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Meet Our Professional Supervisors – NEEDS UPDATED CONTENT

Peter Rohr

I completed a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) at Newcastle University in 2001, with my research dissertation focusing on PTSD in disasters. I commenced my working life at Community Health in Forbes, working with people across the age range and across an array of different mental health and social concerns. During this time I completed my Provisional Registration to become a Registered Psychologist. The role at community health was a fantastic starting point as it provided such a broad opportunity.  After several years, I started working as a Cannabis Clinic Specialist with people who had cannabis use issues across the central west of NSW. I was one of only 3 Psychologists employed by D&A at the time in the local health district; we had the opportunity to provide both clinical and education services on cannabis and its effects and treatments to the public and to organisations. In 2007 I took up the role of Clinical Lead at headspace Bathurst. Over the next decade I worked in clinical and management roles there, helping grow headspace services, to eventually have a management role for services in Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Cowra, Queanbeyan, Canberra and Lithgow. During this time I completed my Masters in Clinical Psychology through Charles Sturt University, undertaking placements in Bloomfield Hospital as well as a neuropsychology placement with the Local Health District. I am a Board Approved Supervisor for Psychologists, and regard the importance of training and supervision incredibly highly. We never stop learning and should always be pursuing more understanding in those areas that are interesting and relevant to us – be it formally or informally. I am also a big supporter of viewing our health and well-being as essential to finding a balance in the work we do, and in the lives we lead.

At a personal level I love sport, hence my involvement in Veritas House being part of the Push-Up Challenge amongst other things! Watching sport or playing it – I enjoy both. It is the simple things in life that I get the most satisfaction from – family and friends are central to this.

Rachel Ridge

I have a Bachelor of Social Work and a Bachelor of Applied Leadership and Critical Thinking (BALCT), both from Western Sydney University. I have worked as a DCJ caseworker for several years supporting young people with challenging and complex behaviours. I have worked for NSW Health as a Child Protection Manager as well as a Sexual Assault Counsellor. I have also worked in different locations, including Dubbo, Cooma, Wollongong and Western Sydney.  My current role with Veritas House is focused on working with our SILARS programs; working directly with the young people themselves, and importantly also supporting our staff who work with some of our most complex young people. I have a passion for creative therapies and love to think outside the box when providing support to children, young people and workers.

Alice Kelly

I completed my Bachelor of Social Work in 2010 at the University of Sydney. After graduating, I worked at the Australian Red Cross in the Migration Support Programs, working with newly arrived Asylum Seeker individuals and families, assisting them to find housing, employment, education and everything in between! In 2013 I moved to Bristol, England where I took up agency work in various local authorities. During this time, I have worked in child protection and with children with disabilities, but primarily in permanency planning teams (Foster Care, Kinship Care and Adoption). I loved that this work was supporting children to be safe and settled, and I enjoyed supporting carers to understand trauma and how to support children through it. I returned to Australia in December 2019 whilst on maternity leave and started working part-time at Veritas House in June 2020.  In my spare time, I love exploring new places, eating delicious food and am currently trying to teach myself to sew!

Heather Johnston

first became involved with Veritas House in 1986 when I was employed as a Youth Worker in the refuge at 110 Keppel Street. Pre-award, seventy-two hour shifts and up to four young people in a bedroom. Fun times. I reconnected wholeheartedly with Veritas in 2014 when I came over from DCJ on a secondment to lead the newly created Out of Home Care team. Between 1986 and 2014 I spent time working for DCJ in a myriad of roles from Caseworker, Casework Specialist to Manager Client Services across the Central and Far West footprint. In the early 90’s I spent a couple of years working as a Child Sexual Assault Counsellor at the Woman’s Health Centre in Bathurst. A time when little was known about trauma and the impact on the developing brain. In the early 2000’s I spent five years working for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions supporting victims and witnesses of crime in navigating their paths through an often unsympathetic criminal justice system. Bridging the gap between the legal and human services landscape was an interesting challenge.

I am a strong advocate for lifelong learning and have been afforded the privilege of completing tertiary studies in the UK, USA and Australia. In the early 80’s I gained a BA (Hons) in Social Sciences and twelve months later a Post Graduate Certificate in Humanities (Secondary Teaching). In 2014 I qualified as a Family Group Conference convenor and in 2016 I completed a Vocational Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution. Between September 2016 and September 2017 I worked as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner for Interrelate in Dubbo. I most recently completed a Diploma in Therapeutic Lifestory Work through Berry Street.

I believe that by consolidating our learning into everyday practice we can as individuals continually improve our skillsets, add currency to our workplaces, manage our self-care and contribute to the changes of the children and young people we work with.

“Our behaviour, including what we say do and think, is caused by experiences, memories and needs many of which, we are not consciously aware.” Sigmund Freud.

Annarelle Channing

I commenced mature aged study as a young adult with a Bachelor of Social Science in Psychology at Charles Sturt University in 1999. At the time I was a sole parent with a toddler and worked my way through that degree juggling a number of part time jobs, including hospitality and beauty therapy. I worked at the Linden Withdrawal Unit (Alcohol and Other Drugs) in Orange as an Intake Officer and a Residential Care worker. I then spent many years working for a very small NGO in Bathurst doing child and family work and community work in the early intervention space as well as the higher end child protection space. During this time, I was able to compliment my education and knowledge with a variety of training opportunities centred around child development, parenting programs, group work and trauma informed practice. I delivered Women’s programs in the community in partnerships with other services and had a particular focus on Women in Domestic Violence relationships. I became the Chair of the local interagency Domestic Violence Action group and held this position for 5 years. I became a Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) practitioner in 2013 and since then I have enjoyed spending time with parents and carers using play to improve their relationships and manage tricky behaviour. After a long haul, I completed a Master of Social Work (CSU) in 2019. I believe the most important work I do is promoting and supporting child advocacy with a trauma informed focus. Professional development and supervision is key to longevity in a sector which is demanding and tough, and I have been engaged in my own professional supervision since 2011. I started at Veritas House in August 2019 as Practice Specialist before transitioning into Clinical Services in June 2020. My practice is strengths based and solutions focused and I use systems and critical social work approaches. I have a wonderful, busy, blended family and in my spare time I like to garden and draw.