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The Wellselves Foundation

Claire Weightman


Clinical, Organisational and Community Psychologist
Founder and Executive Director

Claire's Early Career

Claire’s work as an intern and early career psychologist from 1991 to 1993, involved conducting clinical and educational assessment in child, family and adult neuro-developmental and disability supporting services in Queensland. Skills and interests acquired honed interest and expertise in somato-sensory, cognitive and other assessment and strong individual and family counselling skills.

Claire began part-time private practice in 1991 and continued to operate small practices working with small groups and selected clients during evenings and weekends. Claire gained further skills and APS College Memberships throughout the 1990s in community psychology and organisational psychology completing further professional development training. Claire also undertook additional training in occupational and management psychology completing further tertiary education modules in the early 2000s.

Later Claire worked for six years until 1998, as a Commonwealth Government-employed senior and later Area Occupational psychologist, supporting career-interrupted and variously clinically-distressed unemployed adults in urban Brisbane and later South West Queensland, following the 1988 recession and the five years of social fallout.

Claire assessed skills, abilities and workforce impediments and advised on ethical and cultural approaches to retaining and assisting clients referred to ‘work for the dole’ and other programs in the region. Claire also assisted disabled clients requiring referral to disability support pensions and appropriately shaped voluntary and personal support case management programs.

Claire undertook a period of intensive work supporting staff and sworn police when seconded to working in a post-Fitzgerald Queensland Police staff role in 1996.

From 1997 to 1998 Claire also acted as live-in Senior Resident Fellow at McGregor College at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), providing supervisory care, residential support and in-college tutoring programs to a population of about 150 undergraduate students.

Claire cites one of the strongest practice ethos development periods was initial exposure to the work of former English NHS Clinical psychologist, Professor David Smail in the mid-1990s, while undertaking Masters level subjects in Community Psychology at USQ. Claire’s current research remains engaged with the impacts of surrounding human systems in exacerbating trauma and stress in personal identity formulation.

From 1998 to 2000, Claire relocated to Melbourne for the first time, helping support and promote establishment of Small Business Incubators and Job Network with the Federal Government and supported quality control management of those services in Melbourne in the late 1990s.

Claire was involved in writing speeches and briefings for preparing Ministerial launches of business incubator systems in Victorian local government council areas around the state. This included liaising and consulting with local consortiums and regional councils and attending a string of successful incubator openings.

Promoted in 2000 to 2004 to Government Employment Directorate level work in Canberra, Claire began working as an Assistant Director and supporting establishment of the newly-online Australian Job Search site.

In 2000 Claire was also a key conceptualiser and project coordinator in the Employment departmental arm, personally designing, developing and performance analysing the Federal Government’s still-popular Job Outlook Career Quiz. Claire incorporated use of Australian-normed vocational assessment information, correlating it with appropriate data from Australian Bureau of Statistics workforce and contemporary job role information databases.

Initially launched in 2001, later revised by subsequent departmental managers in 2017, Claire’s original, revised site structure still receives hits from over one million users daily. (See www.joboutlook.gov.au/careerquiz).

Later Claire was involved in the cross-Departmental Employment/Education committees that advised Federal Cabinet on and achieved implementation of Higher Education Workplace Relations reform.

After 10 years of Commonwealth Service, Claire returned to the private sector and moved to Sydney, to work in several roles while slowly commencing building networks and beginning a new part-time private practice, co-located in Macquarie Street, Sydney.

Claire began designing and running programs for children, families and parents, notably a number tailored toward ASD and ADHD impacted children, at Learning Links in NSW between 2004 and 2006.

Claire was also one of the original door to door field research surveyors for the Federal Government’s “Growing up in Australia” longitudinal study of pre-school children. Claire visited hundreds of Western Sydney homes during 2004/05, stretching in area from Casula to Liverpool. The remarkable direct insight this experience gave into the rich diversity and complexity of outer suburban capital living and its burgeoning multi-cultural populations in the early 2000s remains one of Claire’s fondest career memories.

Knocking on doors for appointments with mums of recent babies and young toddlers, Claire most recalls the hugely differing array of tea and coffee cups offered at each preliminary survey visit. That, and the multiplicity of varied cultures and cuteness of gurgling babies passed for cuddling.

Claire continues to regularly review work in human parenting attachment capacity. Currently Claire is interested in reciprocally reduced mirror neuron response learning in reducing inherent empathic limbic system responses in children later diagnosed with ASD.

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