Australian College of Relationship Counsellors Leadership Group

Fiona Baillie (Convenor) has worked in the caring professions throughout her career holding various positions in nursing, counselling and education. She holds a Masters of Primary Health Care (Community Mental Health) and has always worked to enhance the well-being of clients in the context of their families and communities. She has worked for Relationships Australia in a variety of roles in both Queensland and currently Tasmania over the last 20 years. Fiona identifies primarily as a systems therapist whether she is working with individuals, couples or whole families. She embraces positive psychology approaches in the context of wholistic therapy. She joined the ACRC Leadership Group at its inception and has been Convenor since August 2017. She is committed to ensuring the College is recognised as a national body of excellence for Relationship Counselling with a strong professional network and a stimulating PD program.

Trish Thompson (Deputy Convenor), BA, Dip Ed, MA Counselling and Human Services, Grad Cert in Male family violence, is a clinical counsellor and supervisor in private practice in North Fitzroy, Melbourne. Trish started her career as a secondary teacher and then moved into counselling, working with adolescents and their families for over 10 years. She has worked in community settings, particularly with the LGBTIQ community and is a member of the Leadership Group of PACFA’s LGBTIQ Interest Group. Trish’s client work is grounded in emotion focused therapy and mindfulness based practices. She facilitates Men’s Behaviour Change groups for Relationships Australia and is dedicated to helping clients create and maintain healthy, respectful relationships. Trish will be teaching group facilitation at the Australia College of Applied Psychology from 2018.

Robert Handelsmann is a therapist and clinical supervisor with Masters degrees in both couple therapy and family therapy. Rob was a member of the inaugural College Leadership Group during its transition from the Australian Association of Relationship Counsellors. His areas of interest and usefulness to the College and its members include: website development, online networking, resourcing the membership, podcasting, and developing collaboration with PACFA Branches, other Colleges and Member Associations. Robert lives in Melbourne. He works for Relationships Australia, and in private practice.


Peter Kadwell is in private practice, 'Upper Lachlan Shire Counselling Service'. He was formerly Head of Department, Calvary Bereavement Counselling Service, with Calvary Health Care Kogarah, Sydney, a position he held for the past 9 years. Peter has worked extensively in the area of relationship counselling since 1990. He has held management positions including as Area Manager South Sydney for Interrelate Family Centres and Operational Manager and Clinician with LifeCare Counselling and Family Services (now BaptistCare). He has also held positions as Group Manager for a broad range of Family and Community Services and Business Manager for Aged Care and Disability Services.


Kieran O’Loughlin (On Leave) is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Australian College of Applied Psychology (Melbourne Campus). He also works part-time in private practice. Previously he worked in community health as a therapist, clinical supervisor and manager. He is a specialist relationship counsellor working within a range of approaches, but especially Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT). He has a particularly strong interest and expertise in working with sexually and gender diverse clients in relationships. He would like to contribute to further development of ACRC so that it serves the best national interest of all its members. He is committed to meaningful consultation with all members, especially in the organisation of relevant and accessible professional development opportunities. 

Wajan Hale is an experienced counsellor, teacher, mother and active member of her community. Her professional experience includes EAP counselling, drug and alcohol counselling, sexual assault counselling, grief and loss and trauma counselling. Wajan’s main passion as a counsellor is relationship counselling and she specialises in solution focused therapy and couples therapy.