Melanie Carew has held senior roles within the research sector including as the Head of Strategy and Public Affairs at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Chief Executive Officer of the Cooperative Research Centre for Mental Health, and roles in various multidisciplinary research collaborations within the biomedical and agricultural fields. She has developed and overseen education programs and professional development for graduate researchers for over 15 years.
Melanie became interested in graduate student wellbeing when she realised how many of the PhD candidates she’d mentored were facing the same problems in this area but could, with the right guidance and support, resolve these and flourish in their careers.
Dr Karra Harrington is a clinical psychologist and has held academic positions at the Pennsylvania State University, Swinburne University and the Florey Institute. She has a wide range of clinical experience implementing evidence-based psychological interventions across public and private mental health settings. Dr Harrington’s research interests include reducing loneliness in vulnerable populations and development of digital tools to enhance psychological assessment and intervention methods. She holds a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Psychology (Clinical) from Deakin University.
Karra first became interested in graduate student wellbeing while undertaking her own PhD, recognising the need for opportunities to develop skills to maintain wellbeing, overcome challenges, and create supportive peer networks to thrive during PhD and beyond.
Write Smarter: Feel Better was developed under the Australian Government funded research consortium, the ‘Cooperative Research Centre for Mental Health’ (CRC for Mental Health). Melanie Carew and Dr Karra Harrington conceived of, and developed the program, and became directors of Wellbeing Strategies following spin-out of the company.
We wish to acknowledge those who contributed to early iterations of the program between 2017 – 2018 including all PhD candidates involved in the CRC for Mental Health trial, Edith Drajkopyl who provided branding and marketing support, Dr Sabine Bird who provided advice regarding inclusive design during the pilot phase, and the participant organisations in the CRC for Mental Health for their support of the program. We particularly thank Professor Ian Cooke for his continued guidance and encouragement.
Wellbeing Strategies was supported by seed funding from University of Melbourne’s InnovatED program in 2020.