Lettitia 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.
Elizabeth is a registered psychologist in private practice. She has worked in a variety of non-government and hospital settings for 12 years prior to joining the Gidget Team of Psychologists 3 years ago.
A major part of her work over those years has been in women’s health, with the focus in the last 7 years being with the perinatal population, treating and supporting mothers and fathers who are suffering from anxiety and depression; experiencing adjustment issues; and dealing with grief/loss.
Elizabeth continues to facilitate various behavioural change groups with men and women within a family safety framework, and is a Circle of Security trained group facilitator. With postgraduate studies in family systems therapy, couple therapy and clinical hypnotherapy, and currently studying a Masters in Depth Psychology in the USA, Elizabeth draws from a variety of modalities within an attachment and psychodynamically based framework.
She is passionate about empowering mothers and fathers to step on the path towards conscious and confident parenting, helping them cultivate a deeper understanding of the personal and interpersonal aspects that contribute to the challenges at this time.
Anna-Lisa is a clinical psychologist who practices predominantly in perinatal mental health and adjustment during the early years of parenthood. In addition to her work with Gidget House Anna-Lisa works at Karitane assisting parents with depression, anxiety, grief, loss, and parent-child relationship difficulties.
Anna-Lisa holds a Master of Clinical Psychology and PhD from Macquarie University. Her doctoral research focused on psychological characteristics that contribute to adjustment to motherhood, including investigating the impact of age and method of conception on parenting adaptation. She has previously worked in research and teaching at Macquarie University, and clinically in early intervention, child anxiety, and at St John of God mother-baby unit.
Anna-Lisa uses an integrative approach to therapy largely informed by attachment theory while also including evidence-based interventions from cognitive behaviour therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and dialectical behaviour therapy. Anna-Lisa is also a certified Circle of Security Parenting Group educator.
Chris Barnes is a Clinical Psychologist and has been in private practice for over 25 years. Starting her career with severely emotionally dysregulated children and their families, then working with clients focusing on grief, loss, pregnancy, and fertility, adoption, foster care, her passion for women’s emotional wellbeing has been a driving force in her career.
In therapeutic work, Chris employs various modalities such as CBT, ACT, DBT, play therapy, attachment theory, and family therapy skills. After having children of her own, Chris focused on: mediation, trauma work, EAP and training on building resilience, self- care, and stress reduction. She also completed a year-long Infant Observation with NSWIPP and then 5 years ago she started work at Gidget House as a Clinician.
In 2018 she co-developed and facilitated the Gidget Village group program for GFA and is now the Clinical Team Manager. Chris is a registered Supervisor with AHPRA and provides supervision to Psychologists within GFA and helps coordinate recruitment. She is a member of the APS, and a fellow of the College of Clinical Psychologists and enjoys being involved in the media and presenting on PNDA, raising awareness of parental emotional well- being in the community.
Julie Redican is a highly qualified and experienced Clinical Psychologist, who has extensive knowledge and understanding of a wide range of psychological concerns across the lifespan. She knows that underpinning any successful therapy is the quality of the therapeutic relationship, and has the warmth, compassion, life experience and sense of humour to be with clients where they are at.
She began her work with perinatal clients 30 years ago with the Benevolent Society’s Early Intervention Programme at the (then) Paddington Women’s Hospital and has subsequently enjoyed promoting the wellbeing of women, children and families in a variety of milieu including community health, hospital, and private practice settings, as well as at a centre for reproductive technology where she also developed and ran a group programme for women and couples undergoing assisted reproduction, the ‘Fertility Feelings’ group. She is an experienced Circle of Security Group facilitator.
Drawing from a range of therapeutic approaches, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Systemic Family Therapy, and Attachment-Based approaches, Julie individually tailors therapy for each client to facilitate their movement toward what they most value, and to equip them with the understanding, skills and knowledge to continue growing as a person and a parent into the future.
She is the proud mother of two gorgeous high school-aged girls and works Gidget House North Sydney.
Christine is an experienced and caring Clinical Psychologist who has been in private practice for over fifteen years with expertise in supporting persons in the perinatal period and beyond. Christine has a warm approach and a keen focus on building a strong and caring therapeutic relationship.
In addition to her private work, Christine has worked in a variety of hospital settings in Brisbane and Toowoomba, in particular the Mater Mothers Hospital where she gained valuable experience as an inpatient psychologist working with mothers with perinatal anxiety and depression, conception difficulties; complicated pregnancies, premature births, pregnancy loss, and birth trauma.
Her work is informed by attachment-based therapy and interpersonal neurobiology. A combination of evidence-based approaches is used in treatment including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Schema Therapy and Mindfulness-Based Therapies.
Jill is a compassionate and caring Clinical Psychologist, who has worked in her own private practice for 14 years.
Jill is passionate about supporting and empowering parents during the perinatal period. Her passion for this area began during her Clinical Masters degree when she had the opportunity to provide counselling to women in the perinatal period, and to run groups at Early Childhood Centres and a local branch of the Australian Breastfeeding Association on adjusting to motherhood.
Jill uses an integrative approach incorporating cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and a mindfulness-based approach to processing emotions. Jill has completed additional trauma-focused training, including Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing (EMDR). She is trained in Parent-Child Interventions, including being a CIRCLE OF SECURITY™ Registered Parent Educator.
