Professor Paula Barrett is internationally recognised as a pre-eminent scholar and groundbreaking researcher in the field of child psychology and has a distinguished international reputation as a keynote presenter.
In 2008, Paula was the recipient of the Telstra Queensland Business Woman of the Year award; and was announced as a finalist for the Australian of the Year Queensland Award, and as a finalist for the Queenslander of the Year Award, for her contribution to the wellbeing of families and to the community.
Paula has authored and evaluated over 15 years the well-known FRIENDS for Life program that teaches children from the age of four positive coping strategies and necessary life skills to face challenging tasks. FRIENDS for Life has been endorsed by the World Health Organization for the prevention and treatment of childhood and adolescent anxiety and depression. Worldwide it has been used in 18 countries, and translated into 12 languages.
Paula is also the Director of the innovative research-based clinic Pathways Health and Research Centre. Paula is Patron of the Pathways to Resilience Trust, a charity that implements the FRIENDS programs in economically disadvantaged and Indigenous areas of Australia, including rural and drought affected areas. Since January 2008 the Pathways Trust has reached up to 24,000 needy children.