15 October 2020
Family businesses are the backbone of Australia. In rural and regional areas, such as the Bega Valley, there are many family businesses providing us with important support and services.
For Bega Valley locals, the surname Marshman is well known and respected. Dr Laura Marshman is the fourth generation of her family to provide medical care to Bega Valley residents.
“My great grandfather, Dr Eric Marshman worked in the Gipps Street Surgery in Bega during the 1930s and 40s, and his sons, Ray and Eric, also became doctors,” Laura explained.
“My grandfather, Dr Ray Marshman had a surgery in Auckland Street in the 1970s and 80s, working as a general surgeon.
“His son John, my father, has a practice in Bega and Tathra and his brother, my uncle, David is a cardiothoracic surgeon in Sydney.
Laura graduated from Sydney University in 2013; the fourth generation Marshman to graduate from the medical school there.
Having grown up in the Bega Valley, Laura always wanted to work and raise a family in the place she calls home. She moved back to Tathra in 2018 with her husband and two children.
“After graduating, I did some hospital work in Northern NSW, but I knew that once I started GP training, I wanted to be back home,” she said.
“And I thought how special it would be to be taught by and learn from my own dad about being a rural GP.
“Some of the patients I have been seeing over the last few months tell me their families have now been treated by four generations of Dr Marshmans- gallbladders removed by Eric, broken bones operated on by Ray, babies delivered by John and now some chronic disease management with me.”
Laura says it has been amazing to observe her dad working as a GP; a side of him she hadn't appreciated when she was growing up.
“To me, he had always just been Dad. Our relationship hasn't changed since he became my boss, but I have a new realisation of the commitment and care he has provided for his patients and the health of the community in general over the last 30 years.”
October is Small Business Month; the perfect time to recognise and celebrate the Shire’s small and family businesses.