Jill works in our Start Talking program and is passionate about supporting women with perinatal anxiety and depression, birth trauma and promoting positive parent-infant relationships.
Sarah is a registered Psychologist with 16 years of clinical experience in a variety of areas. She also has a post-graduate diploma in Systemic Family Therapy. The early part of her career was in the field of bereavement for the leading UK child bereavement charity, Winston’s Wish. She then worked in UK schools implementing a project aimed at improving mental health in students and teachers.
After having children of her own, Sarah became interested in the field of perinatal mental health. Upon returning to Australia she began working with perinatal service, The Raphael Centre. After relocating to a regional town, Sarah set up her own practice focusing on clients in the perinatal period. She works on the Start Talking program and is passionate about ensuring those in regional or remote areas have access to good mental health care. A couple of years ago, Sarah took a break from clinical work to become a qualified pre/post-natal yoga teacher, and now teaches a few classes a week.
Sarah’s clinical work is underpinned by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Systemic Family Therapy.
Kate Staff is a Clinical Psychologist, based in Toowoomba, with over 15 years experience providing direct support to infants, children and their families in both the public and community sectors.
Prior to moving to Toowoomba in 2014, Kate lived in Central Queensland, where she worked in a range of community roles. Kate also became a mum to her two children during this time.
Since relocating to Toowoomba, Kate has been working in acute mental health services. She is trained in Theraplay (Level 1), Circle of Security and a number of Perinatal Infant Mental Health Programs, which she delivers regularly on an individual and group basis.
Kate works from a range of theoretical frameworks and she draws upon several evidence-based treatments, including strategies from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Kate’s experience working with infants has highlighted the importance of early intervention, which starts in the perinatal period. Kate is therefore passionate about supporting new and expectant parents as they commence their journey into parenthood.
Ms Helen Qin is a highly professional and compassionate bilingual (English, Mandarin) Clinical Counsellor/Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with more than 8 years of clinical experience. She is a professionally trained and qualified personal and relationship/marriage counsellor.
Helen’s work is based on the person-centred approach that places human dignity firmly in the centre. She works to help you understand the source of your problems and to help you find the solutions and develop the skills so you can create the life you want.
Helen’s clinical counselling strategies include CBT, ACT, solution-focused, mindfulness, strength-based, interpersonal psychotherapy, trauma-informed approach as well as Gottman Method for couple counselling/therapy and systemic family approach. She applies the bio-psychosocial assessment to understand the client and the situation thoroughly.
Alexandra (Zarnie) Berthold is a founding committee member of Gidget Foundation Australia and was a close friend of Gidget’s.
Zarnie has been preparing graphic design material for the Foundation since its inception and is Director of Limedesign Media, a graphic design agency she has been operating for 14 years. Prior to this, Zarnie’s career focused mainly in the publishing sector, in senior roles including Production Manager and Art Director. Zarnie still works for many publishers as a freelance Graphic Designer and Art Director and continues to work in the charity space, for various charity clients.
Zarnie is married with four children and is a passionate advocate for PNDA support and mental health.
Natasha has over 20 years of professional experience, providing psychological therapy, helping individuals, parents, children, and families in a wide variety of settings.
Prior to her years working in private practice and at Gidget House, Natasha worked in the Public Sector as a Clinical Psychologist, Allied Health Team Leader and Manager at Randwick Family Care Cottage and the Residential Unit for Karitane, where she provided both individual, parent-infant and group-based programs for postnatal depression and anxiety and parent-infant relationship issues.
Natasha has worked in Adult Mental Health in acute inpatient wards and rehabilitation services. Natasha undertook her Clinical Psychology training at community and residential Child & Family Mental Health Services.
Russell is a friendly, approachable and experienced Psychologist/Relationship Counsellor. Russell has been a Psychologist for 15 years and has also been a Registered Nurse. Russell has worked in perinatal mental health at IVF Australia, where he helped individuals and couples deal with infertility, sterility, donor eggs/sperm/embryos, the stress of fertility treatment, alternate pathways to parenthood, depression, anxiety, miscarriage, stillbirth, neo-natal death, and other forms of loss. Russell has a special interest in helping individuals and couples who are going through fertility treatment or dealing with the aftermath of fertility treatment.
Russell also enjoys helping people with relationship issues and has an extensive background in relationship counselling through working at Relationships Australia, IVF Australia and in private practice. Russell has a special interest in helping couples to productively manage conflict, using evidence-based strategies, and educating couples so that they can avoid the common pitfalls that destroy relationships. Russell completed Level I, II and III Certification training at The Gottman Relationship Institute in Seattle. The Gottman Relationship Institute is world-renowned, having conducted intensive, long-term scientific studies into why marriages succeed or fail. In addition, Russell has received training in Emotion Focused Therapy by Dr Leslie Greenberg (one of the founders of EFT).
Russell works for Gidget House at The Mater Hospital on a Wednesday, he also has a private practice in the Sydney CBD, and is studying a Master of Clinical Psychology.
Seeking help can feel confronting. People are sometimes anxious because they don’t know what will happen in a counselling session. Russell knows that this can be a very difficult time. If you could use some support, Russell would like to help.
Jennifer is a Registered Psychologist and Relationship Counsellor, who has developed great passion, empathy and insight while working in both private practice and the NFP space.
