Dr Sharon Varela
Mental Health Academic - Central West and North West Queensland (Senior Psychologist) / Principal Research Officer
Dr. Sharon Varela is a Senior Psychologist who is a Mental Health Academic with the Centre for Rural and Remote Health. She has a passion for her profession, and experience and understanding of rural and remote practice. Sharon is located in Longreach but works across the Central West and North West regions of Queensland. She completed her PhD research in the clinical and sport psychology topic areas, developing and implementing a group program for young athletes.
The program targeted transactional-ecological resilience through a positive youth development model, and was adapted from Dr Paula Barrett’s FRIENDS for Life program. The program was trailed in Seattle, USA, through a research partnership with the University of Washington, and in Brisbane, QLD, with the Australian Football League Queensland (AFLQ). Sharon has extensive experience in the training and supervision of provisional and student psychologists, and for allied health workers in general through collaborative practice models.
Sharon is a lifespan psychologist who has held senior clinical roles, clinical roles, and leadership roles across government, not-for-profit, university and private sectors in the following areas of psychology: health, forensic mental health, mental health, disability, organisational, developmental, educational, research, survey design.