Elyse reflects on working at PowerFest18
What was your involvement with the PowerLab?
In 2017, I commenced an internship at the PowerLab. Following this, I remained at the PowerLab to complete a research placement project as part of a final year subject. During this time, I gained valuable skills in conducting research, analysing data, report writing and presenting findings. The support and opportunities I received at the PowerLab motivated me to complete a Bachelor of Public Health (Honours). My thesis explored the research question ‘Does social capital have the potential to negate the effect of socioeconomic disadvantage and thereby narrow down inequalities in mental health?’. The aim was to investigate whether an increase in social capital could help to narrow socioeconomic inequalities in mental health. After completing my thesis, I worked as a Research Assistant at the PowerLab to co-manage the data collection of park quality scores in Wollongong and Sydney.
What was it like attending the PowerFest18?
Attending the PowerFest18 conference was a very rewarding experience, and was definitely one of the highlights of my time at the PowerLab. During the PowerFest18 conference, I was responsible for helping with registration, assisting the set-up of the event and facilitating question time at the end of presentations. Throughout the day, we listened to a series of presentations and engaged in discussions about urban greening and health. It was great to be a part of the team, and to learn about some of the latest trends and upcoming research areas taking place at both local and international levels. One of the main highlights of the conference was the opportunity to connect with a wide range presenters and audience members, and ask questions about their experiences working in the field. I also built confidence in my ability to reflect upon and share my own research findings to people outside of my immediate work environment.
What benefits and experience did you gain from attending and working at the conference?
The insights, networks and knowledge that I gained from attending and working at the PowerFest18 conference were invaluable, and have continued to support me in my current work environment. In my role at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, I recently worked on a poster about pharmacotherapy treatment in Australia that was displayed at a conference I was attending. I was able to reflect on my experience at PowerFest18, and particularly the posters presented by PowerLab’s PhD students to inform my approach to this task. This was a great opportunity for professional development.