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The Trailblazer Series |
Dr Nikki Stamp

Fascinated by the human body and concept of healing since childhood, our latest Trailblazer is one of only eleven female cardiothoracic surgeons in Australia. On a mission to transform her industry from the ground up, Dr Nikki Stamp is an ardent advocate for women's health and gender equality, taking a powerful stance by using her voice and position to incite change and inspire future generations.

 

A frequent media contributor, presenter and author of two books, meet the Trailblazer here and discover why she's so passionate about these causes so close to her heart.

Dr Nikki Stamp wears the Rebellion Lace Midi Dress

As an Australian cardiothoracic surgeon who inspires and educates Australian women – how or when did you come to your life’s purpose?

 

As a kid, I was always fascinated by the human body and was really drawn to fixing it, understanding it and healing the person too. I don’t really know where exactly that fascination came from! Beyond that though, I cannot sit around and not try and make some positive change around me. If I see something that can be better or isn’t right, I need to be a part of that change and I think that’s a big driver behind what I do.

 

With such noble and rewarding work, how do you navigate such significant responsibility in the day to day? Do you have practices or rituals you abide by to remain centred and balanced?

 

Don’t get wrong, I never take for granted the gravity of what I do, or that a ‘normal’ day at work for me is someone’s hugest day but I think I turn up, every day, to do the absolute best for someone. As if they were my own family. And part of that is remaining objective when I need to be but at other times it means being vulnerable with other people. And I think it’s that later part – not being afraid to be emotional at work or about my work and keeping in mind how privileged I am to have people’s trust, is what brings balance.

 

As a champion for women inclusion, equality and diversity – has there been a key thread in your teachings or learnings which continues to come up when speaking to women privately or publicly?

 

I’m always shocked at the way some women have heard that certain pathways in life are off limits on the basis of being a woman. This isn’t impostor syndrome; these are messages that are still explicitly or implicitly communicated, and I just find that so unacceptable in today’s day and age. If I had to say one thing to girls and women everywhere, it would be that your gender is not a reason why you can’t pursue your dreams and goals and messages to the contrary, are simply untrue.

 

 

Is there someone, a mentor perhaps who has made an impact to your career or life?

 

I know it probably sounds trite, but my parents have probably had the biggest impact in my career and my life. They taught me to work hard, to push through adversity and they gave up so much so that my brother and I could get the best possible education. Those base level lessons are just so vital.

 

As women in today’s modern world, how can we become better informed and aware of our personal wellness and health?

 

This is a brilliant question! I could probably talk for hours on women’s health and their knowledge and how to get the best out of health care – it’s a huge passion of mine. I think it’s important to know your body and by that I don’t just mean that level of intimacy about yourself and what’s normal and what isn’t but actually knowing how our bodies work, how they’re put together and how to take care of them. In addition to that, I want women to have access to accessible, accurate and understandable information because one thing that I think women are especially targeted for misinformation and there is nothing empowering about misinformation. We all deserve to be given the best quality education about ourselves because that is truly empowering and will lead to us asking better questions and seeking better answers because as women, we haven’t always got that when it comes to our bodies and our health.

 

As an author of two books, is there an inspiring piece of written work or something you are watching which provides you with optimism or inspiration?

 

At the moment, I’m reading ‘Natural’ by Alan Levinovitz which is so far, outstanding, but I’m sorry to say I’m making very slow progress. I’ve really been enjoying Nakkiah Lui & Miranda Tapsell’s new podcast, Debutaunte. It’s thought provoking, informative and very timely.

 

What’s next for you?

 

I’ve got a tonne of research on the go as part of my PhD, which is specifically focused on women having cardiac surgery and I’m excited (and nervous) about that. Outside of that and work, I’m not entirely sure at the moment but I can’t wait to see what opportunities pop up because life can always take us interesting and new places.

‘If I had to say one thing to girls and women everywhere, it would be that your gender is not a reason why you can’t pursue your dreams and goals and messages to the contrary, are simply untrue.’

Muse: Dr Nikki Stamp, self captured at home in Perth, Western Australia

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