Alongside her clinical studies in psychology, Jennifer has completed a Graduate Diploma in Relationship Counselling (Couples and Family Therapy) and is a trained practitioner and facilitator of the Circle of Security Program, as well as being trained in Marte Meo (child and parenting development support). In her work she draws upon several evidence-based treatments, including strategies from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, and systemic interventions (exploring current concerns or conflict in family history and relational patterns).
Her early work in genetic counselling and facilitation of carers workshops both in metropolitan and rural areas, led to an ongoing interest in the advocacy and support of parents and in the complex journey of pregnancy and parenthood. Jennifer has also worked as a Family Coach, supporting the mother-child attachment by providing both residential and in-home mental health support services.
She has practiced for many years in a specialty clinic supporting individuals who have been diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum and continues to conduct therapy and assessment and the co-ordination of parenting support groups there.
Jennifer strives to create a warm, welcoming and safe environment for individuals to receive support.
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
Arabella joined Gidget Foundation Australia in early 2017 after a 20 year career in executive leadership roles in the media and communications industry in both Australia and the UK.
Arabella has a passion for improving support systems for expectant and new parents by building emotionally resilient families. Since joining the Foundation, Arabella has expanded its Gidget House program offering face-to-face psychology support to cover 2 states and a further 11 sites. Under her leadership, the Foundation has introduced 2 new programs providing direct support: Start Talking, offering nationwide telehealth services for regional, rural and remote communities; and Gidget Village, offering group therapy support to those in parents experiencing perinatal depression and anxiety.
Arabella recently participated in the closed group to devise the Australian Government’s Women’s Health Strategy for 2020 to 2030 in Canberra and she was a finalist in The CEO Magazines’ 2018 and 2019 Not-For-Profit Executive of the Year Award and a Finalist in the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards for 2019.
Arabella holds a Masters in Communication Management from UTS and is a Non-Executive Director of Future Women, an organisation supporting the advancement of women to connect, learn and lead.
Arabella and her husband have twins – a son and a daughter.
Carla Anderson is a psychologist who has been working in her own private practice for the past fourteen years, with a special interest working with families within the perinatal period.
Carla’s passion with the perinatal period began in 2000 through a volunteer peer support and group coordinator role with the Queensland Postnatal Disorders Association, whilst completing her psychology degree and becoming a mother herself. From here, Carla’s passion grew, taking on other volunteer positions as a telephone grief counsellor and national trainer for Bonnie Babes Foundation and Angel Babies Foundation for a number of years, training professionals around the country in support and counselling skills for families who have experienced miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death of a baby.
Carla has also been involved in a number of national projects and training programs within the perinatal field, and recently published a journal article on Pregnancy-related fears.
Carla is passionate about supporting women and their families in all areas related to the perinatal period such as infertility and IVF issues, pregnancy related concerns, antenatal/postnatal depression, grief and loss, and adoption. As well as supporting families with the transitions to parenthood and the day to day juggling of family life. Carla provides a professional, personalised and caring space to process whatever difficulty clients are experiencing.
Allan 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 be awarded 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) for service 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, 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 self-confessed rugby tragic.
As a warm and friendly people person, Cathy comes to Gidget Foundation Australia with a broad range of experience gained in the primary care sector.
Cathy has worked across a number of primary care organisations – Northern Sydney Division of General Practice, the Sydney North Shore and Beaches Medicare Local and most recently the Sydney North Primary Health Network.
With her previous registered nursing background combined with knowledge gained working with GPs and practice staff, psychologists and the mental health referral system, GP and practice nurse education and communications, Cathy works to promote Gidget Foundation Australia’s programs and services to healthcare providers in both rural and urban areas.
Niamh comes to Gidget House with a diverse professional background. Initially trained and working in Business and Marketing, Niamh has over 10 years’ experience in health and community-oriented organisations many of which have involved developing services for society’s most marginalised groups.
In 2008, Niamh joined the pioneering HIV organisation, ASHM (Australasian Society for HIV Medicine), as a Senior Project Officer, where she made notable contributions to the NSW Health HIV Strategies.
This role required her to engage with GPs and other specialist clinicians and Allied Health Disciplines and develop interorganisational relationships with peak bodies such as the Ministry of Health and other Government departments, Local Health Districts, Public Health Networks.
Niamh has worked at the Cancer Institute NSW Fact Tree, Australian Red Cross and with NGO Recruitment, among others.
Outside of work, Niamh enjoys fun times with friends, hubby and two kids. Niamh has experienced PNDA herself and is passionate about our cause.
Erin is a warm and enthusiastic Counselling Psychologist. She completed her Doctorate in the UK and has considerable experience working within the field of mental health.
Aside from the Gidget Foundation, Erin also works in private practice. Erin engages with clients across the life span and has worked in a variety of settings including hospitals, community, education and specialist services. Her special areas of interest include life transitions, adjustment issues, relational difficulties, identity issues, loss and grief, resilience, trauma, anxiety, and depression.
Drawing on a systemic foundation, Erin utilises aspects of humanistic, psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural models. Respect, empathy and integrity are at the core of her professional work. Erin is passionate about her role and her clients, working collaboratively with them to achieve an understanding of their difficulties and a meaningful way forward.
Kara has lived experience of PNDA and she is a mum to Amelia (7), Bianca (5) and Charlton (5 months). All were IVF babies with their own story. Kara is supported by her husband Shaun and she is honoured to be the Chairperson of Gidget Foundation Australia.
