Training & Services



“Fantastic trainer - so much knowledge with an incredible ability to convey it to others. Highly recommend this training to all, not just clinicians.”

NATASHA CARSON Housing Manager

“Training far exceeded my already high expectations. Incredible learning experience delivered by a brilliant trainer.”

POLLY HENRY Emergency Relief Counsellor

“The trainer was engaging and intelligent. Finally found a training that was both interesting and relevant to my work. Thank you!”

ANONYMOUS Eastern Sydney Medicare Local

“The facilitator was very knowledgeable, engaging, very clear and informative. The training was easy to digest and implement into practice.”


“Fantastic workshop, trainer excellent and made a 'heavy' topic very interesting. Able to ask questions comfortably. Feel more confident to deal with this cohort of clients now.”

CAROLINE FIELD Kangaroo Island Medicare Local

Our Trainers

Blue Knot Foundation's education and training sessions are well supported by our team of nation-wide trainers, all of whom are skilled, experienced and suitably qualified to inspire adult learners. Whether it is to enhance safety and understanding for survivors and family/friends of survivors, or to build knowledge and skills for professional personnel, the diversity of skills and experience in the team expertly meets the needs of each group.

The team is underpinned by its collective expertise in complex trauma, trauma-informed practice and vicarious trauma. Please see below for individual trainer profiles. For more information, please call us on (02) 8920 3611 during office hours AEST/ADST.

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.

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.

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.

VIC trainers


Estelle Snelling

Dip.AOD, B.SocSci, M.MHSc

Estelle Snelling photoEstelle has 18 years professional experience working in varied and dynamic roles within organisations, as well as private practice. She holds a Master Degree in Mental Health Sciences (clinical) through the School of Medicine, Flinders University Dept of Psychiatry.  

Her focus is in the area of trauma, supporting people to move towards an embodied sense of safety, and a value driven, “life worth living”, by using mindful, behavioural, cognitive and neurobiological therapies and modalities.  Her initial training was in dual diagnosis inpatient treatment, working with substance misuse/abuse and complex trauma. 

For the past 7 years, Estelle has worked closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (nationally), in prison settings, the community, and employment and training programs. Estelle has strong social justice principals, enjoys working with individuals, as well as groups, and is also a PACFA endorsed Clinical Supervisor.

Merrin Wake

Bachelor of Science (Nursing), Graduate Diploma of Journalism, Master of Professional Education and Training 

Merrin Wake photoMerrin is a health professional with a range of experience in child and adolescent health, mental health, mentoring, teaching, government agenda and clinical practice. She currently works as a lecturer at Deakin University, a tutor for indigenous youth, a paediatric registered nurse and a child safety trauma informed practice consultant. 

Being a survivor of child abuse informs her passion for breaking down the stigma and advocating for the stories of survivors to be heard. She is proud to of made a submission to the Royal Commission, to stand up and use her story to change attitudes. She says it was tough and impossible at times but survival is achievable when we honour our stories, our lives and our own strengths.

"An excellent thought-provoking training and presenter [Merrin] was clear, confident and very respectful of the knowledge and skills of those attending." - Alison Bogdanowicz, Librarian, Victim Support Service Inc

"Great and informative training. Merrin is a really engaging facilitator." - Inez Carey, Clinical Lead, Medibank Health Solutions

"Presenter [Merrin] is excellent - incredibly knowledgeable and non-blaming, non-judgemental.” - Kate Francis, Social Worker, VIC

Linda Itamly

Michelle Noon

PostGradDip Psych, BA (Hons), BSc, AdvDip BusMgnt, CERT IV TA

Michelle Noon imageMichelle Noon is an educator, researcher, clinician, and manager. She has worked in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. She has provided clinical services in the community, in prisons, and in urban, rural and remote areas with a focus on violence intervention and trauma-informed practice. She has worked in research, policy and leadership roles at Victoria Police, KPMG, Beyondblue, and White Ribbon Australia.

