Lisa is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with a Masters in Social Work specialising in infant and perinatal mental health. She has worked in the perinatal mental health field for over fifteen years. She is passionate about the importance of supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of new parents, particularly mothers as they journey through pregnancy and into the early parenting years. Lisa has experience providing support to families in relation to a number of issues including; adjustment to parenting, perinatal emotional distress, depression, anxiety, birth trauma, grief and loss, stillbirth, neonatal loss, young Mums, relationship stress and domestic violence. Lisa has been working as a Manager of Child and Family Services for a residential Mum and Bub unit supporting mothers in building connected relationships with their children whilst they participate in treatment for their mental health and substance use for over a decade. She is also a Child and Family Partner with Emerging Minds who work to support children of parents with mental health issues and their families.
Lisa is a warm and compassionate clinician and works to promote a safe and nurturing space for parents seeking support. Lisa works from a strength-based, trauma-informed approach and is a trained practitioner and facilitator of Circle of Security and Parents Under Pressure (PUP). Lisa believes the relationship we form with our clinician is what helps us find healing so has a very flexible approach that is client centred.
Lisa finds sometimes words and talking are not the only path to healing so offers a variety of creative art and drama based ways of processing as well as Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), family systems theory and additionally draws on principles from attachment theory, acceptance and commitment therapy, Cognitive Behavioural therapy, and solution focused therapy.
Lisa looks forward to walking with you and your family as you find your own way through the joys and challenges of parenthood.
Marian is a warm, empathic registered psychologist with over 20 years’ experience as a therapist. She has worked with a wide range of client presentations across a variety of settings including Alcohol and Drug counselling services; generalist counselling services; mental health project management; Family Dispute Resolution, and in private practice.
Marian works with individuals and couples, specialising in the treatment of anxiety, depression, PTSD and childhood sexual abuse. Marian offers focused psychological strategies, from a client centred, collaborative, positive psychotherapy approach. She is experienced in a variety of evidence-based therapeutic models, including CBT, ACT, DBT, EMDR, Schema Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Mindfulness and EFT.
Marian’s orientation to clients is one of unconditional positive regard and radical acceptance. In addition to offering psychoeducation, skills development and a variety of therapeutic interventions, Marian believes that a strong collaborative working partnership with clients is essential to achieve good therapeutic outcomes.
Elisa is a warm and compassionate registered psychologist with a Masters in Clinical Psychology. Elisa has a passion for perinatal health and supporting people facing a variety of life challenges. She values taking a holistic and collaborative approach in helping clients achieve their goals. Her practice draws upon a range of evidence-based therapies, including CBT, DBT and attachment-based therapy. Elisa has experience working with children, adolescents and adults in both individual and group contexts. She has worked in community mental health, research and hospital settings.
Emma is an approachable and passionate Psychologist who has experience in a range of clinical settings, including Willoughby Tresillian Residential Unit and the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University. Emma completed her postgraduate training in Clinical Psychology at Macquarie University. Her dissertation focused on attachment theory and parental mentalisation. Emma is a member of the APS (Australian Psychologist Society), the APS Perinatal and Infant Psychology Interest Group and the Australian Association for Infant Mental Health.
Emma’s therapeutic approach is to work collaboratively with individuals in a safe and non-judgemental environment. Emma tailors her treatment approach to work flexibly based on individual needs and preferences, while incorporating therapies with a strong evidence base. Clients value the safe and nurturing environment that Emma provides for them, allowing them to build the skills they need to overcome difficulties, experience joy and improve their wellbeing.
Julia comes to Gidget Foundation Australia with a background in the not-for-profit, arts, and education sectors, where she gained extensive skills in stakeholder management, administration, database management, and analytics. Her motivation to take on the Clinical Practice Manager role stems from a desire to be hands-on in making a difference in people’s lives, ultilising her organised, pragmatic and conscientious nature to ensure policies and processes are followed to enable Gidget Foundation Australia to run as efficiently as possible.
Julia is passionate about mental health, particularly that of new parents, knowing first-hand how difficult it can be for some, and feels privileged to be working at Gidget Foundation Australia to help to ensure expectant and new parents receive timely and specialist care.
Outside of work, Julia loves hanging out with her two children and husband, watching the latest hit show or movie on Netflix, going to the theatre, or escaping with a good book.
Tanuza is a registered psychologist who works with clients across the age range including, children (in the context of family therapy), adolescents, and adults. She has broad experience with a variety of presentations including complex trauma, eating disorders, addiction, adjustment issues, grief and loss, mood and anxiety disorders, perinatal mental health, parenting as well as family and relationship challenges.
Tanuza’s approach is holistic and client-centred, supporting the diverse needs of her clients, their families and communities. Her warm and caring nature enables her to instantly build rapport with clients and their support networks. Tanuza employs evidence-based interventions such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness-based therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), Scheme Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour therapy (DBT).
Tanuza is also a bilingual clinician with Transcultural Mental Health Centre (TMHC) having worked extensively with clients from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. She is a mindfulness group facilitator for women’s health and wellness, as well as a sessional clinician with the Multicultural Problem Gambling Service (MPGS). Tanuza has developed specialist knowledge in child protection and early intervention in her previous work with the Department of Human Services.
Heather is a registered psychologist providing Medicare approved and private counselling and psychology services.
Practicing for 15 years, Heather has provided services in a broad range of settings including psychiatric outpatient group programs, forensic/correctional offender rehabilitation, and community settings including homeless hostels and rural/remote communities in her work with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. She works with adults, older adults, adolescents, and LGBT clients experiencing a variety of issues including depression, anxiety/panic, stress, grief and loss, trauma and relationship issues.
Heather has a special interest in supporting parents in all aspects of parenting; from nurturing parent/child bond to managing difficult behaviours. Heather’s experience includes supporting parents to cope with the anxiety that becoming a new parent can evoke, riding the IVF roller coaster, navigating and responding to a developing child’s changing needs, to managing the task of parenting following separation and re-partnering, or coping with the loss of a child.
Heather’s approach is warm and down to earth and emphasises achieving outcomes as directed by the client. She tailors her approach depending on client need and draws from Narrative Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and attachment-based parenting approaches. She is accredited to deliver Circle of Security Parenting and 123 Magic Parenting.
Alia is a warm and gentle psychologist with over 15 years of experience predominately working with women, children, and families across public and private organisations. Alia has previously worked with mothers in a refuge; birth, adoptive and foster parents; and survivors of abuse and trauma. Alia is currently working at a private psychiatric inpatient hospital with adult and youth patients.
Alia works from a strength-based perspective, providing empathy, support, and authenticity within the working therapeutic relationship. Alia utilises modalities of CBT, DBT, ACT, EFT, and Mindfulness within therapy. Alia works compassionately with clients to increase safety, healthy attachments, and self-care. Therapy can help via empowering clients with skills, informed decision making and problem-solving, and building a life worth living based on their values and goals. Cultural sensitivity, recovery-focus, and trauma-based practices are woven within therapy. Alia works with clients to build awareness, insight, and hope for the future, with a focus on the strengths and courage that it takes to engage in therapy.
