Meet our friendly staff members
Alex Nicol Psychologist - Consultant
With over 10 years’ experience working with children and young people across Australia, Alex’s approach is individualised and evidence driven, with a focus on forming a genuine connection. Throughout his career he has developed excellent skills at supporting people with complex needs to engage in therapy and improve their wellbeing.
Amber Mcmillan Provisional Psychologist
Amber strives in her work to help people build healthy relationships and live a meaningful life. Outside of work she is an extremely accomplished baker (trust us) and loves hiking and horse riding.
Brenda Aguilar Psychologist
Brenda loves to work with clients to overcome challenges. She enjoys working with children and adolescents and has lots of experience in assessments, counselling, providing family support and upskilling teachers. In her free time, Brenda enjoys hiking and going on road trips with her beautiful dog, Cosa!
Carol Chou Bookkeeper
Carol is our part-time financial guru and payroll queen. Outside of work she looks after her beautiful, well-behaved grandson and her beautiful, not so well-behaved malamute doggy.
Elfin Berwick Provisional Psychologist
Elfin has a number of years experience at the ACT Group, working extensively with parents, schools and agencies to support children and adolescents who have experienced disrupted attachment and complex trauma. She works individually with people as well as systematically through supporting parents and schools to work together.
Emilie Traeger Social Worker
Emilie comes from a background in Care and Protection, working in in South Australia and New Zealand. She has a passion for understanding how the systems around a child and their family can help them be the best they can be. Emilie loves gardening and going bushwalking.
Freddie Cooke Operations Support
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!
Freya Hanly Psychologist
Freya has a strong interest in supporting children and their families through life difficulties, and in so doing help facilitate growth through adversity. She draws on creative, compassionate therapy approaches informed by neurobiology and best practices in trauma. In her spare time, she loves to strum a guitar and tell stories through song.
Gregory Nicolau Founder CEO, Consultant Psychologist
Gregory is the Founder and our current 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 VerassSocial Worker- Student
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!
Heather ManderPsychologist - Consultant
Heather has many years of experience as a psychologist in both hospital and support service environments, across Queensland and the ACT. In her work she strives to provide effective, evidence based assessment and treatment to her clients.
Jenna Spink Clinical Psychologist
Jenna comes from a clinical background in the UK, where she has experience working with a variety of clients, especially those who have experienced complex trauma and those diagnosed with psychosis.
Jenny Jensen Provisional Psychologist
Jenny has worked with children and young people in both New South Wales and Victoria. She strives to help those in out-of-home care systems develop their identity and individuality from a strengths-based perspective. When not in the office, she is often found out in nature on bush walks or in the ocean, accompanied by her dog Mischa.
Katrina Michalanney Social Worker
Katrina’s work focuses on building positive outcomes for children who experience trauma and understands that healing can only occur through responsive and reciprocal relationships. Outside of work she enjoys travel and continuing with her passion for learning.
Kathryn Mellody Provisional Psychologist
Kathryn previously worked in Primary Education throughout regional Victoria, so it is no surprise that connecting with children through early intervention drives her work. She likes to work collaboratively with schools to provide clear and consistent behaviour management and support. At the weekends, you’ll find her nose buried in a book or at the beach.
Kenneth Spedding Provisional Psychologist
Ken uses a person-centred approach, creating an explorative and self-reflective working relationship based in authenticity, acceptance and openness. He believes that everyone has the capacity to reach their full potential with the right support. Fun fact about Ken is that he is a martial arts advocate, with experience in Shotokan Karate, foot-and-fist boxing, kendo and, most recently, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!
Kristal LauNeuropsychology Registrar – Consultant
A desire to understand the relationship between neurobiology and behaviour drives Kristal’s work. She likes to take a holistic, client-centred approach and to work collaboratively with teams and families. Outside of work Kristal is loves going to the theatre, eating great food and absolutely everything about Autumn!
Liz BrnjakMental Health Social Worker– Consultant
Liz has 20 years of experience in the field of trauma and mental health within the public health system. With a background in social work, psychology and management, she has worked as a clinician, manager and leader. She is always aiming to support best practice and enhance outcomes for children, young people and their families. When not working, she is raising her toddler, keeping fit through yoga and gym and enjoying the outdoors.
Matt Kelly Clinical Lead Canberra, Mental Health Social Worker
Matt has many years’ experience as a social work clinician working in the field of child trauma. He is constantly amazed at children, families and the community’s capacity to cope with, heal from and grow out of trauma. He has an interest in the environment and community development and is also a passionate home veggie grower!
Rebecca Karantgis Psychologist
Rebecca has been with the ACT Group since she was a student and has lots of experience in assessments, counselling and family support. Outside of work she loves to make heaps of passata with her family.
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!
Tessa Andrews Provisional Psychologist
Tessa comes from a background in disability support and ABA therapy. She is particularly interested in working with children with complex needs in an education setting, working collaboratively with teachers and parents. Out of work she can most likely be found at the gym and eating brunch in any one of Melbourne’s incredible cafes!
Wahaj Badri Operations Support
Wahaj comes with a background in mental health and bio-medicine. He is passionate about advocating for the LGBTQI+ community, languages, history, and adapting access mental health services to a wider audience via multimedia such as music and video games. In his spare time, he seeks out dogs for his Instagram story, hikes, and volunteers with various crisis housing providors.
Yasodha Samaranayake Acting Clinical Lead Melbourne, Mental Health Social Worker
Yaso is our inhouse expert in Play Therapy – within minutes of arriving at the ACT Group we had a full playroom refurb! She is interested in working with parents and carers in child focused parenting support and is also experienced in therapies for eating disorders. Her out of work passions are travel and baking.