Michelle currently provides training, advisory and stakeholder engagement services to a range of government, non-government and not-for-profit clients, is the Executive Officer at Chalk Circle, and has numerous honourary positions. She is the convenor of Criminology and Responding to Family Violence subjects at RMIT University, and will be delivering the capstone subject of Criminal Behavioural Analysis in 2017. Michelle has delivered content on criminology, policing, crime prevention, community safety, forensic intervention, psychology, gendered violence, family violence, diversity, management, and mental health to over 300 audiences. The common thread across her diverse set of interests in teaching, advisory, research, and clinical work is that of complex trauma and what it means for the lived experience of millions of Australians.

Michelle is currently completing her PhD in Clinical Psychology focusing on emotional responses to criminal victimisation.

Peter Streker

PhD, GradDip App Psych, BA, BBus, Assoc Dip Fit Lead

Peter Streker photoDr Peter Streker is a psychologist who has worked on many complex community topics over 20 years, such as family violence, homelessness, drugs and alcohol, street sex work, racism and Indigenous health. As a community psychologist, Peter has worked with survivors, their supporters, professionals and the general public to help them deal with the wide ranging impacts of trauma on their clients, the broader community, on the systems they work within and on themselves.  Peter has used a variety of approaches, such as individual therapy, group facilitation, training, research, community development, policy and the pragmatic program development to empower individuals and reduce stigma (e.g., employment programs, International Overdose Awareness Day).

Peter completed his PhD on psychological and emotional abuse, which was subsequently published as a book titled “I Wish That He Hit Me: Working with psychological and emotional abuse”. The title was a quote from a survivor who was frustrated that nobody took her ordeal seriously. Peter currently supervises other therapists, is a member of the Australian Psychological Society’s Public Issues Advisory Committee and sits on the ethics boards of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture and the Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service.

"Peter was an excellent presenter who had superb knowledge of the topic. He was able to share his knowledge brilliantly." - Martyn, PIR Support Facilitator

"Peter is a responsive trainer - very flexible in addressing the questions of a very large group. He is extremely knowledgeable and his enthusiasm is infectious." - Jacquie, Psychotherapist

"Very interactive. Lots of different learning styles covered well. Very good presenter with Peter. Concreted work I already do as well as learning new skills." - Kim, ChildFIRST Worker

Sandra Boughton

Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Diploma of Psychology (Clinical), Diploma of Mental Health Sciences (Clinical Hypnosis), Master of Family Therapy, PhD (Depression and relationships).

Sandra Boughton imageSandra is a clinical psychologist who has worked for many years in a range of public and private health settings in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. Working with Blue Knot is an opportunity to share her passion for working with individuals and families dealing with the experience of trauma. She is an experienced clinician with considerable training and expertise in helping adolescents and adults deal with depression, anxiety, trauma and mental illness. In addition to her therapy with individuals dealing with trauma she has worked with a major health service to promote trauma informed care.

Sandra has facilitated a range of clinical training sessions for universities, public mental health services and community organisations. In her work in public mental health Sandra has supervised other psychologists and post-graduate students, and participated in the planning and implementation of mental health initiatives. She currently works in private practice in Melbourne.

Sandra is registered as a psychologist with clinical endorsement with the Psychology Board of Australia (APHRA) and is a full member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) – College of Clinical Psychologists.

QLD trainers


Karin El-Monir

MA, Grad. Dip. Counselling, Cert IV TAE

Karin ElMinor photoKarin El-Monir was born in Austria from bi-cultural background. She completed her Masters Degree of Social Pedagogy (Theories of Social Learning and Development) in Austria before moving to Ireland and then Australia. Karin has spent most of her career straddling clinical and education work. Her passion is working with survivors of complex trauma, and she is proud to have supported people with their submissions to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Childhood Sexual Abuse. 

Karin works from a very integrative and holistic approach with a strong focus on somatic and creative therapies. Other subject areas that she has delivered training in are alcohol and other drugs, cultural competency, domestic violence, gender, sexual orientation, abuse prevention (with children and young people) and mythology. She is also a facilitator of theatre in social fields and has a strong background of Boal Work (Theatre of the Oppressed). 