Outside of work, Alia is a mum of four children aged between 15 to 3 years old, so she has lived experience and understanding of the juggle that many parents experience today.
Sarah is a UK-trained Clinical Psychologist with over 20 years experience in clinical practice on Sydney’s northern beaches, working in both the public and private sectors, across the age spectrum. Sarah brings a wealth of life experience and clinical expertise, has the capacity to deeply engage with people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, understand their needs, activate change and foster wellbeing. Sarah has extensive experience addressing anxiety, depression, grief, trauma and relationship problems, and also has a special interest in the early attachment bond.
Strong compassionate and collaborative relationships are especially important during the perinatal period, and Sarah’s work draws upon the evidence-based models of cognitive-behaviour therapy, acceptance & commitment therapy and the relational psychotherapies to inform her approach. Sarah looks forward to meeting prospective Gidget House Manly clients to help families access the necessary psychological support required during these important formative years.
Emilie is warm, intuitive, and collaborative as an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with ten years experience in the field of child and adolescent mental health and family therapy. She has worked with couples, individuals, and families in the treatment of depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and recovery from trauma in various community, health settings, and inpatient contexts. She is trained in and strongly influenced by psychodynamic psychotherapy, attachment-based therapies, and Narrative Therapy techniques.
Emilie’s previous experience in various hospital settings extends to providing therapy to families facing complex loss and facing challenging mental health issues including post-traumatic stress disorder, sudden death, grief and loss, and addiction. She is passionate about incorporating themes of rupture and repair, reparative attachment, and restorative connections into her work. This also includes an emphasis on the neuroplasticity of the brain and its ability to heal. She has also collaborated on and independently developed art therapy modules in the inpatient setting for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and various mood disorders. As such, she also employs creative approaches in her work where this may be helpful for clients who engage in therapy with her.
Emilie aided in the establishment of the Australian Association of Social Workers Mental Health Practice Group in 2020 and has formerly worked to educate, resource and train other social workers to obtain their accreditation as Mental Health Social Workers.
Mandy joined Gidget Foundation Australia in 2019 as part of the Clinical Administration Team and supports the Westmead and Merrylands Gidget Houses and our Start Talking telehealth program.
Mandy has worked almost exclusively in the Western Suburbs of Sydney her working life where she grew up and has been privileged to have worked extensively with families in the early childhood learning and disability sector, primarily in supporting the running of a not-for-profit child and family resource centre and toy library.
Mandy continues to be passionate about toys, games, and play-based learning embedded in anti-oppressive and trauma-informed practice. She acknowledges that people are the experts on their own lives and has learned and continues to learn everything she knows through the relationships that are fostered by people sharing times in their lives and stories with her.
When Mandy isn’t excelling at long-distance daydreaming; lint rolling her three cats fur off her clothes; and taking as long as it would have to see a fourth child through primary and secondary school doing a Social Work degree, Mandy can be found in various stages of running, dancing, planking, passing a ball, boxing, in a child’s pose, staring at books, films, theatre stages, artworks and taking baths.
Mia Birkner is a clinical psychology registrar with a passion for perinatal and infant mental health. Her practice is informed through a holistic approach where individuals seeking treatment are recognised as a “whole person” rather than as a diagnosis or label. Mia strives to create a non-judgemental space where individuals feel comfortable exploring their concerns and aims to work collaboratively with them in achieving their treatment goals through an evidence-based approach.
Mia is experienced in the assessment and treatment of a range of issues, including anxiety and mood disorders, and has worked in a variety of clinic settings. She has experience working with adults, children, and families.
Mia works primarily from a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach, however, draws from a range of different therapeutic frameworks. Mia understands that seeking therapy can be an intimidating and draining experience for some and is inspired by her Client’s courage to seek treatment. As such, she aims to create a supportive and safe environment for her client to assist them in flourishing via building their self-reliance, flexibility and improving their overall wellbeing.
Mia has a Master of Clinical Psychology from UTS and a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) from Macquarie University. She is also a member of the Australian Clinical Psychology. Mia is also able to offer services under the MBS Pregnancy Support.
Marnie is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker working with Gidget Foundation Australia and in general counselling with parents. Marnie has over 20 years experience in clinical and leadership roles in community health general counselling and multidisciplinary child and family health teams, perinatal mental health, working with individuals, families/couples, and facilitating group work with parents and infants.
Marnie brings compassion and a collaborative, relational approach to her work with clients and her practice is trauma-informed, recovery and strengths-based and explores identity, meaning, and values. The range of issues includes life transitions – particularly in the perinatal period, understanding relationships, transitions to parenting, regulating emotions, identity, parent-infant relationships, grief and loss, trauma, depression, and anxiety. Marnie also draws on attachment theory, relaxation skills, and mindfulness.
Marnie works with clients to support meaning-making, insight, change, and recovery, bringing curiosity, hope, and genuine regard to her work and relationships with clients.
Dr Jacqui Kemmis-Riggs is a warm and caring Clinical Psychologist who is passionate about perinatal mental health and early intervention. She currently works at Gidget House at the Mater Hospital and private practice.
Jacqui has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Clinical Psychology and PhD from UTS. Her doctoral research focused on developing and evaluating a family-based intervention to improve parent-child relationships and associated outcomes for young parents and their toddlers who have experienced complex trauma. Jacqui has clinical experience in outpatient hospital, community and clinical research settings working with adults, adolescents, children and families. She is dedicated to collaborating with clients to enhance their strengths and help navigate the challenges that often come with the journey to parenthood.
Jacqui draws on a range of evidence-based treatment approaches including: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Schema Therapy, Compassion-Focused Therapy, Mindfulness-based therapies and attachment and family systems frameworks.
Cassie joined Gidget Foundation Australia in mid-2021. In her role as Partnerships and Community Manager, she plays a key role in the Foundation’s fundraising activities, nurturing relationships with both corporate and community partners.
Cassie has spent most of her career within commercial organisations, across sectors such as FMCG, sport, toys, and educational products, in various marketing, communications, and licensing roles, and was previously Corporate Partnerships Manager at the McGrath Foundation.
Having numerous close friends who have experienced PNDA and received help from Gidget Foundation Australia, Cassie has witnessed first-hand the positive impact the Foundation has on families and is passionate about contributing to the organisation’s work. With a young family of her own, she is well aware of the challenges that pregnancy and parenthood place on individuals and families.
Outside of work, Cassie and her husband are kept busy entertaining their three young children – particularly their very ‘adventurous’ youngest child!
Dr Alice Dwyer has worked in perinatal and infant mental health settings for almost a decade, both as a trainee psychiatrist and as a consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist.
She has worked across inpatient mother-baby units, community outpatient clinics and as a private practitioner, and been fortunate to be supervised by Professors Bryanne Barnett and Marie-Paul Austin.
She has extensive experience in assessing, formulating, and treating parent-infant dyads utilising a biopsychosocial approach, and is trained in short, medium, and long-term psychotherapeutic approaches including CBT, DBT, EMDR, and psychodynamic psychotherapy.
Her core interests include further understanding the transgenerational transmission of attachment relationships, how to support the development of secure attachment in the parent-infant dyad, service development and models of care in perinatal and infant mental health, and in advocacy for increased accessibility for comprehensive trauma-informed interventions for this patient population.
