Our Practitioner Support Service team and consultants include veteran mental health experts from a range of disciplines.
Our team includes specialist clinicians and clinically trained researchers, with complementary skills and experience. They have varied expertise in clinical and neuropsychology, general practice, social work, family therapy and psychiatry. In addition, we can facilitate access to a range of other experts, such as sleep and pain physicians, and rehabilitation specialists.
Practitioner Support Service Team
Dr Richard Bonwick
Courtney completed a Bachelor of Psychological Science with Honours at the University of Queensland. Her honours thesis examined the predictors of parenting self-efficacy during the transition to parenthood. Prior to joining Phoenix Australia, Courtney worked as a change management consultant for a professional services firm. In her current role as a Research Assistant she works across a range of projects, as well as within the Centenary of Anzac Centre’s Practitioner Support Service. She has an interest in periods of transition, as well as the impact of trauma on families.
Dr John Cooper
At Phoenix Australia, John provides psychiatry expertise across policy and service development, training and education, and research. He has particular expertise in veteran mental health, assessment, pharmacotherapy, and service development. John maintains an active private practice, where he specialises in the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic mental health problems, and he also works in a regional youth mental health service working with young people who have experienced trauma. John has held senior clinical and advisory positions in posttraumatic mental health at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital and the Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS).
Tilly has worked extensively with high risk industries and services, supporting people affected by exposure to trauma, including veterans, Defence Force personnel, emergency service workers, staff in forensic settings, and others. Tilly’s experience in applying leading edge research in a delivery context is one the strengths she brings to her role with the Practitioner Support Service and at Phoenix Australia.
Dr Carolyn Deans
Carolyn has a background in mental health interventions and training. She spent 13 years as an Army psychology officer, focussing on military mental health, including trauma and resilience training, mental health support, and critical incident interventions. Her experience includes leading critical incident support teams. Carolyn has worked as a university lecturer, teaching in undergraduate and postgraduate psychology programs, supervising psychologists, and managing a student psychology clinic. Her clinical and research projects have included a focus on perinatal mental health, attachment and trauma, and resilience. She has published in the field of men’s and veterans’ mental health, and has presented at national and international conferences. Carolyn continues to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve.
Dr Mark Hinton
Mark has worked in a variety of mental health settings in clinical, management and academic roles over the course of a career spanning three decades. Mark has a history of involvement with veterans’ mental health in services in South Australia, Victoria and the United Kingdom, working in state, national and ex-service organisations. Mark secured his PhD at University College London, London University. In his role as Director of the Treatment Research Collaboration, Mark is committed to engaging services in relevant, high quality research that is designed to produce outcomes that will make a real difference to the mental health and wellbeing of veterans and their families.
Alexandra has extensive experience in the area of veteran and military mental health. At Phoenix Australia, Alexandra’s work has included development of written and online training resources for nurses, psychologists and GPs, and redevelopment of Veteran and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) group program materials. She also leads the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Trauma Recovery Programs (PTSD) clinical data collection project. She has also been involved in the dissemination and delivery of practitioner training across Queensland following disasters, the revision of the PTSD treatment guidelines, and the development of disaster-focussed online training for GPs.
Jane has 25 years’ experience in the field of trauma related mental health as a senior clinician, program leader, clinical supervisor, trainer, policy advisor, and researcher working with veteran, military and high risk industry personnel, as well as children and adolescents and communities impacted by disaster . Jane has also worked in the alcohol and drug, traumatic brain injury, older aged psychiatry, child and adolescent mental health, and developmental disability sectors. Jane’s training in Clinical Neuropsychology and Developmental Psychology fuel her research interests in exploring the neurobiological and neuropsychological aspects of trauma and exploring innovative treatments that help to improve the clinical and cognitive symptoms of PTSD and other trauma related mental health disorders. At Phoenix Australia, Jane has led a range of service development, training and research projects that focus on translating evidence into practice and enhancing the capacity of mental health practitioners to deliver evidence-based treatments.