"Karin was fantastic in inspiring me to encourage more TIC in my practice. Her passion made it inspiring to learn more." - Renee, Case Support Officer

"Fantastic therapeutic training run by Karin. Very informative, challenging and affirming. I thoroughly enjoyed the training and found it very helpful." - Robyn, Social Worker

"Great facilitation Karin - thank you very much. There's always something to learn in this field. I hope this ensures we work more appropriately with the survivors who enter our process." - Marie, Case Officer

Kelleigh Ryan

B.Beh.Sc., B.Psy.Sc.(Hons), Assoc MAPS AIPA IAHA

Kelleigh RyanKelleigh Ryan is a descendant of the Kabi Kabi people of South-East Queensland and the Australian South Sea Islanders with connections to the people of the Loyalty Islands on her mother’s side.

Kelleigh is a registered Psychologist and a member of the Australian Indigenous Psychologist Association (AIPA) and sits on the AIPA Steering Committee. Kelleigh is serving her second term as the Co-chair of the Australian Psychological Society’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Psychology Interest Group.

Kelleigh’s clinical work involves providing counselling, therapeutic intervention, critical response work and psycho education delivery in response to trauma, crisis and mental health issues. She currently runs a Social Consultancy Psychology practice in Queensland providing supervision for Indigenous workers and is a director of The Seedling Group who specialise in Intercultural projects. Kelleigh also works as the Senior Project Officer Royal Commission Specialist Support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Foundation.

Matthew Power

Focusing Oriented Psychotherapist, B.Counselling, BA, Dip Ed, MACA

Matthew Power image

Matthew is a highly experienced trauma counsellor and psychotherapist, with a background in teaching earlier in life. Having worked as a counsellor for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and for a victims of crime programme, he has extensive experience in helping both short and long term with complex and simple trauma, and all the life difficulties that go with it, including with group counselling.

Having been on a personal journey of healing for almost 30 years, to grow out of his own complex trauma, Matthew can also identify and emphathise strongly with other sufferers of complex trauma and their struggles to find peace, meaning and connection.

As a Focusing Oriented Psychotherapist, Matthew is trained in helping people work with the mind as it is experienced in the body, an aspect of psychotherapy that has emerged as a key component in effective trauma therapy. Focusing has been incorporated in such new wave trauma therapies as Levine's Somatic Experiencing, Hakomi, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and Matthew is adept in explaining and leading experiential learning in this kind of mindful, body-oriented healing.

Matthew also brings a rich awareness of how culture intertwines with the healing process. He lived for 3 years in Japan, for 4 years in a Tibetan Buddhist meditation centre, and has worked extensively with and learned much from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including on the community of Palm Island. He has recently discovered “Dadirri” - the Daly River tradition of deep spiritual mindfulness and connection to nature.

Matthew likes to unwind by making strange semi-musical sounds on a Celtic whistle...

Nicole Tujague

Bachelor of Indigenous Studies; Cert IV TAA

Nicole TujagueNicole is a descendant of the Gubbi Gubbi first Nations Peoples of North Queensland and the South Sea Islander community. She has grown up in and worked with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, training, capacity building and co-developing culturally safe, trauma-informed resources. Nicole is particularly concerned with working alongside individuals and organisations to support social and emotional wellbeing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations. Nicole is a member of ASTSS Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies

Shirley Hicks

Masters of Counselling, Grad Dip. Counselling, Dip. Somatic Psychotherapy, Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment and Training, Masters of Commerce, Dip. Dru Yoga

Shirley Hicks imageShirley is a somatic (body based) psychotherapist based at Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast. With over 22 years experience in working with clients in trauma recovery, her main therapeutic focus is supporting clients to re-engage with their traumatised body and to integrate their experience into their entire lived narrative. In her private clinic she also provides yoga based, self awareness programs to support clients to develop their emotional resilience and to re-engage fully with life.

She co-founded Trauma Sensitive Yoga Australia in 2012 and has been committed to increasing the awareness of Trauma Informed Practice for Australian and NZ Yoga Teachers. An extension of this training is also a two-day training that introduces mental health clinicians to the benefits of incorporating somatic and simple yoga based interventions into their work with clients in trauma recovery.

An enthusiastic and passionate educator, Shirley also delivers Counselling and Mental Health training to both undergraduate and post graduate students at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. Shirley has a strong commitment to destigmatising the impact of trauma, through developing the qualities of sensitivity, understanding and compassion when working with clients in trauma recovery.