Kara is Group Company Secretary of Commonwealth Bank Australia, an ASX top 10 listed company. She was Company Secretary of Caltex Australia Limited until November this year and prior to this she was Company Secretary of Arrium Limited for 6 years, Global Head of Company Secretariat at Macquarie Group Limited (Macquarie Capital Funds) for 6 years and spent almost 6 years at the Australian Securities Exchange Limited.
Appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Gidget Foundation Australia and also the Company Secretary on 15 March 2016, Kara is an accomplished corporate governance professional with over 20 years of global equity capital markets, commercial and corporate compliance experience. She brings extensive knowledge of corporate governance and company compliance and administration to the Board. Kara has a Masters in Legal Studies and a Business degree.
Based in London for over a decade, Amelia has had the privilege of managing a musculoskeletal clinic, Beyond Health. Hosting some of the UK’s finest practitioners, the clinic has been highly regarded since its establishment in 2010. She was approached to set up Beyond Health while engaged in a similar capacity in a prominent private medical clinic. Amelia took utmost pride in the level of service these clinics provided their patients and the fundamental role such establishments hold in the community.
Having returned from the UK, Amelia is studying Counselling. While studying, she is enjoying being part of the administrative team at Gidget House, where she can engage her experience in clinical administration within an environment that reflects the value she places on mental health support.
Sharing the pleasure of being back in Sydney with her Scottish husband and British-born daughter is filling the rest of the cup while she reacquaints herself with old haunts, new treasures and of course the endless sky.
Eliza joined Gidget Foundation Australia in 2018 and supports the administration team.
Eliza grew up in Sydney and has spent time living in London & Melbourne. After finishing school, she completed a Bachelor of Music and pursued a career in the entertainment industry working in Sydney, Melbourne and Japan.
In 2018 she decided to commence studies at Macquarie University as an aspiring clinical psychologist.
Working with the Gidget Foundation has provided invaluable experience and insight into the field of psychology. Away from work and her studies, Eliza spends her time practising yoga and reading.
Dr Katherine Schmidhofer is a registered psychologist with a PhD from the University of Sydney. At present, she works at Gidget House at the Mater Hospital and private practice.
Katherine has over 15 years experience working with children and families with a range of developmental, behavioural, emotional and relationship difficulties in both community and private practice settings. Commencing her own motherhood journey reinforced her interest in perinatal work and strong desire to focus on helping others who may be struggling at this time.
Katherine is committed to providing evidence-based therapy to the mothers, fathers, and families who she treats. She compassionately utilises a range of different psychological interventions including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), and attachment and family systems frameworks in her therapeutic approach.
Lisa joined Gidget Foundation Australia as Digital Manager in 2019, taking care of the website, social media and driving growth digitally.
As a member of the Gidget Founding Committee, Lisa previously managed the Foundation’s social media on a voluntary basis for 6 years.
Lisa is a passionate solo mother, fundraiser, lover of all things digital, and blogger.
Lisa’s personal experiences of mental ill health led her to support and inspire others through sharing her own story and through her work in the charity sector.
Lisa has been in a variety of fundraising, marketing and digital roles in the NFP sector for more than 15 years, having worked with some of Australia’s most respected charities including Youth Off The Streets, Cancer Council NSW, HeartKids, Leukaemia Foundation, The Shepherd Centre and more.
In her spare time, she loves spending time with her son, taking and sharing beautiful photos, volunteering, reading and using social media for good.
Lena joined the Gidget Foundation in 2019 as the Foundation Administration Manager, responsible for implementing and managing a range of administrative functions to support the delivery of all Gidget Foundation Australia’s programs, services and organisational operations.
Previously at Universal Magazines, Lena managed the subscriptions and customer service for all subscriptions across 25 titles.
Away from work, Lena’s teenage daughter and son keep her busy, especially with their sporting activities.
In addition to her family, she is actively involved with the Armenian Community group – volunteering her time with fundraising and volunteer co-ordination programs.
Janice is a Clinical Psychologist who holds a Masters of Clinical Psychology and PhD from The University of New South Wales.
In addition to her work with the Gidget Foundation, Janice works in public health and in research in the field of medical psychology. Her research investigates the impact of early life stress on emotional wellbeing and attachment in children and their parents.
She has extensive experience working with emotional and behavioural concerns faced by children, adults, and families, and draws upon CBT, ACT, mindfulness, and attachment frameworks to support her clients.
Janice is passionate about early intervention and delivering evidence-based therapy in a compassionate, collaborative, and empowering way.
Dina is Clinical Psychologist and completed her Clinical and Pathological Psychology Degree in Paris. With over 20 years experience as a French-Australian clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, she now works in private practice in Sydney.
Dina started her career working with children and their parents in a number of mothers’ groups for African migrant women based at early childhood centres, childcares and day care centres through Community Services in Paris. After migrating to Australia in 2001, Dina had the opportunity to work as part of the Perinatal Infant Mental Health Services in Campbelltown and Liverpool for 9 years. Since then, her passion to support women and their families in the perinatal period has continued to grow and remains the main focus of her practice today.
