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Special Guest Presenters

 


 

        

Dr Olivia Ong

Known as the Heart-Centered Doctor, Dr Olivia Ong, is a medical leadership coach, pain physician, author and speaker with a thriving medical practice in Melbourne, Australia.

After a severe car accident in 2008 when she was told she would never walk again as a paraplegic, she began walking 2 years later, is about to write her 2nd book and runs programs helping doctors transform their lives from burnout to brilliant.

Her first book is The Heart-Centeredness of Medicine, which Jack Canfield wrote the foreword for.

Her second book Quantum Leap your Life: The 12 keys to go from burnout to joy, fulfillment & balance is due out in early 2022.

Dr Ong speaks on physician burnout, resilience and compassion leadership and has appeared in media regularly such as Yahoo Finance, ThriveGlobal, International Business Times, Australian Business Journal, Influencive and Auspreneur and she has been a guest on multiple podcasts such as KevinMD and Everyday Medicine.

She has a 5-step system to avoid burnout and also speaks about pain medicine, self compassion and physician wellness.

She sees more than 1000 patients each year in Melbourne, has been married to her husband for 15 years and has two children, a son aged 6 and daughter, aged 1.

 


 

        

Robyn Price

Robyn is a Dance Movement Therapist, DTAA (Clin) and Gestalt Psychotherapist, who has worked somatically and creatively with people of all ages for more than 18 years, within organisations and in private practice, with individuals and groups. Her extensive knowledge of body process, movement, nonverbal communication and dance making equips her to work with a wide range of people and issues. Her approach is supportive, relational, creative and trauma-informed and her experience includes: Addictions, Attachment, Developmental Movement, Grief, Identity, Life Transitions, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Trauma Recovery and Workplace Issues. Robyn is a Registered DTAA and PACFA Member, an educator, supervisor and workshop facilitator.

 


 

        

Alison Hartman

Alison Hartman is a successful consultant, passionate about helping business owners make a positive difference in the world.  With a degree in chemical engineering, an MBA, and over 25 years of experience in business, Alison loves getting computers to work harder so others can work smarter.

Alison’s main business, Wattman Web Works, recently recognised the need to help daycares and childcare centres build affordable websites.  As a result, she launched MyDaycareWebsite – dedicated to providing beautiful, affordable websites for all types of daycares so that parents can find a loving, nurturing environment for their children.

 


 

        

Scout Smith-O’Leary, BA (Gender Studies), Grad Dip (Counselling & Psychotherapy)

Always having had a passion for love, Scout followed her heart into university where she studied all things relationships. An existentialist at heart, she discovered that love, purpose and meaningful connection were the core elements of a content existence. Still hungry to learn more about relationship development, she undertook a Grad Dip of Counselling. While she never considered herself creative and talk therapy appeared to be the most effective method, music was always a language that her soul understood. Whenever she found herself in challenging times, there would be the darkness, the sound and the lyrics transporting her to other worlds, other places in time, and other emotions. It was through this channel that she discovered the power of music to connect, reflect her experience (even when her mind tried to shut them out) and ultimately heal. She has recently started learning to play guitar and sing as she feels this is a huge part of her happiness, joy and contentment in this life.  

 


 

        

Grace Michail

Grace has a deep appreciation for creative expression. She is a 3rd year psychology student at Macquarie University and an intern at the Sydney Centre for Creative Change. She is growing her understanding of the creative process, and it’s power as a tool to explore emotional complexities and psychological conflict. As someone who has cherished the sense of emotional freedom and joy that art has given her, Grace hopes to share that joy and work with children and young people impacted by trauma. 

 

 


 

        

Dr. Eric Miller (PhD in Folklore, MSc in Psychology)

Director, World Storytelling Institute.
www.storytellinginstitute.org

Dr. Eric is a native New Yorker, settled in Chennai (on India's southeast coast).  He was raised in midtown Manhattan by his mother, who was editor-in-chief of Dance Magazine at the time, and his father, a playwright and a magazine writer about theatre, cinema, and popular music.  Dr. Eric was trained in Storytelling by Ms. Laura Simms (starting 45 years ago, when he was a teenager), and he was trained in Folklore by Dr. Roger Abrahams while earning a PhD in Folklore at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.  He co-founded the World Storytelling Institute in Chennai in 2007.  He earned a Masters degree in Psychology at the University of Madras (Chennai used to be called Madras), and is a founder of the field of Storytelling Therapy. 

