Our Professional Learning Facilitators and Consultants

Rudy Gonzalez

General Manager Practice Development and Learning

Rudy is the General Manager Practice Development and Learning at Foundation House. Prior to arriving at Foundation House, he worked as a Psychologist and the Principal Consultant at Salus Psychology and Consulting, as Principal Practice Leader in the Department of Health and Human Services where he was responsible for developing a trauma informed model of practice for Secure Services (Youth Justice, Secure Welfare and Forensic Disability Assessment and Treatment Services).

He was the founding Executive Director of Lighthouse Institute, an attachment and trauma informed knowledge centre that provided clinical supervision, training and consultancy to practitioners and organisations working with survivors of trauma, as well as conducting research on trauma informed therapeutic systems. He is a Board approved supervisor and member of the APS.

Rudy has also previously worked as the Director of Care Services at Lighthouse Foundation, as well as roles in child youth and family services and therapeutic communities in forensic settings. Rudy was a lecturer with the School of Psychology and Social Sciences at Victoria University, and is an Honorary Fellow of University of Melbourne. Rudy co-authored the book Therapeutic Residential for Children and Young People: An Attachment and Trauma Informed Model for Practice. Rudy’s work as a leader was recognized in 2013 receiving the SACS and Leadership Victoria Award for Excellence for Executives working in Not for Profit organisations. Rudy was also on the Board for the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, the peak body for Child, Youth and Family Services in Victoria.

Rudy has extensive experience in work with refugees and migrant communities, as well as lived experience as member of a survivor community having migrated to Australia with family in the 1970’s due to political conflict in his country of birth Uruguay, which has contributed to his passion for the work with survivor communities.

Dr Ida Kaplan

Principal Consultant Practice and Research

Dr. Ida Kaplan is the Principal Consultant Practice and Research at Foundation House. Ida is a Research Fellow of the Department Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne and a clinical psychologist. At Foundation House she is responsible for research, evaluation and knowledge transfer. Ida is the author of Rebuilding Shattered Lives, which documents the Foundation House approach to working with refugee survivors of torture and other traumatic events, and guides the way programs and services are delivered by Foundation House. In her previous role at Foundation House, Ida led client services and the development of service provision models for refugees and asylum seekers.

Ida has had extensive experience, locally and internationally training professionals in the provision of interventions for survivors of torture and other traumatic events. She has conducted and published research into the effects of long term detention, cognitive assessment of refugee children, rights of refugee children, reviewed the effectiveness of interventions for torture survivors, and is currently investigating methods for assessing the well-being of refugee children and young people using innovative computer assisted interviews.

Ida has a longstanding policy, practice and research interest in the intersection of mental health, social justice and human rights issues in understanding recovery from torture and other traumatic events associated with the refugee experience. Ida is recognised internationally as a pioneer and leader in the field of refugee trauma recovery work, with her work and literature influencing the way practitioners and organisations respond to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers internationally.

Dr Guy Coffey

Practice Advisor (Legal, Forensic and Complex Needs Portfolio)

Guy is a Practice Advisor at Foundation House, and has worked as a clinical psychologist for 30 years, working in public mental health and specialist psychological trauma services, providing assessment and psychotherapeutic treatment for people with severe mental disorders in public inpatient and community settings. He has worked within 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 developing culturally informed approaches to psychological treatment. He has conducted research into mental health among asylum seekers and refugees and has published extensively in this area. He 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 Australian Human Rights Commission, 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 a lawyer in the migration and refugee law section of Victoria Legal Aid, involved in providing legal assistance with primary applications for refugee status, judicial review of protection visa decisions and visa cancellations, and litigation in the Australian Federal 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.

Krista Senden

Practice Leader (Mental Health Portfolio)

Krista Senden, Practice Leader at Foundation House holding the Mental Health portfolio, 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 traumatized 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.

Maria Tucci

Practice Leader (Asylum Seeker Portfolio)

Maria Tucci is a Practice Leader at Foundation House, and has been employed at Foundation House since 1996. She has tertiary qualifications in Arts, Social Work, Public Policy, International Development and Law. As a Practice Leader, she is responsible for providing practice leadership, supervision and training to Foundation House Counsellor/Advocates. She has particular responsibility for the supervision of practice within asylum the seeker program. Prior to this, she held a number of leadership roles at Foundation House including Regional Team Co-coordinator, Senior Practitioner, Psycho-education Project Leader and most recently, Asylum Seeker Program Leader.

Maria has a long history of therapeutic work asylum seekers and refugees experiencing mental illness and psychosocial effects of trauma, which has included work with adults, children, young people and families from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds.
Maria has contributed to a number of Foundation House publications, including, A Guide to Working with Young People who are Refugees and The Rainbow Program for Children in Refugee Families. She co-authored the research article, The Meaning and Mental Health Consequences of Long Term Immigration Detention for People Seeking Asylum in Australia and was part of the Foundation House research team that produced the Vulnerability Identification and Assessment Tool. She was a member of the joint United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Foundation House team that developed the Heightened Risk Identification Tool for identifying and responding to vulnerable refugee populations in refugee camps.

