The APS confers a range of awards and prizes each year to honour outstanding achievements in psychology. The recipients of the 2014 APS awards are profiled below.

President’s Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychology in Australia

The Award recognises distinguished contributions to Australian psychology by psychologists at later career stage.

Trang Thomas AM

Emeritus Professor Trang Thomas FAPS holds this appointment at RMIT University, where she has worked since 1975. In 1991 she was the first woman to be appointed full professor at RMIT. One of Trang’s first roles with the APS was as Victorian State Coordinator of the APS Women and Psychology Interest Group in 1981, when her long and distinguished service to the APS began. This includes roles such as APS Director on the Board for an unprecedented 10 years. Trang’s work to establish the APS international study tours program has benefited many members, helping them discover how their colleagues around the world offer professional services. Trang was also Co-Chair of the joint conference of the APS and the New Zealand Psychological Society in 2006.

Trang has a wide range of academic interests, including ageing, counselling, education and development, multiculturalism and community psychology. As a researcher, she has been awarded grants from a number of sources and has a large number of publications to her name. Trang has also established a reputation as a leader of research teams, including as director of RMIT’s Centre for Applied Social Research from 1990-1993.

Trang’s committee roles and awards reflect her broad academic expertise. These include Director of the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (2007-9), Assistant Human Rights Commissioner (2002-3), Director of Victoria’s Board of Alzheimer’s Australia (2003–2008), Director of the Board of the Council for Adult Education (1995-1998) and serving two terms on the National Health and Medical Research Council between 2002 and 2006. As Chair of the Victorian Multicultural Commission (1993-97), Trang was responsible for a major inquiry into Government services for non-English speaking people. Trang continues to sit on the Psychology Board of Australia and the Victorian Mental Health Review Board. She has also served on the boards of SBS and the Council for Centenary of Federation, and has advised the Film and Literature Classification Office and the Constitutional Convention. She was also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Canberra in 1998. Trang’s honours include 2005 Victorian Women Honours roll, Centenary Medal (2003), Inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award, La Trobe University (1998) and Member of the Order of Australia (1997).

Trang’s work record reflects extraordinary depth and breadth, and represents the career of a fine academic, scholar and teacher, as well as a model of a compassionate woman bringing her considerable psychological expertise to bear on the wider society.

Distinguished Contribution to Psychological Science Award

The Award recognises distinguished theoretical or empirical contributions to psychology at mid- or later career stage.

Colin MacLeod

Winthrop Professor Colin MacLeod is a Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. Colin completed his DPhil research degree at Oxford University in the field of cognitive psychology, followed by an MPhil in clinical psychology at the Hans Eysenck’s Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. Throughout his career, Colin has sought to bridge the two different facets of his training, by applying both information processing theories and cognitive-experimental methodologies in ways designed to illuminate the cognitive basis of emotional vulnerability and pathology. His work has been guided by the aim to advance conceptual understanding of the patterns of information processing that underpin individual differences in emotional vulnerability and dysfunction, and to develop and apply methods of modifying these patterns to potentially alter emotional vulnerability in ways that can yield mental health benefits. During his career in Australia, Colin has received numerous grants, totalling more than $7 million of research funding, and has supervised over 150 graduate and undergraduate research students. Colin’s contribution to research is also evidenced by his appointment to the Editorial Board of five leading international journals, Psychological Science, Cognitive Therapy and Research, Journal of Behaviour Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, Journal of Abnormal Psychology and Emotion. Colin is one of the most highly cited Australian mental health researchers, with over 100 publications. In 2012, Colin was awarded a Thomson Reuter Citation and Innovation Award, which identified him as one of the 12 most highly cited researchers in Australia, and his work continues to contribute to the international profile of Australian psychological science.

Distinguished Contribution to Psychological Education Award

The Award recognises outstanding contribution to the education of psychologists in Australia over an extended period.

