Psychologist and Founder
Edward was born in the Torres Strait on Waiben (also known as Thursday Island), traditional land and sea’s of the Kaurareg people, however his family connections and home is Masig (also known as Yorke Island), traditional land and sea’s of the Masigalgal people.
After leaving the Torres Strait at a very young age he was raised in and around the township of Taroom (on the Traditional lands of the Yiman people) in South West Queensland and most recently has resided in Central Queensland, specifically Rockhampton on the Traditional lands of the Dharumbal people.
Edward holds full registration as a Generalist Psychologist and is currently the Principal Psychologist and Director of Wakai Waian Healing. He has worked in both State Government Mental Health Services and Indigenous Community based organisations. He is a member of Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA), the Australian Indigenous Psychologist Association (AIPA) and the Australian Psychologist Society (APS).
Gil is a proud Butchulla man from South East Queensland. As an Aboriginal Counsellor with intensive work history spanning over 37 years, he has provided much of his services in the Gladstone region. In his early days he completed a Certificate in Addiction Studies through Curtin University in addition to his counsellor training for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers which was offered by Biala (Queensland Health’s Alcohol and Drug Dependency Services).
His professional interests and experience extends into 1) trauma, grief and loss counselling, 2) specialisation in programs and services addressing family and domestic violence as experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and 3) Alcohol and other Drug counselling. He has experience in the design and facilitation of behavioural change programs particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander male perpetrators of family and domestic violence.
Gil currently has the privilege of providing support to communities in regional, rural and remote area’s of Queensland including Gladstone, Biloela, Palm Island, and Western Queensand.
Specialised Program Lead
Chris was born in Mackay, raised in Moranbah and comes from the Butchulla (Badtjala) Nation and is a descendant of Garry Owens.
For the last 12 years Chris has been living in Rockhampton (Dharumbal country) and has been developing his skills working with community across the child protection, Social & Emotional Well Being and more recently the Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drugs fields.
Chris brings his skills and knowledge around implementing therapeutic interventions and trauma informed training both in service delivery and to community workers.
Chris has work in collaboration with multiple services and disciplines, both government and non-government to achieve outcomes for participants.
He has completed his Cert IV in Child, Youth and Family Interventions and went on to complete his diploma for this as well. He is currently completing his Diploma in Training, Design and Development as a way to further support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and enhance their learning experiences.
Chris is passionate about self-determination, empowerment and seeing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities succeed.
Trainee Mental Health Worker
Julyess was born in Rockhampton, Central Queensland and is a descendent of the Kuinmarrburra clan of the Dharumbal Nation traditional owners of the Rockhampton region and also the Yiman people of Taroom.
After gaining his year 12 Certificate at Kirwan State High School (Townsville). In 2014 Julyess returned back to Rockhampton to work at a local Indigenous organisation. Julyess specialised working in programs that supported local foster and kinship carers and then progressed to assist those facing Drug and Alcohol Issues. Currently Julyess is a full time Mental Health Trainee at Wakai Waian Healing and also works casually at a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre.
Julyess is currently studying a Cert IV in Mental Health through Gallang Place. After completing his Cert IV in Mental Health, Julyess has aspirations to further his studies to one day become a specialist Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Counsellor or Physiologist to pursue his passion of enhancing the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous People and he hopes these qualifications will contribute to that.
Trainee Mental Health Worker
Simone was born in Bundaberg, she is a descendant of the Wakka Wakka people. Simone completed year 12 at Emmaus College and has been working within community services since graduating high school. Simone is passionate about the health and wellbeing of her community and would like to continue her education and knowledge in the Mental Health sector, with a vision of one day becoming a social worker.
Currently Simone is a full-time Mental Health Trainee with Wakai Waian Healing and is studying certificate IV mental health and undertaking the WWH PDSMS (Professional Development, Supervision, Mentoring and Self Care) Program.
Administration Officer, Rockhampton Office
Kristina was born and raised in Rockhampton, Central Queensland and is a descendant of the traditional landowners of the Rockhampton area, the Dharumbal people. Her totem is the Buderoo (Green Tree Frog) Kristina is the granddaughter of local community elder Ethel Speedy.
Kristina attended Berserker Street State School for her primary education years and graduated from Emmaus College in 2014 with a Certificate II in Business. Kristina has since obtained a Certificate III in Business and Business Administration, she will soon commence her Certificate IV in Mental Health.
Kristina has a willingness to further her learning while demonstrating empathy, compassion and a professional approach to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in her community.
Senior Administration Officer, Rockhampton Office
Julie was born and raised in Rockhampton, Central Queensland, traditional land of the Dharumbal people and acknowledges her family connections and sense of belonging to Masig (also known as Yorke Island), traditional land and sea’s of the Masigalgal people.
