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Presentation at HoDSPA 2023 AGM by HoDSPA Indigenous Student Award Winner – Dan McDougall

In 2023, HoDSPA worked with the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Psychology Interest Group (ATSIPP) collaborated to support an Indigenous student to attend the APS Member’s Symposium in Wellington in May, 2023 titled ‘Exploring Trauma and Investigating Neurodiversity’.

In this session from our HoDSPA 2023 Annual General Meeting, invited guest, Indigenous Student Award Winner, Daniel McDougall, fourth year psychology Honours student from Canberra University presented on his Australian Symposium experiences. He described how much he enjoyed his first ever conference and visit to New Zealand. Daniel recounted the crucial impact meeting Indigenous Academics and Practitioners on his development as a student and as an aspiring psycholgist working within Indigenous community.  The symposium covered the following themes: 

  • Trauma and neurodiversity 
  • Intergenerational trauma 
  • Recent research 

Daniel plans to complete a Master in Psychology (Clinical) and PhD so that he can best serve his community. The valuable lessons learned were understanding the pathways beyond Honours Psychology, the importance of scientific rigour in research and ethical practise. Daniel described the learnings as pivotal to his future career and that he was grateful to be able to interact with Māori participants at the conference. He agreed with Professor Lorelle Burton that it highlighted the value and importance of lived experience.  

Invited Guest Assoc. Prof. Yvonne Clark (ATSIPP Co-Convenors) then stated how important the ATSIPP Student Awards are in supporting students to attend this important symposium with its focus of trauma-informed research and practise. Four students were funded this year: two by ATSIPP, one by HoDSPA and one by UniSA (University of South Australia). Yvonne thanked the members of HoDSPA for supporting Daniel.