Our staff are dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable children

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Both in Melbourne and Canberra, we have a friendly team of highly skilled specialist psychologists, allied health workers and operations staff.

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Meet our friendly staff members
Ethiopia Dershaye
Ethiopia DershayeJunior Admin Assistant
Ethiopia joins the Operations Team after recently completing her Bachelors degree in Psychology at RMIT. She is the welcoming, friendly face of ACT Group looking after our front desk and also helping with referrals. In her free time, she enjoys playing sports and spending time with friends and family.
Freddie Cooke
Freddie Cooke Senior Operations Coordinator
Freddie joined us straight from the UK, where she managed projects within a theatre context. Alongside her work with us at the ACT Group, Freddie is involved in community schemes with the Red Cross and the ASRC and loves hiking, biking and exploring this new hemisphere!
Gemma Saunders
Gemma SaundersOperations Support Officer
Gemma brings with her a wealth of project experience from a variety of industries, including government, travel and healthcare. Outside of work Gemma is an amateur film photographer and divides her time between good wine, travel, music festivals and Bertie, her beautiful whippet.
Gregory Nicolau
Gregory Nicolau Founder, Consultant Psychologist
Gregory is the Founder of ACT Group and former CEO. He’s a consultant psychologist, but before that he was an outreach youth worker after a stint in the army. He invented Ripple a technology that allows us to track the health and wellbeing of a person, team or organisation. He loves movies, martial arts and his therapy dog Matilda.
Hannah Verass
Hannah VerassSocial Worker
Hannah has a background in care and protection and community mental health. She works to empower children to reach their full potential through the use of strength-based approaches. Using a holistic perspective to better understand a child’s situation, she looks to work collaboratively with children and their family to support them in achieving their goals. Hannah also loves to camp, swim, and always ticks off a few music festivals and gigs every summer!
Liv Cuff
Liv CuffSocial Worker
Liv has a background working in schools & in family violence. She is passionate about social justice & social change, and believes in the transformative power of anti-oppressive practice. Liv’s work is guided by holistic, strengths-based principles, & works hard to ensure that children and young people’s voices are centred and elevated in her approach. In her spare time, she can be found oggling at dogs, marvelling at trees & swooning her nephew (her greatest love..)
Mary Utter
Mary UtterArts Therapist
Mary has over 20 years experience working in education, mental health and the non-profit sector, in Australia, the United States and Samoa. A qualified arts therapist, Mary brings with her a wealth of cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary experience. Mary is also a member of a number of community and environmentally focused organisations.
Meg Hanlon
Meg HanlonSocial Worker
Meg joins us from a background in foster care where she developed an interest in therapeutic parenting, and the impact of developmental trauma.
Meg strives to take a relational, person-centred and strengths-based approach while employing a systemic lens. Working collaboratively with clients, their families and wider networks to understand their unique experience.
Believing that all deserve to thrive Meg considers it a privilege to partner with others in this work.
When not working she can be found with friends at the theatre, the beach or cozy at home with a good book and yummy meal!
Monique Blom
Monique BlomCEO
Monique took the reins at the ACT Group in early 2020, using her years of experience in the non-profit and private sector to guide the organisation through the turbulence of this year! A social worker by trade, Monique can often be found rowing down the Yarra river with her daughters at the weekend.
Natalie Fraser
Natalie FraserClinical Lead - ACT, Psychologist
Natalie is a registered Psychologist with over 25 years in working with vulnerable children, young people and adults. She has a special interest in working with people who have experienced complex trauma and is passionate about supporting people to explore new possibilities. Natalie enjoys spending her down time with her family and dogs and exploring the bushland around Canberra.
Natalie Ryan
Natalie RyanSocial Worker
Natalie has a background in out of home care, working for 15 years with children and young people in kinship care across Victoria and NSW. She uses a strengths-based approach and enjoys working alongside families to affect positive change. A newcomer to the ACT, Natalie is enjoying discovering the parks & bushland around Canberra, exploring the art galleries and searching out delicious food.
Prishini Ratnayake
Prishini RatnayakeSenior Clinician, Psychologist
Prishini joins us from the Education & Training department, where she has numerous years of experience providing assessments and counsellin, as well as training to educators and parents. Prishini has her hands full as the proud owner of two gorgeous cats and seventy-two plants!
Richard Zhang
Richard ZhangSenior Clinician, Psychologist
Richard has many years of experience in providing multidisciplinary assessments, counselling and advocacy to children and young adults who are in extreme circumstances. He loves to work closely with allied health professionals, educators, and families and has experience in both clinical and forensic settings, providing group therapy as well as individual therapy. Richard is fluent in Mandarin and is capable of working with clients who speak in their mother tongue. Outside of work, Richard enjoys rock climbing.
Sophie Corbett
Sophie Corbett Operations Lead
Sophie runs the show at the ACT Group, with years of experience in youth work and alternative education, there’s nothing she doesn’t know. On Friday nights she can be found bow and arrow in hand, re-enacting alongside her Viking band, or dancing at a disco!