Sarah joined Gidget Foundation Australia in May 2021 as the Clinical Relations Executive. Sarah works with the clinical administration team and supports Gidget Foundation Australia’s Triage Program.
Sarah grew up on a property in a small farming community outside of Canberra, ACT. It was here Sarah studied Public Health before swapping bush for beaches when moving to Sydney in 2020. She counts herself lucky to have the best of both worlds.
Sarah has lived experience of perinatal depression and anxiety. Her experience drives her passion for helping parents navigate Gidget’s support services. It ignited an interest in mental health awareness and she feels very grateful to work in an organisation where she can combine this with theory learned during her studies.
Outside of work Sarah enjoys visiting her family property with her partner and her energetic five-year-old son Louis. They spend their days bush walking in the bordering Namadgi National Park, helping on the farm, and spoiling their horse Reggie and pet cow Ernie.
Shetal is a warm and compassionate clinical psychologist, who recognises the challenging nature of engaging in therapy, particularly during the perinatal period. She takes a non-judgemental and strength-based approach, facilitating a space where clients feel able to safely explore their difficulties, working sensitively with clients to achieve their goals.
Shetal has a BSc in Psychology, an MSc in The Foundations of Clinical Psychology, and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from various UK universities. Most recently, Shetal developed and led the Psychology arm of a Community Perinatal Team in the UK, and is passionate and motivated to continue working in this area. She also has interests in complex trauma, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, low mood, low self-esteem, and depression, and especially enjoys offering group interventions.
Shetal is endorsed as a Clinical Psychologist by AHPRA and is authorised to provide clinical psychology services under Medicare. She has specialist training in attachment-based therapies including Circle of Security and Video Interaction Guidance, as well as other treatment modalities, namely Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, Schema-Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT). This means she is able to offer flexible, integrative client-centred, and evidence-based interventions to people with a variety of difficulties.
Heather has recently joined Gidget Foundation Australian as a member of the clinical administration team. She brings a mix of admin and customer service experience gained in the retail, corporate and public sectors.
In recent years, Heather has welcomed two grandsons into the family and although they live out of Sydney, plans her time to ensure frequent visits.
Walking with friends and reading crime fiction occupy the rest of her spare time, except when she’s helping her husband harvest honey from his backyard bees!
Lucy is a clinical psychologist who has a special interest in working with parents during the perinatal period. Lucy has been working in her own private practice since 2012 and is currently based in Ballina NSW. Lucy is also part of the consulting team with Sustaining NSW Families. Previously, she has also spent time working with Tresillian Family Care Centre focussing on supporting mothers and fathers with early parenting. Lucy is a qualified Circle of Security Facilitator and is also completing a Ph.D. which is focussed on understanding factors influencing birth experiences as well as the impact of birth experiences on women and the mother-infant relationship.
Lucy has a warm, supportive and compassionate approach. She enjoys supporting parents to explore ways of achieving a satisfying parenting experience consistent with their family values. Her aim is to work collaboratively with parents to promote a secure, loving bond between them and their baby. With four children of her own, Lucy understands firsthand many of the challenges that come with parenthood.
We are all unique, so Lucy tailors treatment to fit the needs of each individual and family. Lucy uses various therapeutic approaches, dependent on the presenting issue and what works for the client. Treatment is informed by attachment theory, interpersonal neuroscience, and compassion focussed therapy. Lucy has also completed additional training in the area of trauma including eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) and has a special interest in birth-related trauma.
Member World Association of Infant Mental Health (WAIMH)Member Australian Association of Infant Mental Health (AAIMHI)Member Australasian Marcè Society Member EMDR Association of Australia (EMDRAA)Member Centre for Perinatal Psychology
Samantha is a dedicated practitioner who aims to provide a safe and empowering environment, allowing clients to discuss and explore concepts to create a meaningful life and a sense of holistic wellbeing.
Practitioners hold the knowledge of best practice and evidence-based interventions that can support clients in achieving their goals, but there is no greater expert in the therapeutic relationship than the client themself. Nobody knows more about what they are thinking and feeling, which goals are important, what works, and what does not more than the client. Working alongside clients and tapping into shared expertise, the aim is to work towards notable improvement.
Holding a Masters of Social Work, Samantha is registered in providing Focused Psychology Strategies from a range of counselling modalities. Together we can explore which interventions best meet individual needs.
In addition to this qualification, Samantha holds a BA- Early Childhood Teaching, BA- Social Science and is currently studying a Post Graduate program in Sexology. As an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker (AMHSW), Samantha realises that people do not sit in isolation. We are all members of relationships, families, and communities, all of which impact our lives. This becomes an important consideration when working towards wellbeing.
Samantha has a passion for supporting and advocating for women and families living in regional and rural areas and as a lifelong learner, ensures that she continually develops her practice knowledge to provide a service that can support the clients that she has the privilege of working alongside.
Gidget Foundation Australia is not able to provide crisis support.
Please refer to the below support options:
If you need urgent medical help please call 000
The Sonder: Gidget Perinatal Support Centre is a practical emotional wellbeing support app available 24/7
The PANDA National Helpline is available Mon-Fri 9am-7:30pm 1300 726 306
For 24 hour crisis support please call Lifeline 13 11 14
Jo is a sensitive, caring, accredited mental health social worker, with 15 years experience. Jo offers focussed psychological strategies, from a strength based approach. Jo is empathic and passionate about helping those during their precious time with young children.
Jo works with individuals, couples, and families, across the lifespan, in community mental health and private counselling, specialising in anxiety, depression, PTSD, PNDA and numerous mental health conditions, as well as offering useful psychoeducation. Jo has exemplary listening skills, feeling strongly that “being there” 100%, is paramount.
As a parent herself, Jo provides holistic, understanding, non-judgmental care, to help adjust to parenthood. Jo worked in Brighter Futures and is an experienced counsellor with a BSc, Psychology; a Masters, Social work and a Masters, Counselling (SW).
Jo specialises in a variety of evidence-based practices selected to meet individuals needs including Attachment theory, Psychotherapy, Trauma-Informed Care, CBT, ACT, Mindfulness, and Radical Exposure Tapping (RET), helping manage debilitating trauma experiences. Jo is also a certified facilitator of the Circle of Security parenting program.
Jodie Wood is a registered Psychologist and currently works for Gidget Foundation Australia at Frances Perry House in Melbourne, and in private practice. Jodie has over 20 years of experience working in the community and not-for-profit sectors, providing therapy for women, children, and their families, particularly where there have been experiences of trauma and relationship difficulties.
Jodie has a passion for supporting families during the perinatal period. She works with a range of issues such as depression, anxiety, birth trauma, infertility, coping with fertility treatment, grief, loss, difficulties in relationships and family dynamics, adjustment, and transition to parenting.
Jodie is committed to providing evidence-based therapies and integrates several therapeutic approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychodynamic and Interpersonal Therapy, among others. These approaches can help you gain an understanding of yourself, current difficulties, learning new ways to reduce distress often triggered by the significant changes during the perinatal period.
