With a Bachelor of Medical Science from the ANU, Erani Fernando is an advocate for the next generation. "Teach young girls their worth - Be a role model to the younger generation. Remind women in your life that they are strong, independent, capable, and deserving of the same respect as men. Encourage women to speak up and take leadership. Most importantly, teach young women that they are more than their appearance: praise them for their strength, leadership, intelligence, creativity, sense of humour, athleticism and many other qualities beyond their appearance."
Erani had an interest in studying at the ANU after hearing great things about the university from friends and schoolteachers. People spoke about ANU in a very positive manner, and having a great experience, and this influenced Erani to undertake her studies at the ANU. "ANU is a host to world-leading academics and researchers and I was genuinely so excited to learn from them."
Erani reflects that the best thing about studying medical science at the ANU was the opportunity to delve into learning about many different subjects. From chemistry, immunology, biochemistry, microbiology, anatomy, genetics, parasitology, cellular to sensory neuroscience, Erani enjoyed the breadth of subjects available at the ANU.
One of Erani's favourite memories from ANU is the teaching approach of one of the chemistry lecturers. "He was a great teacher and very passionate about what he taught. We got the added bonus of him ending each lecture with a dad joke."
Erani went on to study a Master of Physiotherapy and became a physiotherapist at a private practice. "I have loved problem solving, clinical reasoning, and communicating with patients daily. I have felt so blessed to be able to be part of someone's rehabilitation and it has been inspiring and rewarding to see my patients get better from their conditions."
Over the next two years, Erani has decided to take a break from clinical work to be part of the Digital Health Record Program. "It is the largest health ICT investment in ACT Government's history which will transform the way health care is provided in ACT public health services. I will be working as a Digital Health Record Analyst and I am so excited to be part of a massive project that is going to help improve ACT health for the better."
A career highlight for Erani has been working as a physiotherapist. "It is a great feeling to know that you have made a difference in someone's life by helping them walk with less pain, help manage their lower back pain or help them rehabilitate after a major accident. I have gained pearls of wisdom by talking and meeting people from all stages of life. My favourite has been talking about gardening tips."
Erani's most significant role model is her mum. "My mum is a doctor and it is been incredible to watch her work hard to save people's life. She is a wonderful mother, wife, and a grandmother. She beat breast cancer in 2020. She is total a boss lady."
With a strong sense of community in her field, Erani believes in the power of women supporting women. "I had the privilege to work with strong, independent women when I was working as a physiotherapist at a private practice and now at ACT Health. It is so great to see so many women of different backgrounds being part of the health industry."
In the next few years, Erani aspires to continue to work in health, where she can inform the future of the industry. "I would love to do this alongside raising a family and one of my fitness goals is to run a marathon."