[L-R] Erica Crome and cadet, Taylor-Jai Mcalister.
[L-R] Erica Crome and cadet, Taylor-Jai Mcalister.

When Erica met Taylor-Jai

The Macquarie Indigenous Cadetship Program has doubled this year, providing 23 students hands-on, real-world experience in faculties, and within external providers, as part of a range of student-centred programs from the Office of Indigenous Strategy.

For Erica Crome, an Early Career Researcher with the Centre for Emotional Health, taking on a cadet has proven to be a valuable resource, including an increased cultural sensitivity within her research team as well as hands-on assistance with daily research tasks. “Increased communication between the Office of Indigenous Strategy and the Centre for Emotional Health has also sparked many new ideas for collaborations on future research projects,” she says.

“I am passionate about Indigenous health equality, and I believe the strongest contribution I can make to closing the gap is to help empower future generations of Indigenous health researchers and clinicians,” says Erica.

With the goal to work in autism and social anxiety research, cadet and second year Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) student Taylor-Jain Mcalister has her eyes firmly set on completing her masters in clinical psychology and ultimately a PhD.

“I’m extremely passionate about psychology,” says Taylor-Jai. “In my first year I had multiple psychology-based volunteer jobs, but I’ve been aspiring to work in research for many years. When I learned of the cadetship, I jumped at the chance.”

Taylor-Jai says she had a few cadetship opportunities to choose from, but after learning about Erica’s work, it was an easy choice. “Erica works in many areas of research, all focused on areas I connect with – plus she was able to connect me with some of my academic idols, Jon Brock and Anna Kelly!”

“The cadetship has been an invaluable experience,” she adds. “I’m always being challenged and inspired by the work, and Erica is really great at seeing my potential and giving me responsibility. I really feel like I’m learning more about my interests in psychology and about the research process.”

For more information about how you can take on a cadet, contact Teneale Lavender (teneale.lavender@mq.edu.au) or call ext 9970.

Learn more about the program below