Chief Psych recognised for career of significance

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09 January 2024

Events and initiatives Reward and recognition

Recently retired Chris Gostelow has been recognised by the Australian Psychological Society for the impact he made in psychology over his 39-year career with the Department.

The Significant Contribution to Psychology in the Public Sector Award celebrates Mr Gostelow’s work in school psychology leadership, suicide prevention, and critical incident management. 

Chris Gostelow receiving his award.

The Gatekeeper Suicide Prevention Training, that he developed in 1990, has been refined and improved over the past 30 years and continues to be used as an important training tool. 

"What I did was to create better processes for schools, a more systematic approach for supporting students," Mr Gostelow said.  

Offering advice to aspiring professionals, Mr Gostelow promotes collaboration among peers. 

He encourages learning from experienced colleagues, fostering camaraderie, and gaining expertise in specific areas.  

“I’d also encourage trying to find the niche or specialisation that speaks to you and focusing on developing your knowledge and skills in that field,” he said. 

“One of the best things psychologists in our schools can do is form a network or a group of colleagues to both learn from as well as to receive and give support.”  

Humbled by the award, Mr Gostelow said it is not something he had ever sought and acknowledged the many that had played their parts in the successes of his initiatives. 

“It's a nice acknowledgement for my ongoing commitment to ensure school psychology services at public schools are as strong as they can be," he said.  

“It’s nice to be recognised individually, but what I have done has been in collaboration with so many professional colleagues in school psychology, education, and inter-agency partners” 

Congratulations Mr Gostelow on your achievement and we hope you enjoy your well-deserved retirement. Many WA families have benefitted enormously because of your efforts. 

As a reminder of his efforts, the School Psychologists’ Association of WA has also introduced the annual Gostelow Excellence and Leadership Award, which was presented for the first time in 2023. It recognises Mr Gostelow’s leadership, innovation, and the positive influence he had throughout his career.