John Hattie

Professor John Hattie is Director of the Melbourne Educational Research Institute at the University of Melbourne, with previous appointments in Auckland, North Carolina, Western Australia and New England. He was chief moderator of the NZ Performance Based Research Fund, immediate Past-President of the International Test Commission, associate editor of British Journal of Educational Psychology and American Educational Research Journal, and serves on 21 educational psychology related journals. He is Chair of the Australian Institute for Teachers and School Leaders, and Associate Director of the ARC-SRI: Science of Learning Research Centre. His areas of interest are measurement models (IRT, structural models) and their applications to educational problems, and models of teaching and learning. He developed the NZ school assessment reporting engine, asTTle, which combines measurement, linear programming, and score reporting innovations. Furthermore, he has completed five books relating to a synthesis of over 1,200 meta-analyses on the influences on student learning. He has published and presented over 800 papers, supervised 185 educational psychology theses students and written 20 books (including the Visible Learning series). John has been recognised for his outstanding contribution to education in Australia, New Zealand and the US, including the gold medal for contributions to the study of educational administration and leadership (Australian Council for Educational Leaders, 2011), New Zealand Order of Merit (Queen's Birthday Honours, 2011) and Outstanding reviewer for Educational Researcher (American Educational Research Association (AERA), 2010). He is also a Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders and the American Psychological Association.

Early Career Research Award

The Award recognises excellence in scientific achievement in psychology among psychologists at early career stage.

Ben Colagiuri

Dr Ben Colagiuri MAPS completed a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons I) in 2005 followed by PhD in Psychology at the University of Sydney in 2010. After completing postdoctoral fellowships at the Universities of Western Sydney and New South Wales, he returned to the School of Psychology, University of Sydney in 2012, where he currently holds a Senior Lectureship. The majority of Ben’s research focuses on the placebo effect and associative learning, with a particular interest in placebo effects in clinical trials and their time course. His research aims to use experimental models to understand these aspects of human behaviour with the view to improving patient outcomes in the clinic. To date, he has published 27 peer-reviewed publications and attracted over one million dollars in competitive funding, including a prestigious University of New South Wales Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship and two Australian Research Council Discovery Projects. Ben engages in outreach activities to promote psychology, and serves as an expert reviewer for the Australian Research Council on both their Discovery Project and Future Fellowship grant programs, in addition to serving as reviewer for high impact journals such as British Medical Journal, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics and Cognition.

Sally Gainsbury

Dr Sally Gainsbury MAPS is a clinical psychologist, Postdoctoral Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Gambling Education and Research, Southern Cross University. Her research has significantly informed the design and empirical validation of strategies to minimise and prevent gambling-related harms. Sally is an internationally recognised expert on Internet gambling, reflected through her contributions to gambling policy discussions and national and international citations of her research and expert testimony. She was one of two academics invited to review the Interactive Gambling Act for both the Australian and UK governments. Sally’s research on dynamic warning signs has resulted in several live trials within Australia as well as dynamic messages being implemented in Canadian provinces, and her 2012 book on Internet gambling has received 2,221 chapter downloads. Sally has received over $2 million in research grants and published 48 peer-reviewed journal articles. She is the Editor of a leading academic journal, International Gambling Studies, and serves on the editorial board of two additional psychology journals. Sally has received numerous scholarships and, in 2014, was one of three nominees for the Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence: Early to Mid-Career Researchers.

Daniel King

Dr Daniel King MAPS is a Senior Research Associate in the School of Psychology, University of Adelaide. Daniel is also employed as a psychologist in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. His primary research expertise is technology-based problems, with a specific focus on digital gambling, social media and video-gaming. Daniel has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications, with an h-index of 11, and over 350 citations recorded on Scopus. His research includes diverse experimental and survey-based work, including a comprehensive study of adolescents’ electronic media use, gambling, social functioning and mental health status. Daniel’s work has particularly influenced clinical understanding of disordered video-gaming, including its conceptualisation, assessment and treatment. His publications in Clinical Psychology Review are particularly highly downloaded and cited, including a paper on video-gaming cognition that is currently the second most downloaded paper in the journal. He received the 2009 Frank Dalziel Prize in recognition of his outstanding doctoral dissertation and, more recently, the 2013 AACBT Tracy Goodall Early Career Award. He was the recipient of early career grants from the South Australian Masonic Foundation, the National Association for Gambling Studies and the European Association for the Study of Gambling.

Viviana Wuthrich

Dr Viviana Wuthrich MAPS is a senior lecturer in psychology at Macquarie University. She also holds registration as a clinical psychologist and is a member of the APS College of Clinical Psychologists, APS Child and Adolescent Interest Group, and APS Psychology and Ageing Interest Group (where she is also on the scientific committee). Viviana’s research interest is focused on understanding the underlying mechanisms and treatment of anxiety disorders across the lifespan. She has a particular interest in child and adolescent anxiety and comorbid anxiety and depression in older adults. Viviana has developed several evidence-based therapy programs using randomised controlled trials, and some of these programs are now being used in public and private mental health settings. She has also presented her research at 40 national and international conferences including chairing five conference symposiums. Viviana has 21 publications in peer-reviewed journals, written two book chapters and her work has been cited 276 times. She has received over $2 million in research funding, including an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellowship and two NHMRC project grants. Viviana is on the editorial board of the peer-reviewed journal Child Psychiatry and Human Development.