Julie completed her senior schooling at Emmaus College and transitioned into a junior position within Queensland Health at the Rockhampton Hospital. From this point Julie sat in many positions over her 22 years with Queensland Health including Accounts Payable Officer, Travel Manager, Payroll Team Leader, Director of Corporate Services and Asset Management Officer within the Financial Services Department. It is through her extensive experiences within Queensland Health that she has obtained valuable knowledge of accounting systems and practices.
Within Wakai Waian Healing Julie is in the Senior Administrative Officer role, where she is responsible for the organisations administration, resourcing and logistical matters at both strategic and operation levels and further maintaining the responsibility for all staff within the organisation within her role.
Julie has plans to study and gain a better knowledge of Accountancy and Business Principles. As a mother Julie acknowledges the cross cultural influences on her life and family and is passionate and genuine about the healing of communities and families.
Capability Officer, Cairns Office
Darren was born in Sydney on the traditional land of the Burruberongal and Boorooberongal people. When he was 14 Darren’s family moved to the Central Coast of New South Wales to the traditional land of the Kuriggai people, where he developed a love of the sea and surfing.
Darren has a diverse work history. At 18 he joined the Australian Defence force (ADF) and served as a soldier in a special forces’ unit. After leaving the military, Darren travelled around Australia and finally settled in Cairns where he achieved dual trade qualifications as a construction carpenter and plasterer.
In 2002, Darren was injured in a construction accident. After a couple of years of rehabilitation Darren decided to go to university where he earnt an honours degree in psychology. Darren specialises in addiction (Dual Diagnosis) and trauma and attachment and has worked in many remote Indigenous communities within the Torres Strait, Cape York Peninsular and in the Gulf country.
Capability Officer, Cairns Office
Sara was born in London and developed a strong desire to travel at an early age as her family moved around regularly and travelled extensively throughout Europe.
Sara is a registered New Zealand Social Worker and holds a Degree in Social Services achieved with distinction, as well as an advanced Diploma in Child & Adolescent Psychology. She has worked for over 20 years in mental health, with Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women, Alcohol and Other Drug Services and numerous NGO’s, both in Australia and New Zealand.
In 2009 she worked at Apunipima Cape York Health Council as an Early Intervention Specialist Social Worker working predominantly in Aurukun and Napranum. The work focussed on building a strong collaborative working partnership with Royal Flying Doctor Service’s child & maternal team/ Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women and Qld Health clinic staff. Sara spent another 5 years working at headspace Cairns and more recently, with Lives Lived Well including Shanty Creek Rehabilitation Centre.
Sara feels very privileged to be part of a new initiative to build capacity for the Family Wellbeing Workers in the communities of Cape York and Torres Strait Islands and looks forward to constructing positive collaborative networks to enhance their work.
Capability Officer, Cairns Office
Toni was born in Brisbane and is a descendant of the Kuku Yalanji people originating from the rainforest regions of Far North Queensland, the Dharumbal peoples of Central Queensland and the traditional land and seas of the Kaurareg peoples of Waiben also known as Thursday Island.
Toni is a graduate of Curtin University – Perth WA completing an Indigenous Community Health (BAppSc) and is currently studying psychology at Central Queensland University.
Toni has an extensive working history in the human services field and aspires to promote cultural and narrative therapeutic practices which underpin holistic approaches to address the social and emotional wellbeing needs of the community.
Toni is also passionate in supporting her community in understanding healing models that reflect Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people’s unique history, cultural resilience, family and community structures.
Thursday Island Team
Team Leader/Mental Health Worker Trainee, Thursday Island Office
Shanna was born on Thursday Island, North Queensland, she is a proud Gudhamadhi laig, who married into the Risau clan of the Masigilgal people in the Kulkalgal tribe, of the Central Islands. She is also part of the Samsep clan of Ugar am Le, Piadram, Dauareb, Magaram, tribes of Werbadu village of Meriam Mer. She is also a descendant of the KuKuyalanji tribe of north Queensland, and Girramay tribe of Cardwell. After finishing school, she started a traineeship at the Thursday Island Hospital. Then worked at the Star of the Sea Home for the Elderly. Coming back to work for Queensland Health, as a cardiac rehabilitation health worker, rehabilitating clients who experienced a myocardial infarction (heart attack).
