11 December 2002

Buddy the caroling Siamese cat has returned to the recording studio to put the backing vocals on a self-help tape made by his owner, Dr Maureen Burke, UQ’s Director of Student Support Services.

Buddy’s back-up miaowing proved a major hit on the couple’s first collaboration last year, a relaxation and visualization tape for cancer patients titled Buddy Targets Cancer.

The tape is proving a big hit with many cancer patients.

Buddy`s personal appearances with Dr Burke at seminars for Animal Therapy students from Japan generated both excitement about the therapy and the opportunity for a photo shoot in the University’s Great Court in St Lucia.

The Animal Therapy seminar was organised in conjunction with the Institute of Continuing and TESOL Education (ICTE).

The seminar was prepared to compliment the cancer tape and was first successfully offered in August. Further seminars with ICTE will be offered during 2003.

Now Buddy and Dr Burke have turned their attention to the important topic of self esteem and have released an audio-cassette titled Buddy Targets Feeling Good About Yourself.

Dr Burke, a psychologist, said that low self-esteem was often the underlying cause of patients seeking counselling for issues such as anxiety, depression and stress.

“Having a positive self- esteem is a particularly important foundation block for both our physical and psychological well being,” she said.

“People with a positive self-esteem are more likely to be successful, be in control of their lives, make good decisions, deal better with life’s challenges and cope with inevitable change.”

Dr Burke said she and Buddy would be heading back into the studio next year to record their third collaboration, Buddy Targets Depression.

Media: For more information contact Dr Maureen Burke (07 3365 1720) or Brad Turner at UQ Communications (07 3365 2659).