Early Career Teaching Award

The Award recognises teachers of psychology in Australian universities in early career stage who show potential for excellence.

Jason Lodge

Dr Jason Lodge MAPS is a psychological scientist and Research Fellow in the Science of Learning Research Centre and Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne. Jason completed his doctorate in experimental psychology at James Cook University after completing a Master of Higher Education through Macquarie University, for which he was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence. Jason received the inaugural James Cook University Citation for Sessional Staff in 2009 and has been involved in numerous learning and teaching projects at institutional and national level. He is currently the acting Co-Coordinator of the APS Psychology Education Interest Group. The relationship between psychology and higher education is Jason’s main area of focus. He has transitioned from teaching in psychology programs at two universities, to providing effective academic development and researching the ways in which psychological science can enhance learning and teaching in higher education. His main interest and enthusiasm for teaching and student learning is in the enhancement of the teaching of psychology, but also how psychology and the learning sciences can more broadly contribute to the enhancement of higher education.

Award for Excellent PhD Thesis in Psychology

The Award recognises outstanding research in psychology by students who have recently completed a PhD at an Australian university.

Joanna Fardell

University of Sydney
Thesis title – Chemotherapy and cognitive function: An animal model of the long-term impact of chemotherapy on cognition

A subset of cancer patients who received chemotherapy for treatment of cancer experience lasting cognitive difficulties, however it is unclear which specific chemotherapy agents cause cognitive impairment. Using pre-clinical models, the thesis found docetaxel and oxaliplatin chemotherapy (used for breast and colorectal cancer respectively) can cause subtle but lasting cognitive impairment in rodents. Physical activity was used as an intervention to ameliorate the effects of chemotherapy on cognitive function. Cardiovascular exercise (in the form of running wheel access for rats!) prevented the development of chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment. This last result is particularly important for cancer patients, and suggests that cognitive impairment due to chemotherapy can be treated.

Fiona Kumfor

University of New South Wales
Thesis title – Emotion processing and its interactions with memory: Evidence from the dementias

This thesis examined emotional enhancement of memory in younger-onset dementia syndromes and the neurobiological basis of this phenomenon. The results revealed that emotional memory is attenuated in frontotemporal dementia, which is associated with degeneration of the orbitofrontal cortex. Conversely, this effect is relatively well preserved in Alzheimer’s disease (published in Brain). These findings received considerable media attention and were featured on ABC Radio National and in The Age. Fiona was also named on the Faculty of Medicine’s Dean’s List recognising outstanding research. Recently, Fiona was awarded an Alzheimer’s Australia Postdoctoral Fellowship to continue her research examining social cognition in dementia.

Tamsyn Van Rheenen

Swinburne University of Technology
Thesis title – Thinking, perceiving and regulating feeling: An investigation of neurocognition, social cognition and emotion regulation in bipolar disorder

The thesis improved understanding of three core domains of abnormality in bipolar disorder (neurocognition, social cognition and emotion regulation) by providing insight into their genetic aetiology, shared relationships and their psychosocial consequences. The impact of the research was recognised through project
grants of more than $74,000 from the Australian Rotary Health/Bipolar Expedition and the Helen McPherson Smith Trust.

Eleven first-author publications in high-impact journals (cited 50 times since 2013) have arisen from this work, which has also received awards from the Society of Mental Health Research, the Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society, and the 2013 Australian Schizophrenia Conference. Dr Van Rheenen has subsequently received an NHMRC Peter Doherty Postdoctoral Fellowship.

APS Prize

The Prize is awarded to each student who gains first place at the end of an accredited fourth year program in psychology in Australian universities and higher education providers offering a program.

Adam Clemente
Australian Catholic University
Thesis title – Exploring the metaphoric transfer of “unwinding” on negative emotions

David Johnston
Australian College of Applied Psychology
Thesis title – The application of naturalistic decision making to explore cue use in rugby league playmakers

Bryan Shi Chuen Neo
Australian National University
Thesis title – Examining psychopathic personality traits in the workplace

Nicole Mathieson
Bond University
Thesis title – Blame it on the alcohol: Effects of acute alcohol consumption on decision-making

Bernadette Crompton
Cairnmillar Institute
Thesis title – Determining the relationships between sense of self-identity, meaning in life, social support, and prolonged grief in the bereaved

Angela Bleasdale
Central Queensland University
Thesis title – Fruit, vegetables and psychological well-being: Another application for mindfulness?

