Positive Psychology

Committee Information

Below are details of the current committee and vacancies. The APS is always on the look out for members who are interested in joining a Member Group committee, to help support and promote members, the profession, and the APS. For more information about joining a Member Groups committee, click here.

Have questions? Please feel free to contact committee members via PsyCommunity direct message here or reach out to APS Member Groups via [email protected].




Dr Lea Waters
Order of Australia recipient, Professor Lea Waters AM, holds a PhD in Organisational Psychology. Professor Waters is the Founding Director of the Centre for Positive Psychology (now the Centre for Wellbeing Science), University of Melbourne, where she has held an academic position for two and a half decades.

She is the recent Past President of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) (2017-2019) and holds an affiliate position with the Center for Positive Organizations, University of Michigan. Professor Waters is on the Science Board of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of Berkeley.

Lea has published 110+ scientific publications, has been the recipient of major prestigious grants including a National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant. She has written for the Wall Street Journal, TIME.com, The Atlantic, The Guardian and her work is featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Mail and Globe.


Dr Michelle Andrews Luke
Dr Michelle Andrews Luke is an academic at the University of Melbourne and a practicing educational and developmental psychologist at St Margaret's Berwick Grammar (SMBG). With over two decades of experience in educational settings and private practice, Michelle’s research explores the links between strong relationships, active listening, and child mental health, highlighting the crucial importance of listening to children. At SMBG, Michelle has led the co-design and delivery of a whole-school mental health strategy, earning an Excellence Award for Best Student Wellbeing Program at the 2023 Australian Education Awards. Michelle is dedicated to helping children and young people feel seen, heard, and valued so that they can live happy and healthy lives.


Ms Melinda Phillips

Committtee Member

Ms Laura Allison
Laura Allison (BSc, BPsych, MPsych, ProfCertEd,PosEd, PhD) is a registered psychologist employed as the Chief Psychologist for Catholic Education in Western Australia.
Laura has worked in education across the Government, Catholic and Independent sectors and has been the Director of Wellbeing in two schools. Laura sits on a number of state and national steering and advisory committees for mental health, wellbeing, suicide prevention and suicide postvention. Laura has expertise relating to mental illness prevention and wellbeing promotion in education and was the recipient of the 2015 WA School Psychologist of the Year Award. She completed her PhD with the University of Melbourne, researching a system informed positive psychology, context-focused approach to student wellbeing, developing the Flourishing Classroom System Observation Framework. Laura’s research has been published in scientific journals and is being implemented across almost 160 Catholic schools in Western Australia.

Committee Member

Ms Katherine Watson
Katherine Watson (BAComm, BSocSci Hons, MPsych) is a Clinical Psychologist working in private practice. Before becoming a psychologist Katherine worked for an Oncology-related NGO, providing individual and group support for people affected by cancer. This piqued her interest in psychology, especially the positive psychology approach. Fast forward to now, Katherine has her own private practice in Sydney where she enjoys working with individuals and groups of people. Outside of psychology, Katherine is a keen long-distance runner and combines this interest with travel whenever possible.

Committee Member

Assoc Prof Karena Burke
A/Prof Karena J. Burke (BA, Hons, PhD, GCTAE, MAPS) is a Psychology academic and researcher, and since 2016 has held the role of Head of Psychology at Central Queensland University.
Karena's primary research interests concentrate on the links between physical and psychological health, and the promotion of resilience and well-being in adjusting to adverse life events. Her research is focussed across a diverse spectrum of social activity – from the impact and role on individuals in specific circumstances, to the understanding of how organisational, social and community level impacts can influence health and well-being.
As part of the PPIG Karena hopes to assist in further developing knowledge and skills of the ways in which positive psychology can be embedded into practice across the many different areas of our discipline.
Karena is a dog lover, amateur photographer and draws positivity from connecting with nature.

Committee Member

Assoc Prof Erica Frydenberg
Erica Frydenberg AM HONFAPS
MA, Dip Ed, Dip Clin Psych, PhD, GAICD
Erica Frydenberg is a clinical, organisational, counselling and educational psychologist who has practiced extensively in the Australian educational setting before joining the staff of the University of Melbourne. She is an Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow (Honorary) in psychology in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society. She has authored over 150 academic journal articles and chapters in the field of coping, published psychological instruments to measure coping, developed programs to teach coping and published numerous books on coping across the life-span, parenting and early childhood. Her interest in wellbeing, coping, resilience and fortitude is underpinned by the principles of positive Psychology. Her most recent book (August 2022) is Coping in Good Times and Bad: Developing Fortitude. She has engaged in a range of consultanci

Committee Member

Miss Kate Graham

Committeee Member

Ms Elizabeth Hutton
Ms Elizabeth Hutton is in the final stage of her PhD in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Swinburne University. Elizabeth's research focus is on mental health, specifically mental wellbeing and the dual-continuum model.

Elizabeth has a First-Class Honours degree in psychology where her research was published in the International Journal of Training Research. Prior to re-training to become a psychologist, she worked in the property sector for more than 25-years in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors.

Elizabeth has clinical experience supporting cancer patients in hospital and residential settings, trained and volunteered as a fully accredited Crisis Support Worker with Lifeline Australia, and volunteered with Anxiety Disorders Association of Victoria.

Elizabeth is undertaking her Masters in Clinical Psychology at La Trobe University in 2024-25.

Committeee Member

Ms Po Yee Ching

Committee Member

Position vacant

Student Representative

Miss Courtney Ah Shay
Courtney Ah Shay is an Honours student supported by the Department of Psychological Sciences at Central Queensland University. Courtney is completing her thesis research on the impact of 'restricted sleep and breaking up sitting on sleep quality', with the intention to publish and provide practical implications to modern society.

Courtney has worked in Child Protection for approximately 4 years including work as a Child Safety Officer and Child Protection Counsellor. Courtney works from a strengths-based, trauma-informed lens to support children and their families involved in child protection interventions. Courtney is also a trained Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator and enjoys supporting parents to provide their children with the emotional support needed to develop secure attachment and resilience.

Courtney intends to commence her clinical masters over the next two years and eventually complete her PhD in the area of positive psychology, specifically 'purpose.'

Student Representative

Position vacant