Maria Rodrigues is Director of Kindred, an international non-profit organisation that builds social and emotional well-being using a community development approach. With offices in Colombia and Australia, Kindred supports people, organisations and governments to identify factors causing psychological distress and address them together.
Maria’s experience as a researcher, educator, and development practitioner spans over fifteen years working at the intersection of mental health, social justice, and cross-cultural peacebuilding. Community mental health, especially addressing intergenerational trauma, has increasingly become the focus of her work. Maria has completed field research in a variety of contexts, notably with Aboriginal communities in remote Australia, as well as post-conflict settings in Kenya, Uganda, and Mozambique.
Maria holds a BA in Psychology from Elmira College and a PhD in Applied Ethics (Global Justice) from the University of Melbourne. Her enthusiasm for working with students has led her to teach at universities across Australia, most recently at James Cook University as part of their MA Program in Conflict Management and Resolution. Maria’s research and consultancy work has contributed to toolkits, policy and strategic documents for StrongMinds Uganda, the National Indigenous Australians Agency, the World Psychiatric Association, Relationships Australia and Amnesty International.