My name is Dale Rowland and I am a proud Aboriginal man. My mob are the Biripi and Wiradjuri people. Born on Tharawal country, I spent my early years raised by my mother and grandmother who at a young age, instilled the importance of strength and giving back to the community. Both my mum and nan worked in various community-controlled settings and in the fields of Indigenous health. I completed my secondary studies on Yuin country and left home as a school leaver to attend university. At 18 I packed whatever could fit in a suitcase and moved to QLD to study a Bachelor of Psychological Science. In 2013 I became the first in my family to graduate from university. I obtained full-time employment in the GUMURRII Student Support Unit at Griffith University where I was determined to give back to a service that was vital in my successful completion of my studies. During this time, I went on to complete a Graduate Certificate in Health Professional Education in recognition of the lack of cultural safety training in higher degree health programs. Following this, I went on to complete my honours year in psychology on a part-time basis whilst working as an Associate Lecturer in First Peoples Health. This was a challenging time both personally, professionally and culturally. In overcoming numerous challenges throughout my life, I continue to draw from the support of my family and my strength, passion, and commitment to improving the wellbeing of my people. This remains vital to my success and achievement of the award of class one in honours. In 2019 I commenced my candidature in the Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology.
The Dr Tracy Westerman Indigenous Psychology Scholarship will be crucial to my successful completion of the PhD in Clinical Psychology. In addition to creating opportunities to be mentored by The Westerman Jilya institute, it also provides a platform to mentor and inspire others to embark on a journey in Psychology. This degree is by far the most challenging journey I have undertaken, and it continues to challenge me both personally and professionally. In addition to this and numerous other opportunities this scholarship affords, this scholarship will alleviate the financial strain and burden of juggling employment with class attendance, assessments, exams, placements, and progressing my research.
Upon successfully completing the PhD, I plan to practice as a Clinical Psychologist who works with/for the community to improve mental health and wellbeing. I hope to utilize tailored digital mental health technologies to better service and meet the needs of our people. I am passionate about evidence-based practices, trauma informed practice and culture as a protective factor for psychological ill health.