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NSW trainers


Dragan Zan Wright

Grad. Dip. Psychotherapy/Counselling, Cert. Transactional Analysis, Therapeutic Skills Cert. Trauma, Facilitator and Educator residential childhood trauma retreat, Cert. IV TAA

Dragan Wright photoDragan is an experienced Psychotherapist who runs Creating Differently, a service that specializes in working with adults from a background of childhood abuse and trauma. As a survivor of such a background himself, with the physical and mental health issues that ensued, he holds the holistic perspective of having been a consumer of services and then experiencing the other side working as a professional.

Dragan offers a skillful and passionate attitude and has trained and worked in a recovery focus with residential groups and individuals from extensive trauma backgrounds who exhibit the adaptations one would expect to see. He is also committed to a psycho-educational role – helping professionals and consumers understand how interpersonal trauma impacts the developing brain, ongoing interpersonal relationships, personal coping mechanisms, how trauma affects a persons relationship with services and how services can provide a Trauma Informed Care approach.

"Dragan is one of the best facilitators I have ever had the privilege of having been taught by. Warm, real, honest, fun and so so knowledgeable!" - Kate Priddle, Specialist Rehabilitation Clinician

"Dragan is an excellent facilitator, educator and communicator, he leads with and demonstrates a deep understanding of the topic with compassion." - Margaret Watson, Counsellor

"Dragan is an outstanding trainer. He comes with a wealth of knowledge and understands the needs/wants of a group in training. So engaging and intuitive. Thank you!" - Melanie Charlton, Enrolled Nurse

Haete Weiner

Bachelor of Social Work (UNSW 1995), Masters Environmental Management (2009), TAE 40110

Haete PhotoHaete is a Social Worker (AASW) with over 20 years of experience counselling and training with clients who have experience complex trauma, including sexual assault, domestic family violence, and childhood trauma. She is particularly committed to working with people to help them regain power and safety in their lives, using a true mix of modalities including Somatic and Narrative approaches. Haete is currently a counsellor with the Blue Knot Foundation and has held roles with the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, the Eastern and Central Sexual Assault Service and Australian Volunteers International.

She has been also been an educator and facilitator for the University of New South Wales – Faculty of Medicine, Open University, Australian College of Applied Psychology and TAFE. Haete has a passion for ensuring her presentations are inclusive and engaging, and allow immediate application and growth. When facilitating, she combines a Trauma Informed framework with her expertise and knowledge of our current socio-political climate.

Dr Ione lewis

PhD UNSW, Grad Dip Cont Ed (Adult Education) UNE, B Soc Stud USyd, Dip Psychotherapy (professional qualification) ANZAP

Ione imageDr Ione Lewis is an experienced clinical social worker, psychotherapist and supervisor. She is an accredited member of the Australian Association of Social Work and a member of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia. She has worked in health services and in her private practice with victims of crime and survivors of complex trauma for over 30 years. Her psychotherapy training was in self psychology – now known as the conversational model.

She has worked as a senior academic in universities and higher education providers for over 20 years and conducted research in gender, HIV and violence; professional identity; and ethics. She provides quality training in trauma-informed care from an adult learning perspective that is readily applicable to participants’ practice and workplaces. She promotes ethical, reflective practice to ensure clients’ safety in her training and supervision.

Lewis, I. (2012). At risk: The relationship between experiences of child sexual abuse and women’s HIV status in Papua New Guinea. Child Sexual Abuse, 21(3):273-294. Lewis, I (2015). Vision for the future? Contribution of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia to the profession. Psychotherapy and Counselling Journal of Australia, 3, 1-16.

Jane Daisley-Snow

MA (Gestalt), BA, Grad Dip Ed, Dip Counselling; Dip Homoeopathy, Diploma Sensorimotor Art Therapy, Certificate Initiatic Art Therapy; Certificate Clay Field Therapy, Certificate IV in Workplace Training & Assessment TAE 40110 PACFA: Clinical member

Jane imageJane has a background in holistic counselling, psychotherapy, counselling education, group facilitation, clinical supervision and natural medicine.

Over the past 22 years she has worked with adults, children and adolescents in private practice. She has supported many clients who have a history of traumatic injury who suffer from the symptoms related with post traumatic stress such as anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks, somatic complaints, depression, addictions, relationship difficulties, auto-immune conditions, disassociation and other.

Jane adopts a relational, integrative and strengths-based approach incorporating the interrelationship between mind, body, spirit and the natural world. To facilitate the therapeutic process she uses present-centred awareness, body-oriented focus, meditation, sand play and symbol work, clay field therapy and sensorimotor art therapy.

