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Tessa Benveniste

BMedSc, BPsySc (Hons), PhD
Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow
School of Health, Medical and Applied Sciences
Appleton Institute, Centre for Indigenous Health Equity Research
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About Me

I have been with CQUniversity since my honours year and have loved studying and working in a place that has such strong values around engagement and equity. I approach my work with a positive attitude, open to change, and willing to go the extra mile. Engaging directly with the broader community is what gives me the motivation to strive to conduct thoughtful, ground-up research, that meets specified needs of the broader community. I am passionate about approaching complex challenges with a holistic view, combining my background in Medical Science and Psychology, and my research experience in the education system.

General
Background

Dr Benveniste is a Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Central Queensland University. Prior to this, she was the Project Manager of a National Health and Medical Research Council funded grant, which took a strengths-based approach to suicide prevention, aimed at improving the psycho-social resilience and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth. Her doctorate was awarded in 2018 and took a holistic approach to investigating the experiences of boarding school for remote Aboriginal students and families. Prior to this, Dr Benveniste was awarded a Bachelor of Medical Science (2008), a Bachelor of Psychological Science (2011), and honours in Psychology (2012). Throughout the past 8 years, she has built extensive experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and has conducted multiple research projects that cross between the education, health, and community sectors, and is a strong advocate for engaged and applied research. Her methodological expertise lies in Grounded Theory, qualitative and mixed methods, and has recently turned to evaluative approaches. She also sits on the evaluation working group for the Centre for Research Excellence: STRengthening systems for Indigenous health care Equity. Dr Benveniste has published 22 peer-reviewed journal articles and two book chapters, with over 60% as first author. Her most recent work includes several systematic literature reviews relevant to Indigenous Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Psychology. She is an active supervisor of Psychology honours students and has supervised and mentored Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and research assistants.

Universities Studied At

Finders University

University of South Australia

Central Queensland University 

Universities Worked At

Central Queensland University 

Awards

2020 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Grant, Central Queensland University ($20,000)

2016 International Symposium on Best Practices in Educational Justice: Boarding Schools for Marginalized Youth (Hanover, Germany) Post-graduate student Travel grant ($3000)

2015 The Big Issue ‘Big Idea’ Social Enterprise Competition: National Postgraduate winners “The Garden of Earthly Delights”

2015 Ninti One: Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation Award: Best postgraduate student abstract and oral presentation ($500)

2014 Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation: Postgraduate student top-up scholarship ($33,000)

2013 Australian Postgraduate Research Award [APA] Scholarship (2013) ($75, 000)

2013 CQUniversity, Appleton Institute Award for Best Post-graduate Oral Presentation, 1st Annual Postgraduate Seminar Series (2013) ($200 towards research funds)

Media Citations

2018 ABC North West Queensland. “Resilience for Indigenous boarding students”, radio interview, June 2018

2017 CQUniNEWS. “From project seeds to pitching to the premier, Big Idea about to bloom for CQUni Adelaide” July, 2017

2017 The Messenger Eastern Courier. “A garden of earthly delights”. March, 2017

2015 CQUniNEWS. “A garden of hope in face of homelessness – CQUni duo’s Big Idea a national award winner”, November 2015

2015 The Fifth Estate. “Community garden for the homeless wins Big Idea competition”. 1 December 2015. https://www.thefifthestate.com.au/business/public-community/community-garden-for-the-homeless-wins-big-idea-competition

Previous teaching

2017 CQUniversity Term 3: Course Coordinator, PSYC12014: Critical, cultural and social psychology

2017 CQUniversity Term 2: Tutor, PSYC12014: Critical, cultural and social psychology

2017 CQUniversity Term 1: Teaching Assistant, PSYC13017: Abnormal Psychology

2016 CQUniversity Term 3: Teaching Assistant, PSYC12014: Critical, cultural and social psychology

2016 CQUniversity Term 3: Teaching Assistant, PSYC11008: Biological Foundations of Psychology

2015 CQUniversity Term 3: Course Coordinator, PSYC12014: Critical, cultural and social psychology

2014 CQUniversity Term 2: Teaching Assistant, PSYC12014: Critical, cultural and social psychology

Industry Reports

1. Bainbridge RG, Mccalman JR, Jongen CS, Campbell SK, Kinchin I, Langham EM, Benveniste TC, Calder RER, Doran CM. Evidence check: Improving social and emotional wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people Dec 2018. Sax Institute. 1-107

2. Benveniste, T., McCalman, J., Van Beek, A., Langham, E., Kinchin, I., Bainbridge, R. (2018). Evaluating the impacts of boarding schools’ resilience strategies for remote Indigenous students: A mixed methods study. Education Horizons Grant Scheme, report prepared for the Queensland Department of Education

3. Osborne, S., Benveniste, T., Rigney, L. (2016). Widening the Circles: An evaluation of the Centrecorp Foundation education student assistance program 2011-2015. Report prepared for the Centrecorp Foundation

4. Benveniste, T. (2013). Engaging the disengaged: Evaluation of a program to engage youth with design and architecture pathways. Report prepared for Adelaide University, School of Architecture and Built Environment

Research Supervision
Accreditation

I am currently accredited for supervision in the following:

  • Education Systems
  • Psychology

At the level of Associate Supervisor


Current Capacity
I am currently available to supervise more research candidates
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Research Interests
Education

Specialist Studies in Education - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education

Education

Specialist Studies in Education - Comparative and Cross-Cultural Education

Psychology And Cognitive Sciences

Psychology - Educational Psychology

Psychology And Cognitive Sciences

Psychology - Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology

Psychology And Cognitive Sciences

Psychology - Social and Community Psychology

Publications
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Teaching
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