Our People

The Training, Practice and Organisational Change Team are an integral to supporting your journey. Whether you an individual or an organisation our team will guide you to find the best training, supervision or other tailored service to meet your needs. 

Blue Knot Foundation’s education and training programs, practice, supervision and organisational change are well supported by our nation-wide team of trainers, supervisors and consultants all of whom are skilled, experienced and suitably qualified to inspire and empower those with whom they work. We expertly match the requisite skills and experience with the diverse needs of each organisation and identified topics and subject matter.

You will have an opportunity to speak to us on the phone, via email, virtual platform, or in person so please see below the people who make the magic happen!

Training, Practice and Organisational Change Team

Tamara O'Sullivan

Tamara O'Sullivan

National Executive
Manager

Jo Cohen

Jo Cohen

Senior Coordinator - Organisational Change

Lilly Wetherspoon

Lilly Wetherspoon

Individual and Community Training Coordinator

Miriam Mendoza

Miriam Mendoza

Training and Intake Specialist

Dylan Mighell

Dylan Mighell

Learning Experience Designer

September P

September Pagurayan

Training and Intake Specialist

Sue Moffat

Senior Coordinator - Supervision and Practice

Leone Campiao

Training Administration Specialist

Ida Simonelli

Organisational Training Coordinator

Our Trainers, Supervisors and Consultants

Our Trainers, Supervisors and Consultants

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

Margaret Watson, Counsellor

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

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

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

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

This training was exactly what I was looking for. It provides a great framework to deliver effective trauma therapy. Natajsa was fantastic at creating a fun environment balancing learning the information, practical application, participant contribution and overall genuine compassion for clients receiving this work. I loved this workshop!

Heidi, DV and Sexual Assault Counsellor

Shirley was informative, professional and hilarious. Her facilitation greatly helped with engagement for what is a difficult subject. Thank you Shirley for a great training session!

Lisa, Eating Issues Practitioner, Eating Disorders QLD

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

This content could very easily be dry and dense; however it has been constructed and delivered in a very engaging and personal manner - that keeps EVER the remote audience, invested. Thank you Michelle!!!

Anonymous

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

New South Wales

Dragan Zan Wright

Dragan is an experienced psychotherapist who runs a face to face and online psychotherapy and supervision practice from Ballina NSW, as well as face to face and online training programs. These services specialize in working with adults from a background of childhood abuse and trauma.

Being a gender and sexuality diverse person himself, Dragan has an embodied understanding of minority stress and holds the lived experience of the journey from childhood complex trauma, and the ensuing mental health challenges, to a life of building adult resilience. This gives him a unique perspective both therapeutically and educationally.

Dragan specialises in working with all people from a background of childhood trauma and adversity and also has a rich experience in gender, sexuality and relationship diversity.

Merle Conyer

Merle is a respected supervisor, psychotherapist, trainer and consultant with experience in service delivery, management, board and volunteer roles. She was previously the Manager of Blue Knot Foundation’s national Helpline and Counselling team.

Merle offers trauma-informed support for individuals and teams in urban, regional and remote communities. This is informed by wide-ranging experience working with health services, not-for-profit sector, educational institutes, government agencies, Aboriginal services, judicial and legal organisations, institutional abuse redress programs, corporate sector and community groups. Her holistic approach is informed by social justice principles, a blend of therapeutic modalities, and cultural guidance from Aboriginal mentors.

Naomi Sirio

Naomi Sirio began working as a contract trainer/facilitator with Lifeline seven years ago to deliver training within their Skills for Life and DV Alert programs. A qualified psychotherapist with a therapy and training practice at Erina on the NSW Central Coast, Naomi has worked for over twelve years with women, men and children to bring about transformation, navigate challenges and support healing. Naomi uses a trauma-informed, somatic and Gestalt lens in her therapy practice and brings this knowledge and experience to her training delivery.

Naomi’s experience in training includes private and public primary and secondary schools, tertiary sector, government and non-government agencies, corporate, local council, charity organisations and community workshops.

Jane Daisley-Snow

Jane has a background in holistic counselling, psychotherapy, art therapy, counselling education, group facilitation, clinical supervision and natural medicine.
Over the past 24 years she has worked with adults, children and adolescents in private practice. She has supported many clients who have a history of traumatic injury and who suffer from the symptoms related with post- traumatic stress such as anxiety, nightmares, somatic complaints, depression, addictions and relationship difficulties.

Jane adopts a relational, integrative, trauma-informed 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.

Sarah May

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 coordinated program delivery and taught a diploma of community services and mental health and AOD counselling.

Sarah is a survivor and is passionate and committed to supporting survivors of complex trauma to recover and live safe and meaningful lives. As a social change agent Sarah 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.

Julie Dombrowski

Julie is a training facilitator and a supervisor. 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 building workplace cultures that support practitioners in their work.

Lisa Parker

Lisa is a Clinical Psychologist with 30years experience in working with young people and young adults to assist them to create well-being within their context of experiencing significant social and psychological struggles.  She has worked in a variety of service settings – drug & alcohol services, youth health services, community mental health centres and inpatient mental health services.  Lisa has trained in the western model of psychology, though her work is informed by her studies in Shiatsu Therapy, Buddhist psychology and queer theory.  Lisa’s work is also informed by a justice-doing and power, threat & meaning framework.  In 2018, Lisa qualified as a Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga Facilitator with the Justice Resource Institutes Centre for Trauma & Embodiment.

