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President Dr Di Stow B.A., Dip.Ed., MA Ed., MA Couns., PhD Email Di Stow

Di has served PACFA for a number of years — President PCA TAS 2008-2014 PACFA Delegate 2005-current PACFA Ethics Committee 2010-2016 PACFA Board + Board member responsible for Member Associations 2010-2012 + Convenor PACFA Conference 2012. What Works: Effectiveness in Counselling and Psychotherapy + Secretary 2012-2014 + Vice President 2014-2016 + Chair Restructure Working Party Di is passionate about what PACFA stands for and the great good the counselling and psychotherapy profession does for the mental health and wellbeing of the nation. She is delighted to be PACFA President: To lead the organisation: To represent counselling and psychotherapy to communities and government, and gain further recognition for the profession. Di is a PACFA clinical member, supervisor, and mental health practitioner. She works in a thriving private practice in Hobart — Di Stow Counsellor: Dr Di. Her specialist area is grief and loss; her thesis bears witness to her heart for this work. Di is a volunteer counsellor for SIDS and KIDS, and Cancer Council. Di has also had a successful career working for many years in government in Education, and Justice: Teaching (primary and senior secondary), curriculum development, training standards, human resources managing performance, grievances, and change. She also worked as an elected union representative and Vice President of the Australian Education Union. Di is a member of Rotary and a Paul Harris Fellow.

Vice – President Tony Clarkson

Tony has been a clinical member of PACFA since 2013 when he moved to Melbourne from London with his family. He is the head of professional development for the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. His role includes; overseeing Professional Development for Gambler’s Help counsellors, planning international conferences and designing and administering multi-million dollar projects aiming to deliver better and more targeted clinical services. Tony has a private practice where he works predominantly with young people and their families experiencing distress and family dysfunction.

Research Chair Dr Alexandra Bloch-Atefi Lecturer, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide, South Australia

Dr Alexandra Bloch-Atefi is a lecturer in the Graduate Program in Counselling and Psychotherapy at the University of Adelaide, specialising in trauma-informed and body-based modalities. She is a member of the PACFA Research Committee and the PACJA Editorial Board Convenor as well as a Conference Committee member. Alexandra holds memberships with Association of Soul Centred Psychotherapists and the Australian Psychological Society. Her research interests include trauma, mindfulness and somatic approaches as well as how to advance the field of counselling and psychotherapy.


george-gintalis-2016Treasurer  George Gintilas Cert Radix Body PsychTh, Dip Somatic Integration, Dip P.S.H Th, Cert Sensorimotor (Trauma) Th.

George is a fully qualified Radix Body Psychotherapist, Somatic Integration Therapist, a Registered P.S.H Therapist and a graduate of the Sensorimotor (Trauma) Psychotherapy Institute (USA.) He has been in private practice for 25 years and works as a Body Psychotherapist in Melbourne Australia. He specialises in trauma and PTSD. He is a past treasurer (3 years) and a past president (6 years) of the Aust Radix Body Psychotherapy Association (ARBPA). He is also a past president (4 years) of the Aust Subconscious Mind Therapists Association (ASTA) and is currently the Chair of the Ethics Committee for ARBPA (8 years.) George was co-founding director of The Elwood Centre for Wellbeing which he ran and managed successfully for over 16 years. In that time 127 different practitioners came through its doors helping thousands of people. George also has a Bachelor Degree (Honours) in Economics and has a previous career in IT Accounting (12 years). He is a past qualified Accountant and past member of the Certified Practicing Accountants (CPA Australia) (9 years.) He specialised in IT accounting, developing, programming and maintaining financial IT systems. In that time he was also a member of the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) and also worked for the chartered accounting firm Arthur Andersen & Co.

Secretary Nigel Polak M. Counselling & Psychotherapy.

Nigel is a psychotherapist in private practice working with individuals, couples, groups, and supervisees online and in person in Coffs Harbour. He is an academic teacher and supervisor in the School of Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. As founding Secretary of the Victorian Association for Restorative Justice, and having been Secretary of key community organisations in the wake of the Black Saturday Bushfires, he brings more than 20 years of experience leading diverse volunteer organisations. Having had prior careers as a Solicitor, Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and mediator, he also brings knowledge of the law, corporate governance and diverse industry experience to his role on the Board. Nigel served for a number of years with the PACFA Victorian Branch, continues to sit on the College of Counselling Leadership Group, and also serves as Convenor of the PACFA 2022 “Safety in Therapy” Conference Committee. He lives in Bellingen, NSW, where he enjoys cycling, ocean swimming, learning to surf and spending time with his partner and three growing boys.