She has worked in a variety of private practice, health and university settings over the last 7 years, including teaching postgraduate psychology students at UTS, and interim clinic director at the Flinders University Psychology Clinic. She has been with Gidget House since 2016 and has loved every moment working and supporting her incredible clients through challenging times.
She uses an evidence-based approach drawing on modalities such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to tailor an individual treatment plan. She is so passionate about women’s health she is also studying to be an OB/GYN.
Rebecca Wood is a perinatal psychiatrist in private practice in Gladesville, NSW. Having previously worked at the Royal Hospital for Women and The Canterbury Hospital as a perinatal psychiatrist, combined with her work in private practice, she has experienced a wide range of difficulties that can occur for women and families during the perinatal period.
Rebecca completed advanced training as a consultation liaison psychiatrist which helps her to appreciate the intersection of medical and psychiatric conditions which is critical when understanding the huge physical and emotional changes that occur for women when giving birth.
Rebecca was the recipient of the Maddison Medallion from the Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists in 2015. She has several peer reviewed publications and experience with research, enjoys teaching during her public hospital appointmentsand also has an Associate Fellowship in Medical Administration.
Beulah Warren is a psychologist in private practice whose focus is on families and infants. Her work began over 40 years ago as a research psychologist with premature infants and their families. After training on the Brazelton NeonatalBehavioural Assessment Scale and becoming a trainer her clinical focus, whether in hospital or community settings, has been on helping parents see the unique qualities of their child, to better understand their own crucial role in their infant’s development and the significance of the emerging relationship with their infant.
Beulah has a passion for educating professionals and parents on the needs of children and on the importance of the infant-parent or infant-caregiver relationships. Much of her professional life now is providing clinical supervision and consultation to younger professionals in agencies and in the field of infant mental health encouraging and endorsing reflective practice.
Beulah was the inaugural Co-ordinator of the Master of Infant Mental Health program at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry and has contributed chapters to books for professionals and parents and, with Dr Bijou Blick, produced three films for parents and professionals on infant emotional and social development.
She was a foundation member of AAIMHI and served on the NSW Branch Management Committee for 30 years. Beulah is Past President of the Council of the Tresillian Family Care Centres.
In 2014, at the WAIMH Congress in Edinburgh she was awarded the WAIMH Award 2014 “for outstanding contribution to the World Association for Infant Mental Health and its Affiliates”.
However, Beulah’s greatest pleasure is enjoying the lives of her 8 grandchildren: For Beulah, a day spent playing with a four-year-old is magic.
Roz Walker has been involved in research, evaluation, education and training with Aboriginal communities and Community Controlled organisations and Government and non-Government agencies for over thirty five years.
She has extensive experience working with organisations and community groups to identify problems and develop solutions to improve outcomes in maternal, child and adolescent health, mental health and social and emotional wellbeing at individual, organisational and community levels as well as promoting system level change and individual and organisational cultural competence.
Key projects include: Working Together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles and Practice; and the Health Service Needs of Young People in Western Australia which informed the development of the first WA Youth Health Policy in 2018. Roz worked with Professor Rhonda Marriott on the Birthing on Ngoongar Boodja.
Carrie Thomson-Casey is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society College of Clinical Psychologists and has worked in a variety of mental health settings for 25 years. Her work roles have included sexual assault, domestic violence, perinatal depression and anxiety in rural and regional settings.
Carrie is a PhD candidate in the University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Health. Her research focuses on exploring the potential role of adjunctive health care practices, such as complementary medicines, in psychology practice. Her research goals are to improve mental health outcomes.
Allan Sparkes is one of Australia’s most highly decorated citizens, being one of only 5 Australians in the past 44 years to be awarded the Cross of Valour (CV) Australia’s highest bravery decoration. He is also the only Australian to beawarded the Cross of Valour and a subsequent National bravery decoration, the Commendation for Brave Conduct, along with other significant awards for bravery and service including the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) forservice to Mental Health Organisations and the Community, and one of only 10 Australians to receive the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Having lived experience of trauma related mental illnesses and recovery, Allan is a passionate advocate for proactive approaches and greater education relating to the physiological risks being faced by people of all ages in today’s society. He is a Former Deputy Commissioner of the Mental Health Commission of NSW, a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW, the Chairman of the National Police Bravery Awards Committee, a member of the NSW Police Mental Health Intervention Team, Board Director of Gidget Foundation Australia, Patron of the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, and an Ambassador for Australia Day, Beyond Blue and Kookaburra Kids.
He is a renowned keynote speaker, a best-selling author with Penguin Random House Australia and a selfconfessed rugby tragic.
Professor Rhonda Marriott AM is descended from Nyikina people of the Kimberley. She is Director, Ngangk Yira Research Centre for Aboriginal Health and Social Equity and was Murdoch University’s inaugural Pro Vice Chancellor, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Leadership.
Rhonda has a professional career spanning 53 years in Nursing, 32 years in Midwifery and 20 years in translational research for maternal, childhood and youth policy and practice. Her well established partnerships with Noongar Elders and community members in Perth contribute to the co-design of Ngangk Yira’s research and community translation.
Her expertise includes culturally inclusive clinical best practice, embedding Aboriginal maternal and early childhood social and emotional well-being, cultural competence and capacity building in health and co-design of culturally directed translational projects.
Dr Anthony Marren is a certified sub-specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility. His private practice is in association with Genea Fertility and his rooms are in St Leonards and Sydney CBD. He has a public appointment at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and academically with the University of Sydney / Institute of Academic Surgery.
Anthony offers comprehensive, evidence-based female and male fertility treatments. In addition to IVF, Anthony is a skilled laparoscopic surgeon specialising in complex surgeries such as endometriosis, fibroids and tubal reversals. He has a specific interest in the investigation and management of recurrent miscarriage / recurrent implantation failure, and pre-implantation genetic testing. He is also experienced in fertility preservation for men and women about to undergo chemotherapy.
Rebecca Lyons is a psychologist and family therapist. She has been working in this field since 1996 and for the past eight years she has worked for Red Nose as a Counsellor/Educator and Senior Counsellor providing clinical support to a national team of counsellors and supporting bereaved families through the provision of individual, couple and family therapy and through facilitated peer support groups and remembrance services. Rebecca is passionate about the benefits of providing professional and appropriate counselling support to families who have been impacted by the death of a baby or child. She is particularly interested in understanding the intersection of trauma and grief, thinking systemically about grief and parenting while grieving.
She currently works for The Women’s and Girl’s Emergency Centre (WAGEC) as their Child and Young Person Psychologist and runs a small private practice.
Dr Bronwyn Leigh is a clinical psychologist, perinatal and infant clinician and early parenting consultant. She is the Director of the Centre for Perinatal Psychology and the Perinatal Training Centre.
Bronwyn is deeply interested in the psychological aspects of becoming a parent, the emotional development of infants, and parent-infant relationships.
She has co-authored a book, contributed to research and provided media interviews in the field.
Fran Grant is a Yuin woman, and her Aboriginal family comes from the NSW South Coast. She holds a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood Education) and a Master of Strategic Communication.
Fran presently works with Virgin Australia at Sydney Airport where she is a committed member of the Indigenous Working Group and has been deeplyinvolved in developing Virgin Australia’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). She is a current, accredited classroom teacher and also works in undergraduate degree programs at UTS and Macquarie University.