Jane has the utmost respect for a person’s inherent wisdom, resilience and their capacity to transform their challenges into growth opportunities if given the support of a safe and empathic environment and therapeutic relationship.

Jane also conducts group supervision and works part-time as the Course Coordinator for the Diploma of Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP).

Jane’s current passion is supporting parents with how to raise resilient, resourceful and well-rounded children.

Janie Roberts

Master of Counselling and Psychotherapy

Janie Roberts imageJanie Roberts is a psychotherapist, counsellor, educator, group facilitator, and supervisor. She has a private practice in counselling, specialising in the areas of complex trauma and disability. Janie also currently works on the counselling team at Blue Knot Foundation and as a teacher at one of the leading counsellor training institutes.

She has been working for thirteen years as a counsellor with people who experience domestic violence, childhood trauma and intellectual disability. She relates to the respectful practice of Narrative Therapy and assumes that recovery is possible. Before becoming a counsellor she worked for eight years creating and delivering arts programs in day centres and schools for people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Janie is a clinical member of Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA). Her presentation style is trauma informed, collaborative, empowering and creative.

Julie Dombrowski

BA (Psych) Grad Dip App Sc (App Psyc) MA Forensic Psychology

Julie is a registered psychologist with a Masters in Forensic Psychology. She has worked extensively in the area of sexual and domestic violence and trauma for the past 20 years. Having worked with both people who use violence and people who have been harmed by violence. Julie brings a balanced and well-rounded perspective to understanding the causes and consequences of violence and trauma. She is passionate about bringing together knowledge and research from the fields of traumatology and behaviour change. As an experienced practitioner and supervisor, she is well-informed and skilled in applying her knowledge of vicarious trauma to support other practitioners working with trauma and build workplace cultures that support practitioners in their work.

Julie Porter-Stephens

M. App. Soc. Sci. (Counselling), M. Education (Adult Ed.), Dip. Community Organisations, CIV Assessment & Workplace Training (TAE40110)

Julie Porter Stephens photoJulie is an educator, trainer, counsellor/psychotherapist and supervisor who has worked with children, adults and families at risk in the community services sector since 1987. She has worked for community, government, and peak organisations. As an academic and trainer, Julie is interested in facilitating high quality learning experiences via a range of learning and teaching methods - whether it be face to face or online. 

Julie encourages participants to connect their experiences and knowledge with the training content, and she is passionate about promoting good practice and self-care, particularly in the areas of case management, child protection, communication, counselling, mental health and trauma informed care. 

As a counsellor Julie works with individuals and groups on a wide range of issues including addiction, anxiety, depression, grief, inter-personal relationships and parenting. She is a trained Acceptance Commitment Therapy Practitioner, (which incorporates aspects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness) but essentially relies on an eclectic range of therapeutic approaches to encourage client growth and change.

"Julie has a lovely effervescent personality that kept our attention. Trauma is a serious subject to talk about but Julie delivered the training with a good mix of seriousness and laughs as well as willing to share some self reflective stories of her own experience. Thanks for an enjoyable and informative training day Julie." - Gloria Taylor, Social Worker, Centrelink

"Thanks so much Julie, I thoroughly enjoyed your workshop today. It was exactly what I needed and I learned a lot." - Lyndsey Blake, Counsellor, Medibank Health Solutions

"An invaluable session. Julie is a fantastic trainer and the day provided lots of interaction and time for reflection." - Anonymous

Kevin Keith

BBA (Hons) (University of North Texas 1973); MA and STL (University of Louvain, Belgium, 1986 & 88); MPhil (Oxford University, 1991); Graduate Diploma in Psychotherapy (Jansen Newman Institute, 2005); PhD Candidate (University of Sydney, Faculty of Science, Research interest Attachment Theory)

Kevin Keith photoKevin is a counsellor/psychotherapist, supervisor, educator and researcher. He has been teaching off and on for most of his career. He currently splits his clinical time between community service work and private practice. He has worked at ACON for nearly 10 years where he served as Senior Counsellor and gained deep experience working with trauma, especially in the context of HIV risk. He has presented research “Can Attachment Theory shed light on adult risks and HIV?” in February 2014 at UNSW conference on Social Science. He also teaches in the Masters program at the Jansen Newman Institute in Sydney. Kevin is a recognised presenter in the field of Attachment Theory (his PhD interest) and regularly provides professional development for his fellow mental health workers.

Kevin is a clinical member of CAPA NSW and PACFA (professional societies). He is also a member of several academic societies, including the International Society for Psychotherapy Research, the International Society for Emotion Research and the Australian Association of Philosophy. Kevin is now an Australian citizen and has become a convert to Australian Rules Football as a keen Sydney Swans supporter.