 


 

        

Leonie Cutts, Bachelor of Education, Diploma of Counselling, Professional Certified Coach (PCC)

Meaningful connection and conversation have been Leonie’s passion and pursuit in both her professional and personal life. She is passionate about building better relationships and bringing people together for connection and growth. Her interest in creating meaningful connection came to life when her partner, Craig presented an idea for a board game using image cards. The board game, Compatibility was picked up by Mattel and distributed worldwide. That was just the beginning. What Leonie recognised was the level of conversation and connection when people used image cards. She and her partner have gone on to develop the CCS (Compatibility Communication System) which has been used in corporations, schools, counselling, aged care and in families. She has co-created many products using the image cards; The Us Kit, with Relationships Australia, Career Catalyst with Xplore for Success, Coming Out Staying Close, with True Talk, Meaningful Moments for Aged Care.

 

 


 

        

Elizabeth Lee MA (Theology), MEd, BSc (Hons), Grad Dip Ed 

Elizabeth has a passion for fostering human connection through deep listening and for being a listening presence among the fringes.  Labyrinths have been part of her life for more than 20 years. She incorporates them into her work as a Spiritual Director, Retreat Facilitator and Supervisor.  Liz has a diverse professional background.  Most recently she had the privilege of offering pastoral care among those living with homelessness and prior to that years of life-giving ministry as a Prison Chaplain.  Originally a Food Technologist, Liz’s varied career includes research scientist, museum curator, health promotion, community development and teaching science and religious education.  She holds a MA (Theology), BSc (Hons), Grad Dip Ed and a MEd.  Liz is married to John and they have 3 adult children and 2 grandchildren.

 


 

        

Noela Maletz M Soc Sc BA Dip Ed

Noela began her working life as an Art Teacher in High Schools.  Inspired by Waldorf Education, she trained in Biodynamics and Waldorf Education Methodology in England. She was active in establishing the Mt Barker Waldorf School and co-founded a Social Therapy Centre on a BD farm in the Adelaide Hills for young adults with intellectual disabilities. After further training in Psychosynthesis and completion of a Master of Social Science, she lectured at Adelaide University and UniSA and worked in an established private counselling practice. She currently works in private practice as a counsellor and a supervisor and offers reflective retreats based on the work of Parker Palmer the Centre for Courage and Renewal www.couragerenewal.org

 


 

        

Katerina Bolshakova

Katerina has a Master degree in psychology and is a teacher of psychological disciplines and a practicing psychologist in the Ukraine. She is an art therapist, trauma therapist and developer of methods for psychodiagnostic research into the art of painting on stones and the use of these skills in therapeutic activities.

For the past 3 years, Katerina has been focused on the development and implementation of expressive therapy techniques with painted stones in various types of therapy. In her private practice, she uses her hand painted stones in expressive therapy work appreciating that this allows client to interact directly with objects from nature.

Her background as an artist, led Katerina into handpainting beautiful expressions on small pieces of Greek marble. She now has a thriving practice selling these evocative images on stones to an appreciative expressive therapies community internationally.

In addition to her psychology studies and practice, Katerina graduated from art school and has been teaching art at school for 24 years.

 


 

        

Sue-Anne Higgins 

Sue-Anne Higgins is a raucous laugher, coffee loving Life & Leadership Coach fascinated by neuroscience.

Most busy women come to Sue-Anne because they are working hard to prove themselves at work and home, and have people problems that need fixing.

But Sue-Anne really helps her make positive change by improving her thinking so that she can shift from overwhelm & self-doubt to confidence, clarity and contentment. Together, via online coaching & neuroscience, they change her life and positively impact the people around her. 

Sue-Anne is an ICF accredited coach and has 20+ years’ experience in the corporate world as a leadership development expert.

 


 

        

Emilie Loiseau Curley

Emilie Loiseau Curley is a child and family counsellor based in Coffs Harbour, NSW. She works in the community services sector as well as in her private practice, Creative Therapy For Kids.

Emilie is trained in and combines play therapy, attachment-focussed interventions, and narrative therapy in her work. Her approach is trauma-informed, non-pathologising and strength-based in nature. Her area of interest is working with and advocating for children who are or have been impacted by childhood trauma.

 


 

        

HeatherJoy Campbell


HeatherJoy Campbell is a leading Australian laughter wellbeing practitioner, who uses laughter yoga along with science of happiness techniques to deliver wellbeing programs, in-person and online, using the power of laughter. Trained by the founder of laughter yoga, an Indian physician, HeatherJoy works with community groups, aged care centres and workplaces in a very playful way to boost morale, build resilience, and stress less. As a certified laughter yoga teacher, she trains ‘laughter yoga leaders’ in therapeutic laughter exercises.
HeatherJoy is based in Brisbane, Australia, and yes, her parents did give her this name at birth.

 


 

        

Phoebe Cormack

Phoebe Cormack is a Registered Music Therapist (Masters of Arts in Music Therapy, UTS) and vocalist (BMus, SCU) with over 10 years’ experience, working with children and young adults both in a group and individual capacity. Phoebe is the founder of Phoebe’s Musical Chairs where she uses her talent as a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist to engage her knowledge in Music Therapy and Music education to actively support people as they strive to improve their health, functioning and wellbeing.