Dr Paulina Mech
At Phoenix Australia, Paulina works across projects related to veteran mental health and trauma, and engages with multidisciplinary health professionals as a key part of her role. Paulina has a background in health psychology and chronic disease, previously working clinically in psycho-oncology and disability.
Dr Phil Parker
Phil is a Brisbane-based GP with extensive expertise in veteran health. He served with the Australian Army for 28 years, which included roles in Signals, Infantry, and Medical Corps. In 2012 he deployed to Afghanistan as the Task Force Surgeon. This role involved operational coordination of coalition health forces in Uruzgan, mentoring of senior Afghan Army, Police, and civilian health staff, and treatment of trauma patients. Phil has also held senior medical officer roles within Army, with significant involvement in capability and policy development. As a community general practitioner Phil has a special interest in veteran health. He is also actively involved in providing advice and education to other practitioners about PTSD management. Phil is GP Ambassador for Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation, and also serves as a medical educator with General Practice Training Queensland.
Dr David Pedder
David has experience working with young people and adult populations in the public and private sectors, including the development and facilitation of group therapy programs. He held a previous position with Victoria Police where he was the project lead on initiatives intended to improve the mental health of employees. David’s doctoral studies examined emotion regulation capacity in young and older adults. He has research experience with literature reviews, scale development, evaluation of clinical interventions, and he has published his work across a number of international journals.
Jane has 27 years’ experience in the field of mental health, trauma, and working with families. She has held numerous senior positions within VVCS and non government organisations providing mental health services. Jane has a passion for working with veterans and military personnel and their families. She has worked as a VVCS centre-based counsellor for seven years and specialised in working with sons and daughters of Vietnam veterans. Other roles include acting as Deputy Director of South Australia and National Group Program Co-ordinator. Upon leaving VVCS to begin private practice Jane was contracted by VVCS to provide outreach counselling and group programs. VVCS clients remain the majority of Jane’s clients within her Adelaide Hills based private practice. Jane also has extensive experience working with families, especially adolescents. She was the mental health clinician in Doctor On Campus program at Victor Harbor High School which won a South Australian Mental Health Award for Innovation in 2015. Jane is a clinician committed to providing effective, efficient, evidenced-based clinical interventions to the clients with whom she works.
Nicole served as a full-time Army psychology officer for 23 years, and continues to serve as a Colonel in the Army Reserves. Through her military role, Nicole developed extensive expertise in military mental health, including in the issues and challenges for serving and ex-serving military personnel and their families, and the systems and services to improve and maintain mental health and wellbeing within high risk populations. Nicole has worked in psychology service provision, training, research, policy development and strategic planning, and has deployed in support of numerous Australian Defence Force operations. She held the senior psychology position within the Australian Army for more than four years. She is one of the Defence investigators on the joint Departments of Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme. She is currently undertaking a PhD through the University of Adelaide.
Dr Geoff Thompson
Associate Professor Darryl Wade
Darryl has many years’ experience in a diverse range of mental health settings, and still maintains an active private practice. At Phoenix Australia, he has led numerous initiatives to improve the mental health practices of primary care, specialist and other practitioners working with military, veteran, emergency service, health and general populations. He has also worked closely with the Commonwealth and state governments including the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs, Defence, and Health, as well as professional and community organisations. He is also an experienced trainer to a wide range of audiences, from peer support workers, teachers and health service managers, to psychologist and psychiatrists. He has published widely on posttraumatic, disaster, and youth mental health issues including controlled trials testing novel psychological interventions, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and the evaluation of policy and practice initiatives.
Professor David Forbes
David has extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems following trauma, having worked in both acute crisis and continuing care settings across the community mental health system and in specialist traumatic stress services. David is an international expert in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and military mental health, with strong national and international links with other researchers and experts in the field. David has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, and sits on the editorial boards of leading international journals. David is a member of many advisory committees for governments and other organisations, including the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs and Defence, and the Australian Psychological Society. David is a passionate advocate for the use of evidence-based responses following trauma in order to reduce the mental health effects on survivors, their families and communities.
