Our Professional Learning Facilitators and Consultants

Leadership team

Shaymaa Elkadi

Acting General Manager, Practice and Sector Development

Shaymaa Elkadi has over 15 years of executive level experience within government, private and non-government agencies across the health, mental health and justice systems within Victoria. She is experienced in strategic and operational leadership across complex sectors, and has a deep commitment to issues of human rights, diversity, social justice and the importance of client and community participation in the life of organisations. Shaymaa is also the co-founder of The Humble Mission, a charitable organisation that provides support to some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people, including people from refugee backgrounds.

Cecilia Lopez

Acting Manager, Practice and Professional Learning

Most of Cecilia’s working history has been assisting people from migrant, refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds to recover from trauma. She is an experienced counsellor and tertiary education trainer. Cecilia has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a Postgraduate in Family Mediation and Dispute Resolution. She has completed further studies in training and assessment, as well other evidence-based psychotherapies. Cecilia utilises a diverse range of therapeutic modalities in her clinical practice and takes a holistic mind-body approach to treatment.

Cecilia has worked with survivors of torture and trauma in several roles since 1993. In 2006 Cecilia joined Foundation House as a Counsellor Advocate, Regional Co-ordinator, Senior Practitioner. At the end of 2020 Cecilia joined the Practice and Development Team as a Practice Leader.

Cecilia has worked with organisations such as the Australian Red Cross in both National and International Programs, the SMRC (previously known as MRC Dandenong), the Department of Health and Human Services, Dandenong Hospital Mental Health and in tertiary teaching roles at TAFE and University.

Cecilia’s passion is to assist individuals and the community to make informed choices about their mental health and improve their lives through a focus on psychoeducation.

Practice Leaders and Professional Learning Facilitators

Graciela Lopez

Practice Leader – People Seeking Asylum

Graciela Lopez is a registered psychologist and member of the APS with over 26 years’ experience working in clinical settings. She has been employed at Foundation House since 1999. Graciela has extensive experience in providing specialised counselling to asylum seekers in community and detention settings, as well as other refugees and humanitarian entrants who have survived torture and trauma. In the role of Practice Leader she provides individual and group supervision to Counsellor Advocates as well as facilitating internal and external professional learning. In previous roles at Foundation House she has worked as a Counsellor Advocate, Coordinator and Team Leader.

Graciela has also worked in private practice where she specialised in mood, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders, including with victims of crime and family violence, and in community mental health where she provided assessment and counselling support to people with severe and chronic mental illness.

Krista Senden

Practice Leader – Mental Health

Krista Senden is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Master of Clinical Social Work degree from Boston College, USA with further studies in Global Practice and International Human Rights.

Krista Senden is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Master of Clinical Social Work degree from Boston College, USA with further studies in Global Practice and International Human Rights.

Krista has previously managed mental health programs with highly traumatised refugee populations in low resource and crisis settings in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya and Bangkok, Thailand. During these roles she provided clinical and psychosocial interventions, facilitated group and individual clinical supervision, and developed and facilitated mental health capacity building programs for staff. Within Australia, Krista worked as a clinician at STARTTS in NSW and at Refugee Health & Wellbeing at Monash Health.

Shubha Gokhale

Practice Leader – Children, Youth and Families

Shubha Gokhale is an experienced psychotherapist who has worked with children, young people, adults and families in India and Australia. Shubha has postgraduate qualifications in the Arts and in Psychotherapy and Counselling and a Diploma in Community Welfare Work. Shubha is a member of the Freudian School of Melbourne.

As Practice Leader, Shubha provides reflective practice supervision to Counsellor Advocates working with children and young people, individually and in groups and provides case consultation as required. Shubha also contributes to developing and delivering training, internally and externally.

