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Become a Member of Blue Knot Foundation and support adult Australians who have survived childhood trauma and abuse.

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Our Staff

Dr. Cathy Kezelman AM, President / Media spokesperson

MBBS (Hons)

Cathy worked in medical practice for 20 years, mostly as a GP. She has held leadership roles at Blue Knot Foundation for 12 years, including 2 terms as Chair. 

In Feb 2012 she was appointed Blue Knot Foundation President in recognition of her significant contribution and importance of her role with external stakeholders, including government and mental health sector. She now holds a broad-based representative role with responsibilities across media, advocacy, service strategy and government relations.

She is also a past director of MHCC (Mental Health Co-ordinating Council) NSW, member of the Mental Health Community Advisory Council (NSW), foundation member of the national Trauma-Informed Care and Practice Advisory Working Group, member of the Advisory Panel of Tzedek, member of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Task Force on Child Protection and member of the Commonwealth Redress Advisory Council.

Cathy was short-listed for CLW’s Leadership Achievement Award for Women in 2009-www.leadershipforwomen.com.au - and appointed an ambassador for National Families Week 2009/10/11/12/13 and 2016.

On Australia Day 2015 Cathy was awarded an AM "for significant service to community health as a supporter and advocate for survivors of child abuse".

She is a prominent voice in the media and at conferences, as well as author of her own memoir chronicling her journey of recovery from childhood trauma: Innocence Revisited- a tale in parts. Cathy is co-author of Blue Knot Foundation documents Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service DeliveryThe Cost of Unresolved Childhood Trauma and Abuse in Adults in Australia and Trauma and the Law: Applying trauma-informed practice to legal and judicial contexts.

Dr. Pam Stavropoulos, Head of Research

PhD in Politics (University of Melbourne, 1989), Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy (Jansen Newman Institute, 2001), Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment (2004), BA (Hons) University of Melbourne, 1983

Pam, a former Fulbright Scholar, has held lectureships at Macquarie University and the University of New England, taught in two Master of Counselling courses, and is a former Program Director of the Jansen Newman Institute. She has written research reports in the community health sector, and was a Senior Research Officer with the Mental Health Association NSW. Pam is a practising therapist, and a supervisor in the area of complex trauma. Her research interests relate to trauma, depression, and the politics of subjectivity.

She is the author of Living under Liberalism: The Politics of Depression in Western Democracies (Florida: Universal, 2008), co-author of Gender Studies: Terms and Debates (New York: Palgrave, 2003) and has published several book chapters, articles and reviews. She is the lead author of `Perceptions and Experiences of Cannabis Use by Young Adults Living with a Mental Illness: A Qualitative Study’ [paper based on What Works? Report into Cannabis Use by Young Adults Living with a Mental Illness, Partners in Mental Health Publishing Consortium and Social Justice Social Change Research Group, University of Western Sydney, 2010] Australian Social Policy Journal (No.10, 2011), pp.51-69.

Pam is co-author of Blue Knot Foundation's Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery and Trauma and the Law: Applying trauma informed practice to legal and judicial contexts. Pam is a member of the scientific committee of the International Society for Study of Trauma and Dissociation.

Merle Conyer, Helpline Manager

Master of Counselling & Applied Psychotherapy, Master of Education, Graduate Diploma of Communication Management (Human Resource Development), Diploma of Somatic Psychotherapy, Diploma of Energetic Healing, Certificate IV in Telephone Counselling Skills, Certificate of Meditation Facilitation

Merle is the manager of the Blue Knot Helpline and counselling team which delivers specialist telephone-based services for adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse and those who support them professionally and personally. She also facilitates trauma-informed workshops for health professionals, service providers and survivors and has customised and culturally attuned these for specific contexts and communities. 

Merle adopts a respectful strengths-based, recovery-oriented, social justice approach. Her experience includes working alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (informed by ongoing cultural mentoring), people and organisations impacted by matters heard before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, refugees and asylum seekers, survivors of domestic violence, people with disabilities and their carers, and people seeking justice and healing for themselves and their communities. She also works in private practice and draws upon a career spanning government, not-for-profit and corporate sectors.

Michael Burns, Assistant Helpline Manager

Master of Gestalt Psychotherapy, AdvDip Clinical Hypnotherapy and Strategic Psychotherapy, Cert IV Telephone Counselling Skills

Mike works in private practice as a psychotherapist and has had extensive training in both solution focussed therapies and relational psychotherapy.  Mike is a supervisor of telephone counsellors at Lifeline and continues to work as a telephone counsellor with both Lifeline and Blue Knot Foundation.  Mike is passionate about supporting counsellors to do the important work they do in the community, and believes strongly in Blue Knot Foundation’s mission to transform the way our society supports adults who have experienced childhood trauma.

