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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 - 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.

Her recent publications additional publications include:


[with Bethany Brand,  Vedat Sar, Christa Krüger, Alfonos Martínez-Taboas, Roberto Lewis-Fernández  & Warwick Middleton] `Separating Fact from Fiction: An Empirical Examination of Six Myths about Dissociative Identity Disorder’ Harvard Review of Psychiatry, Vol.24, Issue.4, July-August 2016, pp. 257-270.


with Martin Dorahy, Roberto Lewis-Fernandez Christa Kruger, Bethany Brand, Vedat Sar, Jan Ewing, Alfonso Martinez-Taboas & Warwick Middleton, `The Role of Clinical Experience, Diagnosis and Theoretical Orientation in the Treatment of Posttraumatic and Dissociative Disorders: A Vignette and Survey Investigation’, Journal of Trauma and Dissociation (Vol.18, Issue 2, 2017).


[with Cathy Kezelman] `Dealing with Trauma’, Law Institute Journal, October 2016, pp.36-39.


[Review article] `Functional Dissociation in Oppressive Social Contexts’, Review of Vedat Sar & Erdinc Ozturk (2013; 2007), Expert Commentary, ISSTD News, Vol.32, Issue 2, April 2014


[with Martin Dorahy, Bethany Brand,  Vedat Sar, Christa Krüger, Alfonos Martínez-Taboas, Roberto Lewis-Fernández  & Warwick Middleton]

`Dissociative Identity Disorder: An empirical overview’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 48 (5) 2014, pp. 402 - 417.


 [with Warwick Middleton, Martin Dorahy, Christa Krüger,  Roberto Lewis-Fernández,  Alfonos Martínez-Taboas, Vedat Sar, & Bethany Brand]

`Institutional Abuse and Societal Silence: An Emerging Global Problem’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Vol.48 (1) 2014, pp.22-25.


[with Middleton et al]

`The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse’, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry Vol.48 (1) 2014, pp.17-21.


[with Middelton et al] `Child Abuse and the Dynamics of Silence’, ANZJP, 48 (6) 2014, pp.581-583.




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.

Terry Nagle, Operations Manager

B.Sc (University of Newcastle) and Grad Dip Comm (University of Sydney)

Terry was the Operations Manager for a small retail company since 2007.  Prior to this, she was in senior management in the pharmaceutical industry and also worked in the public sector at the Department of Corrective Services.  Terry has a strong interest in animal welfare and has been a foster carer for the RSPCA for over 10 years and supports many animal-related charities.  Social justice and sustainability are also of particular interest to Terry. Terry has recently been appointed Chair of the Bower Reuse and Repair Centre, which is a not-for-profit whose mission is to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. Terry is also a qualified step instructor and has competed in Spartan events, has a science degree and post graduate qualifications in commerce. Terry was also a Blue Knot Board member from 2009-2013 and began volunteering for Blue Knot (then ASCA) in 2007.

Samadhi Driscoll, Training and Business Development 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).

Michael Burns, Assistant Helpline Manager

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

Mike is assistant 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. 

Mike works in private practice as a psychotherapist and has had extensive training in both solution focussed therapies and relational psychotherapy. Mike previously worked at Lifeline for 5 years as both telephone counsellor and supervisor of telephone counsellors. Mike also began as a telephone counsellor at ASCA (now Blue Knot Foundation) before taking on the assistant manager role.  Mike is passionate about supporting counsellors to do the important work they do in the community.  Mike believes strongly in Blue Knot Foundation’s mission to transform the way our society supports adults who have experienced childhood trauma.

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.

Samantha Goldrick, Training Coordinator

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)

Samantha is our Training Coordinator for Blue Knot Foundation. Having previously worked as a clinical social worker, Samantha has had experience working with Women and Children in various settings including Government and Community Sectors and has worked alongside legal, health and non-government professionals. Samantha is responsible for coordinating our courses, as well as tailoring specific training courses for organisations on a national scale. She is also involved with providing support to our trainers and coordinating supervision for clinicians.  

Shan Vasu, Marketing and Sales Coordinator

Master of Commerce (UNSW) , Bachelor of Engineering (VIT, Vellore)

Shan is the Marketing and Sales Coordinator at Blue Knot Foundation. He had previously worked in pharmaceutical and construction industries and is keen to learn, grow and challenge himself in the not for profit sector. He is passionate about Marketing and is always keen to hear from peers on new marketing practices in the industry. He has a Masters degree in Commerce from the University of New South Wales and is here at Blue knot foundation to add value through his education and experience.

Kate Braude, Training and Communications Officer

Bachelor of Arts in Public Communication (UTS)

Kate’s role involves supporting and growing the training program as well as communications distribution at Blue Knot Foundation. Kate is currently doing a Masters in Global Health at Macquarie University to advance her skill-set in development, health and policy.

Yolanda Borel, Administration Officer

Yolanda’s role involves providing administration support to the staff at Blue Knot Foundation. Yolanda has over 11 year administration, accounts and office management experience across different industries as well as high level administration skills.

Lillian Wetherspoon, Training and Events Assistant

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Asian Studies (ANU)

Due to Lilly's interests in conflicts and their impact on the international environment, she is currently in a volunteer role as the Executive Director of the Australian Division for the Organisation for World Peace. She has joined the Blue Knot Foundation to gain experience while working towards an important cause. 

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Health Direct


Head to Health


“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
PO Box 597 Milsons Point NSW 1565
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm AEST

Blue Knot Helpline
Phone: 1300 657 380
Hours: Mon-Sun, 9am-5pm AEST

For media comment, please contact:
Dr Cathy Kezelman AM
0425 812 197 or

For media enquiries, please contact: 
Jo Scard
0457 725 953 or