During high school, it became clear to me that I wanted to work with people. Following a gap year, I began a Bachelor of Social Science: Human Services with Queensland University of Technology (QUT). After graduation, I entered the Bachelor of Social Work (graduate entry program) with University of Queensland (UQ). I undertook this study on a part-time basis and completed this degree in 2008. In 2009 I embarked upon my one year Yoga Teacher Training course with Radiant Light Yoga as a way to nourish myself and create another way of working with people. To hone my counselling skills further, I undertook a Graduate Certificate in Gestalt Therapy with Gestalt Therapy Brisbane in 2011. In 2017 I began an Honours thesis with James Cook University (JCU) which allowed me to further explore my interests in grief, trauma, and the body.
Since graduating as a Social Worker, I have undertaken a range of professional development courses. I have focused my professional development on the following theories and practice modalities: Interpersonal neuro-biological approach to working with trauma as presented by Dr Janina Fisher; Person-Centred theory as presented by Carl Rogers; Somatic approaches to psychotherapy as set out in Hakomi; Existential theory from Irvine Yalom, Narrative therapy from the Dulwich Centre, Feminist theory as espoused by a range of feminist writers and practitioners; and Cognitive-Behaviour theory as presented by the Australian Psychological Society.
In my own external supervision, I work with Dr Jenny Gilmore in Brisbane and draw upon her extensive knowledge and practice wisdom of working with people who have survived trauma. I am currently engaging in my own personal counselling with Dr Kaye Gersch in Cairns which facilitates my embodied experience with, and knowledge of Jungian analysis.
From 2008 – 2013 I worked in counselling roles with the following community organisations supporting women survivors of sexual violence: Zig Zag Young Women’s Resource Centre; Immigrant Women’s Support Service, Brisbane Rape and Incest Survivors Support Service, and Cairns Sexual Assault Service. Alongside my paid employment, I also volunteered with Women’s Legal Service, and Karuna Hospice; both located in Brisbane. I entered private practice in 2013 and was fully self-employed from June 2014 to January 2018 – a rewarding experience!
In 2018, my interest in grief and loss led to me a two-day a week role as a Social Worker in the Palliative Care Ward, Gordonvale Memorial Hospital with Queensland Health. I then continued to be in private practice three days per week offering counselling appointments, external supervision, consultancy work, and undertaking sessional marking and tutoring with James Cook University and Griffith University.
All the while, I have continued to teach yoga classes. In both yoga studios and in community settings, I have taught a range of classes including general yoga, beginners yoga courses, intermediate level classes, and workshops such as on how to develop a personal practice.
From 2018 I have specialised in offering Restorative Yoga classes that are influenced by Judith Hanson Lasater and my teachers at Radiant Light Yoga. I am also teaching Trauma-Sensitive Yoga with my colleague Jo Mensinga in the style developed by Bessel van der Kolk and David Emerson.
I am a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers, and Yoga Australia. I engage in my own external supervision, peer supervision, ongoing professional development, and my own personal reflective practices to support my own well-being and ensure I continue to work effectively and ethically with people.
Though my professional life is very full, I find my it very meaningful and satisfying. I am grateful for my personal attributes and professional skills and experience that allow me to work with people in the ways that I have shared above.
Personally, I am from Brisbane originally and moved to Cairns in 2013. I am enriched by the abundant nature in this region and appreciate the smallness of Cairns. In my time off from work, I enjoy walking – along a beach or in the rainforest, reading, riding my bicycle, connecting with family and friends, resting, practising yoga, meditating, and contemplating the miraculousness of being alive.