For all in-house training enquiries, click here or call us on (02) 8920 3611 to speak to our training team. Download our In-house Training Booklet here

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

Image - Trainers

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 an accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AASW) with over 20 years of experience counselling and training clients who have experienced complex trauma, sexual assault, domestic family violence and childhood trauma. She is particularly committed to working within a trauma informed approach to assist people to help regain power and safety in their lives. Haete has an in depth understanding of social justice issues in Australia and how they impact on our sense of wellness. Haete uses a blend of modalities to suit each client and am guided by the principles of somatic, strength based, systems and narrative approaches. Haete is a Counsellor with the Blue Knot Foundation and has her own private practice.  She has held roles in a number of crisis and community based services.
Haete has extensive training experience in the tertiary and community sector and is dedicated to creating a learning environment which is engaging, inclusive and practical. 

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 image

Janie 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 teaches at the Australian College of Applied Psychology.

She has been working for fourteen 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. Her presentation style is trauma informed, collaborative, empowering and creative.

“Janie was great. Very sensitive. Managed to keep the energy up despite the intense subject material. Thank you!” – Heather Geeves

“Trainer was excellent and inclusive and really encouraged people to participate in a conversation and made people feel comfortable to do so” – Daniel 

“Very engaging and knowledgeable facilitator; Janie kept a rather large room of individuals interested and respectful of her teachings.” – Dan Frauenfelder, The Wayside Chapel 

“My knowledge of trauma-informed care was enhanced today by an excellent presenter showing great knowledge and empathy.” – Anonymous  


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 has worked in the community services sector since 1987, and has been an educator since 1997.

As a counsellor/ clinical supervisor, 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, but essentially relies on an eclectic range of therapeutic approaches to encourage client growth and change.

As an academic and trainer, Julie is interested in facilitating high quality learning experiences 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.

"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 also works part-time for Blue Knot as a Training Consultant. He has been teaching off and on for most of his career as well working in people focussed industries. Kevin recently was awarded his PhD for his dissertation: The Goal-Corrected Partnership in Attachment Theory: A Critical Assessment of the Research Programme. He previously spent 10 years work in the community health sector with ACON where he served as Senior Counsellor and gained deep experience working with trauma, especially in the context of HIV risk. Kevin now splits time between education work and private practice. He also teaches in the Masters / GradDip programs at both the Jansen Newman Institute and ACAP 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 PACFA (professional society). He is also a member of several academic societies, including the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, 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 a respected consultant, trainer, supervisor and psychotherapist with experience in service delivery, management, board and volunteer roles. She previously managed Blue Knot Foundation’s trauma counselling team and national Helpline.  

Merle provides trauma-informed training and consulting in diverse settings, such as organisations implementing redress in response to institutional abuse, Aboriginal services, judicial and legal organisations, health and community services, and government agencies. She has a particular interest in supporting staff working with trauma survivors and in advocacy roles to sustain their wellbeing. Through her private practice she supports adult survivors of interpersonal, institutional and political violence with counselling and therapeutic groupwork. 

Her respectful strengths-based approach is informed by social justice principles, a blend of therapeutic modalities and cultural guidance from Aboriginal mentors. She holds clinical membership with PACFA.

"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.

"Sigrid was fantastic! She checked the context with us prior to the training and sought to bring the training in a way that was appropriate to the needs and experience of our organisation. On the day she allowed a good mix of input and discussion/response. Everyone was very positive. Sigrid herself was a great presenter!" - Sonia Roulston, Archdeacon of Newcastle

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.

Kerry Genovese

BA, Grad Dip App Psych, Cert Process Work, MPsych (Couns), MAPS, CCouns

Kerry ImageKerry is a Counselling Psychologist and psychotherapist. She has had diverse work experience providing counselling in varied clinical, community and corporate settings. In her early counselling career Kerry worked for several years as a trauma counsellor providing immediate response and follow-up care for individuals and communities affected by sudden traumatic events, in addition to counselling and support for survivors of childhood abuse. In her following years of private practice to the present time, Kerry has maintained a strong commitment and passion for helping individuals work through the negative impact of trauma.

Kerry is trained and skilled in a range of therapeutic methods which she draws upon flexibly to suit each individual client and their different and changing needs. With each client impacted by childhood trauma she aims to build a strong relationship of trust, to affirm their strengths, to help them build a positive self-identity and most importantly to foster a sense of hope and belief in a positive future.

As pastimes Kerry loves old black and white movies, futuristic science fiction and day dreaming. And she has a niece and nephew who are the light of her life.

