Get to know...Teneale Lavender

Publication date
Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Before joining ANU…

I was Head Shepherd of a motley crew of animals – alpacas, horses, dogs, cats, chickens and a central bearded dragon plus two energetic little boys! Before becoming a fur/feather/scale/fleece mum, I ran the Indigenous Cadetship Program at Macquarie University, Department of Indigenous Strategy. A wonderful program that provided Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with paid employment in their area of study. We developed some very rewarding relationships with companies, government departments and not for profits. Some of my students have gone on to be employed by their Cadetship organisations and are achieving great things in their workplaces. Very proud!

My role is...

Associate Lecturer, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, ANU College of Health and Medicine

The top three things on my to do list today are...

  • finish marking essays on how a human rights approach enhances the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,
  • complete an article about the problematic use of ‘First Nations’ to describe Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia,
  • attend a lecture on racism and privilege and get home in time to pick up my sons from school then home for a quick pony ride with the boys around our property before dark!

When I'm not working, you'll find me...

spending time with my 7 horses. Learning about regenerative agriculture and building diversity in my soil. I am a veracious reader. I like to garden and grow vegetables for my family.

My ethnic/cultural heritage is...

Aboriginal and Irish. Both sides of my family hail from the South Coast of New South Wales and Southern Tablelands.

If I could live anywhere in the world for a year, it would be…

Corsica , an island off the south of France one of the most beautiful places I have visited. Pristine beaches and stunning mountain ranges. A very linguistically and culturally diverse community with French and Italian influences.

I’m looking forward to…..

seeing the next generation of health professionals head off into hospitals and communities armed with knowledge and cultural humility. Health care professionals who recognise that health does not operate in a silo and are armed with knowledge and understanding of social/cultural determinants of health to be able to holistically treat patients.

Something new I want to learn this year is….

how to introduce my young horses to saddle in a compassionate and horse centred way. No small feat!