We are proud of our alumni and the great work they are doing.

Here we present just a few examples of the many outstanding achievements of our alumni.

Jasmine Rijnbout

Graduated with a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours), then completed the combined Masters and PhD program, with a Masters in Organisational Psychology, and a PhD in Organisational and Social Psychology

Jasmine RijnboutI thought I would be a researcher, as I was focused on social psychology almost from the beginning of undergrad. But doing the combined Masters/PhD allowed me to experience consulting for the first time and I loved it. So, that’s where I’ve ended up.

I’ve had many roles since leaving UQ, and not always predictable ones. My first leadership position was Divisional Head of Employee Assistance Programs, which was an interesting mix of stakeholder and organisational engagement, and clinical and client focus. After that I was Chief Operations Officer for the firm where I now work, PsyCare Group, which gave me experience at inwards facing analysis and development. I’ve recently been appointed as the General Manager for our Leadership and Strategy Division, Consortia, which is another exciting new challenge! As GM my role involves everything from strategic planning, marketing, product development, and sales, to recruitment, team management, and financial and operational management of the division.

UQ gave me the opportunity to study under world-class researchers and to conduct my own innovative research. I received a grounding in critical thinking and encouragement to form my own ideas and find my own path. Together with exceptional lecturers I was prepared for the real world and future success.

Kasia Gordon

Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) followed by a Master of Organisational Psychology

Kasia GordonWithin hours of handing in my Masters thesis for Organisational Psychology I commenced work as a Psychologist / Job Capacity Assessor at Centrelink’s Fortitude Valley site. Not only was the work highly interesting but I gained skills, insights and friendships that I am very grateful for. I still regard my time at Centrelink as one of the most rounded learning experiences of my career.

I have since worked across the diverse field of organisational psychology in roles where I have actively developed the capability, cohesion and sustainability of professionals, workgroups, work sites and organisations. My consultant work has seen me travel extensively across Australia and abroad, performing effectively in high pressure, high risk environments.

I am now Director / Organisational Psychologist at Cause Effect Psychology, a hybrid organisational and counselling psychology practice that I set up in 2013. My weekly work schedule ranges across areas of leadership development, strategic HRM, change and culture projects, critical incident management and clinical counselling.

I feel that my studies at UQ ensured I was receiving a first-class education and exposure to professional opportunities and networks that still continue to support my career ventures.

Nicholas Lim

Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (psychology major)

Nicholas LimCurrently, I am the Director for Development, Education and Youth at Emergenetics International - Asia Pacific (EGI-A). I am also the Principal Psychologist of the company in Asia Pacific, headquartered in Singapore. My responsibilities include building the business in Asia Pacific, with a focus in Education and Youth; systemically educating individuals on how they can achieve mental wellness; designing and developing application tools, and giving youths, and those who work with them, the skills and strategies to help them gain success and happiness.

Since completing my degree at UQ, I have gone for many courses to upgrade my skill-sets and knowledge to become a Developmental Psychologist, including postgraduate study. I have worked in the social service sector for more than a decade. I started a mental health company for three years before selling it. I maintain a private practice seeing clients who need psychological interventions. I design and write programmes, give keynote speeches and speak at conferences. I consult and advise government on policies and programmes. I have led overseas expeditions, and much more!

The most valuable thing I took away from my studies at UQ Psychology was understanding why people behave the way they do! It intrigues me. In my first year at UQ, I recall discussing developmental theories about how, as an adult, our behaviours could be understood by looking at our early years of development. I thought it was really good because I learned a lot about myself. I am grateful for the times lecturers and tutors spent with me to help me understand and apply what I was learning. They do it so patiently. I am grateful also for the dedicated and professional team of lecturers at the School.

Just by being overseas and being in a reputed University like UQ, opened many doors for me, including entry into the Masters programme at one of our prestigious Universities in Singapore - the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. Additionally, the culture at UQ was one that was very inclusive. International students were very welcomed and the spirit of professionalism, quality education and unity in diversity were very strong. I still carry them with me today.