"Kevin is extremely knowledgeable, and was a very engaging presenter. The information he provided was extensive, but concise. Thank you! This workshop has inspired me to continue to strive to provide my clients with a well informed and holistic service." - Anonymous, Kiama NSW

"Kevin's presentation was excellent and finished the day with lots to think about. Highly recommend this program." - Denise, Registered Nurse

"Kevin is a very credible presenter, obviously knows the subject matter well, is clear, informative, and was careful to ensure participant's expectations were met." E. Hutching, Melbourne VIC

Merle Conyer

Master of Counselling and 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 Conyer photoMerle 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.

"Merle's presentation was clear, calm and sensitively delivered. It was clear that she has a wealth and depth of experience; it was a very rich, authentic learning opportunity. Thank you Merle." - J. Shaw, Deputy Principal

"Merle is an excellent presenter; great content and a good combination of activities and information." - Catherine, Director

"Many of our course participants commented that it was the best training they had ever done by the best trainer they had ever experienced. Merle presented difficult material in a safe and engaging way." - Urvashi, Mangrove Mountain NSW

Michelle Everett

B.A. (Hons) M. Clin. Psych. M.A.P.S

Michelle Everett photoMichelle has a professional background in Clinical Psychology with over twenty years experience working primarily within mental health services, including a period on the West Coast of Canada. Based on some training regarding trauma in her first year of practice, Michelle has recognised that people who have survived abuse early in their lives and come into contact with mental health services may not always have their needs recognised or well met and are particularly vulnerable to experiencing further trauma within services.

Michelle has worked at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry since 2008, and has been involved in writing and teaching units of study regarding trauma and mental health. Although it didn't come easily at first, Michelle now enjoys group work and teaching and recognises that every person enters the learning environment with wisdom and skills from many sources.

"All our participants were most appreciative of Michelle’s knowledge and presentation skills. She made it  a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile day." - Denis, VWCCS Coordinator

Mirna Tarabay

Bachelor of Education, Post Grad Diploma in Counselling and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment

Mirna Tarabay photoMirna is a psychotherapist and counsellor whose work experience with survivors of trauma spans over a decade. Mirna has worked in a range of capacities primarily with survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Mirna has a practice in Sydney where the focus of her clinical work is with adult survivors of child abuse.

Mirna is also an educator and provides training to student counsellors at one of the leading counsellor educator institutions in Sydney. She also conducts training programs in the subject areas of Child Protection and The Impact of Trauma on Children’s Development. Mirna is a Clinical Member of CAPA (Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of NSW).

"Mirna was fantastic. Very professional, knowledgeable and flexible which you need to be out here! We were so happy with her and the way she presented." - Janine

"Training with Mirna was fantastic, she is very great at communicating and teaching." - Jett, Senior Client Service Officer

"Mirna Tarabay was an excellent presenter, connected well with the group and kept it interesting an enjoyable." - Brendon, Social Worker

Pam Stavropoulos

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 photoPam, 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 Head of Research at Blue Knot Foundation and co-author of its Practice Guidelines for Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery. Pam is a member of the scientific committee of the International Society for Study of Trauma and Dissociation.

Philip Hilder

BA Psych, Post Grad Dip Psych, Gestalt, Hakomi, Sensorimotor and Trauma Model Graduate, TAE40110

Philip imagePhilip has over 25 years’ experience providing counselling and psychotherapy to individuals, couples and families who have experienced complex trauma. For the past 15 years, Philip has devoted his energies to become trauma-informed in all of his clinical, supervisory and teaching practices. He has a passion for teaching and enjoys promoting recovery and transformation from complex trauma and stress. Philip works from a holistic relational and mindful perspective, and holds qualifications in Psychology, Trauma Model Therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Gestalt Therapy and Hakomi Therapy.

Philip currently works in private practice seeing an active client case load, offering clinical supervision to other practitioners and presenting training workshops, seminars forums and conferences. Philip also has an interest and wealth of experience in working with clients who are experiencing issues with alcohol and other drugs, and with problem gambling.

He has taught for various organisations including the Masters of Counselling at Jansen Newman Institute, as well as courses at Macquarie University, The National Association of Loss and Grief, Network of Alcohol and other Drug Agencies, Australian College of Applied Psychology and The Centre of Community Welfare Training.

Sigrid Herring

TAE, CIV Aboriginal Family Health (Family Violence, Sexual Assault, Child Protection, Advanced Diploma Aboriginal Specialist Trauma Counselling, Graduate Certificate Human and Community Services, Bachelor of Education

Sigrid Herring photoMore than 25 years experience developing, implementing and managing community based services and projects for families, community groups, children and young people. 20 years experience training community and workforce groups in family violence, sexual violence, child protection, case management, working with adult survivors, and working with Aboriginal families and communities.