Currently, Shanna is a full time mental health trainee, with Wakai Waian Healing. Shanna’s role at Wakai Waian Healing is to work with Women, young Mum’s and Teenagers, on social, emotional, and well-being issues. Shanna is currently studying a Certificate IV in Mental Health and undertaking the Wakai Waian Healing enhanced Mental Health Trainee Program. On completion of her Certificate IV in Mental Health, Shanna would like to further her studies to become a Clinical Social Worker, to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Community and Cultural Advocate,
Thursday Island Office
Bob was born on Waibene Thursday Island in the Zenadth Kes, the land of the Kuarareg Kaiwalagal People. He was raised on Murray Island. Throughout most of his childhood and at the later part of his teenage life he started to explore life outside from Murray. Bob is a proud Meriam Le (Murray Islander) his tribe is the Komet Tribe on Mer Island and his wind is Koki Wag which is the North West wind, and his Totem is Wanpun which is a Gecko. He is also a Dauareb and a Meuram clansman through bloodline.
Bob is also a descendant of Butchulla Tribe, his great, great grandmother Mary Pentecost is a full blood Aboriginal woman from Fraser Island South East of Queensland.
The first eighteen years of growing up on Murray Island he was taught a lot of the Cultural Teachings and Traditional Practices, learnt about their Customary Laws and Lore around the way of life as a Murray Islander.
Bob lived and served a term in the Local Government as a councillor for Murray Island Community. He completed a Diploma of Leadership and Management: Organisational Leadership through Australian Institute of Management] Cairns, QLD. He also completed a Graduate Diploma Indigenous Health Promotion: Health and Wellness University of Sydney, and he has a Cert III in Fitness and Nutrition: Health and Physical Fitness Fitnance Australia – Brisbane QLD
Bob is a local artist who has a passion for paintings on canvas, carvings, screen-prints and loves his gardening. A creative and innovative thinker, singer songwriter, records and produces his own music.
His personal Quote “ A man chooses the path that he walks on, his soul feeds on the challenges that he is faced with. He becomes a warrior by his own determination, fighting against the system”.
Mental Health Worker Trainee, Thursday Island Office
Josephine was born in Cairns and raised on Hammond Island (Kiriri Isand) in the Torres Straits. She is a descendant of the Dauareb and Ugarem people from the Eastern Island, and the Kulkalgal people from the Central Islands.
Josephine gained her year 12 certificate at Pimlico State High (Townsville) in 2016. In 2017 Josephine moved to Brisbane and briefly studied Social Science and Business and was offered to study Counselling which then opened her eyes and she saw a gap within her community. She then returned to Hammond Island (Torres Strait) in 2018 and started work at the Lena Passi Women’s Shelter on Thursday Island, an organisation that helps and supports women and children experiencing domestic and family violence. Her time at the shelter exposed her to a different side within her community and she got to learn first hand, the causes, affects and challenges that families within her communities face everyday.
Josephine is currently a studying a Certificate IV in Mental Health and undertaking the Wakai Waian Healing enhanced mental health trainee program. After she completes her Certificate IV in Mental Health she wishes to further her studies into Psychology and Counselling. She hopes to help and support the youth within her communities, to strive, thrive and be better versions of themselves everyday.
Mental Health Worker Trainee, Thursday Island Office
Jack was born on Thursday Island in the Kaurareg Country and was raised on Yorke and Yam Island in the Kulkalgal Country in the Central Torres Strait. Jack is the 6th Generation of one of the most Fierce Legendary Warrior of the Torres Strait named King Kebisu and 8th generation of King Kebisu Grandfather Diri native of Tudu Island (Warrior Island) an Island also from the Kulkalgal region. Jack’s totem is the Kursi(Hammerhead Shark) & Kodal (Crocodile).
Jack’s previous work was in the Employment services working for My Pathway as a Senior Engagement Officer, helping his people to gain employment, apprenticeship and traineeship and having monthly appointments with Jobseekers in order for them to achieve their goals and aspirations. His voluntary work was working as a Community Champion as a Domestic and Family violence officer for Yam Island, working closely with QPS and justice group putting a stop to Domestic and Family Violence.
Jack is also a vital member of working closely with Healing Foundation where they have been successfully running a forum on Yam Island to tackle issues that effect us and brining back healing and restoration to the community.
He is also a member of Australian Rural Leadership Foundation Program Course-25.
Jack shares that he is very proud and excited to be working for Wakai Waian Healing and has a big passion to work with his people and helping them in any way he can to make a difference in their lives.
Jack’s long term goal is to attend university and gain his degree as a psychologist.
Administration Officer, Thursday Island Office
Florria was born on the land of Yuggera, Brisbane but raised back home on Waibene, commonly known as Thursday Island. Florria’s home is Masig (Yorke Island). She practices the traditional way of life and understand the many roles within her culture. She grew up learning her Kulkalgal culture (central islands of the Torres Strait). Singing, dancing, traditional practices and the history of her people and understands her family history and extended connections within the Torres Strait.
