ABOUT THE ACCA

The Australian Community Counselling Association is committed to the ongoing of professional development and industry growth of the counselling sector. A recent change in the board has seen the Australian Community Counselling Association move back to be based in QLD.

The Australian Community Counselling Association is governed by four voluntary Board members representing the various levels of the counselling industry. With each member passionate about the work that counsellors do in the community and maintaining the ethical practice needed to provide therapeutic support to clients.

The ACCA is dedicated to seeing real change happen in our communities and seeks to enlist the support of individuals and community groups across Australia to help build a strong grassroots movement of caring focused professional counsellors who wish to help their respective local communities.

Join us in continuing to strengthen Australia’s community-based counseling association.

MEET THE TEAM

Jodie Schleusener - President of Board

Jodie has been working in Community Services for nearly 20 years. She began her career in mental health while living and working in the UK. Upon returning home to Australia, Jodie began working in the disability sector.

It was through this work that Jodie was introduced to person centred approaches, social inclusion, and asset based community development. To complement her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and studies in a Master of Social Work, Jodie has received extensive training and mentoring in these fields of practice from both local and international leaders. Jodie has applied these practices principles across direct support, management, operations, change leadership, community engagement and community development roles.

Over the past decade, Jodie has become very passionate about investing in community service sector support workers. Her mission is to support and strengthen sector culture to value and invest in continuing professional development for all support workers.

Tracey-Lee Napier - Vice President of Board

Tracey-Lee has studied with Australian & Pacific College of Clinical Hypnotherapy and holds a Dip. Clin. Hyp & Psythpy. She has a range of other skillsets in areas of practice like suicide awareness and prevention, building cultural competence, living recovery, and animal psychology. Tracy-Lee has also been part of the facilitation team throughout schools to deliver the ‘You Can Do It’ program with leading Child Psychologist Professor Michael Bernard – educating staff, students and families.

 

With her passion to assist others to work through their problems and to find strategies to empowerment, Tracey-Lee’s way of counselling comes from a holistic framework approach, allowing each person to unfold their journey in their time.

Christine Morris - Secretary of Board

Chris is an active counsellor and consultant, working within the various fields of community service and mental health. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Counselling and is undergoing a supervision course to compliment her practice.

Chris has a multitude of training and experience within mental health, disability and grief and loss to name a few. In addition, Chris also has specialised in addictions; such as alcohol and other such drugs.

She is an active member of the LGBTIQ et al mental health professional’s community, and an advocate for LGBTI + aged care. At present Chris is designing visual self-care meditations which benefits individuals who have been affected by grief and loss and PTSD.

Mary-Kate Nibbs - Treasurer of Board

Mary-Kate is a trained Mental Health counsellor, with experience in the mental health sector for the past three years. Her passion is in the area of Domestic and Family Violence she has continued her professional development in Mental Health First Aid, Recognize and Respond to Domestic and Family Violence, Trauma, Grief and loss. She gains and continues Professional Development through Mental Health Professional Network and Peer Support.

Mary-Kate has also attended Art Therapy workshops and attained a Certificate of Attendance and continues to grow by engaging in Professional Development.

Mary-Kate is passionate about decreasing the stigma of mental health in the community, support people who have been affected by Domestic and Family Violence. Mary-Kate will continue to work with her peers and help the people in the community gain knowledge around these issues by helping increase social, emotional wellbeing and understanding.

Mary-Kate has the support of a loving family and the acquisition of a new canine puppy which is keeping her busy.

Wendy Bonnarens - Professional Development Officer

Wendy has been working in the community service sector for over 20 years, specialising in hypnotherapy, counseling, and teaching within a range of domains including leisure and health, disability and aged care. Wendy is a practicing counsellor and hypnotherapist and has a wealth of knowledge gained from her industry experience and qualifications.

She has studied extensively and gained a wide range of qualifications across the industry, including a Bachelor of Applied Science, Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Development (major – Counselling), a range of community sector diploma qualifications including Counselling, Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy, Youth, Community Services, Child Youth and Family Intervention and Business and Management. Wendy is also an accredited trainer and published author.

As the Professional Development Officer at ACCA, she offers a wealth of experience to support members to continue to enhance their own professional practice.

Suzanne Longly - Student Membership Support

Suzanne Longly has extensive counselling/intervention experience (18 years) in community services welfare industries, working for the government and private organisations. These include working in child protection, drug/alcohol counselling, youth and families at risk services, intervention work in primary schools, and delivery of federally-funded personal support programs in Queensland and Victoria. Many of these roles involved counselling, intervention and advocating for the rights of disadvantaged groups experiencing social and economic exclusion.

Suzanne has substantial work experience coordinating family support services through the delivery of a range of early intervention projects under ReachWise Family Support Program in four primary schools.

Suzanne currently teaches units in Dip Counselling, and engages in therapeutic approach interventions for a local DV refuge.  Suzanne has delivered presentations at numerous workshops and community meetings on children issues including attachment theory, domestic violence awareness training, early intervention practices and social and emotional well being in children and young people. She has delivered specialist counselling workshops in motivational, grief and loss, child-focused therapies, crisis intervention, RET therapies, self-empowerment. Suzanne developed specialized frameworks in one-on-one and group counselling settings using a range of intervention a nd self-empowerment and narrative therapies. 

Suzanne offers a wealth of experience to the members of the ACCA to support and enhance their professional development.

Post Grad Cert in Masters of Child and Youth Intervention Studies – Promoting Children’s protection and participation Strengthening young people’s social and emotional well being – Mental Health frameworks .

Bachelor of Social Sciences Majored in Relationships Counselling/Organisational Communication

Diploma of Applied Sciences (Counselling) Drug/Alcohol Empowerment Therapy/Confidence/Self Esteem, Relationship, Anger Management, Drug/Alcohol Therapeutic Professional Practices and Case Management Practices

Jess Mariuni - Administration Support

Jess volunteers as a Pyjama Angel with the Pyjama Foundation providing educational support to kids in foster care. The philosophy of the Pyjama Foundation is based on the ‘Love of Learning’ program which focuses purely on learning-based activities enabling a child to reach their life potential no matter what their background is.

Jess is currently studying her Diploma of Counselling and has a passion for the education of children and believes that by utilising her counselling diploma in this field it will enable these children to improve their education positively,  and to make a positive impact on their love for learning also.

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