Operations Manager

Our Operations Manager has extensive project management experience across many industries and countries. With a passion for Blue Knot Foundation and the not-for-profit sector, she is responsible for the day to day operations of the Business.

Samadhi Driscoll, Training Manager

Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Psychology and Education, Diploma of Management, Diploma of Community Services (Case Management), and Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment.

Samadhi is the manager of Blue Knot Foundation’s national training services, Organisational Consultancy Program and Supervision Program. Samadhi’s experience spans across the University, Government and Community sectors in which she has managed teams and projects to develop effective and sustainable strategies, frameworks, policies and programs. In particular, her work has focused on diverse groups that have experienced inequality, including women, people living with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. 

Samadhi has presented position papers and proposals based on academic research review, qualitative and quantitative research, and appraisal of programs for Australia Catholic University (ACU), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and NSW Police Force (NSWPF). She has also developed and delivered training for Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC), Wesley Mission, and Australia College of Applied Psychology (ACAP).

Cath James, Fundraising Manager

Cath works in partnership with a range of Blue Knot Foundation supporters to ensure that the organisation is best positioned to deliver current services and plan for future organisational growth, to further support survivors across Australia. Cath has a solid fundraising background including strategic planning, corporate partnerships, sponsorship, tender and grant writing, philanthropy, community engagement and social impact investment.

Lydia Luo, Marketing and Communications Officer

Master of International Law and International Relations (UNSW); Bachelor of Commerce - Marketing and Management (UNSW)

Lydia comes from a marketing background with diverse experience from both the corporate and not-for-profit sector. She has worked in Australia, Bangladesh and Jordan and brings with her a unique international perspective. Lydia is passionate about working for a social cause and has also been a Lifeline volunteer Telephone Counsellor. It was through Lifeline and its callers that Lydia first learnt about the valuable services of Blue Knot Foundation. She now works to promote the work of Blue Knot Foundation through her marketing and communications role with the aim to reach and help more adults surviving child abuse.

Charlett Beham, Education and Training Administration Officer

Certificate III Business Administration, Certificate III Hospitality, Certificate II Business, Certificate II Retail

Charlett comes from a business administration background having worked in Professional Services firms and not-for-profit organisations. Charlett is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Counselling to further her skills within the youth and mental health support services sector.

Kate Braude, Education and Training Administration Assistant

Bachelor of Arts in Public Communication (UTS)

Kate’s role involves supporting and growing the training program at Blue Knot Foundation. Kate is currently doing a Masters of Global Health at Macquarie University to advance her skill-set in community development, health and aid. She is freshly breaking into the not-for-profit sector and building her learned skills through practice.

Laura Dimento, Administration Assistant

Bachelor of Social Research and Policy

Laura is a recent graduate of a Social Research and Policy degree with a passion for AOD and mental health research and bettering the lives of Australia’s minority groups through policy directives. Laura believes in the work of Blue Knot Foundation as they create a stronger platform of knowledge on how to work with trauma survivors as well as providing better access to services.


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Health Direct



“Blue Knot Foundation has a key role to play in the building of community capacity in care provision to those who have experienced childhood abuse and trauma in any environment.”

NIALL MULLIGAN Manager, Lifeline Northern Rivers

“I think Blue Knot Foundation is a fantastic support organisation for people who have experienced childhood trauma/abuse, for their families/close friends and for professionals who would like to learn how to more effectively work with these people.”

Psychologist Melbourne

“It's such a beautiful thing that you are doing. Helping people to get through this.”


“It was only last September when I discovered the Blue Knot Foundation website and I will never forget the feeling of support and empathy that I received when I finally made the first phone call to Blue Knot Helpline, which was also the first time I had ever spoken about my abuse.”


"At last there is some sound education and empathetic support for individuals and partners impacted by such gross boundary violations.”


Contact Us

Phone: 02 8920 3611
Email: admin@blueknot.org.au
PO Box 597 Milsons Point NSW 1565
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST

Blue Knot Helpline
Phone: 1300 657 380
Email: helpline@blueknot.org.au 
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm AEST

For media comment, please contact:
Dr Cathy Kezelman AM
0425 812 197 or ckezelman@blueknot.org.au

For media enquiries, please contact: 
Christine Kardashian
0416 005 703 or 02 9492 1007 or christine@launchgroup.com.au