Brooke Skuse, an Aboriginal postgraduate psychology student undertaking a Master of Clinical Psychology at Griffith University, is the 2015 recipient of the APS Bendi Lango bursary. The APS bursary is funded through generous donations from APS members. A profile of Brooke is presented opposite.
Since the launch of the Bendi Lango initiative in 2006, eight Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students have been supported in their postgraduate psychology studies. At renewal time, and at any time online, members can make a tax-deductible donation to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander postgraduate students in their pathways to careers in psychology.
To find out more about the Bendi Lango initiative, including previous bursary recipients and how to make an online donation, please go to www.psychology.org.au/bendilango/.
Brooke is a descendent of the Gureng Gureng people from the Bundaberg area, Queensland, and recently completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) at Griffith University. For her Honours thesis, Brooke focused on the validity of the Five Factor Model in predicting personality and social outcomes within Indigenous Australians compared to a culturally sensitive measure that she developed. Following on from this, Brooke plans to undertake further research within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, focusing on personality factors that may influence the therapeutic alliance.
Brooke has a strong interest in people’s mental health and wellbeing and has spent time volunteering at a number of community organisations, where wellbeing is a focus. In her work with these organisations, Brooke has been actively involved in training and developing procedures to enhance cultural awareness with clients of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent.
After completing her training in clinical psychology, Brooke is determined to support her local community through working with both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the general population, assisting people from all walks of life to reach their optimal level of wellbeing. In addition, Brooke intends to advocate for the importance of incorporating working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients into university training programs. Through this advocacy, Brooke hopes to contribute to equipping future psychologists with the necessary skills to work with Indigenous clients with sensitivity and understanding, increasing the approachability and benefit of psychological services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples nationwide.