Lisa maintains a private practice in Sydney, Australia and works in a private mental health service for young adults, Uspace St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney.

Victoria and Tasmania

Dr. Michelle Noon

Michelle 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 honorary positions and is the convenor of Criminology and Responding to Family Violence subjects at RMIT University.

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.

Dr. Peter Streker

Peter is a psychologist who has worked on many complex community topics over 25 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.

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 Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne’s Department of Psychiatry and sits on the ethics boards of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture.

Merrin Wake

Merrin is a health and education professional with a range of experience in child and adolescent health, mental health, mentoring, teaching, government agenda and clinical practice. She has worked as a lecturer at Deakin University, a tutor for Indigenous youth, a pediatric registered nurse and a child safety trauma informed practice consultant. Merrin currently works as a community engagement consultant with Drummond Street services. She sits on the board of Transcend Australia, a peer support service for parents/carers of families of trans, gender diverse and nonbinary young people. Her passion to support the whole of family model guides her clinical and advocacy roles.

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 have 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.

Erin Holloway

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 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.

Michelle Cowie Scott

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 strengths based perspective, with compassion and sensitivity to achieve the best outcomes for clients and training participants.

Conrad Aikin

Conrad Aikin has more than 30 years’ experience as a psychologist and counsellor. He worked at the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture for 18 years, initially as a counsellor advocate assisting survivors of torture and trauma, and subsequently in roles focused on case supervision and professional development. In his current role as Senior Practice Leader at Sacred Heart Mission, Conrad is responsible for practice development within the Journey to Social Inclusion Program, which supports people who have experienced prolonged homelessness into sustainable housing.

He has worked in diverse areas of counselling and psychology in the community and government sectors, and in private practice. His work has included coaching in leadership and teamwork, and employee assistance, vocational rehabilitation, and drug and alcohol counselling.

Karen Efron

Karen works as psychotherapist, supervisor, tertiary educator, human services consultant and delivers training and supervision for Blue Knot Foundation. Karen has worked in the Community Sector for over 30 years and has been committed to client centred, relationship based, reflective practice. These principles guide Karen’s approach to case management, counselling/therapy, supervision and program management where most clients have experienced disenfranchised grief, social exclusion and complex trauma. This has been in contexts such as Drug/Alcohol, Homelessness, Family Violence, Mental Health and Private Practice. Karen works from a relational framework, looking at both the individuals experience as well as the context in which they live and work. A trauma informed framework guides her practice and Karen incorporates self-care, concepts of compassion satisfaction and fatigue within her approach. She sees training and supervision as an opportunity to pause, reflect, gain knowledge and learn from others.

Queensland

Karin El Monir

Karin was born in Austria and comes from a 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. When Karin is not out and about as a trainer, she works in her trauma-specialised practice in SEQ. Karin started providing supervision and consultancy services after completing a diploma in Systemic Business Coaching. She has provided services to a range of businesses and services, both in Australia and overseas (Ireland and Austria).

Karin works from a systemic framework, looking at both the individual experience as well as the role different systems involved, including professional, family and internal systems. Karin also uses a very holistic approach as a trainer, consultant or therapist. Karin’s special area of interest is leadership and organisations with the goal of creating and maintaining systems and organisations that reduce trauma, rather than recreating it. Karin is passionate in trauma-informed care and specialises her practice in working with stress and trauma.

Shirley Hicks

Shirley is a somatic (body based) psychotherapist, 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.

Natajsa Wagner

Natajsa is an experienced clinical psychotherapist with a private practice based in Brisbane. She has a background in leadership and consulting roles across community organizations and businesses in the private sector. Natajsa specialises in therapy for complex trauma and attachment challenges. She works from an ecological perspective that recognises each individual’s experience and the influence professional, family and internal systems have. Her training as a Gestalt therapist also blends sensorimotor psychotherapy, somatic experiencing and poly-vagal informed therapy.
Natajsa has over 7 years’ experience working in her private practice with individuals, couples and groups. She has also spent the first 15 years of her career working in senior leadership roles mentoring individuals and developing high performance teams.

Having a lived experience of complex trauma, Natajsa is passionate about the implementation of trauma-informed care and practice. Her therapeutic approach recognises the wisdom inherent in all human beings and focuses on seeing people as more than their “pathology”, and advocates for clinicians to look beyond a person’s challenges or symptoms and begin to recognise the tremendous courage and resilience of the human spirit to cope with life’s experiences. She holds the belief that with support people are capable of healing, growth and transformation.

Jo-Anne Bentley Davey

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.

South Australia

Rina van Schalkwyk

Rina’s background is in law where she spent five years working in South Africa as a lawyer in the National Defence Force. More recently, after spending several years living in the United Sates before relocating to Australia Rina made a career change to counselling.

Rina is now involved with the National Redress Scheme as counsellor at a Victim Support Service, a Redress Support Service Provider, providing counselling and support to adult survivors of child sexual abuse in their engagement with the National Redress Scheme and also operates a private counselling practice with a special interest in trauma. Rina’s approach to counselling is an eclectic and integrative approach utilizing client centered bottom–up approaches as well as cognitive approaches where appropriate. Rina is a registered clinical member of PACFA.