to collaborating with Aboriginal communities.

“The Sax Institute is looking to increase the diversity of its research, evaluation and policy contributions for Aboriginal communities and related stakeholders and it’s exciting to be leading this change for the organisation,” Dr Winch says.

The Sax Institute’s Aboriginal Health program has helped run SEARCH (The Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health) since 2008. SEARCH is owned and led by Aboriginal people and followed 1600 children and their families for 15 years to provide important information on children’s health issues such as hearing and speech development. In recent years, our Aboriginal Health program has helped deliver research and evaluation that addresses ageing, cancer care, food insecurity and breastfeeding.

Dr Winch comes to the Institute from his role as Director of Indigenous Data Sovereignty at the NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations, and he is committed to Aboriginal data sovereignty being a pillar of the Institute’s work.  

“Aboriginal data sovereignty is the right of Aboriginal communities to have ownership and control over information which is about them,” Dr Winch says. “Communities create structures to support the oversight of data across the data cycle from creating the measures, the collection, storage, interpretation and use of the data. This supports the aspirations of Aboriginal communities in their efforts in nation rebuilding.”

The Institute will also continue to co-design projects with Aboriginal communities to ensure self-determination and cultural safety of our work. “As co-designers, our role is to provide technical expertise under the leadership and guidance of Aboriginal communities who are the experts in their communities’ needs,” Dr Winch says.

Dr Winch has a PhD in Aboriginal Education, a Masters of Applied Epidemiology and a Graduate Diploma in Health Services Management. His research has included health systems, health behaviour, cardiac care, cancer care, infectious diseases and education for Aboriginal people as well as Aboriginal representation in administrative health data.