New Board Member and Chair of the Ethics Committee welcomed

15 August 2023

PACFA is pleased to announce the appointment of Helen Phelan as the new Chair of the Ethics Committee and as PACFA’s newest member of the Board of Directors.

Helen Phelan holds a Masters in Human Rights and brings over 30 years of experience in organisational development in many contexts where her work included policy, training, group leadership, project planning and equity matters.

Helen has applied this work to social justice and human rights issues, especially exploring and responding to systemic discrimination. This was the main aspect of her work in the Equal Opportunity Commission and in WA Police for many years in Perth. Helen is a qualified Sociometrist (a speciality of Psychodrama working with mapping and enhancing the connections between people in relationships, groups and organisations). She is a member of the Australia Aotearoa New Zealand Psychodrama Association, a Member Association of PACFA, and was AANZPA Delegate to PACFA for eight years. Currently, Helen supervises therapists and psychodramatists and has her own practice mainly focusing on professional Supervision.

PACFA’s Ethics Committee is responsible for reviewing and developing PACFA’s Code of Ethics and overseeing the administration of PACFA’s complaints handling process. Complaints handling is a key function that PACFA undertakes as a peak body for the self-regulating profession of counselling and psychotherapy.

As Chair, Helen is responsible for progressing the work of the Ethics Committee in accordance with the Committee’s Terms of Reference, calling in external advice when required, and providing advice and support to the PACFA Office in relation to the administration of particular complaints or appeals. The Ethics Committee Chair position also requires expertise in ethics within the counselling and psychotherapy field, experience in the conduct of ethical complaints and/or mediation, and policy-writing skills.

Helen takes the reins of the Ethics Committee Chair position from Doug Aberle, who remains the Vice President of PACFA’s Board of Directors.

To contact Helen or the Ethics Committee, please email [email protected]