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Staff profile – Alan Campbell

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Name: Dr Alan Campbell

Title: Lecturer, Teaching and Research

School: Occupational Therapy and Social Work

Campus: Bentley

How long have you worked at Curtin? Two years

Where did you work prior to starting at the University? Anglicare WA for two years. Before that I was a Senior Lecturer at the University of South Australia.

What do you like best about your role? The students. Watching them learn and incorporate new knowledge into their thinking and behaviours. I also enjoy the research I’m doing and the colleagues with whom I work.

Why did you choose your current career path? My career has been full of twists and turns. Started as a primary teacher, but didn’t think I was very good at that. But I found psychology during that time and decided to try getting a degree in it. Completed that degree at WAIT, did a Master of Psychology at Curtin and then worked as a psychologist for a number of years. Crossed to Social Work when I did my PhD and have been in two worlds since!

First job? Primary teaching in Victoria (where I was born and grew up).

Worst job? Haven’t really had one. I worked in London as a hotel receptionist for a year and really lied my way into that (hadn’t a clue about being a hotel receptionist; still don’t!) After a while (especially in winter) I didn’t want to continue it; the shift work was not a strong part of my experience.

What project are you currently working on and what does it involve? With a team of colleagues in Curtin, University of South Australia and Melbourne University, we are researching the attitudes and responses towards fathering of men who have used domestic violence. It’s multi-faceted, looking at what programs focus on parenting for these men, whether these programs are effective, what men think about fathering, what former victims of family and domestic violence think about the fathering skills of the men who have been violent towards them, and what interventions could we recommend for the future.

Your favourite place in the world and why? I have many favourite places, but on reflection I would most likely say Perth. I chose it; when I first arrived from Melbourne via Europe the city looked like it was sunbathing by the river…all relaxed, sparkling and beautiful. So I fell in love. That hasn’t changed, and I’ve now lived her for years. I was surprised: no one had ever told me about Perth, even though people I knew from Melbourne had come across the Nullarbor and never returned (so I knew something was up!) I always say, when people ask me why I stay, that I would never live anywhere else (though San Francisco would be awesome!!)

Your favourite cuisine and why? Thai…why not?

What is the best piece of advice you have received? To follow my own dreams. It’s worked a treat for me.

Tell us something about yourself that your colleagues wouldn’t know? I lived in Papua New Guinea when I was younger and was there when the country became independent. The drums and songs started three days before the actual Independence Day and it was really exciting. I ended up being invited to participate in the sing sing on the day, all dressed up in my ass-grass and feathers. Best day ever.