If you have experienced childhood trauma, you can speak with a Blue Knot Helpline trauma counsellor including for support and applications around national redress

1300 657 380
Monday - Sunday
between 9am - 5pm AEST
or via email helpline@blueknot.org.au


Do you live with disability?  Have you experienced abuse, neglect, violence or exploitation?

For support for Disability Royal Commission or general support contact our National Counselling & Referral Service

1800 421 468
9am - 6pm AEST Mon- Fri
9am - 5pm AEST Sat, Sun & public holidays

Trauma training



“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


Bradley Foxlewin

Master of Applied Science (Social Ecology, Org. Dev.), Master of Gestalt Therapy.

Bradley is an independent Mental Health lived experience Consultant, member and past Chair of the Australian Capital Territory Mental Health Consumer Network. Bradley held the role of Deputy Commissioner, Mental Health Commission NSW from 2013 – 2017. Bradley works as a trainer, peer supervisor, group-worker, consultant and researcher, all from a lived experience first position. Bradley has a deep and abiding interest in issues affecting people with lived experience of trauma, including people who identify with Intellectual Disability, and their interactions with services. Bradley maintains a strong commitment to partnerships across mental health and disability settings that support better outcomes for those with living experience. Bradley has previously worked, over a period of 28 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 has conducted research into reducing seclusion and restraint in acute mental health and the utilisation of strengths approaches in acute and community settings. Bradley’s research into seclusion reduction is considered an exemplar in the field.

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

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.

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

Leanne Donoghue-Tamplin

AssDip Social Welfare, BA (Psychology), PostGradDip Psychology, Psychologist (AHPRA Regn No. PSY0001404728), APS Member.

Leanne is a psychologist with over twenty years of experience across community, hospital and private practice settings, particularly in the areas of domestic violence and childhood sexual assault. Leanne has worked extensively in training, management and project management, and is currently completing a Research Masters at UTAS focused on domestic violence.

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 and is also PACFA accredited to provide Trauma Informed supervision.

"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

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.

Sarah May

BA (Psych and Gender) Honours (Gender), Master of Social Work, Grad Dip (Public Health), Grad Cert (MBCIGWI), Cert IV TAE

Sarah is a social worker who has worked with child, adolescent and adult complex trauma survivors since 2003 in a range of roles including case worker, group worker and counsellor. She has also co-ordinated program delivery and taught a diploma of community services and mental health and AOD counselling.  

Sarah is passionate and committed to supporting survivors of complex trauma recover and live safe and meaningful lives. As a social change agent she is dedicated to transforming socio-political and organisational systems to recognise and respond to complex trauma in restorative ways. Sarah brings an empathic, empowering and strengths-based approach to what she does.

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


Erin Holloway

BAppSci, Post.Grad.Dip.App.Psych., PhD, (Clin.Psych.)., MAPS

Erin is a Clinical Psychologist working across clinical, research, training, and evaluation settings. She has worked extensively in community, non-government, and government services to support the wellbeing of consumers, staff, and the organisation. She has a passion for trauma-informed practice and creating safe and supportive work environments.  

Erin has developed, implemented, and evaluated programs that support wellbeing, facilitate recovery, and manage the effects of stress and trauma on an organisational and systemic level. She has been involved in the implementation of Trauma Informed Practice across several organisations. Erin has delivered training for a range of community services, non-government, and government organisations. Her expertise includes: Trauma Informed Practice, trauma, vicarious trauma, critical incident response, and wellbeing. 

Erin is warm and engaging, and encourages joy and courage in reflective spaces. She draws on a range of therapeutic approaches including Positive Psychology, Psychodynamic group processes, Neurotherapy, CBT, and ACT. 


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 Cowie-Scott

B.A. Grad Dip Ed Psych. Cert IV in Training and Assessment. MAAPi

Michelle is a registered psychologist with almost 30 years of clinical experience. She has worked within the public mental health system as well as in private practice and education settings. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to create engaging and informative workshops. Michelle also facilitates the Applied Suicide Skills Intervention Training (ASIST), and has spoken at various conferences and training courses within the areas of mental health and wellbeing. She works from a strength-based perspective, with compassion and sensitivity to achieve the best outcomes for clients and training participants. .

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

Jo-Anne Bentley-Davey

BSocSci (Criminology, Human Services), MSW (PQ)

Jo’s professional practice spans across human services and social work domains, with a background in youth justice, community development, behaviour analysis, disabilities, case management and community engagement. As an Educator, Jo has taught a variety of human service courses in the tertiary and vocational education sector and is an experienced community engagement facilitator. As a social worker, Jo has applied trauma informed practice into her practice framework for many years. Jo is a self-proclaimed pracademic, dedicated to lifelong learning and professional development. Jo is an associate lecturer for James Cook University teaching Field Education.

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 is a somatic (body based) psychotherapist based at Varsity Lakes on the Gold Coast. With 25 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. 

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


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. 

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

Carola Maier

Bachelor of Social Sciences, Certificate Buteyko Method, (Moscow) MPACFA

Carola Maier

Carola has worked as a counsellor/psychotherapist in private practice for over 25 years and as a case manager and counsellor in the human service industry for 14 years. Her roles included case management, client support and counselling. She has worked in many different programs and organisations with clients presenting with a variety of issues including long-term unemployment, homelessness, victims of crime and domestic violence, disabilities, mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and has worked in the foster care area. Her special areas of interest are trauma, anxiety, panic disorders, grief and loss, and depression. 

Carola has been teaching in the VET sector and university sector for many years. 

While Carola adopts a wholistic and eclectic approach to therapy, her philosophical orientation has its roots in existential theories. In her work she focuses on supporting clients to understand their histories and difficulties and assists them in tapping into their own innate resources and strengths to facilitate the healing process. 


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

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

For media comment, please contact:
Dr Cathy Kezelman
+61 425 812 197
+61 2 8920 3611
or ckezelman@blueknot.org.au

For media enquiries, please contact: 
Julia Macerola
+61 422 337 332
or julia@fiftyacres.com