Bendigo APS promotes psychology week

Bendigo APS promotes psychology week

10 Nov 2010

Local forensic psychologist and PhD candidate, David Curnow has presented some fascinating findings to the recent AGM of the Bendigo Branch of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). Mr Curnow’s research has confirmed that there are three critical stages that offenders go through to violate financial trust.

Dr Anna KokavecFirst, they need to have a financial problem that they don’t want to tell anyone about (for example gambling, poor investment decisions).  Second, while in most cases due to their trusted status in the organisation they already have access to funds, they still have to assess the opportunity considering the level of company security.  Finally, they need to rationalise their theft to themselves, often using the justification they were only borrowing the funds and would pay it back.  

‘This research has suggested that people who violate financial trust in organisations don’t commence employment with criminality in mind but ultimately offend believing that they are sacrificing themselves for others, and blaming those in the employing company for having to do so,’ explained Mr Curnow.

Mr Curnow’s research is relevant across all regions of Australia and the world, including businesses in Bendigo, where recent media reports have highlighted such incidences.

‘Trust and the public’s expectations regarding fiduciary responsibility within organisations and businesses is an important and fundamental aspect of our communities remaining vibrant, viable and effective,’ said Mr Curnow.

‘However, for a range of reasons, some community members resort to illegal behaviour that often result in unfortunate consequences for otherwise law-abiding and honourable fellow citizens.’

Dr Anna Kokavec, Head of Section for the School of Psychological Science at La Trobe University's Bendigo campus and the recently elected Chair of the Bendigo Branch of the Australian Psychological Society, said that Psychology Week aims to bring to the community's attention the role psychologists have in the treatment of mental health conditions such as depression.

‘The new mental health initiatives recently introduced by the Australian government, which allow a specific number of psychological treatments to be claimed under Medicare, confirm that a combination of pharmacological and behavioural treatment can have a positive outcome for many individuals,’ said Dr Kokavec.

‘The Australian Psychological Society together with other agencies has been working on strengthening ties between psychologists and other health professionals and this is something that is working very well in the Bendigo area,’ added Dr Kokavec.

Dr Kokavec said the course at La Trobe is accredited and will lead to registration as a psychologist.

‘The Bachelor of Psychological Science offered by La Trobe University at the Bendigo campus is a nationally accredited course that with additional training will lead to registration as a psychologist in Australia.

‘Psychologists and the APS are working with other allied health professionals to ensure that Bendigo has the best care for mental illness patients,’ she said.

‘The APS is strengthening ties with doctors and other health workers. Psychology services are claimable under Medicare but people should consult their GP first as a referral is needed,’ Dr Kokavec said.

National Psychology Week (14-20 November) is an initiative of the Australian Psychological Society, aimed at increasing public awareness about psychology, psychological issues and the role psychologists play in community wellbeing.  Psychologists working in Australia are committed to working from an evidence-based perspective so research such as Mr Curnow’s allows fellow psychologists across the world to work with clients in an informed and professional manner, whether operating from a preventative or reactive frame-of-reference.

Psychologists in Bendigo will be contributing to National Psychology Week with several planned activities. In particular, the Bendigo Branch of the APS will be manning information stalls at markets over the week-end of 20-21 November.

Members of the community interested in learning more about the practice of psychology in the Bendigo region can talk to a psychologist at the Showgrounds Market on Sunday 21 November, between 10am and 2pm.

More information is available in the Local Notices section on the Bendigo Advertiser website or at the APS websites at and

A free service for members of the general public, GPs and other health professionals who are seeking the advice and assistance of a qualified and suitable APS psychologist in private practice is available by phone on 1800 333 497, email to or online at

Contacts at the Bendigo Branch of the APS, are Chairperson Anna Kokavec , by phone on 5444 7334 or email at or Secretary Peter Trask on mobile 0400 177 671 or email at

Media enquiries
David Curnow, M 0407 332 041 or Peter Trask M 0400 177 671 E

Issued by
Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F +613 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161 E




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