A Matter of Skin – Raising Skin Care Awareness

November 2016 / Old Flinderians / 22/11/2016

He is passionate about skin cancer prevention. Alexander Tedman is setting an example of dedication and commitment to the wellbeing of our community.

When did you graduate from Flinders and what are you doing now?

I graduated from Flinders in 2009, having completed 13 years from Prep to Year 12. I’m currently completing my intern year as a doctor at Ipswich Hospital.

Tell us about your interest in skin conditions and skin cancer:

One of the greatest risk factors for developing skin cancer, and especially melanoma, is excessive exposure to sun in early life – something common to many kids on the Sunshine Coast. Additionally, there is the common misconception that skin cancer is an ‘adult’ problem that only develops later in life (in fact, skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in young adults 15-29 years of age).

I grew up on the Sunshine Coast, and spent the majority of my free time in the sun – either at the beach or training in the Flinders pool as a swimmer. Like all kids growing up on the Coast, I was acutely aware of the sun-safety message, and tried to adhere to this as much as possible. Of course, I still had my fair share of sunburns.

Tell us about your skin cancer awareness project?

My aim is to increase awareness of skin cancer and melanoma as a relevant disease in young people by sharing my own experience, and also those of people close to me who have suffered melanoma at a young age. I also want to provide a simple framework to help young people ‘know their spots’ and when to seek further assessment.

Where do you hope to be in five or 10 years’ time?

I hope to be continuing work as a doctor in Queensland, although would love to spend some time working abroad or interstate.

How would you describe your time at Flinders and what were the highlights?

I have fond memories of my time at Flinders. The landscape of the school changed dramatically between my first day in 1996 and my last in 2009! I am very grateful for the role models I had at Flinders – my teachers, my swim coach, the senior staff and my peers. The opportunity to be a role model myself as School Captain in 2009 was also a highlight.

When you are not busy studying or working, what do you like to do and why?

I have a great passion for food (not fancy food, mostly hot chips). I have spent a large part of my free time as an adult trying different types of chips around Brisbane.

If you could meet and chat with anyone in the world, who would you pick and why?

I would love to meet Ian Thorpe. He remains a great role model not just for swimmers in how to approach their sport, but also in how to maintain humility while chasing big dreams. His life journey is inspiring.