Theresa Scott

Graduated with a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) in 2006, a Graduate Certificate in Research Methods (Social Sciences), and a PhD in Psychology in 2012

Theresa ScottThe School of Psychology is very supportive of its higher degree students in terms of opportunities to expand your skill set and build confidence through collaboration, seminars, training workshops, and research work and teaching opportunities. These opportunities have been invaluable to me in establishing myself as an early career researcher.

At the completion of my PhD, I was research assistant in the Queensland Centre for Mothers and Babies, working on a rural and remote birthing project. I was then Research Manager in the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, managing a cross-institutional collaborative research project – a family counselling based dementia carer support program. Following this I was research officer on a project that examined simulated learning in nursing and midwifery curriculum for the school.

I am now an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow in UQ’s Faculty of Medicine. My fellowship research focuses on the social, economic, and cultural impacts and complex consequences of dementia and driving.

Jessica Fraser

Graduate, Master of Organisational Psychology

Jessica FraserFor a young girl who embarked on her journey as a prospective journalism student – uncertain about her options and career goals – I have come a long way. UQ has facilitated my journey and now I am exactly where I want to be in my career.

I graduated from the University of Queensland in 2012 with a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Hons) and a Master of Organisational Psychology. I am now a registered psychologist, practising as a Senior Consultant for an Organisational Psychology Consulting business in the western suburbs of Brisbane. I have now had experience working across a number of industries including healthcare, mining, local city council, higher education, rail, aviation, meat processing and commercial practices. My education at UQ equipped me with the tools I need to deliver on client needs in the areas of recruitment and selection, job design, team processes, change management, resilience and safety culture. I am so fortunate to have received my professional training at a School ranked in the world’s top 10!

UQ was a permanent fixture for eight years of my life, with experiences that include building a strong network of friends and professional connections, living at Emmanuel College, completing undergraduate and postgraduate studies, working as a Research Assistant and later working on a range of professional projects for the School of Psychology. UQ has played a very influential role in my life and I look forward to maintaining my connection as an Alumna in the years to come.

Nicole Hewlett

Graduated with a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)

Nicole HewlettFrom my time at UQ I took many valuable ideas and skills away, but the ability to critically analyse has translated to every role I have fulfilled – both personally and professionally. This simple but profound ability has not only been integral to my success in the roles I have undertaken thus far but also to the decisions I have made around my career path.

I am most grateful for the social psychology courses in my third and fourth years. I still recall studies spoken about all these years later. UQ is very fortunate to have prestigious lecturers in this space and I will forever value the opportunity to have been educated by them. It was in these lectures that I realised where my passions lie.

In my career, I have coordinated a project at Cancer Council Queensland which aimed to reduce smoking during pregnancy among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. I also tutor and lecture at QUT in Social Work and Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities courses.

I am currently a Project Manager at Menzies School of Health Research, where I am responsible for managing two projects: the National Indigenous Bowel Screening Project and the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Prevention and Health Promotion Resources Project.

Felicity Brown

Graduated with a PhD and a Masters (Clinical Psychology)

Felicity BrownA University of Queensland researcher is bound for Harvard, thanks to the Australian Government’s Endeavour Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship for 2015.

Clinical psychologist Dr Felicity Brown graduated with a PhD and Masters of Clinical Psychology in 2014. She has recently been working at the World Health Organization in Geneva, contributing to the development and evaluation of interventions for psychological distress and child development in low income and humanitarian contexts.

She is passionate about continuing to conduct research in cross-cultural psychology and global mental health, and her postdoctoral position at the Harvard School of Public Health will allow her to work with international expert Associate Professor Theresa Betancourt to explore psychological interventions for resettled refugee youth and families.

“Refugee mental health is an issue of ongoing global importance, so I am excited and honoured to have the privilege to take part in this programme,” Dr Brown said. “This gives me the opportunity to apply the skills I have learned at UQ in delivering and evaluating evidence-based family interventions, at the world leading Harvard University Research Program on Children and Global Adversity."