When Dina meets mothers and fathers, her goal is to support them and their family throughout the pregnancy and postnatally. She has worked with parents on a range of issues including: conception, fertility, grief and loss after miscarriage, abortion, uncertainties about the desire to have a child and foetus abnormalities. Dina patiently believes in early diagnosis and intervention to reduce the risk of perinatal depression and anxiety, trauma and PTSD (birth related trauma and past traumatic experiences) and postpartum psychosis.
Dina is a strong advocate for parents who are entering this new phase of their life with all the associated dreams, hopes, fears and challenges. She is there with them on the journey of parenthood to enhance their parenting skills and most importantly to recreate a healthy life balance as a self-confident individual, parent, partner and professional.
With a background in IT, Simone has been involved with the Gidget Foundation since its inception.
Having begun as a Founding Committee Member, Simone has held various voluntary roles including that of Committee President. Simone was the Company Secretary for over 4 years and continues to be involved in a voluntary role as an Event Manager.
Simone is both a Committee Member and Board Director and the youngest sister of Gidget.
Libby is a founding member and was the first President of the Gidget Foundation. She was a close friend of Gidget’s.
Libby has a background in public relations and event management and more recently interior design. Libby’s role within the committee is event management as well as interior design for the growing number of Gidget Houses.
She is married to Jarrod Bowditch, a Board Director, and together they have three teenagers.
Lisa is a passionate Mother, Social Media Manager, Fundraiser, Blogger and volunteer for many causes close to her heart.
Since experiencing brain injury and breast cancer in her immediate family as an adolescent Lisa has been driven to support others by sharing her own story and through her career in the charity sector.
As a motivated fundraiser and volunteer Lisa hopes to inspire and share the values of compassion, philanthropy and kindness in her only son.
As well as serious side to her life, Lisa simply loves taking and sharing beautiful photos, cooking for and celebrating with loved ones, painting her furniture white, reading as many books as possible and using social media for good.
Lou Hunter is a founding Committee member of the Gidget Foundation and close school friend of Gidget.
Relishing her primary responsibility as Coordinator of the Raffles and Auctions for all the Gidget Foundation fundraising events, from which the collective funds raised over the years have contributed significantly to the facilities and services that help women just like Gidget.
The fashion industry is where Lou has invested a lot of her career, working with numerous Australian and International labels both in Retail Sales and Training, and in Wholesale and Distribution.
Passionately advocating for removing the stigma surrounding all mental health issues is an ongoing crusade for Lou.
Jacqui is a mum to her beautiful little boy, Gidget’s middle sister, a founding member of the Committee, and a freelance Executive Producer.
Juggling her role as mum and freelance executive producer working in various agencies keeps her very busy.
Having produced many large-scale events – both corporate and sporting, corporate videos (including our Gidget DVD Behind the Mask) and communications campaigns both locally and in the UK, Europe and USA, she brings to the foundation a wealth of knowledge and experience along with a passion to make a change in supporting families in need.
Peni spent the first 20 years of her career in Hong Kong and the UK, working in Broadcasting. She worked predominantly in the sporting sector and was fortunate enough to work on the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and found herself on the European Golf Tour, The Tennis Tour and covering the cricket circuit. Peni came back from overseas 10 years ago and has since managed to maintain being a mum as well as freelancing in the broadcasting world.
Peni Bailey has been with Gidget House for over two years and is the Gidget Office Manager. In this role, she ensures the Sydney office runs smoothly, speaking directly with new and existing patients and making sure their emotional wellbeing is supported throughout their time at Gidget House.
When she’s not at Gidget, Peni can be found either watching or taking her three children to cricket, waterpolo, swimming, rugby, soccer and netball before going home and making the beds!
Jarrod is a Director of Verifact, a company established 25 years ago, which now has a national presence delivering services in Corporate Investigations, Traffic Management, Health, Emergency Response and Integrated Services.
Jarrod holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and has completed the Company Directors course with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dr. Kathryn Austin is an Obstetrician Gynaecologist who completed her specialty training in 2017 and further completed Maternal Fetal Medicine subspecialist training in 2019. Prior to embarking upon a career in medicine she worked in hospital and community pharmacy and as a counsellor with Mothersafe.
Kathryn has been a director of the Board for the state and federal Australian Medical Association (AMA). She is currently on the AMA NSW Council and the AMA NSW Charitable Foundation Advisory Board. Kathryn has been involved with various government and professional body committees that oversee quality healthcare, medical leadership and women’s health. Kathryn completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course in 2014.
Nicki joined the Gidget Foundation as its Hospital Program Manager, leading the expansion of our Gidget Emotional Wellbeing Screening Program.
Nicki has a wealth of experience having been on the hospital side of the launch of the original Emotional Wellbeing Screening Program, firstly at North Shore Private Hospital as Maternity Services Manager and later at The Mater where she was also the Maternity Services Manager.
Prior to moving into maternity management, Nicki worked as a delivery suite midwife and midwifery educator. She has a Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Nursing in Advanced Clinical Education.
Away from work Nicki is learning Spanish with a group of friends.
Eliza is a Clinical Social Worker and the Founder of Blackbird Counselling, an organisation that provides counselling and support to assist women with the emotional adjustment to pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. Eliza has spent her professional life pursuing her passion of supporting women through one of the most significant transitions of their life. Eliza uses a variety of evidence based approaches to underpin her framework including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; Systems and Attachment Theory. Eliza has a specialised interest in developing Postnatal Recovery Plans with women and using mindfulness approaches to developing Self Care Plans. Eliza brings compassion and a non-judgemental attitude to her work at all times.