     

 


 

        

Mandy dos Santos

Mandy dos Santos is a tertiary qualified nutritionist and food scientist (BSc. Food Science and Nutrition UNSW & Grad dip. Human Nutrition Deakin) and has worked in a variety of roles in the food industry over the last 13 years. Mandy is the founder of Little People Nutrition where she focuses on health promotion for paediatric and family nutrition. She has written books, childcare menus, family menus, runs incursions and workshops and now, music as well.

     

 


 

        

Meilia Permata Wongso

Meilia is a Master's student of Counselling and is currently working in the field of anger management as a part of her counselling placement program. She has previously worked with different ranges of age group, from adolescents to older adults. She has a strong interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and the implementation of art in therapy to address ranges of issues. Having lived in Australia for six years as an international student, she will share her experiences that may provide insight for mental health workers who are looking to understand and provide support to international students.

 

 

     

 


 

        

Vineeta Giri

Vineeta is a final year Masters of Counselling student. She believes in the idiom "A stitch in time saves nine” and wants to work with children and young adolescents to provide early intervention and support. As an intern at Sydney Centre for Creative Changes, she has gained skills and resources to engage and support her clients to provide creative and tailor-made support at her student placements and to her future clientele. As an international student who came here in her early twenties, she has faced and overcome the many challenges international students face and will share her insight about those.

     

 


 

        

Yessica M. Berlina

In 2018, Yessica took the opportunity to do a Master of Counselling course in Melbourne. The opportunity was a dream come true, but it did not make adjusting to her new life in Melbourne easier. In the first months, she experienced some mental health issues for the first time in her life. Accessing counselling services as an international student was an interesting experience, made even more interesting by the insights she had by being a counselling student herself. Currently in her final year of the course, she has gained the experience of delivering mental health services for clients in disability assistance programs, adolescents in early intervention programs, and in a helpline service focused on loneliness issues. She believes in interventions that are aimed at clients' empowerment, guided by Person-Centred and other Humanistic approaches.

     

 


 

        

Dr John Lee

John provides supervision for professionals in a range of contexts including education, not for profits, chaplaincy and pastoral ministry.  His extensive training and professional affiliations includes: BA DipEd, Grad Dip RelStudies, MEd, EdD, Accredited Supervisor, Australasian Association of Supervision, Member of Transforming Practices. In addition to his supervisory practice, John also works as a consultant, teacher and spiritual director.  John is a husband, father and grandfather who works in a voluntary capacity with men. His website is www.inspiringeducators.com.au

     

 


 

        

Kelly Hunter, MBE

Kelly is the Artistic Director of Flute Theatre, for whom she has created Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest, for children with autism, A Midsummer Night's Dream, for young people with autism and their families and Pericles, for people with autism. Flute’s productions tour internationally and Kelly travels with the shows, additionally giving lectures and seminars about her pioneering work. She is the creator of The Hunter Heartbeat Method, a series of sensory drama games for young people with autism and their families. This methodology was the basis of a longitudinal study at Ohio State University 2011-2015 and is currently being researched by Professor Antonia Hamilton at the neuroscience lab at University College London.

Kelly is an award-winning actor and the author of two books, Shakespeare’s Heartbeat: Drama games for children with autism, and Cracking Shakespeare: A hands-on guide for actors and directors. She was awarded the MBE for her services to theatre in Summer 2019.

     

 


 

        

Emme Krystelle

Emme knew who she was at 4 years old but didn’t know of anyone like her, had no language to speak about it, and kept it her private and treasured secret.

You see, Emme is female in a transgender body.

As an adult, she finally shared openly about her inner world in psychotherapy groups. She found it liberating from the pain of repression, loneliness and inauthenticity - and there are also new challenges to face in her psyche and in society.

Insights from Emme’s story will assist professionals in the fields of health and caring in understanding how to support transgender people in facing many challenges and creating a life of optimal wellbeing.

     

 


 

        

Annie Areum Shin

Annie is a final year student studying Psychology and Fine Arts at UNSW. She aspires to pursue these disciplines in her career to contribute to the betterment of empirical creative therapy, positive psychological intervention and their application for adolescents. She is an intern at the Sydney Centre for Creative Change, where she is fostering knowledge of and experience in professional and creative settings. Also an emerging Korean-Australian artist, she explores psychological concepts and processes through abstraction in her artmaking practice. As a student, Annie has experienced both inclusive and excluding educative practices based on perceptions of her race and will reflect on these. 