She hopes her project will lead to improved services, and psychological and social outcomes of refugee youth and families in the United States and Australia.

John Pickering

Graduate, Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)

John PickeringIn 2008 I started working as the personal assistant to Professor Matt Sanders – Founder of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program and Director of UQ’s Parenting and Family Support Centre. Triple P is a great example of a UQ success story, based in the School of Psychology, that is having a positive impact on millions of families around the world.

In 2015, UQ established a dedicated ‘Triple P Innovation Precinct’ to capitalise on almost 4 decades of research UQ has invested into this area. A focal point of the innovation precinct is for Triple P researchers to work alongside experts from different disciplines (such as engineering, marine biology, economics) to find solutions for some major global issues like poverty alleviation, food security, and protecting the coral reefs of the world.

I now Head the Triple P Innovation Precinct and help contribute to the goal of ensuring that UQ remains a world leader with evidence-based parenting and family research. My role sees me collaborating with leading institutions and researchers around the world, securing funding from philanthropists to support innovative research projects, enabling policy linkages with governments to help our work reach as many families as possible, and overseeing international conferences and events that bring together people who are committed to using the science of psychology to benefit people all around the world.

Jeanette Van Luyn

Completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science at UQ in 2009 and went on to the Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology), graduating in 2012

Jeanette Van LuynAs an undergraduate student Jeanette Van Luyn never imagined she would be working with older adults, yet eight years, a degree and a doctorate later and she is loving working as clinical psychologist at Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld).

Dr Van Luyn completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science at UQ in 2009 and went on to the Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Psychology), graduating in 2012.

Her role at Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) is very diverse and includes both research and clinical work.

When she’s not providing clinical support and advice to both family carers and staff of residential aged care facilities, Dr Van Luyn is conducting a research and development project to enhance Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld)’s capacity as an organisation to deliver sensitive and appropriate care to its culturally and linguistically diverse clients.

She also conducts education sessions about dementia care and stress management, as well as providing individual therapy for family carers.

“It’s hard not to be motivated and inspired by my job; every day I come into contact with some incredible people who dedicate their lives to caring for people with dementia,” she said.

“The respect I have for the enormous investment of time, effort, emotion and finances that carers put into their caring role is both inspirational and motivates me to provide support for these valuable members of society however I can.

“People with dementia, and other forms of cognitive impairment, are a vulnerable group in our community and need strong voices to advocate for their needs and quality of life, which is what I believe Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld) does an exceptional job at.”

Dr Van Luyn credits the education she received at The University of Queensland in securing her role at Alzheimer’s Australia (Qld).

“UQ provided me with the highest quality education and the best educators, mentors and opportunities to learn and develop my skills as a psychologist,” she said.

“The postgraduate program, although very challenging, provided me with incredible experiences to practice my skills in a range of clinical settings and to learn from highly experienced and effective therapists.

“The hard work was certainly worth it; a career in psychology is fascinating, challenging and enriching in so many ways, and the sense of satisfaction you gain from making a positive change in peoples’ lives cannot be overestimated.”

Emma Tarrant

Graduated with a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) in 2011

Emma TarrantI was extremely interested in performance psychology, so immediately after graduation I secured a job at a consultancy and research firm in Milton, Brisbane. I worked there as a research assistant, moving into the role of Project Manager. My job involved helping large corporate and healthcare clients research their organisational culture, presenting the results to the CEO and managerial board as well as guiding them through what their employee engagement results meant for their organisation. After doing this job for 2 years I decided to complete Certificates 3 and 4 in fitness and start my own fitness brand under the name of Emma Tarrant Fitness – with a goal to motivate, inspire and educate each and every one of my clients to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

My job involves training 60 clients per week through one-on-one PT sessions and running 3 boot camps (each with up to 50 people). I help my clients achieve results through one-on-one and group training sessions, food plans, training programs and motivational support and guidance.

