Psychology graduate Nicky Brand has been making a huge impact in supporting at-risk young people in Australia and the UK.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Psychology and Biological Sciences) at Flinders University, Nicky Brand (BBehavSc ’99) moved to the United Kingdom for 12 years where she led the Catch 22 team in Manchester.
She is proud of the success she and her Catch 22 team had in implementing a program which reduced offending rates in their target group of high-risk teens by 80%, and re-engaging 75% of this group back into education.
Nicky credits her studies with having the balance of academia and industry, that enabled her to hit the ground running and immediately apply her knowledge to make a real difference to those who needed it most.
“The robustness of my degree and scientific rigour ensures everything I do is based on valid and reliable measurement and analysis,” says Nicky. “The practical application was made easier because the degree is also designed to enable you to see how the learning applies in the real world.”
12 years later and now back in Australia, Nicky is now the Deputy Chair of Youth Opportunities and General Manager at Marshman Foundation where she is developing programs that are reducing mental health risk for young people by up to 60%.
Nicky is also pleased to have managed the online presence of the program – to reach more at-risk young people and adults.
While she initially thought that starting a psychology degree would lead her to becoming a practising Psychologist, Nicky soon realised that there were a wide range of opportunities for her to pursue.
“Understanding human behaviour and what motivates people has enabled me to manage people very well,” says Nicky. “I believe that understanding people helps me to tailor my coaching and management style to get the best for them and for the organisation.”
“I also saw that interventions for at-risk young people needed to be robust through measurement and analysis, and that I could help with that.”
Nicky says she is extremely proud to have gained her degree at Flinders University.
“I genuinely feel that it provided the balance of academic rigour and real-world application that contributed to my success.”