PhD Researchers

Next-generation behaviour change experts

Monash University's Behaviour Change Graduate Research Industry Partnership Program (GRIP) candidates, affectionally known as GRIPsters, bring to the program skills and experience from a wide range of fields, including digital media, public health, journalism, law, medicine and urban planning.

They also have skills in communications, documentary filmmaking and performing and perhaps, more importantly, life experiences that make them highly empathetic to the study of human behaviour. We expect that they will make an enormous contribution to the field of behavioural science. Following are short professional profiles.

PhD ResearcherAboutPartner

Kathie Pawluk De-Toledo

Kathie has a Masters in Third World Development Evaluation and Management from the University of Antwerp, a Bachelor of Public Relations at RMIT and Hons., in Public Policy and Management at the University of Melbourne.

Kathie is interested in big data and how new technologies are impacting travel behaviour and transforming road congestion. She is undertaking her PhD with VicRoads.

Kathie has previously held roles within the Victorian Department of Education, from policy development to specific task force operations, and was part of the organising group for both Victoria's chairing of the national Ministerial meeting and education summit, before becoming the departmental liaison officer for the Tertiary Education Minister. Kathie’s interdisciplinary background and experience in public and private sectors in Australia and overseas are naturally extended by developing an understanding of behaviour change.

VicRoads

 

Kim Borg

Kim completed her BA (Hons.) at Monash University specialising in Behavioural Studies and Anthropology. Her PhD will consider behaviour change programs that supplement a plastic bag ban and whether behaviours that reduce the use of one kind of plastic can be used to encourage other plastic-reduction behaviours

Kim’s research experience lies in the area of social and government research. She is currently employed by BehaviourWorks Australia and has previously worked with organisations such as Australia Post, the Department of Health and Human Services, WorkSafe Victoria and the Transport Accident Commission.

At BehaviourWorks Australia, Kim has played an active role in designing and testing best practice methods for survey data collection and, during her time at The Social Research Centre, she was involved in several studies to improve the response rate and quality of survey data. Kim is particularly interested in the impact of human behaviour on the natural environment.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

Corina Crisan

Corina is a seasoned project and change manager with wide international experience across a range of industry sectors including television, health, regulation, education and the not-for-profit sector. Her experience is coupled with tertiary qualifications in business administration, social psychology, communication and political science.

Corina's PhD, with WorkSafe, is investigating how to improve mental wellbeing in the workplace and how to encourage communities to take greater ownership of wellbeing and safety outcomes.

Corina is passionate about making a difference and using behavioural science and co-design techniques to develop interventions that achieve social impact. She is also interested in brokering partnerships across government, industry sectors and communities and using strength-based approaches to improve performance.

WorkSafe

 

Alexandra Waddell

Alex holds a BSc in Psychology and Exercise Science from Washington State University and a Master of Public Health (majoring in Health Economics) from the University of Melbourne.

Alex has a passion for the intersection of health, behavioural economics, and evaluation. As a social and market researcher, she brought formal training in health economics and a deep understanding of the wider impacts of public health interventions to her work.

Alex is fascinated by developing behavioural interventions and using policy and programs to achieve health outcomes in the public sphere. Having lived in the US for a number of years, Alex brings an international perspective to research and enjoys keeping up to date with the latest in social research and policy both in Australia and the U.S.  Alex is working with Safer Care Victoria to ensure patients are at the centre of their health care.

Safer Care Victoria

 

Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Criminology with Honours, and a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. Rebecca’s Honours project looked at normative attitudes and beliefs around stalking, drawing from the rape myth and intimate partner violence literature.

Rebecca's PhD will explore what it means to be a ‘real man’ - and how ‘healthier masculinities’ can influence attitudes and behaviour.

She has previously worked in administration in the corporate sector (architectural, law and engineering firms) and the education sector. Her core professional skills include project management, communication and stakeholder engagement.

Rebecca seeks to align her professional skills and expertise with her passion for social justice in addressing how behaviour change can influence and reduce violence against women.

VicHealth

 

Joel Edwards

Joel graduated from the University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning (first-class honours). He is supporting the EPA on a project looking at how the regulator can ensure the successful implementation of a new general duty to prevent harm in Victoria.

Joel has previously been employed as a strategic policy planner with the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure in South Australia and was seconded to the Office of the Minister for Planning in the role of Ministerial Liaison Officer, Planning and City of Adelaide.

In 2017, Joel joined EPA Victoria in a similar planning role, allowing him to focus on his core interests in the environment, human health and the ability of settlements to respond to the risks. He is interested in how Government policy, particularly planning, can create safe, healthy, inclusive and sustainable places.

Environment Protection Authority (Vic)

Dominique McCollum Coy

Dominique holds a BSc (Hons I) in Psychology and Neuroscience from the Australian National University, as well as a Masters of Environment from Griffith University.

Dominique’s research interests include the exploration of how human behaviour relates to the environment. Her PhD will seek to understand the role of behaviour, and behaviour change, in energy transformation.

Dominique has previously conducted research on community perceptions of pro-environmental behaviour and created/evaluated a tool for assessing pro-environmental behaviour.

She is passionate about translating academic research into real-world applications and also has experience working in the community advocacy sector in climate change communications.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

 

Priscilla Weaver

Priscilla holds a Masters in Psychology and is currently undertaking a registrar program to become an endorsed clinical psychologist. Her PhD, with WorkSafe, will explore how to increase help-seeking behaviour, cultivate preventative approaches to psychological injury and add to the growing body of prevention-based mental health research with emergency services personnel.

