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Meet the Team

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Richard O'Connor

Founder / Counsellor

A desire to make a difference and a love of people and exercise, inspired my entry into the wellness industry in 1991. In that time I have worked in many capacities within Fitness specifically, including creating two businesses, one educational (est 2007), focussing on professional development, and a Personal training gym which was established in 2002 that I still operate today in Robina.
 

During this time I have had the opportunity to care for many people from diverse backgrounds with varying health and wellness challenges and help them achieve their individual goals. Many of these people for almost 20 years.

Along the way my interest in mental health has deepened, leading me to undertake my Bachelor of Counselling degree at Griffith University Gold Coast. Walk and Talk for Wellness is another small way I hope to make a difference in the lives of the people in my community.
 

I look forward to walking and talking
with you soon!

Richard is available at our Benowa Botanic Gardens location on the Gold Coast

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Lewis Yarrow

Counsellor

Greetings, my name is Lewis and I am graduate Counsellor.  

I have always been curious about other people’s stories, who they are, where they come from, and what their hopes and dreams may be. This curiousness has been the driving force for my university studies and my desire to volunteer for those who need it the most.

 

My desire to be a counsellor, was reinforced by my previous volunteering position at DrugARM central intake. Where I had the tremendous privilege of not only listen to a client’s deep-felt concerns with empathy and kind regard, but also providing them with face-to-face counsellors across Australia. I endeavour to apply this same mentality to the walk and talk for wellness program which I feel very fortunate to be a part of. 

I hope that when we meet face to face, that I can facilitate an enjoyable, warm, and open session, where you feel truly heard and appreciated.   

Lewis is available at our Benowa Botanic Gardens location on the Gold Coast

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Jo Mitchell

Counsellor

I love people, listening to them and hearing their stories. 

Hi, my name is Jo and I am a Counsellor, and for most of my professional life, I have coached and guided people to realise their true potential and their place in this life.

Working in senior management for over 20 years, I had the rewarding experience of meeting, inspiring and coaching people from all different walks of life. I’ve always been that person people were drawn to and felt comfortable telling their life story to and show their vulnerabilities.  My interest in people, lead me to a profession in mental health

My passion is giving people the acknowledgement, care, and voice that they may not feel they are able to have in other areas of their life. I believe in the importance of trust, and empowering people to give them these opportunities.

I’m excited to be part of the Walk and Talk for Wellness program and really look forward to meeting and chatting with you.

Jo is a Site Supervisor, and available at our Benowa Botanic Gardens location on the Gold Coast

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Josanne Camilleri
Counsellor trainee

Hello, my name is Josanne,
and I'm a final-year Bachelor of Counseling student. I relocated to Australia ten years ago, but I'm originally from Malta.

Since I was a child  I've always wanted to support others, especially those affected by inequity and injustice. I am also the type of person who steps up and help out when someone needs it. Following my passion, I  trained as a social worker, and worked with individuals, couples, and families in the areas of substance misuse and disability for over 11 years.

My areas of interest are mental health, trauma, self-harm and suicide prevention, and working with people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds like myself. My approach to life are underpinned by the values of care, compassion, equity, fairness, respect, non-judgmental attitude and responsibility.

When I am not studying or volunteering, I like to spend time with my family, looking after my pets, gardening and being in nature, listening to music, browsing social media, going to coffee shops and travelling.

 If you think that in some way I may support you, I look forward to hear from you.

Josanne is available at our Gold Coast locations

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Joley Moore
Counsellor trainee

Hi, I’m Joley.

From a young age I have been intrigued by life’s biggest questions. Where did we come from? What happens when we die? And what is our purpose on this giant ball floating around in space we call Earth? I have a thirst for knowledge, I’m curious and open minded, and somewhat alternative in my beliefs and practices, which is what drew me to Walk and Talk for Wellness.

 

I have always been interested in, and motivated by self-development/self-improvement, and in sharing what I have learnt over the years, I somehow became the unofficial counsellor that my friends and family looked to for support and guidance. I have worked in mental health for many years, and I am particularly interested in alternative therapies, attachment styles, family systems and relationships.

 

What I really enjoy about this work is that each person, and each day is different. I enjoy getting to know people, listening to their stories, understanding who they are, and how I can best help them to achieve their goals. I look forward to meeting you!  

Joley is available at our Underwood Park location in the Logan region

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Joy (Weijue) Yao
Counsellor trainee

Hello, my name is Joy

and I am the proud mum of a 6 yr old daughter, part time counsellor and final year Bachelor of Counselling student.

