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.
Amanda is a psychologist with Gidget Foundation Australia, based at North Shore Private, St Leonards.
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.
Sabrina joined Gidget Foundation Australia as the Organisational Administration Executive in May 2020.
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!
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.
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 PANDA National Helpline is available Mon-Fri 9am-7:30pm 1300 726 306
For 24 hour crisis support please call Lifeline 13 11 14