EPAC Committee Chair Vacant

Committee Chair Doug Aberle (Ethics Committee Chair)

Doug has been practicing as a Gestalt Therapist for more than 35 years and is a graduate and faculty member of Gestalt Associates Training Los Angeles (GATLA). Doug has a private practice in Gestalt Therapy in Perth along with a Business Consulting and Coaching Practice which also draws on his Gestalt training. Doug supervises Gestalt Therapists in Perth and runs Gestalt Therapy training workshops locally and internationally. As part of his role on the faculty of GATLA, Doug delivers a theory track on using Gestalt in organisations as well as providing clinical group training and individual live supervision of trainees from around the world. Doug is passionate about Gestalt Therapy, its profound respect for the client and its emphasis on the innate power of awareness and contact. I have a particular interest in seeing the long-term, experiential nature of the psychotherapeutic apprenticeship recognised in the qualification frameworks of PACFA.

Committee Chair Dr Kate Briggs (Professional Standards Committee Chair) PhD

Dr Kate Briggs is a psychoanalyst practicing in Melbourne and on the Mornington Peninsula, Vice President of the Lacan Circle of Australia and a PACFA Accredited Supervisor, Mental Health Practitioner and Clinical Registrant. Kate is Chair of the Professional Standards Committee and a board member of PACFA, deputy Convenor of the Australian College of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators (ACCAPE), and a member of the Psychotherapy Working Party and leadership group for the College of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Healing Practices (CATSIHP). She has published on sublimation and symptom formation and contributed to Notes on the Child. A collection of essays on contemporary Lacanian child and adolescent clinical practice. Her essays on contemporary art have appeared in catalogues and books such as Radical Revisionism: An Anthology of Writings on Australian Art.

Psychotherapy Representative Valerie Redman

Valerie is the Director of the Redman Institute. She is a Psychotherapist & Supervisor, working with individuals, couples and families, and runs a Registered Training Organisation. She provides Advanced Transactional Analysis Training and Supervision for trainees who want to become Certified Transactional Analysts and a range of Transactional Analysis based, Nationally Accredited courses in Counselling and Management, including a Graduate Diploma of Relationship Counselling.

pat-bradley-2016Counselling Representative Pat Bradley M.Sc. Thr Coun, PG Dip Coun, Dip Primary Care Coun, Dip Sup., Cert CBT, Clinical Member CASA & PACFA,  BACP Snr. Accred. Counsellor, Supervisor Individuals &Groups

Pat runs a private practice in Adelaide offering counselling and supervision to individuals and EAPs. Pat originated from the UK where she was employed as a Senior Specialist Counsellor and Supervisor by the National Health Service (NHS) as well as running a busy private practice. She began her career in the NHS as a Primary Care Counsellor working in a GP surgery taking referrals from the 5 practice Doctors and the Nurse Practitioner for 9 years. She then joined a mixed team of Counsellors, Psychologists, CBT therapists and Wellbeing Practitioners in a stepped care program for the South London & Maudsley NHS Trust, delivering time-limited interventions in a deprived inner London Borough. Pat is currently serving her 2nd year as President of CASA and prior to that she was Secretary for 18th Months.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Representative Dr Caroline (Carlie) Atkinson Carlie is of Jiman – Bundjalung heritage and previously lived in Papua New Guinea, undertaking community development work with a focus on trauma, violence, loss and grief. Her Bachelor of Social Work at the University of South Australia achieved first class honours, with a thesis focusing on the alternative dimensions of violence against Aboriginal women. She then completed a placement in Tamil Nadu, India, researching the specific issues and needs of adolescent girls. Following this she headed a team at a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in Katherine, NT, before completing her PhD focusing on Aboriginal male violence and its relationship to generational post-traumatic stress disorder. Presently Carlie is the CEO of an Indigenous Organisation called We Al-li, which provides culturally informed, trauma integrated healing and trauma specific programs and activities throughout Australia and the Asia Pacific. Carlie also has extensive experience in project management, engagement and reporting, specifically in Trauma Informed Care and implementation procedures.

Chief Executive Officer (ex-officio) Maria Brett BA (Politics) and BA (Laws), PG Dip Couns & Psychotherapy, Advanced Certificate Gestalt Therapy

Maria Brett brings to PACFA a wide range of skills, developed through a rich and varied career. After being admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor, Maria worked as a Solicitor and then left the law to campaign for the environment and human rights. Maria was Executive Director of the East Timor Human Rights Centre.  While living in the UK, Maria gained expertise in human resources and organisational management and worked as a trainer in the voluntary sector. While in the UK, Maria re-trained as a counsellor and psychotherapist and went on to manage mental health and family services. Since returning to Australia Maria has been Executive Director of the International Social Service Australia and Manager of the Melbourne Counselling Service for The Salvation Army.

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