Psychology update

Psychology update

Psychology staff at ACU

Dr Keong Yap, Deputy Head of School (right), welcomes (from left) Dr Foroni, Dr Challinor and Dr Chui to the Strathfield team

The School of Psychology has had a busy 2016 recruiting new team members on all three campuses. We are delighted to welcome the following new staff members to the team:


Senior Lecturer, Dr Cynthia Turner
Trained in Australia, Cynthia has held clinical and consulting positions at the Institute of Psychiatry in Kings College London and Maudsley Hospital in London, UK. Her area of expertise is in Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and she specialises in child and adolescent therapy. Cynthia's research interest and clinical expertise will complement existing interests in the School. Cynthia will be teaching in the clinical and counselling programs and supervise clinical students.

Counselling Placement Coordinator, Kristy Howard
Kristy is a fully registered psychologist and brings with her a wealth of experience from both local and international organisations providing direct counselling support. She has worked at Queensland Program of Assistance to Survivors of Torture and Trauma (QPASTT) as a Senior Clinical Supervisor. QPASTT works directly with clients/communities of a refugee background including those still seeking asylum. Kristy has also supervised staff from various professional backgrounds (psychology, social work, counselling and community development).

Lecturer, Dr Wendell Cockshaw
Wendell has been a member of ACU as a sessional lecturer for a number of years and has taught different units in the Counselling and Psychology programs. He will be teaching in the Master of Professional Psychology and undergraduate Psychology programs. In recent years, Wendell has worked in large research teams on funded projects by ARC and Centre for Children's Health Research.


Senior Lecturer, Dr Francesco Foroni completed graduate work at the University of Oregon and subsequently was a post-doctoral fellow at the VU University Amsterdam. He has held positions of Research Fellow and Lecturer at Utrecht University and Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA-Trieste, Italy). His area of expertise is in social cognition and affective processing and he investigates the interplay between affective and cognitive processes involved in social perception and more recently in food perception and choice.

Lecturer, Dr Kirsten Challinor was awarded a PhD in Psychology from Macquarie University in the area of Vision Science. She has conducted post-doctoral research projects in the Neuroscience Research Group, Aston University, UK, and also in the Psychology Department at University of Sussex, UK investigating how humans perceive motion, and how the brain processes the information it receives from the eye. Since 2011, Kirsten has been a Lecturer in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of New South Wales, teaching visual perception, psychology, statistics, evidence-based practice and research methods.

Lecturer, Dr Helena Chui completed her undergraduate training at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, masters at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and PhD in Applied Social Psychology at the Colorado State University. She completed her post-doctoral work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Flinders University, Adelaide. Prior to ACU, Helena was a lecturer at the University of Bradford, UK. Helena teaches undergraduate units in research design and statistics and applied psychology. Her research interests are in social and lifespan psychology: self-regulation, emotion, stress, coping, well-being, and ageing.


Lecturer, Dr Joel Anderson completed his undergraduate and post-graduate training in psychology at Australian Catholic University. He completed his post-doctoral work at the University of Geneva in Switzerland before returning to ACU to take a lecturing position in psychology.

Joel teaches undergraduate and postgraduate units in social and cross-cultural psychology, personality, organisational and industrial psychology, and research design and statistics.

His research interests are in social psychology: intergroup relations, implicit measurement of attitudes, the scientific study of religion, and cross-cultural differences in cognitions and behaviours.

Lecturer, Chris Cheers completed his undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree with Majors in Neuroscience and Psychology, and honours in Psychology at the University of Sydney. He completed his Masters of Psychology (Educational and Developmental) at Australian Catholic University. Chris has practiced as a Counsellor and Psychologist for the last four years, specialising in child and adolescent work, family therapy and school refusal. Chris is a board endorsed Educational and Developmental Psychologist. Chris has taught at ACU for the previous six years teaching undergraduate and postgraduate units in counselling skills, behavioural neuroscience, youth mental health, research design and statistics. His research interests are in alcohol consumption, health psychology, and gender.

Clinical Placements Coordinator, Dr Neelofar Rehman is a Clinical Psychologist, who has worked in both public and private settings in Australia from 2006, as a therapist, teacher and then later on as a Clinical Psychologist. She obtained an MSc in Applied Psychology from the Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Pakistan in 1996 and an Advanced Diploma in Clinical Psychology from the Centre for Clinical Psychology, University of the Punjab, Pakistan IN 1999. In 2008 she obtained a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne. In her clinical work she draws on neurobiological research on attachment, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems Framework, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Gestalt Therapy.

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