Florria attended and completed secondary schooling in the land of Yidinjdji, Cairns. She began working in Business and Administration developing her skills within many businesses. After 8 years of living in that location, she decided to return home and continues to further her work experience within Business and Administration. She aims to complete business qualifications as she has other career desires, but aspires to own her own business. She has a passion for fashion and is a huge advocate for fitness & health. With these interests and aspirations she aims to form a career path that can allow her to do it all. Florria is currently studying a Certificate IV in Health Administration
Florria has been active in sharing her fitness journey and passion for fitness, health and wellbeing. Consistently sharing the importance of health and fitness and how it has a huge impact on our mental and physical wellbeing. With a growing passion for fitness & health with her way of living she has humbly inspired many people to better their fitness and health not only with her own people, but to many others in the World.
Although Florria is undertaking a business administrative role with Wakai Waian Healing, with her passions, positive energy and influences she hopes to continue inspiring and helping her people. But most importantly she hopes to encourage and inspire the younger generation of the Torres Strait with their dreams and aspirations as they are our future.
Key Staffing Partnerships
Troy Holland has worked as a psychologist for 18 years in Queensland across public, community and independent practice settings. He currently runs a practice named Quiet Place in Strathpine which he understands to be located on the traditional lands of the Turrball, Kabi and Waka peoples.
As a whitefella Australian man of mostly Cornish and Irish descent he sees himself as very privileged to have worked closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, families and communities for over 10 years in Central Queensland. He learned respectful practices and two-way learning journeys are vitally important. He documented aspects of these learnings in the article “Two-way learning as respectful community practice: Knowledge stories of the Men of the Mimosa Creek Healing Centre”.
Troy is also an accredited supervisor for the Psychology Board of Australia and an international faculty member of the Dulwich Centre Foundation. He is strongly influenced by narrative therapy and community work which locates people as the ‘experts of their own lives’ and acknowledges and responds to the effects of historical and current injustices on peoples’ lives.
Troy has a long and valued working and friendship associations with Edward Mosby. Quiet Place is honoured to be invited to collaborate with Wakai Waian Healing in their work on Waiben and with the peoples of the Torres Strait Islands.
Tracey is a proud Butchulla woman that now lives on Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang, Baili and Bunda country in Calliope.
Tracey has many years experience in community services from grass roots positions to Chief Executive Officer across a number of sectors including Social Housing, Mental Health, ATODS, Disability, Aged Care. She is very highly regarded within the disability and aged care sector, presenting at state wide gatherings and appointments to Regional and State Councils. Tracey is passionate about social justice and serves on a number of boards for local not for profits organisations and has developed of a number of social enterprises that provide employment for vulnerable people and assist to change the community perception.
Tracey has been instrumental in leading organisations through the latest two (2) national reforms: National Disability Insurance Scheme and MyAgedCare. Tracey is motivated to lead people to bring their best selves to work each day through workforce development strategies.
Tracey brings experience with tender submissions, contract management, human resources manages, workplace health and safety, staff training and development, industrial relations, small and large business models, financial management and workplace culture, compliance and auditing, public speaking and customer engagement. These skills have been developed in the community service sectors, construction, mining, gas, public and private businesses.
Tracey brings a range of qualifications to support her practical skills in the areas of safety, training, front line management, community services, participatory leadership and counselling.
Tracey specialises in human resource management, system development and implementation, Program Management and workforce development. Tracey is well respected in the community as a leader within the Disability field and being a finalist it the 2016 Aspiring woman of the year Gladstone awards.
Tracey works on the philosophy that there is a leader in every chair and people are the biggest asset of any business and people will blindly follow a true leader. Tracey mentors a number of leaders across the state to fine tune their leadership style and in turn provide better service to the people they serve.
Joe identifies as an Aboriginal (Ngarigo) and Australian South Sea Islander (Lifou) with Irish and English bloodlines. He was born in Melbourne on Bun Wurrung lands and was raised in a white predominantly Irish Catholic household. Joe moved to Queensland 1979 and has lived here since, mostly residing around Ingham and Yarrabah in North Queensland.
Joe studied both Clinical and Organisational psychology and completed a research Master of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Social Policy and currently is fully registered as a Generalist Psychologist. Joe has held a number of management positions in the early part of his career with organisations in the Commonwealth, State, community and private sectors. In 2009 he established Dreamtime Learning his own full-time consultancy practice in Management, Training and Planning. In addition, in 2014 he established Dreamtime Counselling and Coaching Service to provide specialist Indigenous Counselling to Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian South Sea Islander people.
Joe has experience in working with First Nations People with a disability, working for Endeavour Foundation for five years in Mackay, and being the first manager of the Disability Service Program in Townsville when the Disability Services Act (1986) was initiated. Joe has held a range of voluntary positions on Boards and Committees within Queensland and has previously been a member of the Queensland Mental Health Review Tribunal.
Joe is an experienced Psychologist who is passionate about the empowerment and healing of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian South Sea Islander Peoples.