ACT trainers


Bradley Foxlewin

MAppSc (Social Ecology), Cert. IV in Training and Assessment, Diploma: Community Studies (Welfare) with Honours

Bradley Foxlewin photoBradley is an independent Mental Health Consumer Consultant, member and past Chair of the Australian Capital Territory, ACT, Mental Health Consumer Network. Bradley works as a trainer, group-worker, consultant and researcher, all from a consumer-first position. Bradley has a deep and abiding interest in issues affecting consumers of mental health services and survivors of childhood abuse and a strong commitment to partnerships across mental health settings that support better outcomes for consumers and those who care about consumers. Bradley has previously worked, over a period of 20 years, as a manager in community services, a counsellor for young men who have survived sexual abuse as children and he has had significant input into the development of men’s services in the ACT. Bradley is, at present, finalising a funded research project on reducing seclusion and restraint in acute mental health in the Aust. Capital Territory. Bradley lives in New South Wales in a rural village, “cos it’s good for my health” with his partner and their daughter, 4 horses, 2 cats, a little dog (not pesky) and 4 chickens. Bradley is also a 1st time Grandfather and takes great joy from this experience.

"Excellent presentation by Bradley. Information relevant and interesting. Very good facilitator and ran a tight ship. Bring back more of this training." - Josephine O'Hanlon, Team Leader

"Bradley was an excellent presenter who obviously knows the content of T.I.C. A very interesting and beneficial day." - Mindy

"Thoroughly enjoyed this training! Very interactive. Bradley has a wonderful way of imparting knowledge." - Jo, Therapeutic Play Facilitator

Steve Meyer

B App Psych, Grad Dip Psych

Stephen MeyerSteve is a psychologist with a focus on trauma treatment. He has practiced across a range of mainstream and cross-cultural settings over the last 10 years, including torture and trauma counselling with refugees and asylum seekers, therapeutic work with remote NT Aboriginal communities, youth development in the Solomon Islands, private practice, and support to survivors of family abuse and violent crimes.

Steve has also provided training and support to Australian overseas volunteers since completing his assignment. Steve maintains an emphasis on neurobiological and psychophysiological treatment approaches and has built an understanding of ethnocultural differences in trauma and healing. He is also interested in how current events, including conflict, colonisation and global movements of people, influence trauma experiences across communities and generations.

WA trainers


Heather Goddard

B.Sc Sociology, BSW (Social Work), Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, Cert. IV Training & Assessment

Heather Goddard photoHeather has over 27 years of experience as a Social Worker and Clinical counsellor in a range of settings, such as the with the Victim Support Service and Employee Assistance programs. Heather has been in private practise for the past 8 years specialising in early childhood trauma, PTSD, loss & grief domestic violence and war veteran’s issues. Heather brings to her facilitator role with Blue Knot Foundation, extensive practice knowledge and expertise regarding counselling, mediation, consultancy and clinical supervision practice. 

Heather is a member of the Association of Contextual Behaviour Science and an accredited mental practitioner with the AASW (Aust. Association of Social Workers). She is passionate about assisting individuals to live the best life they can irrespective of early childhood experiences.

"Presenter was excellent - clearly has a passion and knowledge of the subject matter. Kept us all engaged." - Debra Tierney, Social Worker, Rockingham General Hospital

Sue Ward

Ad. Cert. in Clinical Psychodynamic Psychotherapy & Counselling (Perth School of Psychotherapy & Counselling), Dip. in Analytic Psychotherapy (Churchill Clinic), Cert. IV Training & Assessment TAE40110, Bachelor of Business (Curtin University), Cert. in Trauma Focus Therapy - Adults (Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health), Clinical Member of PACFA, Clinical Member of PACAWA, Member of MHPN.

Sue Ward photoSue has worked with a wide range of issues ranging from anxiety, depression, grief and relationship breakdown. She has an interest in the area of complex trauma and crisis support and has facilitated workshops for Blue Knot Foundation in the area of trauma-informed care and practice TICP. Prior to entering private practice, Sue worked in various agencies where the focus was on alcohol and substance abuse. Sue believes passionately in the value of psychotherapy and counselling. The process that is entered into in good faith can contribute significantly to personal growth, self awareness and foster more meaningful connection to oneself and others. Sue is respectful and non-judgemental in her approach to gaining an understanding of each client’s unique issues. She works collaboratively with her clients to facilitate a resolution that will ultimately add value to their present and future relationships.

