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Psychology grad part of an expanding cohort of online students

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8 June 2023

For Psychology Honours graduand Lily Kiriyama, receiving her testamur is a milestone achievement towards achieving registration and working in clinical psychology.

Lily completed her final Honours subject in 2022 and, as a provisional psychologist, she is already pursing her next endeavour – the Master of Professional Psychology through Southern Cross.

“I’ve always wanted to help people find their inner strength and work towards their goals,” she said.

“I studied my undergraduate at a different university, then got into Honours at Southern Cross and there’s such a difference, it’s just such a vibrant university.

“Everyone is so caring, it’s really interactive, and there’s not much of a difference between student and teacher, it’s as though we are all peers.”

“I’ve always wanted to help people find their inner strength and work towards their goals.”

“Before Covid lockdowns I was volunteering with Rosie’s, helping those who were homeless, chatting and connecting with them, but then that became difficult with the restrictions. So instead I became a volunteer with St John’s Ambulance Queensland, making weekly friendship calls as part of their telephone community service,” she said.

"I absolutely love it. It’s now become a part of my weekly routine. One lady I have connected with is in her 90s and we’ve been chatting for two years every week and quite honestly, I get as much out of it as she does. It’s really nice to have a friendly chat over the phone.”

Lily’s Honours thesis ‘Investigating the acceptability of visible tattoos on doctors and nurses’ investigated whether there was a disparity between people’s perception of male and female health workers with tattoos, as previous research had suggested.

“What we found is that there was no difference in the acceptance of doctors or nurses (male or female) with or without tattoos, which is very exciting research – the kind where a non-significant result is a good thing,” Lily said.

“We think the stigma of tattoos may have declined towards people working in the health sector, the inference being that employers might reconsider their guidelines around the covering up of tattoos – especially if this support of people’s self-expression strengthens their professional identity, and as long as patient satisfaction measures are maintained.

“My supervisor Associate Professor Sally Sargeant and I are looking to publish this research which adds to that literature of it being a non-issue at this time, and is perhaps even a starting point of other studies to look into other professions.

“It feels good to be able to publish such a positive outcome, and I’m really proud to be graduating after so much hard work.”

As a Brisbane local, Lily is part of a growing cohort of students from capital cities studying online with Southern Cross.

Learn more about studying psychology.

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