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Mind and Brain
17 November, 2017

SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre welcomes inaugural Visiting Fellow

Mind and Brain

The SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre (WRC) today welcomes its inaugural Visiting Fellow, Dr Vic Strecher, PhD, MPH, world-leading expert in the science and psychology of healthy personal change for both individuals and large populations.

As a core part of its mission, the SAHMRI WRC has established a Visiting Fellows program that will invite exceptional academics, researchers and practitioners to spend time at the Centre in order to enrich the South Australian community's engagement with wellbeing and resilience theory and practice and contribute to the Centre’s research activities.

Living a purposeful life

Dr Strecher is a Professor and Director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. As a teacher and researcher, Dr Strecher has spent much of his time studying the science and psychology of healthy personal change for both individuals and large populations. In 2011, his youngest daughter, Julia, passed away and Dr Strecher’s experience of being ‘broken open’ because of this tragedy set him on a life-transforming journey focused on purposeful living.

Dr Strecher’s mission

In his work, Dr Strecher reconsiders directions taken in the health and wellness fields and discusses new strategies for motivating and improving health, wellbeing, resilience, living a purposeful life and human performance for an ageing population.

During the month of November, Dr Strecher will participate in a diverse mix of formal lectures and workshops, large public events and translational research projects that explore the concepts of meaning and purpose and the importance of living a purposeful life.

He will spend time with staff from the SAHMRI WRC co-developing new research projects around the themes of ageing, positive education, organisational development and working with disadvantaged communities. Dr Strecher will work with the Centre’s partners, including Adelaide City Council and the Department of Correctional Services to craft new approaches to building purposeful living.

Ms Gabriellle Kelly, Director of the SAHMRI WRC said that Dr Strecher’s work on purposeful living has been at the cutting edge of the sector for two decades.

“It complements our ongoing commitment to building wellbeing and resilience at scale,” Ms Kelly said.

“Dr Strecher’s work speaks directly to people’s desire to find meaning in their lives and the appetite for contributing to work that is ‘bigger than myself’.

“He is a world-leading researcher and we are honoured to invite him to South Australia as our inaugural Visiting Fellow.”

Dr Strecher will engage in two other major projects during his time in Adelaide. The South Australian Economic Development Board (EDB) is convening an international conference focused on the new economy of Ageing Well and Dr Strecher will deliver a keynote address at this conference on the topic, ‘Precision wellbeing and ageing: no one is average in the digital age’.

Importantly, Dr Strecher will participate in the Don Dunstan Foundations’s Social Capital Residency, working with local innovators and entrepreneurs to develop strategies to bring social innovations to scale in South Australia, particularly in the wellbeing and technology arena.

About the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre

The SAHMRI WRC has a bold vision to build South Australia as the State of Wellbeing, using a public health approach to building mental health. The Centre combines measurement and interventions to produce data and new knowledge about the science of positive psychology and the enhancement of mental health and wellbeing at the population level. Many South Australian schools, organisations and workplaces have already begun to implement interventions proven to improve health and wellbeing.

The SAHMRI WRC has just launched H+Lab Australia. H+Lab is an arm of TusStar, the ‘Silicon Valley’ of China, focusing on developing wellbeing technology for the global market. Dr Strecher’s social capital enterprise work on wellbeing and technology contributes to the objectives of the two partner organisations. 

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The SAHMRI community acknowledges and pays respect to the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region. We also acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and the relationship of the Kaurna people to their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna peoples' ancestors and the living Kaurna people today.