Inaugural Tanderrum Visiting Scholars

In 2023, the Melbourne Poche Centre received inaugural Tanderrum Visiting Scholars, Andrea Martel and Stephanie McConkey from the University of Toronto.

“It was such an honour and privilege to be one of the first Tanderrum Visiting Scholars at the Melbourne Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at The University of Melbourne,” said 2023 Visiting Scholar, Stephanie McConkey.

Stephanie McConkey is Oneida nation, a member of Six Nations of the Grand River, and a Vanier-CGS scholar and third year Ph.D. student in Epidemiology at the University of Toronto.

“ninanaskimon, I am so grateful and thankful to have been given the Tanderrum Visiting Scholar opportunity,” said 2023 Visiting Scholar Andrea Martel.

Andrea is a nēhiyaw iskwew (Plains Cree) from Waterhen Lake First Nation, Saskatchewan, Canada and PhD Candidate in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

A collective experience

The Tanderrum Visiting Scholars program provides a scholarly and culturally safe environment in which Indigenous graduate and early career researchers can engage in research, collaboration and professional development.

“The program offers important opportunities to exchange ideas and share experiences globally,” said Poche Centre Director, Associate Professor Shawana Andrews.

“We aim to foster a collective experience and encourage two scholars from the same institution, to visit for the same time. This provides the opportunity to engage with greater confidence and return with a collective sense of experience.”

Visiting Scholars spend up to six weeks at the Centre on Narrm/Melbourne.

A well-balanced visit

“My visit was well balanced with time spent meeting and visiting various Indigenous scholars, students, and leaders as well as time dedicated to working independently on my PhD research,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie and Andrea presented their PhD research proposals to an interdisciplinary group of scholars during the visit. Visiting scholars are encouraged to share and develop their work, participate in events across the Faculty and University, and engage with Poche Centre programs.

“This was a great opportunity to network and learn about the similarities and differences between research being done in Canada and Australia, as well as learn how we could potentially work together and collaborate in the future,” said Stephanie.

Strengthening relationships and validating research

“I learned the importance of building and strengthening wâhkohtowin (kinship and relationships) to people and place,” said Andrea.

“Not only did I strengthen my network among Indigenous students, scholars and researchers across disciplines, I felt validated in the work we do with, by and beside community for the advancement of health and well-being outcomes for Indigenous people, nations, and communities worldwide.”

Establishing a rightful place

The Poche Centre aims to build local, national and international networks to support Indigenous health leadership, and establish ‘a rightful place’ in the academy for Indigenous intellect and scholarship.

“Overall, this was such a great experience, and I am so grateful for the knowledge and skills gained as well as the new connections I made as a Tanderrum Visiting Scholar. Yaw^ko (thank you) so much for the opportunity and support,” said Stephanie.

“I would greatly recommend this opportunity for other Indigenous scholars to continue to build, foster and strengthen our wâhkohtowin on an international level where we can share, learn and encourage each other in building our Indigenous learning bundles,” said Andrea.

Find out more about the Tanderrum Visiting Scholars program