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Nuray Okcum


Country of birth: Australia

What initially attracted you to a career in community psychology?
I have always had a desire to help others. During my time as a volunteer with the Turkish community, Muslim community and the Sudanese community, I was able to see that I wanted to continue aiding different communities.

Where did you first learn about community psychology?
I first learnt about Community Psychology during my undergraduate studies at Victoria University.

What lead you to enrol in a higher degree in community psychology?
As I had experience with different communities and enjoyed studying psychology, I believed that I was suited to complete a higher degree in community psychology.

What are the most important things you have learnt from your community psychology training thus far?
I have learnt that the community plays a huge and highly significant role in an individual’s life and helps shape and form their identity.

Please list your academic qualifications.
Graduate Diploma in Psychology/Science – Victoria University
Bachelor of Science (Psychology) – Victoria University

What other training or experiences have you had that helped you prepare for your higher degree in community psychology?
I have volunteered at a variety of different community organisations and community events. In addition to this, I am a committee member at a local community organisation which aims to empower young Muslim women. As I have been in and out of a variety of different communities, I was able to compare and see both the differences and similarities between communities, cultures and religions which thereby allowed me a broader perspective on what community means to different individuals as well as the highly significant role the community plays in an individual’s life.

Please describe the research you are conducting for your higher degree thesis.
At the end of last year and beginning of this year I considered researching the impact media has on Australian Muslim Men and Women. Due to a change in interest, I am currently undecided on what topic I want to pursue.

What other research interest do you have?
Other research interests I have include domestic violence, rights for women, and prevention and promotion of mental health to different communities who may have a lack of knowledge. What advice would you offer someone who was considering a career in community psychology? Follow your heart’s desire. You only live once so you might as well do what makes you happy.

Where do you see yourself working when you finish your higher degree in community psychology?
As I stated before, I have an interest in the prevention and promotion of mental health, and also an interest for promoting rights for women and educating different communities on domestic violence, so I would want to see myself in that field.