Fran is a member of the Gowrie NSW RAP Indigenous Advisory Group along with being a member of the Waverly College Advisory Council. She continues her gentle journey with continuous effort towards a better understanding of the rich culture and history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Lettitia Gorgas is a psychologist with many years of experience in perinatal mental health and other areas of adult mental health including anxiety, depression, life transition, and adjustment, with a special interest in working with adults who have a history of complex trauma and helping them transition and navigate the complexities inherent in the adjustment to parenthood.
Lettitia has worked in both the public (Mother-Baby residential unit) and private sector. Lettitia has worked at Gidget House for the past 6 years and has been in private practice on Sydney’s North Shore for the past 7 years.
She uses a multimodal, integrative approach to therapy, whilst drawing on her Masters in Psychoanalytic Theories she also utilises ACT, DBT, Mindfulness, solution-focused and trauma-informed interventions. Lettitia uses a Biopsychosocial approach to assessment and likes to work closely with other health professionals in her client’s network to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Deborah (Deb) de Wilde works is an obstetric social worker in three maternity hospitals across Sydney. Whilst working as a midwife her contact with families at times of crisis led her to undertake a degree in social work. After a period as a member of the Counselling Section at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, Deb returned to the obstetric setting.
Deb has cared for families experiencing perinatal loss for forty years. She was an early exponent of documenting the lives of these babies through photography and the provision of other mementos and pioneered the approach where parents are offered the opportunity to see, hold and spend time with their stillborn or dying baby. The approach has become standard practice throughout Australia, though early on it was controversial and at times met with resistance by hospital staff.
Deb de Wilde, Peter Barr, and Julie Dunsmore established SANDS NSW in 1983. Deb, Peter and Julie’s early work with families was documented in Martin Langdon Down’s award winning documentary film, ‘Some Babies Die.’ Deb and Peter co-authored the booklet Stillbirth and Newborn Death: Death and life are the same mysteries.
With her colleague Belinda Power, Deb facilitates a monthly support group for bereaved parents as well as a dedicated antenatal support group for parents in a pregnancy that follows the death of a baby. She was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in 2005 for service to the community as an obstetric social worker providing support to bereaved parents.
Dr Levita D’Souza is a registered counselling psychologist and lecturer within the Faculty of Education at Monash University in Melbourne.
She worked in public and private settings before commencing a career in academia.
Her research interests are in the area of perinatal psychology, adverse childhood experiences and its impact on attachment patterns and subsequent parenting practices. Within this space, her current research projects are looking at psychological factors affecting first-time fathers as they transition to fatherhood. She is also undertaking research on cultural influences on parenting choices in relation to infant sleep.
Dr Charise Deveney is a clinical psychologist. She founded Let’s Talk Psychology Practice in 2008 on Sydney’s upper North Shore and more recently the Perinatal and Wellbeing Village. Charise heads a team of experienced psychologists and together they are well known in the field for providing focused perinatal and infant mental health services to the community.
Having completed a postgraduate diploma in perinatal and infant mental health with the NSW Institute of Psychiatry, Charise has a solid theoretical understanding of the clinical issues faced during the perinatal period and into parenthood.
A proud member of the Centre of Perinatal Psychology, Charise advocates for perinatal and infant mental health issues in the medical field, providing lectures to medical students on perinatal and infant mental health through the Sydney Adventist Hospital. Holding a holistic framework Charise is currently completing a PhD the Department of Medical Sciences at the UNSW and Australasian Research Institute investigating the aetiology of perinatal depression and associated lifestyle factors. Charise is also co-creator of Bearing the Unbearable: a relationship-based training program for perinatal loss.
Charise is a mother of three beautiful children and an adventure enthusiast; always on the look-out for a new challenge!
Amanda is a kind and empathic psychologist with over 12 years of experience across several settings including private hospitals, not-for-profit, tertiary education, medical centres, private practice, and crisis counselling services. Amanda also works in a private hospital treating inpatients who struggle with eating disorders, mood disorders, trauma, and general mental health issues.
Amanda’s interest in perinatal mental health sparked when she became a mother herself in 2014. She particularly enjoys working with perinatal anxiety and adjustment for new parents.
Amanda has completed training in relationship-based approaches to parent-infant support through the Centre for Perinatal Psychology, Perinatal Loss training through the Perinatal Loss Centre, and Perinatal Non-Directive Counselling training through APS Professional Development. Amanda’s work also draws on CBT, ACT, DBT, and Mindfulness-based interventions.
Along with her comprehensive training, Amanda reflects on her own experiences as a parent to empathise with and support her clients. Amanda believes that a strong therapeutic relationship is the most important factor in positive change. Every person is unique in their strengths and identity and deserves an individual and tailored approach to their recovery.
Kylie is a Clinical Psychologist, with more than twenty years of experience working with adults and families in NSW Health, and more recently in private practice. She also holds an allied health consultancy position with a community nursing team, which supports vulnerable families with early parenting and promoting healthy infant development.
Kylie offers a compassionate, respectful, and collaborative approach, drawing from a range of evidence-based therapies to best support the individual goals of each person, and all kinds of families. Therapeutic frameworks include CBT, ACT, and Narrative therapy, as well as Family, and Schema therapies. She has a particular interest in parent-child relationship (Attachment Theory) models, including Circle of Security, Emotion Coaching, and Parent-Child Interaction Therapy.
Kylie’s professional interests include perinatal adjustment, anxiety and depression, birth trauma, OCD, early parenting, the parent-infant relationship, and supporting other clinicians as an approved supervisor with the Psychology Board of Australia.
Eve joined Gidget Foundation Australia in 2021 as a member of the clinical administration team.
Eve is currently studying Psychology and Sociology at Sydney University and is hoping to become a Psychologist.
Working at Gidget Foundation Australia has allowed Eve to gain insight into the world of clinical psychology. She has been greatly inspired by the work of the Gidget clinicians and is even more excited about (hopefully) becoming a Psychologist in the future.
In Eve’s spare time she likes going for walks, spending time with friends, and going out to yummy restaurants.
Raphaella has a Bachelor of Science (Honours in Psychology) from the University of Sydney, a Master of Clinical Psychology from UTS, and is completing a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a focus on mindfulness therapies for reducing parent stress.
Hannah is a Registered Clinical Psychologist who has been practicing for the last nine years in a diverse range of mental health settings, including inpatient and residential treatment services, NGOs, private practice, and, most recently, for NSW Public Health working in the perinatal and infant mental health team.
Hannah uses various evidence-based interventions in her treatment with women and families in the perinatal period, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), Schema Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT), and attachment-focused therapies. Hannah has completed training in utilising telehealth methods (i.e., phone and video) for psychological therapy and also enjoys working collaboratively with GPs, psychiatrists, and other allied health professionals to optimize her client’s care.
As well as experience in the perinatal field, Hannah also works privately with adults and adolescents with varied presentations, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders, substance abuse issues, deliberate self-injury, and suicidal ideation. Hannah has a particular interest in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), including those with birth trauma, utilising therapies such as CBT and Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).
