Honouring a father, husband and researcher

"Steven was quiet and passionate about his work. He just got on with it. He was never one to stand on podiums or ring bells. This is a way of acknowledging him."

Making time for students was always a priority for clinical psychologist and academic Associate Professor Steven Klimidis.


"His students loved him because he would always sit and explain things to them," said Nadia Ranieri of her late husband, who died suddenly of a heart attack in 2008. 


"He was always someone who would help other people. Many times he was home late because a student would approach him at 6pm." 


So when Nadia thought about ways in which she could honour her husband's extensive research and work in clinical psychology, it was an easy decision. She sought to establish a prize to reward and support students at ANU.


Steven completed his PhD (Clinical Psychology) at ANU in 1988. Nadia says it was at the University that Steven found his passion for research and his academic direction. 


Having immigrated to Australia from Greece at an early age, Steven had a strong affiliation with immigrant populations and became a pioneer in the field of transcultural mental health. In his roles as Assistant Director of Victorian Transcultural Mental Health, and Associate Professor in the University of Melbourne's Centre for International Mental Health, Steven worked tirelessly to advance the knowledge and understanding of the mental health of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including asylum seekers. 


Recipient of the inaugural Steven Klimidis Memorial Prize in Clinical Psychology, Dr Kristen Murray said she was surprised and pleased to receive the prize, which is awarded to higher degree research students at the ANU Research School of Psychology.


"I was just really honoured and humbled," says Kristen, who completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology in 2013 and is now teaching in the University's Research School of Psychology and working at a specialised obesity service.


Nadia attended the award ceremony with her and Steven's young children, Nicholas and Anna. Establishing the prize, she explained, also serves to inform the children of their father's significant contribution to research in clinical psychology and mental health. "It's very important to me that the children learn more about their father's work."


She described Steven as a creative and generous man, and a diligent and determined researcher who never courted the limelight. 


"Steven was quiet and passionate about his work. He just got on with it. He was never one to stand on podiums or ring bells. This is a way of acknowledging him."
 

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