Susana Gavidia-Payne

Urban Scholar

  • Resilient Communities
  • Families and Social Care
  • Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Communities

Associate Professor Susana Gavidia-Payne has been involved for approximately 30 years in working with young children with and without disabilities and their families as a practicing psychologist and researcher. She has considerable expertise in developing, delivering and evaluating early intervention programs that strengthen children’s socio-emotional and behavioural development and family functioning. For the last five years, Susana’s research work has focussed on the examination of the factors that promote or hinder children’s and families’ resilience outcomes, particularly in disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, to ensure that evidence-based support and interventions are effectively developed and implemented in community-based settings. More recently, this has involved interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers in Australia, Peru and Brazil that inform the comparative development of evidence-based initiatives with children and families in specific social demographics and cultural contexts.

Susana is a developmental psychologist and an RMIT academic with expertise in program formulation, development and evaluation for children and families in vulnerable populations in different cultural contexts. Susana has worked extensively with a range of professionals in the community sector, having held leadership positions in government and non-for-profit organisations prior to and during her RMIT tenure.

Susana’s academic research addresses the multiple social, cultural and psychological factors that promote and/or hinder children’s and families’ health and wellbeing or emotional and psychological resilience outcomes with the view of developing effective child-, family- and community-based interventions. As such, Susana’s research work focusses on the intersection of health, social and community development.

Susana has successfully undertaken a number of competitive research grants and tenders over the past 15 years, generating a number of publications and conference presentations. As part of her academic role, she supervises the research work of Honours, Masters and PhD students. She holds positions in the RMIT School of Health Sciences Research Committee, and College of Science Engineering and Health Ethics Committee. She was recently appointed a member of the Victorian Children’s Council which provides expert independent advice to the Victorian State Government relating to policies and services that enhance the health, wellbeing, development and safety of children.

Susana is based in Melbourne, Australia.