Shubha has held several roles at Foundation House including Practice Leader (Mental Health) providing reflective supervision to Counsellor Advocates working with adults and families and to Complementary Therapists and Cultural Liaison Workers; Team Leader (Child, Youth and Families) in the North; and Counsellor Advocate, providing assessment and trauma focussed counselling to refugees and asylum seekers, of all ages, in community and detention settings.

Shubha has previously worked in educational, justice and community settings: as a counsellor in primary and secondary schools, in community health in Ballarat counselling individuals with complex and chronic mental illness, families and couples, providing supervision to counsellors, and delivering training and secondary consultations to community services. She has case management experience from working at the Children’s Court Clinic in Melbourne.

Shubha has a keen interest in the creative and generative function of therapy and supervision, especially in the context of working with trauma.

Olivia Dwyer

Practice Leader – Children, Youth and Families

Olivia Dwyer has extensive experience working with complex trauma as a clinician, team leader and consultant. She has developed a keen interest in creativity, psychoanalysis, risk assessment, and vicarious trauma.

Olivia is a Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Art Therapist with extensive experience working with people impacted by sexual abuse, young people with sexually harmful behaviours, and mothers and infants impacted by family violence.

Recently Olivia has worked with Berry Street in the Risk and Review team as an internal consultant undertaking case reviews of critical incidents involving young people in out-of-home care, such as sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.

Lucy Meldrum

Practice Leader

Lucy is a social work clinician and child psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She has extensive experience working with infants, children, adolescents and parents across a range of clinical settings and in private practice. Lucy is a member of the Child Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists Association of Australia. She has a particular interest in child-parent psychotherapy and child-focused parent therapy. Lucy is dedicated to working with vulnerable and marginalised infants, children and parents, as a psychotherapist and in supporting the therapeutic work of others as a clinical supervisor.

Guy Coffey

Practice Advisor

Guy Coffey has worked as a clinical psychologist for 30 years in public mental health and specialist psychological trauma services, providing assessment and psychotherapeutic treatment for people with mental disorders in inpatient and community settings. For many years he worked at the Veterans’ Psychiatry and the Psychological Trauma Recovery Service at the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre, the state-wide specialist posttraumatic mental health service.

At Foundation House, he has provided psychological treatment and support services for refugees. In the area of cross-cultural mental health he has had an interest in the psychological well-being of refugee and migrant communities and in developing culturally informed approaches to psychological treatment. He has conducted research into mental health among asylum seekers and refugees and has published broadly in this area. Guy has contributed to numerous Australian government inquiries into asylum seeker mental health and policy including parliamentary and Australian Human Rights Commission investigations. He has delivered programs of training, written guidelines and provided consultancy to the UNHCR, the Department of Home Affairs, and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. A further area of focus has been the provision of expert psychological evidence, providing forensic psychological reports for the criminal courts in Victoria, and psychological assessments of applicants for refugee status.

Guy is also a lawyer who has worked in migration and refugee law. He has provided legal assistance with primary applications for refugee status, judicial review of protection visa decisions and visa cancellations, and litigation in the Australian Federal Court and High Court in relation to the law governing refugee status and immigration detention. The intersection of asylum seeker and refugee mental health and the operation of migration law and policy is a keen area of interest.

Michael Bromhead

Professional Learning Facilitator

Mike Bromhead is an experienced professional learning facilitator who draws from his 17 years of experience as a Counsellor Advocate at Foundation House providing assessment, therapeutic interventions and advocacy for children, adolescent and adult survivors of torture, war-related trauma, and persecution. He has also worked as a Coordinator at Foundation House in Direct Services in the northern metropolitan region of Melbourne managing a team of Counsellor Advocates.

Mike has a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in psychology and politics, and has completed further studies in trauma psychotherapy. For the past 10 years, Mike has specialised in working with people seeking asylum. He has developed a sound understanding of the socio-political and/or persecutory context of clients from Sri Lanka, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and Turkey. Mike also has experience in working with abused and at-risk adolescents, psycho-geriatric patients, and children and adults with severe intellectual disabilities, the latter both in Australia and Canada.

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