In 2018, Eliza developed ‘The Women’s Series’ facilitating four workshops addressing issues that impact upon women across the lifespan including Adjustment to Motherhood and Settling Babies Workshops. She also developed the Blackbird Mother Mentor Program, an 8 week pilot program linking new and experienced mothers in an effort to reduce social isolation. She is a registered Circle of Security Parenting Program Provider and has recently completed the Excellence in Supervisory Practice Certificate through Amovita International. She has also completed her Perinatal Non-Directive Counselling Training Certification through the Australian Psychological Society.
Eliza has appeared on ABC radio and is a regular contributor to Kids on The Coast magazine speaking about infertility, postnatal depression and maternal mental health.
Eliza is currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Perinatal and Infant Mental Health from the NSW Institute of Psychiatry.
Adriana is a registered Psychologist with a special interest in working with women and their families throughout pregnancy and the early years of parenthood.
Adriana has over 20 years experience working with a range of psychological disorders and presentations including anxiety and depression, family and domestic violence, personality and bipolar disorders, trauma, addictions, etc. Adriana is passionate about working with women experiencing distress, depression or anxiety in the perinatal period (including difficulties with conception, perinatal loss -miscarriage, termination, stillbirth-, pregnancy, birth, and the first years following birth), or who are going through difficulties relating to the challenges of motherhood; this includes attachment and mother-baby interactions. Adriana is committed to providing evidence based and compassionate therapy and draws from a range of psychological interventions including Acceptance and Commitment therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT), attachment theory, narrative therapy and psycho-dynamic therapy; she is also a certified Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator.
In addition to working in the perinatal field, Adriana also works with adults with a range of concerns including mood disorders, anxiety and trauma. She also provides therapy to Spanish speakers, and supervision to other psychologists.
Adriana is a registered non-directive Pregnancy Counselling Support Medicare provider and provides support through Gidget Foundation Australia’s Start Talking program.
Dr Vijay Roach is an obstetrician and gynaecologist in private practice at North Shore Private Hospital and the Mater Hospital. His public practice is at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.
As President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG), he also lectures at the University of Sydney.
Agata (Agi) is a warm, compassionate and insightful clinical psychologist with over 20 years’ experience working with clients at various life stages, from perinatal mental health to age care psychiatry.
Agi has a special interest in supporting mothers and fathers in their experience of parenting and has worked at Karitane’s Perinatal Mood Disorders Unit for over 11 years, where she focuses on perinatal depression and anxiety, adjustment to parenthood, grief, loss and parent-infant relationship. Agi also has a private practice where she works with both men and women, specialising in assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety, stress, trauma, difficulties with emotion regulation, self-esteem issues, grief and loss and adjustment to life changes and disabilities.
Agi aims to provide a safe and nurturing environment where clients can deepen their understanding of their emotional difficulties and develop skills to make helpful life changes and improve emotional well-being. Her approach is flexible, individualised and informed by attachment theory. She draws upon evidence-based treatment models including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness, Circle of Security, Tuning into Kids, and Marte Meo.
Lana is a Clinical Social Worker and Arts Psychotherapist with a passion for working with women, their partners and children during the perinatal period and beyond. Lana has a warm and empathic approach, and uses a unique blend of traditional talk therapies and creative modes of therapeutic interventions to help her clients resolve their challenges and move forward. Lana specialises in helping women to heal from childbirth trauma, and assists ABTA – The Australasian Birth Trauma Association.
Lana’s interest in helping expectant and new mothers began during her first clinical social work placement at The Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney over 13 years ago, and when she became a mother herself in 2014, this passion only grew. Lana has been in private practice for 7 years, and has over 12 years’ experience working with children and families both in Australia and the UK.
In addition to her work for the Gidget Foundation, Lana Co-Founded The Parents Village in 2016 where she supports expectant and new parents as they transition into parenthood, helping them to cope with changes to identity, relationships, and careers.
Lana employs a combination of evidence-based approaches such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, as well psychotherapy and mindfulness based techniques, and her sessions are tailor made to suit the individual needs of each client. Lana’s integration of the creative arts such as drama, music, movement, ritual, play, storytelling and visual art into her counselling approach allows clients additional options for conveying and understanding their feelings particularly in times when “words are not enough”.
Kirsty is a registered psychologist and has completed a Masters of Organisational Psychology at UNSW.
Her own experiences and challenges in adjusting to early motherhood whilst juggling a career in the corporate sector, fuelled her desire to shift her specialisation to the perinatal domain, and her passion to work with expectant and new parents.
She is a co-founder of The Parents Village – a perinatal support service in Sydney’s east – which provides counselling, prenatal education, parenting workshops, career coaching, and postnatal support groups for expectant, new and seasoned parents.
Kirsty’s primary therapeutic interests and experience is in treating individuals and couples who have experienced difficulty in their adjustment to pregnancy and/or parenthood, and who have struggled with pre and/or postnatal anxiety and/or depression, and relationship issues.
Kirsty utilises a range of different psychological interventions including Psychotherapy, Interpersonal Therapy (IPT), Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Solution Focused Therapy (SFT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Dr Felicity Chandler is a Clinical Psychologist and mother of two young children.
