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Getting to know PhD candidate Sophun Moch

Sophun can you please tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Well, I was born in a rural village in Cambodia. Then I moved to further my higher education in Phnom Penh with scholarship support from a non-government organization and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Development Economic in 2008. After my graduation, I was working for non-government organisations in social work and community development for four years. Fortunately, I won the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship to study for a Joint European Master in Comparative Local Development in Italy and Hungary in 2012. Upon my return to Cambodia, I was working for a non-government organisation, social and commercial research company and a government institution in program monitoring and evaluation and commercial research.

How did this opportunity come about?

There are two main reasons that really encouraged me to do my PhD in Australia through the university scholarship. First of all, I’m incredibly passionate about pursuing my education at a world ranking university in an English-speaking country as it will enable me to strengthen my analytical and research skills. Secondly, I have a big passion for international experience working across cultural environments, especially in developed countries. I’ve learnt that it’s quite challenging for me, but it will be rewarding as well in the end. I’m ready for new challenges and to learn something new from people here.

What is the research project you are working on?

I’m working on a research project entitled “A Comparative Analysis of Psychosocial Approaches to the Prevention of Suicide in Australia”.

What do you hope to achieve from your work in  Australia?

My ultimate goals are to get a PhD degree with thesis by publication in international academic journals and to gain practical knowledge of suicide prevention in Australia by working with people at the Centre as well as community members. I strongly believe that PhD study is not only about taking different classes to enable us to do our research but also about learning new skills and knowledge from people with great experience in the area of interest.

What are some of your favourite activities that you do to keep mentally healthy?

I usually go jogging around the park here and meet my friends at coffee shops.

What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever been?

To be honest, I’m still in love with Bolzano in Italy as it’s a lovely place to live.

What is one of the hardest challenges about living in a different country?

One thing that really challenges me is the cool weather in winter. Besides this, everything is great here.

What is your favourite food?

Don’t have any particular in mind at the moment.

What are two things about Australia that you love?

I love most of the people here since they are friendly and considerate. Indeed, I like the scenery in spring and summer.

What are two things from home that you are missing the most?

Oh, I miss my relatives and friends so much.

How can people get in touch with you?

Via 0450 244 729 or sophun.moch@uon.edu.au

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