At the heart of Our House Our Haven is a wonderful team of like-minded professionals who strive to provide the best possible care to all who walk through our doors. Our front-of-house staff include:
Carey Blaik – Mental Health Nurse
Carey is a credentialed mental health nurse with over 30 years of experience in the health care system, including in emergency departments and community health care centres. Her sessions are problem-focused and aim to empower clients using cognitive-behavioral and dialectical-behavioral therapies. She has a particular interest and expertise in trauma and adolescent mental health.
Bethany Porter – Peer Support Worker
Bethany has been a member of the Our House Our Haven family since its inception in 2016 and continues to be a role model for clients in her new position as a peer support worker. She is a compassionate, supportive and thoughtful person who prioritizes the care of clients using lived experience to empathise with their unique stories.
Rod Nicholls – Peer Support Worker
Rod has been a peer support worker at Our House Our Haven since November 2019. He was raised in rural Victoria and has experience in defence (RAAF), corporate and government IT, business and non-profit work. His interests include reading, photography, drumming, bushwalking and a good dad joke (or ten). He is passionate about connecting people with nature to improve their mental health.
Donella Beilby – Social Worker
Donella is a registered Social Worker and certified Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner who began work with Our House Our Haven in February 2019. With over 20 years’ experience working with individuals and families in the Ipswich community sector, her skill set includes assessment and referral, case management, support, counselling and advocacy. Donella’s strength is her ability to connect with people in a meaningful way, building safe relationships so you can freely express and be yourself. Her practice is through a person-centred approach as Donella believes you are the expert of your life. Areas of interest are counselling with highly sensitive people (HSPs), identity and self-esteem issues and particularly people experiencing grief and loss. Donella uses focussed psychological strategies including evidence based psycho-education, CBT, EFT, skills training, relaxation strategies including Reiki, mindfulness and creative expression through art. Donella loves quiet time, the peace in nature and enjoys conversations as all people are fascinating. She says her superpower is kindness and she has plenty. When she’s not at work, you will find her getting messy creating art works and pottering in the garden. Exploring your thoughts, feelings and goals in a safe space means you are taking care of your mental health and overall well-being, Donella welcomes you to connect with her in the beautiful surrounds of Our House Our Haven.
Frankie – Paw Support Worker
Frankie is one of our keenest staff members! As our resident therapy dog, she is trained in licks, cuddles and begging for belly rubs, and has a certificate in Tail Wagging. She is available to sit in on counselling sessions, frequently participates in yoga class, and will accept any and all reasons to soak up attention.
Bryant Strong – Registered Nurse
Bryant is a Registered Nurse who has been with Our House Our Haven since 2020. Currently undertaking a master’s degree specialising in mental health, he is certified in several kinds of recognised therapies, including Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). He has a particular interest in LGBTQI+ care including youth and works in this field both as a teacher at the University of Southern Queensland and with the Medical Coordinating committee of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. He has additional interest and experience with ASD in youth and adolescents.