AIDA recently spoke to AIDA’s 2018 Associate Member of the Year, Gaye Doolan, a Pakana woman who grew up in Launceston, Tasmania, currently residing in Canberra.
Gaye has been repeatedly recognised for her contributions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. In 2017 she was awarded the ACT Health Reconciliation Recognition Community Award in acknowledgement of her work as Coordinator of the Indigenous Health Stream and Student Engagement at the Australian National University (ANU) Medical School. Her work focussed on encouraging and supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to consider a career in medicine, and supporting them throughout their studies. The ANU Indigenous Health Stream also won the ANU Award for a Program that Enhances Learning in 2015, for its role in providing experiential learning, mentoring and leadership training in Indigenous health to students at the ANU Medical School. That same year Gaye was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Education, and in 2013, she was named one of ANU’s Inspiring Women in an inaugural publication showcasing 24 profiles across the University.
As Indigenous Project Officer in the School of General Practice, Rural and Indigenous Health at the ANU Medical School, Gaye has contributed significantly to devising and implementing strategies and programs to increase the participation rate of Indigenous students. According to Gaye’s colleague, Ian Martin, a key feature of these programs was Gaye’s mentorship of Indigenous students, through which she offered important personal support and encouragement to prospective students and their families.
Gaye retired at the end of 2017, and now undertakes consultancy work as well as making the most of spending time with her many grandchildren. With seven living within 10 minutes of her, she says a day in her life usually means some involvement with one or more of them!
When asked what she hoped to see or achieve in her future, Gaye told us that her hope was to see continued growth in producing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander doctors.
Gaye also expressed her desire to attend the 2018 AIDA Conference in Perth in September, particularly in order to see the latest graduates receive recognition for their achievements, and to see who this year’s AIDA Award winners are.