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-behavioural and dialectical-behavioural 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 position as a Peer Support Worker and Youth Worker. She is a compassionate, supportive and thoughtful person who prioritizes the care of clients using her lived experience to empathise with their unique stories. She tries to incorporate a variety animals, music, Tai Chi, writing and arts in the work she does, understanding that it’s important for people to find what works for them as an individual.
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 with over 16 years’ experience working with individuals and families in the Ipswich community sector. Her skill set includes assessment and referral, counselling, case management, support, and advocacy.
She uses a biopsychosocial model of assessment and has a trauma informed, person-centred, strength-based approach to helping people. This means starting where you are at then gently moving towards your goals. She utilises both talk therapy and non-verbal methods of expression such as art therapy, body awareness and emotional freedom techniques
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.
Karin Oldham – Neurofeedback
Karin is a Registered Pharmacist, Master NLP and Neurofeedback Practitioner offering a multimodal approach for helping people to improve their lives and become happier and healthier for it. Karin has had 20 years experience in the health industry and is part of a network of leading practitioners practising Neurofeedback. She has studied with world pioneers in this field and offers drug free, natural solutions for learning, behavioural & mood disorders.
Winona Thyssen – Student Counsellor
Winona is a Residential Youth Worker and a registered student counsellor with the ACA. Currently working in a Diploma of Counselling, she has a background in Psychology, with a Bachelor of Psychological Science from Griffith University. She is relatively new to Our House Our Haven, but enjoys spending time helping those who choose to come visit. She has a diverse range of hobbies and always endeavours to make everyone feel welcome and assist them in finding the support they need.
Harli – Paw Support Worker
Harli is a new member of our team. As a Great Dane, her nature is gentle and she loves cuddles on the couch. She is young and still learning boundaries, especially when it comes to food! Harli likes to taste test our food when we’re not paying attention, so we’re learning to be vigilant. She also likes to explore and get up to mischief!
In loving memory of our 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.