I was always interested in human behaviour and why people do the things they do. So it was an easy decision for me to study psychology, but a disappointment to my debating teacher who felt I was best suited to study law. I wasn't sure of the particular area of psychology until my 3rd year of undergraduate study when I was first exposed to courses in clinical psychology and neuropsychology. These captivated me and upon finishing my degree I did some voluntary work in a rehabilitation setting to see if this was the area for me, and I haven't looked back. It led me to clinical training, after which I worked as a clinical psychologist/neuropsychologist in rehabilitation and then to PhD study in cognitive neuropsychology with a focus on memory.
Someone who has an inquisitive mind and is a systematic thinker, driven to find answers to important questions. It also helps if you can multi-task, deal with deadlines and have a supportive network of family and friends who understand that there are times when it is difficult to drag yourself away from the demands of work.
My work is driving me in two directions. The first focuses on the effects that identity loss and change have on cognitive integrity and well-being in ageing, dementia and brain injury. This has led to a range of survey and experimental intervention studies that have contributed to development of the social identity approach to health. The second focuses on the representation of memory and its rehabilitation, where I have a particular interest in the treatment of acquired memory disorders through instructive techniques and the underlying mechanisms that support learning with these methods.
I have just recently returned to Australia after living and working in the UK where I acquired a passion for country pubs, BBC drama, horse riding and mushy peas.