I have lived a full life, and lots of wonderful experiences, through career, relationships and parenting. These experiences I bring to walk and talk and the clients I hope to support.

Before working as  a counsellor, I was a Certified Practicing Accountant for over a decade. Gradually I came to realise my true passion was supporting people through emotional challenges. Accounting taught me detail and gave me the confidence to problem solve. I am interested in the application of client centred and cognitive based approaches to counselling, and working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

I enjoy being a mum and all of the fun this brings. I also enjoy exercise, and have done for most of my life. Close contact with nature, movement, and connecting with another person is why I am here for you at walk and talk for wellness. These are all things I value in my own life and I look forward to sharing them with you.

Joy is available at our Underwood Park location in the Logan region

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Aimee Keith
Counsellor trainee

Hi, I'm Aimee.

I've always wanted to be an advocate for those who have had difficulty speaking out for themselves since I was a child. My desire to serve others got stronger as I grew older. I used to work as a nurse at the GUCH mental health ward, where I learned more about mental health and psychology. After that, I realised I wanted to pursue it further, so I began studying psychology and counselling.

 

What inspires me about the walk and talk programme is walking alongside others, being involved, and listening to their experiences. Hearing peoples stories and knowing I can be there to listen and allow others to feel heard is what motivates me to be a counsellor. I've worked on active listening and communication skills in the classroom and in the community throughout the years. Creating trust with clients is also very important to me. I'm also gaining a better understanding of myself, my self-awareness, and my readiness to change. 

 

At the walk and talk programme, I'm looking forward to joining new people. 

Amy is available at our Benowa Botanic Gardens location on the Gold Coast

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Cheyana Copping
Counsellor trainee

Hello, my name is Cheyana
and I am in my final year of a Bachelor of Counselling degree.

 

Through dipping my toes and working in several different industries, at my core it is the connections I have made that I am most grateful for . Ultimately this has led me to find great passion in the mental health sector.

 

Studying my degree in counselling is providing the opportunity for me to connect with both strangers and loved ones at a much deeper level.  These new skills are facilitating stronger relationships and continued personal growth.

Two of my favourite things are movement and nature, and there are so many therapeutic benefits to both. 

 

I am excited to be a part of the Walk and Talk for Wellness program and getting to meet with you.

Cheyana is available at our Benowa Botanic Gardens location on the Gold Coast

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Danielle Williams
Counsellor trainee

Hi, I’m Danielle.

My motivation to start university study in mental health began after working in the finance industry for 25 years. Trying to help people reach their full potential via their finances, I saw many face the greatest challenges that no amount of money could assist with. I chose to change my focus to understand each aspect of people’s individual and unique lives and join them on their journey of mental well-being. I am now a final year Bachelor of Counselling Student at Griffith University.

During my studies, I have been inspired by how listening and really hearing a person’s story with empathy can have such a profound impact. This was reinforced through my volunteer work with the Raise Organisation where I mentored high school students. This program is built on the foundation of ‘the power of showing up’ for young people and provides a trusted adult as they face challenges that impact their well-being. An area I would like to focus on in the future.

Combining my passion for nature, movement and getting to know people is what drew me to the Walk and Talk for Wellness program where I am excited to meet you and listen to your story.

Danielle is available at our Benowa Botanic Gardens location on the Gold Coast

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Lauren Lacey
Psychotherapist trainee

Having worked as a Sports Nutritionist and Naturopath for 20+ years as well as having set up public health and humanitarian projects overseas, I always felt strongly I was following my purpose, yet there was still a missing piece. As a competitive marathon runner, I experienced a huge identity crisis in my 30’s when an injury forced me out of competition, which was when the true journey of self-discovery began. Through my own healing and call to assist on a deeper level, I was led back to study to complete a graduate diploma in Psychology and am currently in my final year of a Master’s in counselling and Psychotherapy. I am also an animal lover sharing a home with two amazingly vocal Caique parrots and a New Zealand Huntaway dog. We have quite the jam as the sun is setting.

 

Being a mover and a shaker who has trouble sitting still, I was thrilled to discover walk and talk therapy that weaves together a shared space of movement, fresh air, nature, connection and sunshine, all important facets of wellbeing. I invite you to join me in this space, where I would love to get to know you and be an ally in your journey

Lauren is available at our Tallowood Park, Upper Coomera location on the Gold Coast

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