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Marie Joan Winch Marie Joan Winch i(A108651 works by) (birth name: Joan Heath) (a.k.a. Joan, Dr. Winch; Joan (AM) Winch)
Born: Established: 1935 Perth, Western Australia, ;
Gender: Female
Heritage: Aboriginal Noongar / Nyoongar / Nyoongah / Nyungar / Nyungah/Noonygar ; Martujarra ; Aboriginal
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Winch's mother Lillian Wongawol was taken from Lakeway Wiluna in 1906 at the age of two and brought up at Moore River Native Settlement. Her father, Phillip Heath, was a Noongar man from Bremmer Bay. Winch grew up with her two brothers in the Fremantle area. She married twice; once in 1956 which resulted in her only child Lillian (now deceased) and again in 1964. Winch worked at Sister Kate's Children's Home as a house mother and then later as a cook. After leaving there she began work at St Joseph's Hospital where she remained for seven years.

In 1974, Winch was accepted for entrance into WAIT (Curtin University) and completed her studies as a Triple Certified Nurse, and began work experience in several of Perth's major metropolitan hospitals. In 1978 Winch graduated from Ngala with a diploma in Applied Science and began work as a Community Nurse at the Perth Aboriginal Medical Service (PAMS) where the Health Workers Program evolved and later the Aboriginal Health Workers Program. Following this, Winch was given the chance to study under Fred Hollows through the University of NSW in 1987 and in 1989 she completed a Bachelor of Applied Science at Curtin University. Winch continued her studies in 1994 at James Cook University and gained a Masters in Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Winch was appointed relief Head of the Aboriginal Centre at Curtin University from 1999-2001 and the following year was bestowed with an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Western Australia. Curtin University also appointed Winch as a Fellow and in 2002 conferred her Adjunct Professorship and Patron of the Centre for Aboriginal Studies.

Joan Winch has received numerous awards for her service to the community and for her work in the health field. The awards have included the 1985 Citizen of the Year Western Australia, 1987 State Pioneer Award, National and State Aboriginal of the Year, Sasakawa Health prize for Primary Health Care-World Health Organization, 1988 Runner up for BHP Awards for Pursuit of Excellence, National Woman of the Year and recognition from Zonta International. Other awards include the Ghandi King Ikeda Peace Award from Morehouse College USA and in 2005, the medal for contributing to the enhancement of Aboriginal society from Soko University, Japan. In 2006 Winch received the Indigenous Higher Education Elders Award.

She has spent seven years on the Parole Board, served as Chairperson and advisory member for the Marr Mooditj Foundation, Curtin University and has presented many Cultural Awareness workshops for Kallip Inc. Joan Winch is a highly respected member of both the Indigenous and non Indigenous community and has been a well-known keynote speaker for many conferences in Australia and overseas.

In 2009, part of Winch's life story was featured in the National Museum of Australia's exhibition From Little Things Big Things Grow: Fighting For Indigenous Rights 1920-1970.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2001 Centenary Medal For service to the Aboriginal community through health care.
1989 Order of Australia Member of the Order of Australia (AM) For service to the Aboriginal community, particularly in the field of health.
1987 National NAIDOC Awards Aboriginal of the Year
Last amended 4 Jul 2017 09:45:26
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