Prior to joining Foundation House, Maria worked as a researcher and lecturer at the University of Melbourne, as Senior Social Worker at AusAID, and as Coordinator, Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme, Australian Red Cross, Victoria.

Dr Renzo Vittorino (Child and Youth Portfolio)

Practice Leader

Dr Renzo Vittorino is the Practice Leader – Child Youth and Family at Foundation House. He is a Psychologist (endorsed Community Psychology), Principal Consultant at Psychology Services, a Board approved supervisor, Sessional Lecturer in the College of Health and Biomedicine, Psychology Discipline at Victoria University and Associate Editor of The Australian Community Psychologist. Renzo holds a PhD in Psychology, a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education and a Psychologist Degree (Uruguay).

He is an active member of the Australian Psychological Society’s College of Community Psychology currently serving as Treasurer of the National College. Renzo has also served as Chairperson in the Victorian Community Psychology Committee.
Renzo is interested in implementing individual and family focused therapeutic interventions and group-based programs that are evidence-based, trauma informed and considers the social determinants of health to improve the well-being of individuals, families and communities.

Renzo provides strong leadership in transferring knowledge into practice, program implementation, evaluation and research. He has worked in Family Services, Parenting Services and Alcohol & Other Drugs Counselling Services. As a Team Leader- Leader Clinical Support, he co-developed the United Connections Trauma-Informed Care Organisational Framework (TIC-OF) and provided clinical and reflective supervision, training and secondary consultation to workers at Uniting.

He has participated in several research projects and conference presentations, has co-authored book chapters and published in peer reviewed journals.

Amy Kludas

Professional Learning Program Coordinator

Amy is the Professional Learning Program Coordinator at Foundation House. She is a social worker with extensive experience working across a number of practice areas including counselling, community capacity building, group work, advocacy, case management, project management and workshop facilitation.

Prior to her current role, Amy has also worked at Foundation House as a Counsellor Advocate with children, young people and adult survivors of torture and other traumatic events; and as a School Support Officer in Melbourne’s northern suburbs to enhance the educational outcomes for students of refugee backgrounds. Amy has a particular interest in working with vulnerable young people on issues such as identity, family relationships, and recovery from trauma.

Jenny Addy

Professional Learning Facilitator

Jenny Addy is an experienced professional learning facilitator. She is a registered psychologist who has worked in the torture and trauma field for over 15 years. Jenny is a graduate of Harvard University’s Program in Global Mental Health and Social Change and she has worked in detention centres and in the community as a torture and trauma therapist, clinical supervisor and manager.

Jenny’s experience includes working with victims of human trafficking, asylum seekers, refugees, homeless youth and victims of domestic violence. Her main interests are in complex trauma, gender based violence and the neurophysiology of trauma. More recently she has worked as a consultant psychologist for international non-government organisations and as a professional learning specialist at Foundation House.

Michael Bromhead

Professional Learning Facilitator

Mike Bromhead is an experienced professional learning facilitator who draws from his 17 years of experience as 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.

Dr Susannah Tipping

Professional Learning Facilitator

Susannah Tipping is an experienced professional learning facilitator at Foundation House, and is registered clinical psychologist who has worked as a practitioner and researcher in a diverse range of mental health settings since 1998, in Australia and in the USA. She has worked therapeutically with traumatic injury survivors, young people with psychosis in justice settings, and in an inpatient psychiatric unit. At Foundation House, Susannah has worked as a Counsellor Advocate, Research Fellow, sessional psychologist, and facilitator.

Susannah has completed a Doctor of Philosophy in the area of refugee mental health, focusing on the resettlement experiences of Sudanese-Australians. Other interests include the psychosocial support of staff, in particular those working in humanitarian and development roles.

Dr Esme Dark

Community of Practice Facilitator (Child and Youth Refugee Mental Health)

Dr Esme Dark works as Community of Practice Facilitator in the Professional and Organisation Development Team at the Foundation House. Prior to her current role at Foundation House she worked as a senior practitioner and coordinator in the child, adolescent and family team. She is a Clinical Psychologist who specialises in supporting refugee children and families who have experienced trauma. Her doctorate in Clinical Psychology had a systemic and community psychology focus and her doctoral research was carried out in the area of cross cultural mental health.

She has extensive experience working in a diverse range of mental health settings in the UK, Thailand and Australia, specialising in child and adolescent mental health and complex trauma. Prior to her move to Australia she worked as a consultant psychologist on the Thai/Myanmar border with Karen refugee children and families. She has a wealth of experience facilitating professional development in health and education sectors, as well as providing clinical supervision and consultation to individuals and organisations. The human rights lens underpins her work in all areas of her practice.

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