Without the funds provided by the Program Ms Woolrych would not have been able to attend the annual Australia Psychological Society’s (APS) conference in Melbourne.
“The APS awarded me a prize at the end of my honours year in 2009 for my efforts in my honours thesis,” Ms Woolrych said.
“Part of this prize was free admission into the conference and the opportunity to present my work, via electronic poster, to the other 3500 delegates from around the world.”
Her honours project looked at the effect of responsibility attribution and perceptions of control of space on people’s attitudes to litter. She found that people felt more responsible and were more likely to pick up litter when it was in an area they felt they had control over, such as their front yard. If a sense of ownership could be instilled in public areas like parks, people would behave in a more pro-environmental manner, for example by picking up litter.
“Hearing about other people’s research was inspiring to say the least, and it also gave me confidence that my own research project is unique and much needed in the field,” she said.
“My research project was met with curiosity, engagement, support and encouragement.
Ms Woolrych has now started her PhD and is looking at how misinterpreted behaviour can lead to domestic violence.
“The conference was a good opportunity to talk to other students starting their PhD’s and to swap ideas, thoughts and concerns as we begin our research.”
The Vice Chancellor’s Student Development Program was established to provide financial support to students from Murdoch who wish to undertake professional development relevant to their course. For more information email Tammy Geddes or phone 9360 6404.