Photo Credit: Blacktown Arts    

 


 

        

Deb Hopper

A practicing Occupational Therapist, Deb Hopper has many years’ experience working with children and adults who struggle with autism, anxiety, emotional regulation, and sensory processing difficulties.
Deb enjoys working in her private practice and supervises and mentors Occupational Therapists. She loves to create resources, online courses and books for adults and children and is the author of the book Teaching Kids to Manage Anxiety: Superstar Practical Strategies. She is passionate about helping kids reduce their anxiety and worries in every facet of their life at home, school and in the community.

https://www.lifeskills4kids.com.au/tip-sheets/  

 

 

 


 

        

Professor Sue Jennings

Professor Sue Jennings PhD is an anthropologist, therapist, performer, and author. She is Senior Research Fellow, The Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham

Distinguished Scholar, University of the Witwatersrand, Honorary Fellow of the University of Roehampton, and Professor of Play - awarded by the European Federation of Dramatherapy. She has been a pioneer of Dramatherapy and Play Therapy in the UK and overseas, establishing training programmes in UK, Greece, Romania, Czech Republic and Israel.

Professor Jennings' paradigm ‘embodiment-projection-role’ is integrated into education and therapy world-wide. Having worked as a clinician in psychiatry, forensic settings and special education, she has focussed her recent practice and research on early years development and developed ‘Neuro-Dramatic-Play’ as a basis for attachment and empathy.

She emphasises the importance of ‘play from conception’ for healthy emotional and social growth. Her doctoral fieldwork was with a tribal community in the Malaysian rain forest, which she believes underpins all her childhood theory and therapy. Sue is a prolific author with over fifty publications on theory and application to her name. She believes passionately in ‘playing for peace’ with a rule of ‘no guns in the playroom’.

 

 

 


 

        

Mary Jo McVeigh

 

Mary Jo McVeigh is the founder and director of Cara House ‘a place for healing, discovery and growth’ and CaraCare charity; both which support vulnerable children, young people and their families through trauma-specific counselling and human rights practices. As a trauma therapist and an accredited mental health social worker with over 35 years experience, Mary Jo has worked with children and families who have experienced child abuse, violence and trauma by assisting them to tap into their own resilience and strengths, to look at how they have survived in the face of adversity.

 

Whilst the importance of children’s human rights has been nationally and internationally acknowledged on larger socio-political and systemic scales, Mary Jo’s research and literature reviews have highlighted that within the context of every day social work and therapeutic practice, children’s rights often remain invisible. This has inspired Mary Jo with the vision and determination to champion a children’s rights agenda across these sectors.

 

 

 

 


 

        

Dr Eliana Gil

 

Dr Eliana Gil, Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor (RPT-S), Registered Art Therapist (ATR), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) has worked in the field of child abuse prevention and treatment throughout her professional career (over 40 years). Whilst semi-retired, Dr Gil is still teaching, consulting and supervising and has a passion for play and other expressive therapies like sand, drama and art therapy.

 

 

 

 


 

        

Jamie Lynn Langley

 

Jamie Lynn Langley is a Clinical Registered Social Worker and Play Therapy Supervisor in Tennessee, US. She has been incorporating nature-based activities in her therapy work with children, young people, adults and families for over 30 years and loves being in nature for her own well being. 

 

 

 

 


 

        

Liana Lowenstein

 

Liana Lowenstein MSW, RSW, CPT-S. Liana is a Clinical Social Worker, Certified Play Therapist-Supervisor, and Certified TF-CBT Therapist who is known internationally for her best-selling books on Creative Interventions for Children, Young People and Families. She joined us LIVE from Toronto, Canada.
 

 

 

 


 

        

Matthew Evans

 

Matthew Evans is a Psychologist and Spiritual Director MA.Psych.,MAPS. Matthew has worked as a psychologist in both public and private clinics for more than 20 years. Matthew’s counselling strengths are in treating anxiety, depression, and stress as well as relationship problems. He tailors his treatment to address the unique problems of each person in order to tap into their own resourcefulness and common sense. Matthew has a warm, empathic, approachable manner and creates a safe non-judgmental environment for confidential disclosure.

His particular area of interest is in assisting clients to connect with their spirituality and innate wisdom using mindfulness and similar strategies to address a range of presenting problems.

 

 

 

 


 

        

Jay Anderson

 

Jay Anderson is a registered psychologist, counsellor and play therapist supervisor who provides services in southwest Western Australia at the Southwest Wellbeing Centre. She has worked in the Human Services field for about 25 years, of which the last 12 years have involved therapeutic work. Jay's passion is "making a difference" and she works with adults as well as children.

 

Jay enjoys a wholistic focus on human wellbeing and working collaboratively with the client and associated professionals. She has a strong interest in Animal Assisted Therapy and her dog has engaged in therapy with her for a few years now.