Staff Category: Monitoring, evaluation, and research consultant

Ben Siveges

Hello, I’m Ben. I joined VTMH in October 2022. My role is all about monitoring, evaluation, and research in the important area of transcultural mental health in Victoria. I am excited to be part of conversations about how we can best support the sector to deliver holistic, person-centred mental health care.

I bring a background in psychology – specifically neuropsychology – to my role, where I researched subjective memory in people with epilepsy. I explored how and why self-evaluation of memory functioning can be misaligned with the results of objective cognitive assessment, and what this means for the treatment/management of cognitive symptoms.

Prior to VTMH, I worked in higher education where I coordinated the implementation of an initiative aimed at reforming assessment and feedback practices in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. This initiative encouraged educators and learners to evaluate their own evaluative processes, with the aim of fostering a shared “assessment language” that could support meaningful dialogue about the quality of work.

The initiative foregrounded the notion that evaluative judgment is integral to active participation in learning communities and that learners need opportunities to exercise their developing evaluative judgment throughout their degree. This reform project spanned a wide range of undergraduate units and had an impact on the learning experience of hundreds of students across the faculty.

I also worked in a teaching capacity and developed new curriculum material for courses on biological psychology, focusing on issues around scientific reproducibility and the ethical dimensions of research in cognitive neuroscience.

Since 2022 I have been a member of the Lived Experience Advisory Group for the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy at the University of Melbourne. I’m very interested in how institutional factors in higher education pose obstacles for those experiencing mental health issues.