CQUni Knows Tanya

Get to know Tanya

My name is Tanya Orman and I completed a Bachelor of Arts at CQUniversity in 1997.

I am a Birri and Guugu Yimidhirr woman from North Queensland who was raised on Kanalu country in Central Queensland. I have a strong connection to my family and the ability to stay close to them was a major driving force for my university choice. I have always been passionate about stories, particularly those with little attention. I think it was hearing all the yarns my grandfather and nan would tell me, but it was also my observations of the world around me. I saw a lot of injustices but also a lot of love, a lot of contradictions and misconceptions. It was also my family who stirred my passion into international perspectives and experiences that led me to pursue storytelling to empower those without a voice.

To me, Rockhampton felt like home and an exciting place to be as a university student. The culture of the University was definitely an appeal, I was familiar with the University as I had visited my older sister and brother, and their friends who were attending CQUni at the time. By the time I began my degree, I felt like I belonged on the Rockhampton campus. The services on offer, namely the Indigenous Unit, made me feel supported and like I was at home. CQUni allowed me to meet likeminded people and create a great group of friends. The campus life was also great – there were so many events, functions and people to meet. I enjoyed connecting with students at the lectures and courses; being able to talk about what we were learning was great.

When selecting my degree, I wanted to explore a career in journalism and filmmaking. I wanted to know about the world, world affairs and how we fitted in. The media, communication and journalism coursework involved in the Bachelor of Arts really appealed to me the most.

Studying Arts at CQUni set me up for my career and assisted me in achieving my goals. I believe having a degree is a great way to get through doors. Obtaining practical media experience really contributed to my overall success. I loved working on the newspaper and getting to make radio and television stories. I was and am still immensely passionate about the power of media and its impact on national identity narrative and social justice. The course really made it clear to me that I could have a career in this industry. The three years went fast but really grew my confidence in paving a career in media.

CQUniversity positively impacted my life and contributed to my success. Media has changed a lot in the 20 years I have been working, however, I appreciate the foundation I had at CQUni – the theory of media ownership in Australia has been as useful as the practical experience.

In my degree, I majored in Communication, Media and Journalism which opened up career opportunities across a range of fields. I always thought I would be a journalist, filmmaker or a documentary maker, however, I find myself in probably the most creative (problem-solving) part of the business, and that’s management.

After graduation, I commenced my career immediately and have worked as a journalist and producer for ABC and SBS, bringing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories to a mainstream audience. My career highlights include receiving the National Drug and Alcohol Award for Excellence in Media Reporting for a series of reports on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

In 2007, I was invited to be one of the first Commissioning Editors for the new narrowcaster National Indigenous Television Ltd (NITV). Four years later, I became NITV’s Channel Manager and led the organisation’s transition into the SBS network, and launch as a free-to-air channel.

I was one of the youngest television executives in Australia and one of a handful of Aboriginal women in a leadership role in media. CQUniversity is proud to recognise me as the recipient of the 2018 Alumnus of the Year – Industry Excellence Award.

CQUniversity allowed me to achieve my goals and gain the position I am in today. My success is a direct result of my hard work and confidence gained from CQUniversity.