Dr Tanya Schramm
My name is Dr Tanya Schramm I am a Palawa woman, mother of two amazing adult daughters, General Practitioner and Senior Lecturer of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health at the University of Tasmania. I completed my Medical degree at the University of Newcastle where my daughter is now studying her medical degree. I returned to Hobart to complete my General Practice training as a single mother of two and have continued to work clinically
as a GP mainly on Hobarts sunny Eastern Shore, where I am currently building a house with my husband of nearly 4 years.
I was raised 40 minutes outside of Hobart in the Derwent Valley in a large housing estate, and despite having a dream of becoming a doctor I was frequently told it was not for me maybe I should consider becoming a nurse.
I went to achieve my dream of being a doctor and enjoy working with families in clinical practice.
In April of 2018 I was given the opportunity to become an academic with the University of Tasmania developing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health curriculum and supporting our Aboriginal students through their
medical degrees. It has been great to be there to support our students on their journeys and watch them grow.
I am enthusiastic about my ability to help produce culturally responsive and safe doctors for our community in the future. I have always wanted to make a difference for my community from working clinically to now supporting the education of the future work force to make sure they are culturally safe and able to provide the care that is required to close the gap. To listen to their Aboriginal patients and learn from them, listen to their health priorities and work collaboratively to achieve better health outcomes. I want to make sure that our children grow up in happy healthy families surrounded by the love of their parents Aunties, Uncles and grandparents. It is a sad reality that our children have parents and grand parents who die too soon. My daughters lost their Wiradjuri father when he was just 35yrs old to a cardiac event.
I have just commenced full-time in my current role and I am currently working on two projects one around cultural safety for staff and students and another on communication skills in Aboriginal health. Last year saw the opening of the Aboriginal History wall within the School of Medicine , this was a huge under taking and will be digitalised soon. For too long we as Tasmania Aboriginal people have been denied our existence now our history and who we are today as a community is there on the wall for all to see, our existence can no longer be ignored.
Since commencing in my role with the University of Tasmania I have been involved with the LIME network , this has been important to me as a means of support in my current role , it supports not only my learning as an Aboriginal academic but also provides mentorship and understanding about what it is like to work an Aboriginal woman in Academia. The biggest highlight for me was attending my first LIME conference in Christchurch in November 2019, I have been inspired to challenge myself to do more than just the best I can do, and know that I have the support and mentorship of Indigenous Academics around the world.
If you have ever thought about a career in Medicine my advice is to embrace it, look at your options people like myself will be there to support you through your journey and celebrate your successes. If you have completed your degree or looking for change , consider being a medical educator you have the power to influence the future .