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 Darumbal 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.
Senior Administration Officer, Rockhampton Office
Julie was born and raised in Rockhampton, Central Queensland, traditional land of the Darumbal 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.
Dr Kishani Townshend
Lead Psychologist, Cairns Office
Kishani Townshend is the Lead Psychologist managing the staff training for the Family Wellbeing Service in seven remote communities. Her role entails managing the staff training, mentoring and capacity building of service providers to prevent the entry or re-entry of children into the statutory child protection system. Kishani is an Australian trained, Registered Psychologist with over 15 years counselling experience. Her psychological practice draws on the latest evidenced-based treatments including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) and trauma-informed practices. Her clinical work offers help to those having difficulties with depression, anxiety, anger management, learning, grief, loss, trauma, parenting and perinatal mental health. Kishani has a diverse cultural background, having lived in Asia, Africa, England and Australia. This gives her a broad cross-cultural understanding of her clients, enabling her to help them each develop their unique capacity for healing and developing resilience. She has recently completed a PhD on affect regulation. Her undergraduate degrees have majors in psychology, human resource development, and counselling. Some of her research interests include evaluating effective treatments to address intergenerational trauma, perinatal depression, anxiety and stress. Her research has been published in peer reviewed journals. Kishani is a presenter at national and international conferences.
Capability Officer, Cairns Office
Jack was born in Germany, his family migrated to Australia in 1988. Jack grew up in various remote locations in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, including the community of Barunga. He has also spent significant amounts of time living overseas, having lived in seven countries in total.
Jack completed a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a sub-major in counselling skills in 2010 and immediately sought work in remote Far North Queensland. He worked as a Child Safety Officer and Senior Team Leader with the Queensland Department of Communities between 2011 and 2018. During this period he was based in Cape York for almost six years, enabling him to develop excellent cross-cultural practice and a diverse skillset. Jack’s work was primarily in the remote communities of Lockhart River, Napranum, Mapoon and Aurukun. As well as supervising other Child Safety staff, he had the opportunity to deliver training to colleagues during his time as a senior worker.
Jack additionally completed further training in the ‘Safer Together’ Domestic Violence intervention model and the ‘Interviewing Children and Recording Evidence’ model with the Queensland Police Service.
Jack returned to university and completed an Honours Degree in Psychology in 2018 and subsequently commenced a PhD in Psychology in 2019. He has been undertaking a teaching role in the psychology department at the university during 2019. His research focus is violence in remote Aboriginal communities, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Historical Trauma, healthy masculinity and male identity. His research has been recently published in peer reviewed journals.
Administration Officer, Cairns Office
Kylie was born in Rockhampton. With cultural ties to Dharumbal and Wulli Wulli people of Central Queensland and the Yidinjdji nation of Far North Queensland.
Most of Kylie’s working experience has been in the Indigenous Health sector. Working for organisations such as Kambu Medical Service in Ipswich, Gallang Place Counselling Service in Brisbane and Mamu Health Service in Innisfail. Kylie has developed several skills in relation to administration, training and assessment, social and emotional wellbeing, and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.
Kylie hopes to continue expanding her knowledge on both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and contribute to the healing of our people through delivering services and programs of a high quality.
Thursday Island Team
Mental Health Worker, Thursday Island/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. Currently, Darren has the privilege of being part of the Mental Health Stepped Care Services for Thursday Island and outer Islands of the Torres Strait.
Social and Emotional Wellbeing Counsellor, Thursday Island Office
Joseph is of Torres Strait Islander descent, his father is from Darnley Island, and his mother is from Moa Island, St Paul village. He has grown up on the Atherton/Tableland especially in the rainforest village called Kuranda.
Joseph has been working in remote areas in Far North Queensland specializing in relationship issues and problems and has been working with men perpetrators/offenders and victims/survivors of domestic and family violence for the last eleven years. He has been a Counsellor/Coordinator and Relationship Educator with the perpetrator program in Cairns whilst working for Relationships Australia for numerous years. He has also worked as a SEWB Counsellor, Addictions and Recovery Counsellor and Development Officer whilst working with Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) and Apunipima Cape York Health Council.
He has also developed various perpetrators program called the ‘No 2 Abuse’ program, ‘Which Way, Proper Way’ program and ‘One Way, Prapa Way’ program and whilst working with RFDS and has presented at many forum’s on Indigenous Spirituality As A Theoretical Approach: Building Capacity on Mental Health in Indigenous Community and Indigenous Spirituality As A Theoretical Approach: Working With Survivors and Offenders of DV in Indigenous Community.
Joseph has worked intensively with Indigenous men’s groups and the development of community initiatives in various Indigenous communities in Queensland.
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.
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.