Meet The Team

Richard O'Connor

Co-Founder

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!

Debra Bath

Co-Founder

One of the things that really motivates me is meeting people from all walk of life. Everyone has a unique story to tell! 

I’ve worked as a lecturer for the past 20 years, and I love being part of the learning process, inspiring others and being inspired by the people around me. This flows into my work as a counsellor and psychologist, where I have the privilege of being with young people and adults, supporting them in their journey through difficult life transitions, learning about themselves and the world around them.


A big part of what I enjoy about teaching and counselling is the creativity that comes with developing new ideas, and in my role as the Program Director for the Bachelor of Counselling at Griffith University, I have the privilege of working with a great team to develop Walk and Talk for Wellness from just an idea into a reality. People are what make life worthwhile, and this program is all about making connections with others, nature and the world around us, and steering a path towards better well-being. 

 

I look forward to hearing many stories as we walk and talk!

Shae Tretheway

Counsellor trainee

Hello there! My name is Shae and I am in the final year of the Bachelor of Counselling at Griffith University on the Gold Coast.


For as long as I can remember, I have always been lucky enough to be someone that others come to and trust as a listening ear. I say 'lucky' because I believe that sharing your inner-most thoughts, worries and feelings with someone can cause uncertainty and put you in a vulnerable position. I admire and respect the determination it can take to be vulnerable, and I am humbled by my experiences with people who do this. The Bachelor of Counselling has given me insight to the psychological underpinnings of how our minds work and exposure to evidence-based counselling strategies that will help me work with people as we navigate the challenges that come with being human. It has also sparked my interest in working with younger people and families using expressive therapies to facilitate sharing and therapeutic connection.

I'm so grateful to be a part of this excellent Walk and Talk program with Griffith University and I sincerely look forward to enjoying the gardens with you !

Reen Karsten


Counsellor trainee

Hi ! My name is Maureen or Reen for short. I am a Bachelor of Counselling student with Griffith University, Gold Coast campus. 

 

Over the past 20 years I have raised a beautiful teenage daughter, been running my own photography business, supporting my family business and I also completed a Diploma of Counselling. 

 

Things I love to do for myself include gardening, photography, interior design and hiking with friends. I also recently went surfing for the first time, which was the best feeling, particularly because I had a fear of ocean swimming.

I want to help people find their inner strength through whatever adversity they may be experiencing. Being a counsellor to me means professionally supporting people on their walk through life. I believe we all have strengths and gifts, sometimes we just need someone to shine a light on them to help us see them. I am very grateful to be a part of the Walk and Talk program and team and look forward to walking and talking with you

Bikramjit Singh


Counsellor trainee

Hi my name is Bikramjit Singh. You can call me Bikram or Bikky. I am final year Bachelor of Counselling student.

 

I have always wanted to help people and do something to make a positive change in the world. This passion made me study Counselling. While studying I have developed many skills and enhanced my knowledge about human nature and behaviour.

Training to be a cousellor has given me the opportunity to be self-aware. I have become more resilient and confident in my daily life. I want to use the skills developed over past three years to facilitate people to find the answers to their problems. It is not just a part of my professional development but also part of my core values and beliefs.

 

I have been very lucky to be part of Walk and Talk for Wellness program. It is a great initiative of the Gold Coast City Council, Griffith University, and a great team.

I am really looking forward to Walk and Talk to you in the nature for our physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.

Gillian Farrington


Counsellor trainee

Hello, my name is Gillian and I am inspired by meeting people from all walks of life and hearing their stories. I grew up in Western Queensland in tough conditions where it was hot and dry and mostly drought. My parents were always helping other families through tough times, so I grew up with the philosophy of helping.

Over the last 30 years I have worked in roles where I have been assisting people navigate situations for a positive outcome. My desire to do more for the community has come from my experiences in working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and marginalised people assisting them in creating opportunities for better life chances, as well as my recent study internship in Peru as part of my Bachelor of Counselling degree. This humbling experience of working in a village with economically disadvantaged people who showed so much gratitude and reciprocity left a lasting impression on me. This experience made me more determined to give back to my community in a meaningful way to make a difference to people’s lives.

My counselling studies have provided me with the theoretical underpinnings of psychology to understand how important it is to look after our mental health and well-being and ever so critical now in these strange times we are currently experiencing. The WTW program offers such a wonderful opportunity for me to continue my counselling training to support you in your journey should you be facing challenging times, or wanting to seek clarity or work through complex emotions.

I am looking forward to walking and talking with you in 2021.

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