Our people - Michelle Tuckey
I joined UniSA only a year ago but I am happy to be in an academic position with the opportunity to develop my own program of research. I completed my PhD in Psychology at Flinders University in 2003 looking at factors affecting eyewitness memory. In the next few years I worked at the Australasian Centre for Policing Research as a senior researcher investigating a range of aspects of organisational psychology – from factors surrounding police burn-out and police corruption, right through to the development of national level policy to improve policing. UniSA was appealing for a range of reasons. I love the fact that we are genuinely linked to the community and that when we talk about research, the University really does value the application of knowledge.
I think there is a real appreciation of how research can make a difference. The research project I am engaged in now is a great example and one close to my heart. I am looking at how to make the volunteer firefighter role more satisfying and sustainable. I have been a volunteer firefighter since I was 18 so I understand some of the pressures of the role – balancing work and training needs in an increasingly professionalised service and the impact of volunteer responsibilities on family and personal life. How those factors affect volunteers may offer a key to reshaping policy so that we can arrest the decline in volunteer numbers for these important roles. I want to understand the negative impacts but also to identify what rewards people get from the role and how we can enhance positive aspects of the volunteer experience. It all fits for me. I can teach and research, but I can also contribute to the community in powerful ways through the research – well, that’s my goal – and I feel that I am supported here to do just that.
Dr Michelle Tuckey is a lecturer and researcher in the School of Psychology.