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 has completed 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

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

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...

"Enjoyed Matthew's genuine care and passion, and his communication skills were amazing. His knowledge was evident by his very thorough responses to any questions." - Patricia Neumann, Team Leader Red Cross Australia

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


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 private practice, employee assistance program (EAP) counselling, torture and trauma counselling with refugees and asylum seekers, therapeutic work with remote NT Aboriginal communities, youth development in the Solomon Islands, training and development of overseas volunteers, and support to survivors of family abuse and violent crimes.

Steve emphasises a holistic practice framework that incorporates neurobiological and psychophysiological treatment approaches. He challenges training participants to critically reflect on their practice with individuals affected by complex trauma, and remain sensitive to the influence of their own life experiences in their work.

Rhian Williams

Bachelor of Arts, Cert IV in Training and Assessment

I have over 20 years experience in the provision of mediation, facilitation and dispute management design services particularly in workplace, organisational, intercultural and public policy disputes.

My work has focused on empowering organisations, groups, communities and individuals to work together to address the issues that matter to them. I have particular expertise in supporting the inclusion of marginalised or disadvantaged groups and in creating conversations and dialogue across and within those groups.

Many of the projects I have worked on have required careful negotiation and collaboration with staff, Boards and others from organisations who may have perceived their needs and interests to be in competition. I am skilled at influencing and persuading others to find collaborative ways of working together that enhance relationships whilst providing recognition and acknowledgement of each person’s unique contribution.

I have worked with groups ranging from Indigenous elders in remote communities where we have not shared a common language and have needed to work with interpreters, through to Service Chiefs in the Commonwealth Department of Defence and with scientists and researchers working in areas such as water management, genetic modification of viruses and disease management as well as rural women’s groups.

A significant element of my practice has been the provision of innovative national research projects that have delivered significant contributions to policy development and service delivery including Cost Benefit Analysis. I have taught at a number of Australian Universities and have authored papers and presented at conferences in Australia and overseas.

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

Rebecca Moran

BSc (Hons) Psychology and Crime, MA Criminological Research

Rebecca Moran photoRebecca has a diverse background in youth work, mental health, criminology research, and training. She has specialised in trauma and recovery for many years, and has served as a trainer and consultant for government and non-government agencies in Australia and the United Kingdom. She currently works for Curtin University and Western Sydney University in teaching and research roles, and is completing her PhD through Western Sydney University’s School of Social Sciences and Psychology. Her PhD project explores meaning-making and social action as part of recovery from child sexual abuse, with particular focus on the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Rebecca also has a lived experience of trauma and recovery, and draws on a mix of professional and personal experience when facilitating training. 

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

Masters in Nursing (Nursing Practitioner), Diploma of Higher Education in Nursing – Mental Health (UK), Advanced Diploma in Counselling and Therapy (UK)

Matthew BallMatthew has a special interest in working with individuals labelled as experiencing psychosis in the context of understanding meaning, and the impact of trauma and adversity. He has been exploring the value of facilitating a three-phased trauma approach to working with people who experience psychosis.

Through his clinical practice in public, NGO and private clinics, 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.

Mathew has written and facilitated workshops in health and broader community sectors, lectures on University programs and provides consultation on understanding and working with Trauma, psychosis and recovery. He has introduced education on Approaches to Working with Voices and Psychosis through Understanding Trauma and led the facilitation of the approach across the Public Mental Health system in South Australia. This work has led to Matthew having a presence both nationally and internationally and has been awarded 2017 Mental Health Nurse of the Year by the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses.

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


NT trainers

Joan Washington

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

Joan ImageJoan has over 15 years’ experience working with individuals, families and communities affected by traumatic experiences and she has extensive experience in delivering workshops about the effects of trauma. Joan has worked with children, adolescents and adults - both individually and as family or otherwise connected groups who have experienced torture and trauma and/or are asylum seekers. Due to her professional experience, Joan is skilled at delivering workshops in the particularly challenging spaces where cultural competency is so important.

As a survivor herself, Joan believes in a holistic approach that is client centered and strength based, and she holds a strong interest in resilience and protective factors. Her work is particularly influenced by the neuroscience of how trauma impacts the brain and the nervous system during developmental periods, and ultimately our perceptions of the world, others, and our sense of belonging and safety.

In her role as a case manager of complex clients she conducted long term advocacy, coordination with other relevant stakeholders, held roles in management and program coordination, and has engaged in extensive community development with local communities.

Latest Articles



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: 
Carolyn Boyd
0425 201 096 or