Taryan, Suzanna

  • Suzanna Taryan known as Suzie

    Early years

    Suzie was born in 1946 in Budapest, Hungary, to parents whose family was devastated by the Holocaust.

    In 1956, following the Hungarian Revolution, she escaped with her parents from Stalinist communism  to Austria where they were in a refugee camp.

    New Zealand gave them safe refuge in 1957.

    Professional Journey

    Suzie completed University Entrance at Wellington East Girls’ College and went to Otago University in 1963. In that ‘Medical Intermediate’ year she was awarded a Prize for Chemistry by Otago University.

    Her 6th year in Medicine was at Auckland Hospital

    Qualified MBChB 1969

    Spent 2 years at Wellington Hospital as junior and senior house surgeon.

    1972 She came to Melbourne with the aim of training in Child Psychiatry.

    She spent two years as Psychiatric Registrar at the Alfred Hospital [several months rotation to Larundel] and then a year at Prince Henry’s Hospital.

    1975 Qualified FRACP and started as Registrar at The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) Department of Child Psychiatry.

    1977 obtained Certificate of Child Psychiatry

    She also trained and practiced in psychotherapy, being very interested in the development of the mind. She was a member of the Victorian Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and the Child Therapy Association of Victoria.

    She worked in a busy private practice from home, while having a family, but also continued consulting at RCH in the School Function Programme and in the Developmental Assessment Clinic.

    While consulting to the Craniofacial Surgical Unit she became very interested in how the child’s developing sense of self is related to the facial [and other] interactions with the parents, and what is in the parents’ minds. This led to becoming involved with the exciting “new” developments in Infant Psychiatry, particularly how the brain and mind of the baby develops through her relationships.

    Two other ‘new’ foci came into view that influenced her work; ‘Attachment’ and its classifications, and how relationship trauma affects the developing brain of the infant even when transmitted  transgenerationally.

    She went on a sabbatical to visit various Infancy Centres overseas and then set up and directed a pioneering Inpatient Unit in Melbourne. ..The Pathway Parent Infant Unit which focussed on the interaction between the infants and parents, with the understanding that this was influenced by what was in the mind of the parents and their family, past and present. The aim to prevent future psychopathology was always forefront. The Unit was recognised by the College for training in Child Psychiatry.


    Since retirement she continues to play competition tennis [section 2], paints watercolours and reads a lot, when not with the grandchildren. She is also very keen on live theatre and bridge.