Interview with Rosalind Ben-Moshe
Can you tell us about your time at Deakin? Is there anything you especially remember?
When I studied the Master of Public Health was part of a consortium with other institutions. Most classes were at Melbourne University, so my time at Deakin Burwood was kept to a minimum. However one of my electives was held over a weekend at the Burwood campus. It was like going to a ghost university as no one was around. When I returned for another elective mid-week, it was a totally different place – so much action and activity.
What has been your journey since finishing your course? Briefly outline your career path prior to your current role.
Since completing my MPH I was offered a teaching position at La Trobe University. For five years I lectured in Public Health and was subject co-ordinator and lecturer for Community Health Promotion. I became interested in positive psychology and also trained as a laughter yoga facilitator. I was so taken by laughter’s immediate effects on subjective wellbeing I became involved in research assessing the therapeutic benefits of laughter. The first was a Deakin led laughter therapy project for patients receiving dialysis and the second with La Trobe University for people in residential aged care. No matter the group, results demonstrated multiple physical, social and emotional benefits. Then out of the blue came my bowel cancer diagnosis. Together with surgery, I put theory into practice, experimenting with a range of techniques and strategies to create a positive mindset and empower my own healing. These included mindfulness, laughter wellness and other positive psychology strategies such as gratitude practice. As a result I penned my book, Laughing at cancer – How to Heal with Love, Laughter and Mindfulness, part memoir, part healing guide.
What has been the biggest influence on your career?
My experience with bowel cancer.
Have you always wanted to pursue the kind of career you have embarked on? If so, when and how did you realise?
I have always loved helping and brightening peoples’ moods through a shared smile or laugh. I never dreamed I could make a career out of it.
What advice would you give graduates wanting to pursue a similar profession?
There’s really no point considering becoming a (laughter) wellness expert if you don’t live and breathe wellness.
What do you believe Deakin University has shown you/given you as a person?
The Master of Public Health opened my eyes to a whole new way of seeing the world.
What are your passions outside your work?
Spending time in nature, walking and reading.
How would someone describe you?
Friendly, warm, genuine and generous hearted.
Is there any advice you would give to a person who is starting out in your career?
Be patient. Authoring books and developing your own consultancy can be challenging, but it’s more than worth it when you’re doing something you love and helps transforms lives.
What’s your favourite website?
What’s your least favourite word?
What is something that amazes you?
Is there anything else you’d like to add we haven’t covered?
Much gratitude for the gift of further education