She holds a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours, and a Doctor of Clinical Psychology. She has extensive experience in developmental psychology and has a particular interest in the attachment relationship between child and caregiver. Her honours research explored the relationship between chronic maternal depression and social-emotional outcomes during middle childhood, and her doctoral research focused on the internal working models of caregiver attachment in children with autism spectrum disorder.
Felicity is passionate about helping parents reach their potential during a time of big adjustments. She is also experienced in supporting people on the autism spectrum, and is very happy to help parents with autism and Asperger’s navigate the world of pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood.
Dr Tania Slaviero is a Clinical Psychologist with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology. She currently works for the Gidget Foundation and in private practice at the Balwyn Medical Hub in Melbourne, specialising in perinatal psychology. Tania also works as a Locum at Mitcham Private Hospital Perinatal Mental Health Unit providing care for women with mental health conditions that develop or exacerbate during pregnancy or after birth.
Tania has provided support to new mothers experiencing difficulties with their newborns and toddlers in the residential unit at the Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre in Melbourne. Prior to completing her doctorate she was the Resilient Families Program Manager at the Royal Children’s Hospital where she developed the Resilient Families Student Curriculum implemented in schools and facilitated parent education.
Tania offers support with family planning, pregnancy and parenting. She takes a collaborative approach to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of parents and infants, and enjoys helping them make a smooth transition into family life. Tania’s interest in working with children and parents stems from her time spent as a Primary School Teacher.
Tania believes in taking a holistic approach to health care that considers all members of the family unit. She draws from a wide range of psychological approaches and tailors her care to suit the specific needs of her clients.
Dr Rachelle Jones is a registered and endorsed Clinical Psychologist. She completed a Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) at Griffith University, Queensland, and a Bachelor of Psychological Science at the University of Queensland.
She is a proud member of the Australian Psychological Society and its Perinatal and Infant Psychology Interest Group. Rachelle is an accredited facilitator of the Circle of Security Parenting group program, which is a group focused on helping parents reflect on their strengths and struggles in a non-judgemental way.
She has presented her research at a number of conferences and is a published author in the area of hospital design and parenting.
Sarah is a Clinical Psychologist (registrar) with a combined Clinical Masters/PhD from the University of New South Wales. Her own personal experience into motherhood highlighted a gap in mental health support services for young mothers and was the catalyst for her to specialise in the area.
Sarah works for the Gidget Foundation and in private practice. While she works with clients across the lifespan, her areas of specialty include perinatal mental health, sexual health, parent management training, behavioural conduct issues in young children and anxiety disorders. In the perinatal mental health space, Sarah works with mothers, partners and families struggling with adjustment difficulties, anxiety related to impending changes, depression, understanding hormonal shifts, puerperal psychosis, attachment issues and ongoing behavioural difficulties with other children adjusting to the changes in the family unit. Sarah tailors treatment for the individual needs of the client (or family) using a combination of evidenced-based interventions including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Family Systems Models, Motivational Interviewing, solution focused therapy, Circle of Security and Mindfulness.
Sarah’s work experience is diverse, with experience in both inpatient and outpatient contexts, private practice and in the non-for-profit sector. Previous workplaces include Gosford Mental Health Unit, St Vincent’s Public and Canterbury Child and Family Community services. In addition to clinical work, Sarah has a doctorate from UNSW, with her research investigating the interrelation of anxiety disorders and memory.
Fiona is a Clinical Psychologist who holds a Bachelor of Science (Psychology Hons), a Masters of Clinical Psychology and a PhD from the University of NSW.
She has experience working in hospital, community and private practice settings and assess and treats individuals experiencing difficulties with mood, anxiety, trauma, grief and relationship issues. In addition to working in the perinatal field, Fiona also has expertise working with children, adolescents and families with a range of behavioural and emotional concerns.
Fiona is committed to providing evidence based and compassionate therapy to the individuals and families that she treats and draws upon CBT, ACT, attachment and family systems frameworks in her therapeutic work.
Dr Ingerith Martin is a clinical Psychologist with a Masters of clinical psychology and PhD from the University of NSW.
Ingerith has over 15 years experience treating mental health problems, with expertise including management of depression and anxiety across the lifespan, relationship difficulties, adjustment to grief and loss as well as perinatal mental health.
Her approach encourages self-compassion and validation of difficult emotions and draws upon evidence based psychological interventions including cognitive behaviour therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, attachment theory and mindfulness skills to assist women struggling with anxiety, depression and adjustment to parenthood throughout the perinatal period.
Ingerith sees clients on behalf of the Gidget Foundation at Karitane House, Randwick.
Steph has extensive experience in executive management, finance, program delivery and stakeholder communications across the corporate and community sectors. She is currently the Sydney and Central NSW Division Manager for CanTeen and previously held positions as General Manager for the Gidget Foundation and CEO of the Australian Charities Fund.
She has also been a Board member of CUFA and a member of the advisory/fundraising committees for Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, The After Party Project and the Gidget Foundation. Prior to her work in the community sector, she owned a corporate events business following a lengthy career in corporate finance and investor relations at Qantas.