Hannah has a Bachelor of Psychology and a Masters of Clinical Psychology both from the University of Wollongong and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) and the APS College of Clinical Psychologists.
Susan offers warmth and empathy supporting parents during the peripartum and postpartum period, coping with changes to relationship dynamics, along with the challenges of adapting to life as a parent. Her preferred approaches to treatment involve evidence-based interventions that focus on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, including Grief and Loss therapy.
Susan is a passionate advocate of perinatal mental health and empowering parents to develop skills to build resilience and emotional well-being. In her psychology honours thesis, she explored the incompatibility of maternal ambivalence with the positive social constructions of motherhood and how this influences psychological adjustment to parenting.
Deeva is passionate about working with individuals and families and supporting them to heal the wounds of early trauma, attachment, and intergenerational trauma.
Deeva has a special interest in mindfulness-based therapies such as Somatic Experiencing and Internal Family Systems and compliments this with a range of evidence-based practices such as CBT, ACT, and Interpersonal Psychotherapy.
Deeva understands that each stage of the journey of parenthood is a special, yet challenging time for many. She feels incredibly privileged to support families through the significant life transition and challenges of fertility, conception, birth, and the first year of infancy. Her priority is to provide a nurturing space for clients so that they feel safe in exploring and processing their vulnerabilities and strengths and collaboratively finding ways to optimise their mental health.
Alana is a warm, compassionate and supportive therapist. She has been working as a Registered Psychologist for almost 10 years. Alana first developed an interest in perinatal and infant mental health while undertaking a placement at St John of God Hospital in Burwood. Since then she has gained further specialised experience while working at the Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Service in Liverpool.
Alana completed the Graduate Certificate in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health at the NSW Institute of Psychiatry while working full-time demonstrating her passion and commitment to supporting the well-being of parents, infants, and their families.
Alana works within a biopsychosociocultural model. Her therapy is largely influenced by attachment theory and family systems theory. Alana has completed training in interventions aimed at enriching the parent-infant relationship, such as Circle of Security, Marte Meo and Infant Massage, and she utilises these interventions in her work.
Alana has a thorough understanding of perinatal mood disorders and best practice guidelines for the treatment of perinatal mental health issues. In therapy, she draws on a wide range of evidence-based psychological approaches, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Schema Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Therapies.
Alana aims to provide a safe and nurturing environment for caregivers to navigate the journey to parenthood, including those that have had problems with conception, grief, and loss, birth trauma, adjustment to parenthood, antenatal/postnatal depression, and parent-infant relationship issues. She supports parents to deepen their understanding of their emotional difficulties and values and helps them to develop the knowledge and skills to address their concerns and achieve their goals, hopes, and aspirations. Alana endeavours to provide a collaborative therapeutic service that empowers parents and highlights the strengths that they bring to parenting and to the parent-infant relationship.
Kate has worked and studied in psychology for over 20 years across private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. She is passionate about supporting her clients to foster meaningful, purposeful, and satisfying relationships, connections, and lives.
Kate works from a value-based, trauma-informed, and recovery focussed perspective. She values empowerment, hope, respect, and authenticity. When working with clients she utilises evidence-based therapies such as CBT, ACT, Emotion Focussed Therapy, Neuropsychotherapy, and Mindfulness and Relaxation Training. Kate is also a Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Kate has a special interest in depression, anxiety, and trauma as experienced by women during the perinatal period. She also works with grief, loss, and trauma experiences connected to the birth experience, pregnancy loss, and IVF conception complications.
Luciana Lanza is a Clinical and Counselling Psychologist with 30 years of experience in mental health in both private and public practice. She has worked in a diverse range of settings from public adult psychiatry including hospitals to GP clinics with a diverse range of patients from children to adults including people from culturally diverse backgrounds. After having her third child, she has dedicated herself exclusively to her private practice and her professional development as a psychologist and psychoanalyst.
Luciana has extensive experience with the full range of mental health difficulties including anxiety, depression, trauma, grief, and addiction. Luciana has a keen interest in working with women in the antenatal and perinatal periods. Her warmth and understanding of the very real difficulties and challenges faced by families have inspired her to work closely with mothers, fathers, and children during this significant life transition. Person-centered and Psychoanalytic approaches inform her practice where she believes strongly in the individual’s capacity to find the keys needed to find a solution with the appropriate support and facilitation by the therapist. Additionally, she has a keen interest and maintains abreast of the research in neurobiology and attachment theory which she uses to inform her practice.
Dr Tiffany Hense is a Registered Clinical Psychologist, who is passionate about family mental health and wellbeing, especially within the perinatal period. With more than a decade spent working in both public and private practice across Sydney, she has experience providing support and therapy across the lifespan, from infancy through to adulthood. Her work draws on many evidence-based models of care, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and systemic and relational therapies. She also has a particular interest in attachment and the parent-infant connection.
Tiffany is keen to help parents and families harness their strengths and resources to help navigate the challenges that may arise during the perinatal period, including anxiety, depression, grief and loss, relationship concerns, and adjustment issues. She aims to provide a warm, empathic, safe, and collaborative environment for families to explore and process their experiences.
She has worked most recently in a public hospital environment providing support to women during the antenatal period, as well as patients on the adult inpatient mental health ward. Robyn has also had considerable experience working in community mental health settings.
Robyn has a particular interest in supporting new parents to navigate all areas of the perinatal period such as pregnancy-related concerns, adjustment to parenthood, perinatal anxiety and depression, and birth trauma.
Robyn provides a warm and supportive environment for parents to explore and address concerns relating to parenthood, recognising that it’s often hard to acknowledge they may be struggling in this role.
Robyn draws upon a wide range of evidence-based psychological approaches including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), and Mindfulness-Based Therapies.
Anna is a warm and empathic Clinical Psychologist with a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Flinders University in South Australia.
Anna has experience working in hospital, school, university, and private practice settings. Becoming a mother reinforced her interest in supporting families during pregnancy and the adjustment to parenthood. In addition to working in the perinatal field, Anna has experience working with children and adolescents.
Anna’s approach encourages self-compassion and draws upon evidence-based psychological therapies including cognitive behaviour therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness-based therapies, and attachment theory. Anna is a certified Circle of Security facilitator. She is also a registered yoga teacher and facilitates prenatal and postnatal classes for mothers and babies in addition to trauma-sensitive yoga.
Anna currently sees clients on behalf of the Gidget Foundation Australia’s Start Talking Program.
She has worked for a number of years with parents in therapeutic contexts. Amanda appreciates the emotionally taxing nature of parenting, around fertility, birth trauma, perinatal loss, infant caring, and other needs. Her focus is on providing consistently warm, empathetic, and compassionate support for parents and their families.
Rachel is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and has worked in the perinatal mental health field for over 17 years. She is passionate about the importance of supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of new parents as they navigate their parenting journey. Rachel has experience providing support to families in relation to a number of issues including; adjustment to parenting, perinatal emotional distress, depression, anxiety, birth trauma, grief and loss, domestic violence, and infants born with a chronic illness or disability.
Rachel is a warm and compassionate clinician and is aware of how daunting it can be to seek counselling support. She is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment. Rachel works from a strength-based, trauma-informed approach. She works collaboratively with her clients to understand each individual’s situation, acknowledging each person’s cultural background, beliefs, and support networks.
