Rebecca Smyth, an Aboriginal postgraduate psychology student undertaking a Masters of Educational and Developmental Psychology at Queensland University of Technology, is the 2013 recipient of the APS Bendi Lango bursary. The APS bursary is funded through generous donations from APS members, who contributed more than $31,000 towards this year’s bursary.
The APS bursary was established in 2006 by the then APS President Amanda Gordon in acknowledgement of the disadvantage experienced by Indigenous Australians and to accelerate the growth in the numbers of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander psychologists, with funds initially raised from the Bendi Lango series of art exhibitions. This year’s recipient brings to seven the number of Indigenous students whose postgraduate psychology studies have been supported since then.
Members will again have the opportunity at this year’s membership renewal to make a tax-deductible donation to support Indigenous students in their pathways to careers in psychology.
Rebecca is a descendent of the Wiradjuri people of New South Wales. Since graduating with a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) from the University of Queensland in 2009, Rebecca has worked for community organisations that focus on social justice and social welfare. She has a very strong desire to return to working in the community with vulnerable and disadvantaged children and families, both in Australia and internationally, that do not have equitable access to psychologists. Rebecca has a personal vested interest in understanding the nature of intergenerational trauma resulting from Stolen Generations history, and in working to ameliorate this trauma in her generation and successive ones to come. After completing her postgraduate training in educational and developmental psychology, Rebecca wants to focus her career on the developmental, educational, learning and social challenges faced by children and families from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them strive for and achieve independence and autonomy, and to find meaning and contentment in their lives.