Steph has a Bachelor of Commerce from University of NSW and an MBA (Executive) from the Australian Graduate School of Management. She is CPA qualified and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Appointed as a Non-executive Director of the Gidget Foundation on 7 September 2016. Jessica is an experienced finance professional, with over 16 years of experience working in the financial services industry. She brings her experience in financial reporting, risk management and company compliance in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors to the Board. Jessica is currently a Partner of KPMG Australia in Audit, Assurance and Risk Consulting, working with clients in both the corporate and not-for-profit sectors.
Jessica holds a degree in Commerce (Accounting) from Macquarie University, is a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and is a Registered Company Auditor.
Patrick is a veteran executive of the subscription television industry and holds the position of CEO of FOXTEL.
He was formerly the CEO of FOX Sports Australia – the nation’s major sports television producer – and spent the previous decade helping to build FOXTEL into the major media company it is today as Executive Director of Sales and Product Development. Patrick has degrees in Law and Economics.
Catherine Knox was the founding CEO of the Gidget Foundation, a position she held from 2006 to 2017. During this time, Catherine developed and established innovative emotional support services for families. She also created the Parents Matter in the Workplace initiative, which supports emotional wellbeing for new working parents and reinforces the positive returns for employers who invest in diversity and inclusion.
Catherine has degrees in Education (USYD), Gender and Cultural Studies (USYD) and Social Impact (UNSW). She is co-author of Beyond the Baby Blues, and collaborator on the DVD Behind the Mask. Catherine is currently a director of the Gidget Foundation and provides professional support to the Asylum Seekers Centre. She was the recipient of the 2013 Woman of the Year for the Davidson electorate.
Michaela has worked exclusively in the not for profit and government sectors in Australia, Zambia and the UK since 2001. Most recently, she worked as Prevention Portfolio Coordinator at Cancer Institute NSW, with a specific focus on increasing participation in the NSW Cervical Screening Program.
Prior to joining Cancer Institute NSW, she managed the implementation of all Camp Quality programs within the Sydney metro area supporting children diagnosed with cancer and their families. Michaela has also worked in the role of Nurse and Funding Manager at the McGrath Foundation where she was responsible for developing, implementing and managing the organisation’s national Breast Care Nurse program.
Michaela holds a MA from Oxford University and a MSc in Demography from London School of Economics and Political Science. Michaela has an energetic son and toddler daughter, who keep her on her toes when she’s not at work!
Natalie joined the team at the Gidget Foundation Australia in June 2017 as the Business Development Manager. With over 15 years’ experience relationship management, marketing and consumer identification/engagement, particularly in the not-for-profit space.
She managed the execution of the Sony group of companies’ philanthropic arm, the Sony Foundation Australia, and more recently spent five years at the McGrath Foundation where she head-up both the Corporate & Community fundraising teams. She has also worked with a number of for-purpose organisations including; Miracle Babies Foundation, Feel The Magic, Simply Giving and the Sargood Foundation.
Kerryn has a background in commerce working as an accountant for a number of years with PwC before moving into hotel sales and marketing, working in Sydney and overseas.
Kerryn is deeply involved in charity work, volunteering for organisations such as Bear Cottage and fundraising for a local charity – Peninsula Pals.
With a passion to educate people about postnatal anxiety and depression, Kerryn was appointed as an Ambassador for the Gidget Foundation in 2012.
In addition to her charity work, she enjoys reading, swimming and running and is currently working on a children’s book.
Kerryn is married to the former New South Wales Premier, Mike Baird, and together have three children – Laura, Cate & Luke.
Sayeeda is a clinical psychologist who has worked with parents and children for 15 years.
She has worked in both public and private settings, including in a mother baby residential unit. Sayeeda draws from Acceptance and Commitment therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy when working with parents and also has training in running the circle of security group intervention. She values establishing a respectful and collaborative relationship with the parents that she works with.
Linda is a Clinical Psychologist with 30 years experience in child and adult mental health. With training in couple and relationship counselling and married with her own two grown up children she brings empathy, skill and life experience to her work .
Apart from her work at Gidget House, Linda also has a Private Practice in Sydney CBD working with both men and women. Specialising in working with anxiety, Linda sees assisting new families adjusting to parenthood as an important life transition that both members of the couple ideally be involved in. As such she likes to include both parents in consultations when possible and appropriate.
Lindsay is a registered psychologist and has completed her Masters of Clinical and Organisational Psychology.
At present, she works at Gidget House, St John of God Hospital, in the Mother-Baby unit and facilitates outpatient Postnatal Depression and Circle of Security groups as well as works in her private practice. Lindsay has experience in treating patients with a range of psychological disorders including anxiety and depression, personality and bipolar disorder, etc, Lindsay has a particular interest in treating mothers who have experienced perinatal and/or postnatal depression and anxiety or who have experienced general difficulties relating to the challenges of motherhood/parenthood. Lindsay utilises a range of different psychological interventions including Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment therapy.
Tahira Haider is a Clinical Psychologist (registrar) and a few months shy from completing her PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of New England. Tahira works for the Gidget Foundation and in private practice. Within the perinatal mental health arena Tahira works with mothers and partners struggling with adjustment difficulties, depression, anxiety and attachment issues. Tahira adopts a person-centered approach using a range of evidence based therapeutic approaches which include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), Gottman Couple Therapy, Mindfulness, Motivational Interviewing (MI), Solution Focused Therapy and Interventions used from a Positive Psychology Approach. Additionally, Tahira has worked in multiple settings, including an inpatient private hospital, community mental health and tertiary psychological services.