Rachel is informed by family systems theory and additionally draws on principles from attachment theory, acceptance and commitment therapy, mindfulness practices, cognitive behavioural therapy, and solution focused therapy.
Rachel is also a trained practitioner and facilitator of the Circle of Security Program. Rachel has recently completed an Advanced Certificate in Bowen Family Systems theory and is undertaking a Masters of Social Work, Counselling from the University of NSW.
Ange is a compassionate and caring clinician who understands how challenging it can be for people to reach out and seek support, especially in rural areas. Ange has lived and worked in rural NSW all her life. She is passionate about providing support and empowerment to parents as they navigate their journey through early parenting. She has experience working with perinatal depression and anxiety, birth trauma, perinatal loss, and complications during pregnancy.
Ange works from an Attachment and Family Systems approach and is familiar with techniques such as CBT, Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Compassion Focused Therapy.
Amanda is an excellent communicator who takes great care in treating her clients with respect, sensitivity, and kindness. Amanda has both a personal and professional interest in assisting new mums, and has much empathy, compassion, and is non-judgemental in her work.
Amanda is an experienced counsellor and is trained in several approaches of therapy, including; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, CBT, Circle of Security, Neurodevelopmental Care, Family Therapy, Trauma-Informed Care, Grief & Loss Therapy, Schema Therapy, Compassion Focused Therapy, Art Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Relaxation Training, Assertiveness Skills, Contemplative Therapies, Interpersonal Therapy, and Mindfulness.
Rachel is passionate about families being as healthy as possible. Drawing upon 15 years of experience with children and families, she believes that compassionate relationships, exploring people’s strengths, and creativity are the pathways to healing. Rachel’s dedicated perinatal practice is ‘Three Little Birds Perinatal Psychology’ which came about since having her own 3 children and discovering to her dismay that there is little real-life support for parents as they navigate transitioning into parenthood, struggling with issues like conception, pregnancy loss, disability, birth trauma, bonding, and the physical and emotional demands of parenting issues.
Rachel has a solid background in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Strengths-Based & Narrative Therapies, and Family Systems Therapy. For her perinatal work, she expands upon this practice, incorporating methods from advanced training in relevant modalities. With Rachel, you can be guaranteed an understanding ear and a big dose of enthusiasm. And there is always a warm cuppa, too!
Diana has years of experience providing trauma-informed psychological care to clients across the lifespan including psychological disorders, family and domestic violence, displacement, and loss. Her practice is grounded in empathy and cultural sensitivity. In therapy, Diana draws on evidence-based psychological interventions including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Interpersonal Therapy, Mindfulness with Attachment and Family Systems theories framing her practice.
Diana values creating a safe and warm environment for parents and families to explore their experience of parenthood and develop skills to improve adjustment and overall wellbeing.
Anthea is an Endorsed Mental Health Occupational Therapist with additional training in Psychological Sciences.
Anthea has more than a decade of experience working in perinatal, infant, and youth mental health. She has worked across inpatient and community settings, supporting the psychological, social, and emotional wellbeing of parents through grief and loss, pregnancy, birth trauma, and the postnatal period. In addition to her work with Gidget Foundation Australia, Anthea works with Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA).
Anthea is passionate about practicing from a strengths-based model of care, working collaboratively with clients to help them identify their own treatment goals. Anthea is particularly interested in attachment theory and is a Registered Circle of Security Parent Educator. She integrates various models of evidence-based therapy into her practice including CBT, ACT, Motivational Interviewing, and Mindfulness.
Anthea values creating a warm and respectful environment, empowering clients to navigate challenges in their parenting journey.
Christie is a registered Clinical Psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Authority (AHPRA) and a board-approved clinical supervisor. She has held both clinical and senior leadership roles assisting in clinical program development and delivery, supervising teams, and is experienced in assisting clients to find a therapeutic approach to best meet their recovery needs. Christie is an experienced clinician having worked across a variety of settings including community health, private practice, schools, and private hospitals. She has professional interests in clinical areas including perinatal health, leadership development, and eating disorders.
Christie is passionate about providing a client-centered approach and utilises evidence-based therapies, she also is the founder of the mental health app, The Compassionate Parent App. She has completed perinatal specific training from the Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE) and The University of Sydney’s Perinatal Mental Health Course.
Eliza is currently studying a Bachelor of Nursing and hopes to one day become a maternity or neonatal registered nurse.
Working with Gidget Foundation Australia has provided invaluable experience and insight into the field of maternity and the importance of the promotion of perinatal health for new and expecting parents. Away from work and her studies, Eliza spends her spare time catching up with friends and family and enjoying some time outdoors.
Sabrina joined Gidget Foundation Australia in 2020 as the Organisational Administration Executive. Sabrina takes care of administrative duties relating to Gidget House, Fundraising, Events, Volunteers and the Gidget Virtual Village
Sabrina has a background in Gender Studies after graduating from the University of Sydney. Sabrina is now undertaking a Masters of Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Western Sydney. Sabrina hopes one day to unite her passion for diversity and inclusion with a career in the mental health field.
Away from work Sabrina loves spending quality time with friends & family, all whilst saving up for her next overseas adventure!
Most recently Bethany has worked within the automotive industry and managed many facets of the marketing, public affairs, events, and communications initiatives of Jaguar Land Rover. She launched the first-ever brand experience program and most recently performed the role of Communications Manager where she oversaw the implementation of the brand strategy and retail network programs.
Bethany has lived experience of perinatal anxiety and insomnia and is deeply passionate about the work of Gidget Foundation Australia. She is responsible for managing all aspects of the implementation of Gidget Foundation Australia’s support programs.
Bethany has a cheeky little boy who keeps her and her husband busy and reminds her constantly to pause and take in the simple things!
Grace joined Gidget Foundation Australia in February 2021. She supports the administrative team as well as the triage program.
Grace grew up in Sydney. After graduating from high school, she spent a few years studying and working in the United States. Grace returned to Sydney in late 2019 (which coincidentally was very lucky timing)!
Grace is now pursuing a Juris Doctor degree at Sydney University. She hopes one day to provide legal representation to women in need. In her spare time, Grace likes to run, read, and wander around her new home, in the Inner West.
Julie is a Registered Clinical Psychologist with extensive clinical experience working across the lifespan in Infant, Child and Adolescent, and Adult Mental Health Services in government, private practice, and university clinic settings.
The focus of her work is to develop resilience in families, working with them to develop personal resources to get through tough times. Fundamental to this process has been working with parents to develop skills in emotional wellbeing and to build infant attachment in the prenatal and postnatal periods.
Julie values developing a collaborative therapeutic relationship with clients in which they can express their individual emotional and support needs while also responding to the needs of their infant and family. She brings training and experience in a range of evidence-based cognitive psychotherapies and parent-child interaction therapies to her practice.
Julie is a Fellow of Clinical College of APS and an accredited clinical supervisor with APHRA.
Grace joined Gidget Foundation Australia in August 2020 and supports the clinical administration team. Grace grew up living in Singapore, USA, and Sydney. After finishing school, she completed a Bachelor of Commerce/ Bachelor of Arts with a focus on sociology and gender.