Priscilla has previously worked across the private and public sectors and with Victoria Police on shifting mental-health culture through the provision of individual and workplace-level psychological interventions.

Through her clinical practice and organisational consultancy, she has gained valuable knowledge and insights about the inherently stressful aspects of policing. Her research interests emerged from the need to translate these learnings into transformative evidence-based mental health interventions for police employees and employers.

WorkSafe

 

Wing Hsieh

Wing studied development economics at the University of Adelaide and behavioural law and economics at Harvard University. She has worked as an economist in both public and private sectors and is now working on an Australia Post project seeking to make Australia a more inclusive society.

Wing is curious about understanding “what works” in programs and policies and is interested in social inclusion and unconscious bias.

She has worked with many different employers and clients and lived in five different cities. By participating in the BC-GRIP she hoped to consolidate and extend her skills and make a personal contribution in the field of behaviour change.

Australia Post

Eunice Wong

Eunice holds postgraduate qualifications in clinical psychology and public health. She has a life-long fascination with human behaviour or "what makes us tick".

Her PhD, with SaferCare Victoria, seeks to identify behavioural change approaches for partnering with consumers to achieve better health outcomes.

Eunice has worked within the government, community and private sectors to develop, implement and evaluate policies and programs for impact. Her national and international experience includes piloting new programs with Queensland Health, developing prison in-reach programs in the UK and setting up a government-funded psychology diploma in Singapore. She has also implemented a nationwide community mental health masterplan with the Ministry of Health in Singapore.

Safer Care Victoria

Fareed Kaviani

Fareed holds an MA in Arts from Deakin University, specialising in literature and communications, and a BA with first class honours from La Trobe University, majoring in politics and sociology.

Fareed is now working with VicRoads on a project examining the efficacy of interventions designed to encourage drivers to stay focused on the road. The project will also investigate how the distractions caused by mobile phones and touchscreens are being exacerbated by longer journey times.

For the past five years, Fareed has been working as a freelance writer, with his work appearing in a variety of national and international print and online publications. His work has primarily focused on tattoo and body modification, while his intellectual passion extends into the study of pain and identity in liquid modernity.

VicRoads

 

Michaela Lang

Michaela studied anthropology and Asian studies before completing a Masters of Public Health. She is now working with DEWLP to investigate how to encourage landlords to improve the energy performance of their rental properties.

Michaela spent over 15 years delivering health and sustainability projects in local government, with a focus on engaging communities on climate change, water and sustainable transport.

Michaela has delivered sustainability training through Monash’s Green Steps program and Think Eco, a small sustainability consulting firm. In 2008, she co-founded Just Change, a non-profit organisation that provides retrofits, research, training and advocacy to improve the uptake of energy efficiency in low-income rental homes.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)

 

Lisa Wheildon

Lisa has been the Director of Stakeholder Relations and Communications at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) since 2016. Prior to that, she played a key role in establishing Our Watch, the national foundation to prevent violence against women. Before joining Our Watch, Lisa spent ten years in senior communications roles in the Victorian public sector and completed the Executive Masters in Public Administration with ANZSOG in 2010.

Prior to joining the public sector, Lisa worked in consulting and was with ABC TV in public relations and marketing roles for over six years. Her early career was in radio journalism. Lisa is committed to initiating behaviour change in relation to the issues of violence against women and gender equality and has overseen several research projects in these areas for Our Watch.

Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)

 

Madeleine Thomas

Madeleine is working on an EPA project looking at how communication can be used to encourage behaviour change associated with reducing people’s environmental exposure to pollutants.

Madeleine graduated with a BSc (Hons) in environmental chemistry from The University of Adelaide. She has since gained extensive experience in the environmental assessment and management of land, groundwater and soil vapour, undertaking work for private industry and various government agencies.

Madeleine currently works as a Senior Environmental Scientist in the human health and environmental risk assessment team of an environmental consultancy. From working in the human health risk assessment space, she developed an interest in science communication, which led her to undertake this PhD.

Environment Protection Authority (Vic)

 

Jennifer Dam

Jennifer recently completed a Bachelor of Social Science at Swinburne University of Technology with a combined major of psychology and sociology. She is now partnering with VicHealth to undertake a PhD looking at how to foster knowledge translation between VicHealth collaborators.

Jen’s career has spanned a number of different industries, including vocational training and education, as well as support services for a mental health care provider.

Jen believes social and structural inequalities are powerful determinants of health outcomes and is passionate about applying health psychology to develop interventions that empower individuals to consider rewarding health and lifestyle choices.

VicHealth

 

Melissa Hatty

Melissa is a registered Health Psychologist with a passion for the natural environment and the ways humans interact with it. Melissa is now working with DELWP to investigate ways of encouraging Victorians to get out and enjoy nature and act to protect nature, in line with Victoria’s new Biodiversity Plan.

Melissa has worked as a psychologist in public and private health settings, helping clients with chronic health conditions to live well with and despite illness/disability, and providing psychology-related consultancy and education to health professionals and post-graduate students. She has also worked as a researcher and research assistant in academic settings and private industry.

Her research interests include the health and psychological benefits of contact with nature, the psychology of environmental conservation, and how interaction with the natural environment can influence pro-environmental behaviours.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP)