So proud of my incredible sister Marta who traversed the globe to find out about our ancestry for the SBS show Who Do You Think You Are? The journey took her all the way back to the time of Napoleon. Turns out we are an interesting mix of innkeepers and medicos, and we come from Holland, Switzerland, Germany and Scotland. While I knew some of that, I did not see the Guinness Book of Records coming!
The episode aired on 14 May and can still be viewed at SBS On Demand.
Finding out about my long family history of doctors when I was 21 was the catalyst that launched me into the medical world. I was sort of lost before that. It is funny how connections to the past, to my grandfather who passed away when I was a child and to people I have never met, can give you a sense of belonging. Marta felt that too, when she uncovered our family roots.
I feel strongly connected to my ancestors after watching this story. They all showed resilience, care for others in their community, and a desire to make something of their lives, even striving to leave a legacy for future generations. While there are many fascinating stories on each branch of my family tree, finding out more about the medicos really spoke to me.
My maternal grandfather Dr Sandy Robertson was an amazing paediatrician who performed countless blood transfusions in children with leukaemia in the days when this had to be done by hand. I was only young when he passed away, but I now know he came from a long line of doctors, and in fact I’m the 5th generation to follow that profession, with only one generation skipping over it. I must applaud my great, great grandfather for being able to motivate 8 sons to all take up medicine! I hope I can similarly inspire my own sons to follow their passion, whether that be medicine or something completely different.