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Associate Professor Anne Pedersen


Murdoch University, Western Australia




Country of birth: Australia
Ethnicity: White
Languages spoken: English

What initially attracted you to community psychology?
I was trained in social psychology, so I knew the importance of the social environment. But what I liked about community psychology was the explicit focus on social justice, the need for an acknowledgement of one's values, and the importance of social action.

Please describe your current position.
Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at Murdoch University.

What other work have you been involved in as a community psychologist?
I work with asylum seekers in detention and refugees. I am a Member of the Management Committee of ASCI (Asylum Seekers Christmas Island).

What tertiary training (if any) do you have in community psychology?

Please list your academic qualifications.
Honours in Psychology; PhD.

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.
I learned a lot from community psychologists in Western Australia: it was almost a case of osmosis. Working with detainees and the refugee community was also important, and seeing the relevance of community psychology principles to this work.

What are the most important things you learnt in the field (or in an academic setting) about community psychology?
Action, not simply words alone, is needed to achieve social justice. Also, there are times when we need to take the most ethical path rather than there being a completely ethical path.

What advice would you offer to someone contemplating a career in community psychology?
It involves a whole shift in perspective from mainstream Psychology, but I see it as a form of growth – both personally and professionally.

What are your research interests?
I am currently involved in research relating to prejudice against asylum seekers/refugees, Indigenous Australians, and Muslim Australians. I am particularly interested in applying such findings on a practical level.

Please add any other comments or information relevant to your work as a community psychologist.
Strictly speaking, I'm a mix between a community psychologist and a social psychologist. I still like my social psychology theories and methods, but always mix them with community psychology principles.

Please list any professional memberships.
Don't have any.