My psychology degree has helped me immensely in my role as a personal trainer. A weight loss journey can be a very emotionally tough time in the lives of clients. My degree has equipped me with the skills to be able to motivate clients through the highs and lows of their journeys. I use tools such as goal-setting and motivational interviewing to assist clients in achieving their goals. I strongly believe that it is my psychology degree that sets me apart from many other personal trainers who may not have education or experience within the realm of performance or exercise psychology.

In the future I aim to expand my fitness brand and own my own Wellness and Nutrition studio. I would love to combine psychology, nutrition, and sports science to not only help individuals achieve their health and fitness goals, but to motivate, educate and inspire clients to live the healthiest life they can.

My advice to someone contemplating a degree in psychology at UQ is to think outside the box! Having a degree in psychology doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go on to become a clinical psychologist or researcher. Think about the skills you’ve learnt throughout your degree and apply them practically to your passion.

Martin Henrion

Completed a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology

Martin HenrionMy path to psychology was certainly not straight forward. I studied various types of engineering for 2.5 years before deciding it wasn’t for me, took a semester off then changed to a Bachelor of Science with a view to completing my honours in psychology. I made this change because I love people and have always been fascinated with what drives us to behave and interact in certain ways, so I thought if I’m going to start down a fresh path, I’m going to make it something I’m interested in on a personal level. I wasn’t certain where it would take me but I knew it was something I wanted to learn about.

I choose UQ to complete my degree because I was already a UQ student at the time so in part it was for ease, but I was also aware of UQ’s reputation as a world class university and wanted to hold on to that. Looking back now though neither of those reasons are what makes me glad that I did study psychology at UQ. I was pleased with my choice because of the quality of the teaching staff and course offerings, both of which were fantastic.

The course offerings were good and the content was engaging and well delivered by teaching staff who were very skilled in communicating their knowledge (and after my experiences in engineering, it was a most welcome change, haha), which made learning all the more enjoyable.

After completing my honours year I worked for about six months as a research assistant with my honours supervisor and another academic at the university. I knew that the money for the project I was working on would not last forever though so I continued to apply for other positions throughout that period. Eventually I came across a position at the Modelling, Data and Analysis Centre within the Department of Transport and Main Roads. My initial application was unsuccessful but I followed up with the listed contact to get feedback and express that I was eager and interested in other positions in her area. My persistence eventually paid off and I secured a position (albeit an entry level one, but with good prospects for progression) as a Research Support Officer.

My current role is within the same team (Planning Analysis) but now I’m a Senior Analytics Advisor. As you can probably guess from the title, I use a lot of what I learned in the statistics and research methodology courses; everything from basic survey design to principal component analysis, but in a transport / travel behaviour context. Although less explicit, I also often use some of the knowledge I gained from the various social psychology courses I took to offer perspectives/approaches on/to various projects and organisational challenges that others may not think or be aware of. And I’ve even picked up a few new tricks along the way!

I really enjoy the work that I do and am pleased with my decision to move into the corporate setting. Having said that though I think one day I would like to return to the world of psychology academia, do my PhD and move into teaching / research.

Sara Jones

Completed the Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) in 2007 followed by the Masters in Clinical Psychology

Sara JonesA passion for Indigenous mental health issues has fuelled the career of UQ Psychology graduate Sara Jones.

Ms Jones completed the UQ Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours in 2007 followed by the Masters in Clinical Psychology. She then completed one year of supervised practice to become a clinical psychologist so she could follow her dream of contributing back to the Indigenous community.

She currently works across the private and public sector, as a clinical psychologist at the Alcohol and Drug Assessment Unit at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital, in private practice, and as a supervisor for the UQ Psychology Clinic.

She also works as a researcher in the area of substance misuse through QUT.

“I always wanted to be a psychologist so that I could help people who were struggling with mental health issues,” she said.

“The Bachelor of Psychological Science offered a comprehensive range of subjects that went across many areas of mental health, and offered an outstanding quality of lecturers and convenors who had world class expertise in areas of Psychology.