Jessica Vahdat
Charles Darwin University
Thesis title – Exploring the relationship between volunteering and subjective wellbeing

Justin Cole
Charles Sturt University
Thesis title – Do self-compassion and gratitude exercises improve subjective well-being? Investigating their comparative effectiveness, incremental validity, and whether they work via the anticipated theoretical mechanisms

Tamala Cox
Curtin University
Thesis title – Do risk-aversive cognitive biases predict social anxiety symptoms in a non-clinical sample?

Felicity Ho
Deakin University
Thesis title – Transgender mental health and standards of care

Esther Gribble
Edith Cowan University
Thesis title – Exploring family resilience through the experiences of mothers raising a child with autism spectrum disorder

Rebecca Firman
Federation University Australia
Thesis title – The associations between facets of impulsivity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder factors

Douglas Hayes
Flinders University
Thesis title – Attention bias and emotional regulation in young adults

Avneel Reddy
Griffith University
Thesis title – An investigation of factors influencing changes in emotional and behavioural self-concept following traumatic brain injury

Rachel Gibson
James Cook University
Thesis title – Connection, distraction and mood

Frances Boyer
La Trobe University
Thesis title – Consequences of the glass cliff: Evaluations of male and female leaders following failure

Amelia Scott
Macquarie University
Thesis title – Illness-specific mechanisms of symptom severity in irritable bowel syndrome

Rachel Lim
Monash University
Thesis title – Evidence of association between HKDC1 and YPEL3 genes and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A candidate gene study

Rebecca Cooper
Murdoch University
Thesis title – Top-down modulation of task features in rapid instructed task learning

Elizabeth Parr
Queensland University of Technology
Thesis title – Examining the relationship between school connectedness, attachment, interpersonal rejection sensitivity and adolescent depression

Jenalle Baker
RMIT University
Thesis title – Processing speed, verbal episodic, and non-verbal memory impairments in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Elizabeth Hanley
Southern Cross University
Thesis title – Approach and avoidance motivation linked with Facebook

Noam Dishon
Swinburne University of Technology
Thesis title – Investigating the impact of memory, individual difference and social influence on choice blindness

Emma Burton
University of Adelaide
Thesis title – Illusory control in regular gamblers: The contribution of delusion-proneness

Brendan Hutchinson
University of Canberra
Thesis title – Social validation: A motivational theory of doping in an online bodybuilding community

Russell Boag
University of Melbourne
Thesis title – Temporal learning dynamics in probabilistic decision-making: A diffusion model analysis

Mele Fong
University of New England
Thesis title – Examining the mediating role of self-compassion in student psychological health

Sarah Altmann
University of New South Wales
Thesis title – A face only a mother could love? The effect of previous maternal stress on offspring attractiveness and social behaviour

Claire Bullen
University of Newcastle
Thesis title – Resilience to the mental health impacts of school bullying victimisation: The role of internal and external protective factors

Gareth Vaughan
University of Queensland
Thesis title – The role of self-categorisation in shaping human needs

Jessica Tigani
University of South Australia
Thesis title – Muscle dysmorphia: An emerging nosological entity

Megan James
University of Southern Queensland
Thesis title – The empowered workforce: The influence of empowering leadership on motivation and commitment

William Ngiam
University of Sydney
Thesis title – Encoding and capacity limits in visual working memory are not set by stimulus complexity

Catherine Bishop
University of Tasmania
Thesis title – The effect of true and false feedback on the detection of targets in a low-prevalence airport security search task

Andrew Allen
University of the Sunshine Coast
Thesis title – Development of a revised word stem completion task and the examination of differential media effects on male body satisfaction, mood, and schema activation

Emily Tuckey
University of Western Australia
Thesis title – Exposing SCAMs as a method to correct against climate change misinformation

Marc Himmelberg
University of Western Sydney
Thesis title – Adaptation to orientation regularity and its relation to orientation anisotropies within the visual system

Trent Koessler
University of Wollongong
Thesis title – Where do we accommodate when viewing the hollow-face illusion?

Anthony Barnett
Victoria University
Thesis title – The clinical impact of the brain disease model of alcohol and drug addiction: Exploring the attitudes of community-based AOD clinicians in Australia  n

InPsych February 2015


Table of contents

Vol 37 | Issue 1