Dr Julie van den Eynde
Co-ordinator, Master of Applied Psychology (Community Psychology) Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia.
Country of birth: Australia
Languages spoken: Australian
Employment History: Monash University, University of Queensland, Victoria University
What initially attracted you to community psychology?
Pure good luck!
I can clearly remember my dissapointment as an undergraduate psychology student, I found the traditional psychology subjects irrelevant, and I could not find any links between experimental psychology (e.g., Pavlov's dogs, Skinner's pigeons, Harlow's monkeys) and the events I was experiencing around me. My academic and personal journey began in earnest, after the first lecture in undergraduate Community Psychology at Monash University (thanks Arthur Veno!), and there was no way back for me. Community Psychology, and all the variations of community psychology, offer a philosophic understanding of us, as a people, in our social, political, economic and environment setting. I celebrate the break from the structures and rules of mainstream psychology. I embrace the notions of empowerment, respect for diversity, ecology – and I am often challenged by these concepts in my research and work setting.
Please describe your current position.
Academic and researcher at Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria
What tertiary training (if any) do you have in community psychology?
Undergraduate, Community Psychology Unit at Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
Fourth Year in Community Psychology at Victoria University, Victoria, Australia.
PhD in Community Psychology area, at Monash University, Victoria, Australia.
Please describe any other experiences (for example, mentors, professional development activities or further training) that helped you to prepare for a career in community psychology.
Mentors have been critical for me. I would strongly suggest to anyone who is relatively new to the area, to seek out mentors, or critical friends. Be brave though, seek out those people who will challenge you and extend your skills.
What are the most important things you learnt in the field (or in an academic setting) about community psychology?
Some of the most valuable lessons I have learnt is that I am still learning. I have learnt the lesson to sit quietly and listen. This is a result of road trips to Yarrabah Aboriginal Community (Queensland, Australia) organised by the APS College of Community Psychologist, and working with Outlaw Motorcycle Clubs (OMCs) for many years. To be immersed in cultures I have no previous contact with has been an invaluable lesson.
What are your research interests?
Rather than making a list of publications, I would prefer to list general areas I prefer to research. This includes under represented groups who are often at the mercy of powerful public institutions. Social justice issues. Investigating alternative forms of research methodology, data gathering and interpretation. And as a teaching academic in a university, I am engrossed in developing ways to deliver learning to students in a manner that is more accessible.
Please list any professional memberships.
I am not a good joiner.