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Older People Interest Group

In December 2020, a new Interest Group was formed. The Older People Interest Group aims to raise awareness of counsellors with experience in working with older people and advocate for their recognition, raise issues to Government through appropriate channels, and promote good practice when working with older people. The latter may include developing or highlighting sound practice resources, and creating professional development opportunities for working with older people. Older people for this purpose are described as age 50+ to recognise the diversity of ageing and life experiences. Hence, the descriptor is not restricted to people who receive aged care services or people who receive the age pension. We welcome your ideas for professional development and your support as we grow this Interest Group.

Older People Leadership Group Members

Caroline Romeo (Convenor) 
Caroline’s interest comes from a 20+ year experience of working with or for older people across in-home care, community development, state-wide advocacy, and counselling. She currently works as a counsellor in a Government-funded service, in EAP and private practice. Influenced by her migration and multi-cultural experiences, Caroline brings a curiosity to counselling for older people in exploring its intersection with gender, ethnicity, age, place, disability, or multiplicities of identity. She graduated with Honours in Social Science (Macquarie University) in 2007 and Master of Counselling (University of Notre Dame) in 2017.  



Bernadette Milsted

Bernadette holds a Masters in Couples and Relationship Counselling, Grad Dip (Counselling) and BASc. She has been practising as a professional counsellor for over 25 years and prior to that was in Pastoral ministry. Currently, Bernadette works in part-time private practice to allow for a better work/life balance. Her practice includes individual, couples, and group counselling, and supervision in a variety of Not-For-Profit counselling centres, including her term as the Director of Karinya Counselling Centre, in Palliative Care and in private practice. She has recently retired from 10 years working with Dementia Australia.

Bernadette has been involved in the tertiary training of counsellors and supervisors (Kingsley College, Tabor, and Homesglen), as well as supervising students in their practicum placements, and staff supervision in the workplace. Bernadette’s clinical practice includes grief and loss, trauma, relationships, anxiety and depression, group work, life transitions and end-of-life preparation. I have a passion for professional supervision which includes working with clinical counsellors, student counsellors, hospital and school Chaplains and those in Pastoral ministry. 


Tracey Crouch

Tracey’s interest in Older People stems from her previous work in local government where she held variety of positions including community development. She noticed a lack of community support and services for seniors particularly those that promote healthy living, moving well, and good mental health. She is interested in encouraging people to live their lives to the fullest and to de-stigmatizing the ageing process.
Tracey holds a Master of Counselling at Notre Dame University and her counselling roles have included counselling for people living with dementia and their carers, as well as women’s health, and people living with HIV. She also practices grief and loss counselling, and works in private practice. She is passionate about the transformative power of counselling to honour and acknowledge the profound life experiences that shape us.


Kimberly Howeler 

 Kimberly is a Creative Arts Therapist based in Melbourne. She holds a Master's degree in Therapeutic Arts Practice in conjunction with a Bachelor of Visual Arts. She is deeply passionate about individuals, their unique narratives, and their diverse life experiences.

Kimberly's involvement in aged care has crystallized her belief in the transformative potential of Arts Therapy for older populations. Her approach recognizes the importance of cultivating meaningful connections, mitigating social isolation, and empowering older individuals to set and achieve their personal objectives. Through her work, she aims to enhance the quality of life for older adults and enable them to live their later years with a sense of autonomy and purpose.

Dr Hilary Berthon

Hilary has an interest in working with older adults and the issues that they may experience including loss and grief, chronic health conditions, caring responsibilities, navigating change and life transitions, stress, anxiety and depression. She is passionate about empowering people to identify their valued ways of living and working alongside them to support their well-being. Hilary works as a counsellor in private practice and as a pastoral practitioner in health and aged care settings. She brings to her practice experience in instructing mindful movement classes and has facilitated well-being programs for Dementia Australia and the YMCA. Hilary completed her Master of Counselling studies at the University of Canberra, and has a background in science (B.Sc. (Hons), Ph.D., Dip. Fitness).

[email protected]


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