Country of birth: Singapore
Languages spoken: English, Mandarin
What initially attracted you to a career in community psychology?
The initial exposure to the fascinating facets of psychology during my undergraduate degree sparked off my interest in human cognition and behaviour. My subsequent foray into the field of child protection opened up my mind to the practical aspects of psychology where reality set in rather quickly to make me realize that humans do not exist in a vacuum and behaviour is inevitably a consequence of environment, context and circumstance.
I would like to think that community psychology embodies a holistic and broader approach within the helping profession, with a focus on working with marginalized populations and effecting meaningful changes to the lives of those in need. My belief system and passion for work in child welfare aligns with this school of thought and I’m honoured to be accepted and given the opportunity to develop a career in community psychology.
Where did you first learn about community psychology?
From the APS website and Community Psychology Australia website http://www.communitypsychologyaustralia.com.au
What led you to enrol in a higher degree in community psychology?
To gain a better knowledge on research-based practices as opposed to action-driven approaches in a psychological and/or social work setting. Also to develop and attain competence as a psychologist.
What are the most important things you have learnt from your community psychology training thus far?
The influence of politics and power in matters of social injustice and disadvantage.
Please list your academic qualifications.
Bachelor of Science (Psychology) – University of Sydney
Bachelor of Psychology (Graduate) – Curtin University of Technology
What other training or experiences have you had that helped you prepare for your higher degree in community psychology?
Work experiences in respective WA and NSW government child protection departments – first as a caseworker in the children-in-care team, and later in the recruitment, training and assessment of foster carers within the specialist out-of-home-care unit.
Please describe the community psychology placements you have completed so far, including the settings and your primary tasks.
Yet to commence placements. I would be seeking placement opportunities with child welfare agencies (as this is where my passion lies) and hopefully a clinical or counselling placement. I am also interested in gaining experience working with community programs specific to the Chinese population in reference to my own Chinese heritage.
Please describe the most valuable skills you have learnt from the placements you have completed so far.
Looking forward to placement experience!
In what other ways are you using your community psychology training?
It is still early days for me to comment unfortunately.
Please describe the research you are conducting for your higher degree thesis.
To be confirmed, hopefully in the area of resilience building in children and the role of the community in fostering children’s resilient attributes.
What other research interests do you have?
The impact of early childhood trauma experiences on personality and behaviour.
What advice would you offer someone who was considering a career in community psychology?
Check out the Community Psychology Australia website and possibly approach the friendly staff and past/present students at VU involved in Community Psychology.
Where do you see yourself working when you finish your higher degree in community psychology?
Ideally in mandatory child protection services or related work with children with a history of trauma and abuse.
Please list your professional memberships.
Non as yet. Will be seeking provisional registration with AHPRA for placement.