“The solid grounding in empirical based interventions and theories across a varied area of issues laid a good starting block to give me the confidence to approach a variety of presentations in a focused manner."

Rachel Hannam

Graduated with a PhD in Organisational Psychology in 2006

Rachel HannamMy time at UQ honed my critical thinking skills, taught me how to write well, and showed me just how much psychological endurance I have (essential if writing a PhD!). Through my various prac placements and part-time jobs as tutor and sessional lecturer at UQ, I gained much more self-confidence in presenting myself before clients and groups.

Having my PhD has given me real confidence that I can achieve difficult long-term goals. It has taught me to think more flexibly and deeply about difficult issues, and taught me the patience and persistence that is required when tackling long-standing problems.

I currently run two small businesses, both with other professionals. The first is a private practice – North Brisbane Psychologists – which I co-founded in 2012 with Karen Nixon. We see adults and adolescents, couples and families with a range of issues, including depression, anxiety, phobias, addiction, relationship skills, return-to-work, and career support.

In 2013, I started Brisbane Workplace Mediations with trained mediators and coaches Ian Demack and Calvin Smith. We provide conflict management services and coaching. We have worked for government, corporate and community organisations around southeast Queensland.

 

 

Tabinda Basit

Graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (double major in Psychology), Honours in Psychology, Masters of Applied Psychology (Health)

Tabinda BasitThe scientific-practitioner basis of most of the UQ psychology curriculum has put me in really good stead in the working world. I find that compared to psychologists who have training from other universities or who have undertaken a 4+2 postgraduate pathway, I have a better ability to step back and take a “big picture” approach to interventions and evaluations, particularly in the public health field.

Since finishing up at UQ I have worked towards specialising in my field through supervision arrangements. I have been endorsed by AHPRA as a Health Psychologist, and I hold health college membership with the APS. I have presented at the Australian Pain Society annual conference as well as the APS College of Health Psychologists Conference.

I am lucky enough to be employed as a Health Psychologist by the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH). My position is with the Work It Out Program – a chronic disease rehabilitation and self-management program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. I develop and deliver group psycho-education around chronic disease adjustment and maintenance for groups of between six and 20 people. I work collaboratively within an inter-disciplinary team to make sure our clients are accessing the services required for their individual health needs. Additionally, my role allows me to work more closely with clients on a one-on-one basis. During my time at IUIH I have been proud to co-develop the first culturally responsive chronic pain management program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

Anna McAlister

Graduated with a Bachelor of Psychological Science in 2002 and a PhD in 2006

Anna McAlisterI want to say thank you to the School of Psychology at UQ, and especially Professor Slaughter, because she was one of my mentors during my time at UQ, and I have never properly thanked her or the School of Psychology for setting me on the path to success.

I now live and work in the US. I am on faculty in the Department of Advertising + Public Relations at Michigan State University. I have worked in three different departments (UQ Business School, University of Wisconsin - Madison's Department of Consumer Science, and now MSU's Department of Advertising + Public Relations) and, no matter where I go, I realise more and more that I received truly world-class training at UQ. I am especially grateful for the series of statistics and research methods courses that were offered in the School of Psychology at UQ during my undergraduate studies. The combination of such courses that were required for me to complete my undergraduate degree equipped me with skills above and beyond what many doctoral students take at other institutions. However, I was naive during my undergraduate years and truly had no idea that the skills I was developing would set me apart from my peers in future years.

During my doctoral studies at UQ, the School of Psychology covered costs for me to enroll in Education courses. I completed a Graduate Certificate in Education (Higher Education) in 2005 and, again, I am extremely grateful for this experience and training. I recently won a very prestigious award for teaching at MSU. I attribute this award to the training I received while completing the GCertEd. So I want to say THANK YOU to the School of Psychology for ensuring that training was available for doctoral students who were interested in teaching. I have won various best paper awards at conferences over the past few years and I know that it's my training in research design that makes this possible. So thank you!

If you are an alumnus of the UQ School of Psychology who would like to be featured here, please complete a featured alumni profile .