Associate Professor Andrea Phelps
Andrea has extensive experience in the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic mental health problems, especially within the military and veteran population. She has consulted to a range of industry partners and government on organisational responses to psychological trauma. Government departments include Veterans’ Affairs, Defence, Health and Human Services, Australian Border Force, and Australian Transport Safety Bureau. Industry partners include TrackSAFE Foundation, state rail organisations, state police, fire and ambulance services. Andrea has also led research into innovative treatments for trauma populations, including the evaluation of an online early intervention for military personnel with adjustment and subclinical problems, and imagery rehearsal therapy for posttraumatic nightmares.
Professor Meaghan O’Donnell
Meaghan has published widely in the area of posttraumatic mental health, holds a number of large research grants, and is involved in both national and international research collaborations. She is Past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS), and is on the editorial board of the European Journal of Psychotraumatology. Meaghan is involved in a number of research projects that encompass a range of areas including epidemiology, phenomenology, intervention, and biology of posttraumatic mental health, and the mental health issues in military and veteran populations. Meaghan has particular clinical interests in transdiagnostic approaches to treatment, psychological recovery from traumatic injury and novel modes of treatment delivery.
Anne-Laure has extensive experience in the treatment of a range of mental health problems in hospital and community settings. She has specialised in the treatment of veterans and emergency personnel diagnosed with PTSD, and the effects of long-term childhood sexual abuse and neglect. Anne-Laure has a strong background in education and knowledge translation and has led several projects aimed at improving the uptake of evidence-based practice among mental health practitioners. Recent projects led by Anne-Laure include a Department of Veterans’ Affairs national training initiative to up-skill mental health practitioners, and an ADF national training program. Anne-Laure has also completed a fellowship with the National Institute of Clinical Studies focusing on the implementation of evidence-based treatment of PTSD.
Kristi has 15 years’ experience as a clinical psychologist working with the Australian Defence Force in both a uniform and civilian capacity. She continues to serve as a LTCOL in the Army reserve and is a veteran of operations in the Middle East and East Timor. Kristi has provided prevention and early intervention strategies for traumatic stress and is also experienced in providing trauma-focussed interventions. She recently completed research investigating the cognitive mechanisms associated with adjustment from military deployments, and she is committed to supporting organisations, individuals and their families to manage workplace stress and reduce the mental health impacts of trauma.
Dr Ros Lethbridge
Ros is an experienced clinician with 14 years’ experience working in public, private, and university mental health settings. She was formerly a lawyer and has worked with the judiciary as a trauma specialist, developing and delivering substantive educative projects. Since 2014 she has sat on panels which regulate the practice of psychologists, and is currently appointed to the Psychology Board of Australia (Regional Board).
Ros has extensive clinical experience in the area of veteran and emergency services mental health. She worked for eight years as a senior psychologist in a specialist trauma unit at Austin Health, treating veterans who experienced psychological trauma, delivering training on the evidence-based treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, and providing supervision for psychologists.
Julie is experienced in treating posttraumatic stress disorder and workplace stress, and has a thorough understanding of the unique issues surrounding mental health in military and police populations. She has trained Masters Psychology students in the assessment and treatment of posttraumatic mental health. Julie also has an interest in research, and has been involved in many clinical research trials in the field of posttraumatic mental health in civilian, police and military populations.
Anita has extensive experience as a clinician, including delivering evidence-based mental health interventions to those impacted by trauma. She has expertise in the mental health and wellbeing of high risk populations, including 10 years’ experience working within the police and emergency services sector. Anita is experienced in training development and delivery, consultation, policy and practice development, management, and strategic planning. She has led the development of organisational mental health strategies and large workplace projects. Anita is an experienced trainer, developing and facilitating training on a range of topics including resilience, mental health training for managers, and trauma response and recovery.
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