"A great workshop to take. Sue was interactive and spoke well. I liked how she broke up the time with videos and group work and that she provided everyday examples throughout the day." - Sherina, Counsellor

"Sue has a great knowledge base and is able to provide examples of scenarios. The talk was very informative and was a pleasure to be a part of." - Lisa, RN Student

"Thank you so much. Sue was incredibly knowledgeable & could relate knowledge to practice with great examples that put everything into context." - Merryn, Darwin NT

SA trainers


Matthew Ball

Higher Education Diploma in Nursing – Mental Health Advanced Diploma in Counselling and Therapy.

Matthew Ball imageThrough his clinical practice, Matthew has worked with people who have experienced complex trauma using trauma informed approaches across mental health, drug and alcohol and domestic violence service in community and residential settings. He has worked as a therapist using psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy, and is now completing Mental Health Nurse Practitioner training.

Mathew has written and facilitated workshops to Health and Community staff, as well as University lectures. One of his most successful workshops was on Approaches to Working with Psychosis through Understanding Trauma that was delivered to Public Mental Health workers.

Matthew has a special interest in working with individuals labelled as experiencing psychosis in the context of understanding meaning, and the impact of trauma. He is currently leading a group of people with lived experience, clinical and non-clinical staff in developing a framework for the ‘’Hearing Voices’’ approach. This program aims to increase people’s understanding about the impact of childhood, adult and intergenerational trauma on individuals and their support networks towards personal recovery. The program also aims to highlight both the challenges and potential for service providers to work in a trauma informed way.

Our trainer [Matthew] was outstanding. He made a challenging topic interesting to us and tailored it to our workplace.  He gave excellent examples which made it easy to relate the theory into practice. He was personable, and clearly very experienced and knowledgeable and raised an awareness for myself and our group about dealing with clients with complex trauma. Thank you Matthew. - Scott Buick, Centrelink SA

TAS trainers


Jai Friend

Bachelor of Social Work, Masters in Clinical Family Therapy

Jai Friend ImageJai had her first lessons in trauma work on the job, learning from clients in the domestic violence and child protection fields. Achieving physical safety was not enough: so many people were still held back in their lives by the multilayered legacies of trauma. Wanting to offer more, Jai moved into the child and adolescent mental health sector. Understanding how often mental health difficulties linked back to relational trauma set Jai on a quest for ways to find safety within relationships for clients. This led to training in Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy, the Conversational Model and other relational based therapies. Searching for ways to help clients find safety within their own bodies led to reading lots of neuroscience and intensive Sensorimotor Psychotherapy training.

After 12 years in the mental health field, Jai now works as a trauma/attachment therapist in private practice. Although therapeutic work is her primary focus, Jai loves sharing skills and inspirations when in the trainer role.

Jai is a clinical member of the Australian Association of Family Therapy, an accredited mental health social worker with the Australian Association of Social Workers, and has published “Mitigating Intergenerational Trauma Within the Parent- Child Attachment” in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy. Volume 33 Number 2 2012 pp. 114–127.

NT trainers


Joan Washington

Graduate Diploma in Education (Adult/Vocational), Bachelor of Social Science, Certificate of Nursing, Migration Law

Specialist Trainer/Educator with over 15 years’ experience working with individuals, families and communities affected by migration and other trauma experiences. Experienced case manager of complex clients including torture and trauma survivors and asylum seekers, this has included children, adolescents and adults individually and as family or otherwise connected groups. Extensive experience in delivering workshops about the effects of trauma, long term advocacy & coordination with other relevant stakeholders. Program coordination and management experience, Research and writing experience for reporting, articles in various publications, and workshop development.Extensive community development with local communities.

As a survivor herself, Joan believes in a holistic approach that is client centred and strength based. The concepts surrounding neuroscience of how trauma impacts the brain and nervous system, developmental period and ultimately our perceptions of world, people and our sense of belonging and safety are significant in her work. Joan holds strong interests around resilience and protective factors as well as promoting psycho-education as part of working with trauma are particularly challenging in spaces where cultural competency is so important.