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07 Sep 2017

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A supportive Southbanker

Having only recently moved to Southbank, psychologist Rajna Bogdanovic has wasted no time using her gift of helping others to improve the lives of her fellow Southbankers.

While she spends a majority of her week working as a psychologist for Victoria Police, Rajna also operates her own company part-time out of the Southbank Medical Clinic on Sturt St.

She said working within the community had helped her understand many of the local issues that came with living in an apartment-dominated environment like Southbank.

“Some individuals who are young and single can feel quite alone in their apartments,” she said. “There are also older individuals who have moved from big properties to the area and there can be issues that come with that.”

“Often I’d suggest things like exercise and dietary changes as well as psycho-therapeutic approaches and I’m really mindful of referring everyone to the Tan and the local park because everyone is going to bump into each other!”

With a diverse professional background that has seen her serve in an array of challenging roles overseas, her new-found local knowledge makes Rajna the complete local health and wellbeing expert.

From 2018, Rajna will become the new Health and Wellbeing columnist for Southbank Local News taking over from local personal trainer Justin Moran, who has generously served in the role for well over two years.

After moving to Melbourne in 2014, Rajna originally settled in St Kilda, which suited her love for the beach. She said that, while the beach was no longer at her doorstep, she loved everything about her new neighbourhood.

“It’s not 30 seconds from the beach, however in saying that it’s like 10 minutes from beach so it’s not too bad!” she said.

“I love living in Southbank. I never thought I’d say that but I do. Having the markets, having the Tan. I mean I’m there everyday unless it’s raining. I go for a walk after work. I love where I am.”

Born in Croatia, Rajna has achieved a lot for someone who only recently turned 30. Raised in New Zealand after immigrating with her family as a young child, Rajna completed her bachelor and honours at the University of Auckland before moving to The Hague in Holland to intern for the United Nations in the International Criminal Court.

After helping victims of conflicts from countries including Lebanon and Sierra Leone, Rajna returned to her native Europe in 2011 to work for a non-government organisation (NGO) helping victims of the Bosnian War.

She would later complete her master of clinical psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney before relocating to Melbourne in 2014.

Having held a passion for helping others from a young age, she described working in her chosen field as a privilege.

“I think it’s a combination of my personality type and temperament, which is very much wanting to help others,” she said. “I enjoy being given the privilege to have an insight into people’s deepest darkest fears.”

“Very often people say that I’m the first person they tell about an issue even before their partner or their kids so you need to be able to support people through those times.”

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