In 2020, Grace began studying a Master of Counselling at The University of Notre Dame. She is excited to pursue a career in mental health, and is looking forward to the invaluable experience working with Gidget Foundation Australia will provide.
Catherine has a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Psychology from Macquarie University and started her career as a Buyer in Retail Duty Free.
After spending nine years as an Expat in Dubai, Catherine relocated to England where she worked in the education sector and most recently as Family Centre Co-ordinator in Guildford, Surrey UK. She is now very excited to be joining the Gidget Foundation Australia team as the Clinical Practice Manager. Catherine takes care of our new and existing clients, Clinicians, and our Admin Team.
When not at Gidget House, Catherine enjoys spending time with her husband, as well as her two children who are both currently studying at University. She is also enjoying getting reacquainted with Sydney after spending 13 years overseas.
Justine is a warm, insightful and supportive therapist, who has worked for over 20 years as a Clinical Psychologist. She has gained specialised expertise in the perinatal period while working at Karitane Randwick and St John of God Burwood. In these settings, she has used individual and group treatments.
As a Registered Circle of Security Parent Educator, she has also facilitated several such groups. Justine recognises the importance of having appropriate support to navigate the journey to parenthood, including those that have had difficulty with conception, pregnancy losses, and birth trauma. She also has a particular interest in helping those experiencing perinatal anxiety.
Her work is largely informed by attachment-based therapy and interpersonal neurobiology. In therapy, Justine draws on a wide range of evidence-based psychological approaches, including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Schema Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Therapies.
Justine also has relationships with a number of professionals working in the area. These include Perinatal Psychiatrists, Midwives, Parentcraft nurses, Child and Family Nurses, and perinatal mental health teams to ensure that where appropriate there is additional input and support. Justine is a Member of ACPA (Australia Clinical Psychology Association) and a Board Approved Supervisor with APHRA.
Romy is a Registered Clinical Perinatal Psychologist. She holds a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Deakin University.
It was through her early work as a relationship counsellor that Romy became passionate about supporting parents and infants during the perinatal period; including the planning of conception, pregnancy, and during the post-partum. Romy recognises that the parenthood journey presents many challenges to families, as well as joys and hope. Romy also supports people who have suffered birth trauma, perinatal loss (including miscarriage, stillbirth, and neonatal death), and those who face fertility issues.
Romy’s therapeutic approach aims to help parents find joy in their parenting experience, as well as to foster a secure and loving bond between parent and infant. Romy recognises that reaching out to a psychologist takes considerable courage. She takes the time to listen carefully to people’s concerns and, together, to work out a way forward.
Leah is a caring and skilled social worker, with 14 years’ post graduate experience. Leah has a warm and welcoming approach and understands how daunting it can be to seek support. She is committed to providing a non-judgmental and supportive environment for clients to talk about and work through their issues. She is particularly interested in supporting people during the perinatal period and has specific knowledge and training in this area.
Leah has worked in numerous locations across Australia and overseas, however is particularly passionate about the health and wellbeing of people in regional areas being from a small country town herself. She understands the unique needs and challenges for people living in and raising families in regional communities. Leah has relocated to the beautiful Manning region of NSW and is raising her own family there.
Leah is experienced in working with people facing a range of challenges and mental health conditions. Leah works from evidence-based theoretical frameworks to support people to live the life they want. She is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and her passion for strengthening families and supporting individuals has led her to undertake a PhD in advanced social work practice with families.
Joanne is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker and has over 10 years counselling experience working with clients of all ages, including children, adolescents, adults and the elderly. Joanne has a breadth of experience and a passion for working with individuals, couples and families during the perinatal period and beyond.
Joanne has worked in a range of practice areas, including Private Practice in Newcastle and Taree for the past 3 years. She works with a variety of issues including anxiety, depression, PTSD, perinatal mental health, domestic violence, sexual assault, trauma, substance abuse, stress, parenting issues, relationship difficulties, attachment issues, bereavement, grief and loss, BPD and other mental health issues. Her work includes a collaborative approach with clients and families and is informed by therapeutic frameworks with a solid evidence base, including a strengths approach.
Joanne has undergone extensive training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Mindfulness), Narrative Therapy, Trauma Therapy, Grief, Loss and Bereavement Counselling, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, CBT and Couples Counselling.
Apart from her work at Gidget House, Joanne also has a Private Practice on the NSW Mid North Coast, where she lives with her family.
Marije Vrieze is a registered psychologist who has worked with children, adults and families for over 20 years.
Her work is focused on supporting individuals and couples dealing with a range of issues, including anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, grief and loss and relationship issues.
Originally trained as a child and family psychologist in The Netherlands, Marije has a special interest in the early bonding process between parent and child and supporting families through parenting challenges.
She has worked in variety of public and private settings and holds a Graduate Diploma of Systemic Therapy (Family Therapy) through Relationships Australia. She currently also works for the Red Nose Foundation and has extensive experience in supporting parents perinatally.
Her therapeutic approach draws from a number of theories and interventions, including psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and radical exposure tapping.
Jenn Duncombe is a public health professional specialising in the prevention, detection, and control of infectious diseases. Jenn worked for NSW Health as an Epidemiologist before moving into the humanitarian sector. Since 2013, Jenn has been working for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF; Doctors Without Borders) in emergencies throughout the world. Jenn has worked in large-scale disease outbreaks (e.g. cholera, malaria, measles, Ebola) and conflict zones (e.g. Iraq, Turkey/Syria, Myanmar, South Sudan).
Jenn recently returned to Australia and joined Gidget Foundation Australia team as Program Manager. Her role involves overseeing all aspects of the Gidget Foundation Australia’s client-focused programs.
When Jenn is not at Gidget, she loves spending time with friends and family, going to the beach, drinking coffee and hiking.
Melissa is a professional and empathic Psychologist who is passionate about empowering her clients to live full, happy and meaningful lives. Aside from Gidget Foundation Australia, Melissa also works within her own private practice and has done for the past 9 years, with a particular focus on working with perinatal clients. Other areas of interest include life transitions, adjustment issues, relational difficulties, grief and loss, resilience, anxiety, and depression.
Melissa is passionate about supporting new parents to navigate all areas of the perinatal period such as pregnancy-related concerns, antenatal and postnatal depression, and grief and loss. Melissa provides a non-judgemental, caring and supportive space to work through any difficulties and challenges her clients may be experiencing.
Melissa utilises aspects of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Solution Focused Therapy (SFT).
Rowena is a registered Psychologist and mother of two teenagers. She has been working in child and family health services for the past 23 years with comprehensive experience in perinatal mental health. Rowena also works for an early parenting service assisting parents adjust to the challenges of parenthood, treating perinatal depression and anxiety, facilitating parent-infant/toddler groups, father’s groups, Circle of Security Parenting programs, and meditation groups for staff and mothers. She is also an accredited Triple P facilitator.
Rowena’s therapeutic approach relies on evidence-based interventions that are attachment-focused and trauma-informed, underpinned by compassion and cultural sensitivity. She has a keen interest in schema therapy and self-compassion practices.