Positive Psychology

Committee Information

APS Interest Groups support members with special interests, assist communication between members interested in similar fields and advise the APS on issues related to their area of interest. Interest Group membership is open to all APS members and Interest group committee members are volunteer roles.


Below are details of the current committee and vacancies. If you are interested in joining the committee, click here to complete an expression of interest/nomination form to be considered. Please feel free to contact Interest Group committee members or APS Member Groups ([email protected]) with any queries or suggestions about the engagement for members of this Interest Group around Australia.




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.


Assoc Prof Erica Frydenberg
Phone: 0419333361
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


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

Ms Laura Allison
Phone: 0477900475
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.

Commitee Member

Mrs Barbara Miller

Committee Member

Ms Po Yee Ching

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

Position vacant

Student Representative

Ms Elizabeth Hutton
Ms Elizabeth Hutton is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Swinburne University of Technology. Before Elizabeth decided to re-train to become a psychologist, she worked in the property sector for more than 25-years. In her previous role, Elizabeth was a consultant within Australia’s largest religious order in their property team, with holdings across Australia and PNG in health, welfare and education.

Elizabeth's research focus is on mental health, specifically wellbeing and preventive mental health interventions to support vocational education and training students. Elizabeth has a First-Class Honours degree in psychology, where her research was published in the International Journal of Training Research. She has trained and volunteered as a fully accredited Crisis Support Worker with Lifeline Australia and currently volunteers with Anxiety Disorders Association of Victoria facilitating support group meetings for people living with depression and anxiety.

Student Representative

Position vacant