Vale Uncle Kevin Coombs OAM PLY
The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences mourns the passing of Uncle Kevin Coombs OAM PLY.
Uncle Kevin Coombs OAM PLY
Celebrated widely for his contributions to international and disability sport, Uncle Kevin was also a great advocate and leader in Aboriginal health. He founded the Victorian Department of Health’s Koorie Health Unit and landmark programs such as the Aboriginal Hospital Liaison Officer Program and the Koori Alcohol and Drug Program.
We remember with gratitude his patient and generous education of medical students, influencing generations of doctors to think differently about Aboriginal Health. He remained focused on achieving the best health outcomes for Aboriginal people even throughout the repatriation of the Murray Black collection. We are also grateful for his mentoring and leadership role in the establishment of both Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Research Unit and the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health. His ongoing contribution to these MDHS initiatives through his patronage and Board membership was significant. Uncle Kevin also served the University of Melbourne more broadly through his membership on the Traditional Owners and Elders Reference Group.
Uncle Kevin was a trailblazer in both sport and health and served his Aboriginal community with great compassion and distinction.
Our sympathy goes out to Uncle Kevin’s family at this sad time, as we remember and are thankful for his intellect, cultural leadership and teaching that has been foundational to our successful engagement with Indigenous communities.