AFLW, Premiership Player, Doctor & Head Registrar
Dr Tiarna Ernst was born and raised in a remote indigenous community in Far North Queensland. She attended James Cook University in Townsville Queensland, studying a Bachelor of Medicine, a Bachelor of Surgery, and graduating with First Class Honours in 2011. Tiarna completed a medical internship and residency in Queensland, before moving to Victoria in 2014 to pursue her career and sporting dreams. She was accepted into the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology as an accredited trainee in 2015 and she has now successfully completed the required 6 years of specialty training.
While working as an Obstetrics & Gynaecology registrar at Monash Health, Tiarna has also balanced the demands of being an elite athlete. She was drafted to the Western Bulldogs in the inaugural AFL Women’s Competition and played every game in the 2017 & 2018 seasons. She finished 5th in the Best & Fairest for the Western Bulldogs Women’s team in 2017 and was a member of the Premiership winning team for 2018.
Re-signing on for the Western Bulldogs for the 2019 season, Tiarna continued to apply a remarkable balance and capacity to succeed both on the field within the AFLW and also professionally within the medical workforce. Her leadership and aptitude for success have been recognised by multiple industry awards including being a finalist in the Victorian Government Young and Emerging Leaders program and winning the AFL Players Association Training and Education Award.
Working within the medical industry that is currently struggling with medical professional welfare, burnout, and a mental health epidemic, she is committed to her higher purpose of influencing, inspiring, and mentoring her colleagues to reach their full potential.