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Positive Psychology student pioneer not staying 'mum' about need for self-care

Published:18 December 2019

CQUni's pioneering Master of Applied Positive Psychology graduate Janine Hockley.

As someone who has raised 10 children and who dedicates her work life to caring for carers, Janine Hockley seems a perfect fit as the pioneering graduate from CQUniversity's Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree.

The Brisbane-based mother and grandmother certainly finds the qualification useful in her work role at Children's Health Queensland, where she supports staff well-being.

Janine has three children of her own and has raised seven others who have come into her extended family orbit. She has also needed to support one of her children, who has had a difficult journey due to mental illness.

She was initially motivated to start tertiary study just over a decade ago - with a Bachelor of Behavioural Science through Swinburne University - so she could survive in her own life.

"When my eldest son became a Uni student he had an Ethics lecture at 4.30 on a Friday afternoon and I just knew he would not go, so I went with him and sat in the lecture hall," Janine says.

"The semester that I did with my son sparked something in me and I thought I wanted to go to Uni myself. I knew that it would meet my life needs, living with a child who struggles with well-being and mental health, so off I went."

Janine says her subsequent CQUni study has helped her provide support to staff members at Children's Health, so they can focus on supporting their clients.

"Life is hard work. It's a challenge, so to come alongside people and support them to flourish and to provide a space for coaching or nurture is a genuine passion of mine," she says.

"My study has opened doors and given me the theory and learning and evidence base to do that nurturing role.

"My advice for students coming through is they need to prioritise 'time for self' so they can refuel, replenish and refresh and find those moments that nourish self.

"I would say 'be kind to yourself'. Life is going to have lots of highs and lows, good and bad, and seasons that come and go, so if you can savour the good times and build elements of self-care into your life, you can cope when things are not so great."

Janine says she is proud to be the first student to graduate from the Master of Applied Positive Psychology at CQUniversity.