Richard Bennett studied psychology at Deakin. He combined his love of surfing to tour with surfing professionals, and pioneered the field of surf psychology.
Career path and highlights
Richard Bennett studied psychology at Deakin's Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus from 1991–1995.
In 1997, Rich began his psychology career in public mental health and it was here that he first encountered the extreme end of human experience and high-risk behaviour.
In 2000, Rich combined his passions for surfing and psychology to become the first psychologist to work globally on the Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour. Rich travelled full time on the tour for three years, pioneering the field of surf psychology through observational profiling, research and consultation with many of the world's top competitive surfers, free surfers and extreme big wave riders.
Rich's pioneering work in surfing culminated with the release of his world-first book The Surfer's Mind: The complete, practical guide to surf psychology in 2004.
Over the last decade, Rich has held many senior positions within Australian Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games teams and sporting institutes. Some of these positions include:
- Principal Psychologist at Australian Paralympic Committee, 2012 Australian Paralympic Team
- National Team Psychologist at Olympic Winter Institute of Australia
- National Team Psychologist at Australian Institute of Sport
- Senior Psychologist at NSW Institute of Sport
- Australian Team Psychologist at Commonwealth Games, Delhi, India 2010
- Australian Team Psychologist at Olympic Winter Games, Vancouver, Canada 2010
- Principal Psychologist at Australian Paralympic Committee, 2008 Australian Paralympic Team
- Australian Team Psychologist at Olympic Games, Beijing, China 2008
- Australian Team Psychologist at Commonwealth Games, Melbourne, Australia 2006
- Surf Psychologist at Association of Surfing Professionals World Tour.
Rich's specialist niche in 'extreme performance' has evolved from working closely with individuals and teams across a broad range of 'high risk – high reward' pursuits, such as action sports, adventure campaigns, acrobatic and artistic performance, security, defence, emergency services and the corporate sector.
Rich consults locally and globally from his private practice, OM Psychology, located in Jan Juc.
For more information about Rich, visit the OM Psychology website.