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Bhakti supports research into bullying prevention at schools

22 July, 2022

UWA student Bhakti Sharma has supported valuable research being done at Telethon Kids Institute that explores new ways that primary and secondary school environments can help prevent bullying and promote positive wellbeing for children and adolescents.

Bhakti, who is studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences majoring in Anatomy and Psychology, completed the internship through UWA’s McCusker Centre for Citizenship.

Bhakti’s internship role saw her assist across a range of research being undertaken by Telethon Kids’ School and Community Wellbeing team, with a particular focus on the Building Out Bullying Project, led by Dr Jacinta Francis, which explores how school environments can improve bullying behaviours and mental health through policy-relevant evidence, system-level guidelines, and school-based interventions.

“It was really exciting to see how the work that I was doing was helping the community, and how the things that I was learning at uni could be applied in the real world,” said Bhakti.

Through the internship, Bhakti gained insights into the complex world of research publication and the broader field of medical research, where she was impressed to see how interconnected such research is with the community.

“I used to think that research was just people in white coats doing research in the lab, but my internship has shown me how much involvement the community has in research,” said Bhakti.

“Seeing how the community impacts the trajectory of what Telethon Kids Institute do was pretty cool. It has opened my eyes to how I can help the community,” she said.

Lead researcher Dr Jacinta Francis, who also supervised the internship, said “Bhakti was an exemplary intern who made a significant contribution to the Building Out Bullying Project and our efforts to improve the lives of children and their families. During her placement, Bhakti became a valued team member.”

Bhakti says her internship experience has shown her the critical importance of medical research and solidified her ambitions to work in this field.

“I would definitely recommend the McCusker Centre for Citizenship Internship program to everyone. It’s such an exciting way to get more experience in whatever you want to do in the future. I met so many amazing new people and learnt so much through my placement,” she said.