|JERNEJA SVETIČIČ B.Sc M.ScI arrived to Australia in 2007 after successful application for a position of a Research Assistant at Griffith University in Brisbane. This opportunity arose after meeting the director of Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention at a conference in Ljubljana where I was working as a researcher in the field of mental health. Prior to that I completed Bachelors degree in Psychology in 2005 from Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana and was half way through Masters Program. I finalised this study while already living in Australia and travelled to Ljubljana to defend my thesis and received Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology in 2010.
I worked at Griffith University as a researcher for 5 years. The team I worked in consisted of around 10 people, gathered from all parts of the world. I gained invaluable experience on developing and conducting research projects, data management, and collaborations with a wide range of government and non-government partners. During that time, I co-authored around 15 scientific journal articles, 10 volumes and book chapters, numerous government reports on the topic of suicide prevention and presented our work at Australian and international conferences. In 2011, Griffith University also sponsored my application for permanent residency.
In the meantime, I got married and had two beautiful children, now almost 5-year old Zala and 3-year old Jacob. Soon after our kids were born, I decided to take a break from active research work and instead pursue further studies. In 2013, I enrolled in PhD with Griffith University, where I am currently researching the interface between psychology and criminology, in particular police involvement with persons with mental illness. For the duration of my PhD studies, I gained scholarship from the Australian government.
As a doctoral student, I also work as sessional teaching staff at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice where I run tutorials for courses on Policing and Forensic psychology. At present, I also work on part-time basis for Wesley Mission Brisbane where I work with young people from multicultural background and also assist with the implementation of local suicide prevention programs. I find that various professional engagements provide me with a sense of good balance and keep expanding my horizons.
In 2015, I connected with Honorary Consul for Slovenians in Queensland, Ms Nevenka Golc-Clark and alongside a team of a few more young enthusiastic Slovenians we established Slovenian Language and Culture Association Queensland. Our primary goal is to organise lessons of Slovenian language, but we also aim to promote Slovenian culture through various cultural activities and maintain cultural dialogue with our homeland. I act as the president of the Association and teach Slovenian language every weekend on the Gold Coast. For more information you can visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Slovenian-Language-and-Culture-Association-Queensland-1499991690303084/.
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