Dr Beimop Tapim
Dr Beimop Tapim graduates in Medicine
Another Torres Strait Islander has graduated from university, this time it’s Dr Beimop Justin Tapim from Mer Island.
Dr Tapim, from the Dauareb Tribe, completed six years of studying medicine at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales. He initially worked in the Navy as a medical sailor and worked his way up through the ranks, now holding the rank of Lieutenant medical officer.
“I was a medic for 10 years and I think my advanced medical courses equipped me with the discipline and knowledge to handle such a hectic degree.” However, it wasn’t only his naval experience but Dr Tapim’s spiritual upbringing which also played a major role in his commitment to studying. “A church pastor once told me that we all must mature in what God has given us; don’t just ‘rock-up’ or ‘make-do’ with what you have. “The analogy he used is quite clear; it’s when your parents give you your first pair of shoes, they give it to you with the intention of you growing out of it. “Like church, God gives us ample churches in order to expand its congregation. “I like to use this dialogue in many aspects of my life, the concept of progressing forward in a chosen area of your life.”
Dr Tapim was not much of a reader but had to find a way that would allow him to embrace the concept of reading many text books. “I created new ways to interpret what was provided in those thick text books so I used tools such as flow diagrams, pictures, group-work etc and eventually the information starts to sink in.”
Dr Tapim’s proud parents, Pam and Beimop Senior, travelled from Mer Island for his graduation in Newcastle. “I must thank my parents especially for their guidance in life. It is due to the discipline given to me that I’ve been able to cope with the many challenges of life. “I’m glad they made the trip and that mum sent my graduation pictures to all family members. “Thank you all for the congratulations, unfortunately, my phone wasn’t working during the week of my graduation so I couldn’t get back to everyone.”
Also, it’s unfortunate that a certain Mer Island elder wasn’t present because Dr Tapim clearly remembers his words of wisdom. “In the past, every trip I took to Mer my Ate (grandfather) the late James Koge Rice, always told me ‘take your dorge (work) seriously and it will take you and your family forward’ . “I wish he was around to see the result; he will be dearly missed and so would many of my family members who had passed away during my studying and graduation.”
When interviewed by the Torres News, the 33-year-old was working as a relief doctor, in the Newcastle region, which allows him to take two weeks leave as he and his fiancée, Emma, are expecting twins soon. Dr Tapim had wanted his degree certificate ceremony to be held on Thursday Island so more family members could attend, especially his grandmother, however, he was told it was too close to the date and couldn’t be done.