Iris Pham

11 Aug 2023

At the age of 14 Iris Pham moved from her bustling home in Hong Kong to the relative somnambulance of rural life in Toowoomba. For a teenage girl who had only known the pace of the round the clock vibrancy of life in Hong Kong, it’s hard to think of a move that would have been more of a culture shock than coming to the conservative capital of Queensland’s Darling Downs. What’s more, Iris made that move on her own, having to abruptly adjust to a totally foreign experience with multiple homestay families in Australia.

Iris had gone through a number of mental health issues prior to the move and was really feeling the strain of living in a society that placed so much expectation and pressure on even its youngest citizens to succeed, yet she feels that all of those experiences, both good and bad, have contributed to her growth in some way.

After a challenging start in Australia Iris began to find her feet, ultimately settling on the Gold Coast where she is now studying psychology at Bond University. Iris has become so taken by her new home that she says it’s the best place to study and now describes herself as a salesperson for the Gold Coast!

In our conversation we explore the nature of psychology, why Iris has a burning desire to help others and how she ensures her own mental health stays in check as she deals with the emotional issues of her clients.

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