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College of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Healing Practices Leadership Group

Emeritus Professor Judy Atkinson (Co-Convenor) is a Jiman (central west Queensland) and Bundjalung (northern New South Wales) woman, with Anglo-Celtic and German heritage. Her academic contributions to the understanding of trauma related issues stemming from the violence of colonisation and the healing/recovery of Indigenous peoples from such trauma has won her the Carrick Neville Bonner Award in 2006 for her curriculum development and innovative teaching practice. In 2011 she was awarded the Fritz Redlick Memorial Award for Human Rights and Mental Health from the Harvard University program for refugee trauma. Her book ‘Trauma Trails – Recreating Songlines: The transgenerational effects of trauma in Indigenous Australia’, provides context to the life stories of people who have been moved from their country in a process that has created trauma trails, and the changes that can occur in the lives of people as they make connection with each other and share their stories of healing.


Bianca Stawiarski (Co-Convenor) 
Bianca Stawiarski is a strong Badimia and Ukrainian woman, committed to driving community change through decolonising the mental health and wellbeing space on a global scale. Combining western clinical qualifications and Indigenous healing practices, Bianca empowers a diversity of women worldwide, to embrace healing on their own terms, outside of four walls. Her certified Indigenous social enterprise, Warida Wholistic Wellness, takes its vision from Warida (wedge-tailed eagle in Badimaya / Badimia), delivering quality training in wellbeing, healing and systems change. Bianca is a Lead Facilitator, SA Manager and Sovereign Business with Indigenous healing organisation We-Al-Li.  She is a PACFA Mental Health Practitioner whose qualifications include a Masters in Counselling Practice, Diploma of Life Coaching, Post grad. Diploma of Counselling, Certificate in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, and Bachelor of Aboriginal studies. Bianca is a best-selling international co-author on a range of business and therapeutic topics, and is also a published children's author. 

Bianca is honoured to live on Kaurna Country and treasures time reconnecting to Badimia Country with her family. As part of her life's work, Bianca is currently undertaking a PhD with Batchelor Institute exploring Ngardi Guwanda (deep listening), Indigenous Healing and lived experiences of First Nations Plural Communities (people with a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder). Bianca hopes these explorations can continue to create awareness, instigate change, and provide a platform for some of our world's most disadvantaged and vulnerable people to have their voices heard.

Gina O’Neil 
Gina is a descendant of Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitane (Aotearoa, NZ), Ireland and Germany, currently living and working on unceded Eora and Bundjalung lands in Australia. Gina is a PACFA-registered clinical psychotherapist, educator and supervising consultant (Master Gestalt Therapy, Grad Dip Couns., Cert. Ecotherapy and B App. Soc Sci). She has 20 years clinical experience supporting individuals, families and groups presenting with substance and process addictions, mental health, relationship issues and other trauma-related experiences. Gina has worked in private psychiatric clinical settings, NGOs and public health settings as a therapist and clinical manager and in the past 8 years as a supervisor, lecturer/trainer, clinical specialist in the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation sector and is in private practice. She is currently a member of the PACFA College of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Practices (CATSIHP) and member of the PACFA research committee. She has completed studies in working with trauma, Indigenous models of care and recently ecotherapy. As Gina is a NZ Māori woman, her interest is in growing her Indigenous healing practice informed by Te Ao Māori in reciprocity with the natural world, and the intersection with gestalt psychotherapy to support connection and healing of the relationship with people and our environment. 

Dr Gavin Morris
Gavin has two decades of teaching experience in schools around Australia and currently lecturers in undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the College of Education at Charles Darwin University. Gavin’s experience and interests relate to Indigenous research and he has developed significant relationships with many Aboriginal communities throughout the Northern Territory. Gavin holds a Bachelor of Education from James Cook University (Townsville, Queensland), a Master of Education from the University of Sydney (Sydney, New South Wales) and a PhD from Charles Darwin University (Darwin, Northern Territory).


JudyKaye Nungala Knox 
JudyKaye is a Gamilaraay/Yuwaalaraay woman (SW QLD/NW NSW border), with family roots in the Kooma and Manandanji peoples (SW QLD) and adopted by the Waramungu/Kaytetye people (NT Barkly region). JudyKaye has relocated to Tennant Creek to deliver for the Barkly Regional Deal, Culturally Informed Trauma Integrated Healing Approach (CITIHA) training packages. This initiative is to enable workers to skilfully respond to the needs of local communities. 
She also delivers informal workshops to local communities and schools; and offers counselling support. She believes in facilitating an atmosphere that invites creative activities and conversations for change.JudyKaye is grounded in over 23 years of extensive experience in the field of trauma and trauma recovery, community development and education ranging from teaching in primary schools through to lecturing at University.

JudyKaye lectured/facilitated the Masters of Indigenous Studies (SCU 2004-2012). JudyKaye has worked in case management, counselling, therapeutic groupwork, family wellbeing and trauma therapy for families and communities in remote, rural and urban settings. JudyKaye headed a ‘Crisis Response Team’ addressing community distress throughout Australia has delivered trauma and recovery training/workshops in Timor Leste and PNG. She is a registered PACFA practitioner and We Al-li’s longest serving facilitator. Holds a Masters in Indigenous Studies - Wellbeing, which I then taught into for 9yrs at SCU and also taught a Diploma in Community Recovery. Certified NLP Practitioner/Coach; Certified TimeLine Therapy Practitioner.

Tod Stokes (Affiliate member)
Tod has extensive experience in supporting behaviour change in men impacted by trauma, that use violence. He is a highly experienced Indigenous Healing Practitioner, who currently is  Academic Co-Lead, First Nations Education and Engagement School of Psychology for the University of Adelaide. As a trauma informed / culturally integrated counsellor, Tod specialises with clients who have shown a propensity to use violence in their daily struggle with the rules and regulation imposed by mainstream society. Tod makes a huge impact in this role through supporting his clients to be more open with their emotions and to embrace their cultural roots. Tod holds Mental Health qualifications, among many others and is also in his last year studying a Diploma of Narrative Approaches for Aboriginal People. 

Rayleen Councillor (Critical Friend) (M.IndKn, B.Appsci, DipCoun, DipINT)
is a Karrajarri, Naaguja Woman with connections to the Wajarri,Binjareb and the Wongatha peoples. Rayleen has individually experienced physical, emotional and spiritual hardships and using these life experiences, coupled with formal education, she has developed a strong commitment to contributing to the healing of others. Rayleen has worked in the Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health space for many years and brings her life skills and Cultural Knowledge in ways of practicing & being in the space of healing.



Richard Scott (Critical Friend)


Email the CATSIHP Leadership Group: [email protected]

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