The afternoon commenced with a music performance by one of our volunteers Chelsea Witham, who, in addition to completing her studies in psychology at the University of Sydney, is a flautist with the Australian Youth Orchestra. We are incredibly lucky to have a group of motivated, talented volunteers who provide invaluable support for our projects. You can learn more about our past and current volunteers here.
One of the mandates of the BSU is connection and collaboration with other research groups. In this spirit, we were lucky enough to have four esteemed speakers discuss their research with us:
- Dr Rose Cantali, clinical psychologist, presented her PhD project which examined ways to foster the school engagement of minority youths, in particular, young Muslim men. Dr Cantali explained that schools need to target not only student engagement, but the engagement of parents in supporting their children.
- We were then lucky enough to be joined by Ms Janine (Neen) Weir, a long time adoption/orphan advocate who currently leads ‘Super Kids Global’, an educational outreach program to support children who are HIV positive. Sadly, the stigma associated with the disease can interfere with adoption processes of HIV positive children. Super Kids Global uses education, outreach and documentary to save and improve lives. It aims to increase awareness that, with medication, HIV is simply another manageable chronic disease.
- Next, Mr Adam Johns, clinical psychologist from Child and Family East (CAFE) at the Sydney Children’s Hospital, presented fascinating research concerning the attachment styles of children who present with severe behavioural disturbances, including Conduct Disorder. Mr Johns explained how a child’s drawings of their family can be used to complement other assessments of attachment.
research that we could all try to replicate”
- Finally, Professor Stephen Touyz, whose impressive appointments are not limited to Professor of Clinical Psychology and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Sydney, presented “ Food, Fashion and Facebook: Unravelling the Enigma of Eating Disorders”. Professor Touyz provided us with a fascinating overview of the history of Anorexia Nervosa, and gave us insight into the latest neuroimaging research helping clinicians to develop better treatments for the disorder.
The afternoon was a great success. We thank our wonderful speakers and all those who were involved in organising the event.
The BSU is proudly supported by the Kids with Cancer Foundation.