Dr Claudia Mollidor, 28, is originally from Cologne, Germany, but now lives in Melbourne. She works at the ACBC Pastoral Research Office as a research assistant for the Australian Catholic University in Fitzroy.
Why did you move to Australia?
I definitely think it was providence. I was living in London doing my PhD. I came to Melbourne for a conference in 2009 and I fell completely in love with it. I loved the city, the campus of Melbourne University, the lifestyle, the coffee. My friends took me to all the best places and some of them are still my favourite places.
I went back to London and, once my data collection was finished, nothing was keeping me there. There was another conference being held in Sydney, in December 2010, so I just thought ‘Maybe I’ll go to Australia’.
Tell us about your doctoral studies.
I was looking at representations of teenage motherhood through different perspectives; from the perspective of teenage mothers themselves, from the perspective of specialised practitioners in health and social services who work with the mothers, and from the perspective of policymakers. The British Government had introduced a teenage pregnancy strategy aiming to reduce teenage pregnancies and to support teenage parents. I felt that the supporting teenage parents part was not looked at enough, that there wasn’t enough support out there. What was being revealed was that, as the rate of teenage pregnancy fell, the rate of abortion rose, and that’s an awful outcome. It would be better if there was better support for mothers to have their babies, so that’s what I concentrated on.
Who inspires you?
The teenage mums I worked with really inspired me. The hardship some of them were living in, the struggles they were facing, the decisions they made to keep the child, despite people around them telling them not to and being thrown out of their family homes because of their decisions. It’s really how they deal with things, or women in crisis pregnancies more generally, that I find really inspiring; it really puts things into perspective a lot, the sacrifices they make to bring up their children in the best way they can.
FULL STORY Face to face with Dr Claudia Mollidor