Members of the Board

Kylie Ellison ~ President

Kylie Ellison- BA (Psyc), PostGradDip Psyc, MCoun&Psychotherapy, Advanced Clinical Training (Play Therapy)

Kylie is a registered counsellor and play therapist who has been working with children, young people and families in the human services field for the past 17 years. Kylie commenced her career working alongside mental health practitioners in adult mental health, before moving into the area of child protection.

More recently Kylie has discovered a passion for child centered play therapy as a way of working alongside children and their parents/ carers. In 2016 Kylie established Centre for Play Therapy, an organisation committed to supporting children to work through difficult feelings and experiences through the provision of child centred play therapy services. Today the organisation operates across Queensland and Victoria.

Along with being a registered counsellor with the Australian Counselling Association, Kylie is the founder and President of the Play Therapy Practitioners Association, a professional association established for those interested in or trained as play therapists in Australia. Kylie is passionate about creating a community of play therapy practitioners that fosters access to training and therapy services along with advocacy for play therapy in both the community and professional arenas.

Courtney Rohan

Courtney has been working with children, young people and families in the human services field for almost a decade including Therapeutic Youth Work, Residential Care, Case Management, Family Intervention and Community Youth Programs. Courtney has predominantly worked with children and young people with complex trauma and became interested in Child-Centred Play Therapy after seeing how non-talk based and non-directive therapies can give children a voice and a safe space to explore, understand and feel control over their emotions.

Courtney is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Centre for Play Therapy. Courtney completed post-graduate studies in Play Therapy with Centre for Play Therapy in 2018.

Courtney is passionate about working with children and young people and utilises a client-centred, trauma-informed, strengths-based therapeutic framework. When offered the opportunity to join the Play Therapy Practitioners Association Board, she felt both honoured and excited to be a part of helping to shape and influence the future of Child Centred Play Therapy in Australia.

Silvia Jones-Terare

Silvia Jones-Terare is a Gooreng Gooreng, South Sea Islander and Welsh woman. Silvia has been working in the community services sector for eight years in many different areas such as engagement in schools, family support, youth work and am for the past six years have been the Cultural Support Planner for Life Without Barriers in the Brisbane region. In the role as Cultural Support Planner, Silvia facilitates connecting or returning young people back to country, relationships with families and community. Silvia undertakes this through gathering information on family and community connections as well as delivering and supporting cultural camps.

Through these roles, Silvia has been able to connect and reconnect young people to culture, community, and family. Silvia has been able to support the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community through programs, events and linking individual, families and groups to community; guided by the local Elders and community.

Silvia is a member of Life Without Barrier’s South East Queensland Reconciliation Action Plan and the Queensland Reconciliation Action Plan committee. These groups discuss the supports for our clients, communities, discuss partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island community organisations and how communities can support each other. The group also focusses on educating and supporting our colleagues, stakeholders in understanding Cultural Protocol and embedding Cultural Practise’s as a core part of their practice framework.

Cultural support and wellness has always been a passion of Silvia’s as she believes this is a crucial piece of Australia’s young people’s identity as well as a big part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and who we are. Silvia has been privileged to work alongside some amazing mentors supporting her through this journey in her career.

Lauren Pollock ~ Treasurer

Lauren currently works for the Y Brisbane in the marketing and communications arena! After stumbling through a business degree and reluctantly starting a law degree, she finally found her feet in the world of creatives, enthusiastically finishing a degree in Entertainment. Starting out in children’s television and then working alongside the amazing TEDx Brisbane team, Lauren discovered an appetite for sharing interesting stories and innovative ideas that excite and inspire.

Currently she spends her days doing anything and everything from analysing google analytics to creating and implementing digital campaigns. She also spends much of her week working with the WhyNot? Editorial Committee to deliver content for young people across Australia that is both relevant and thought provoking; building an online community of like-minded, inspired and passionate individuals.

Lisa Cheal

Lisa Cheal is an Early childhood specialist, counsellor and play therapist. With over 20 years’ experience working with children in their early years within early education centres, community preschools, specialised services, Out of Home Care service and her own private practice.

Lisa works from both an attachment focused and child centred approach with a strong belief in a holistic view of the child that encompasses their lived experience. Lisa also has special interest in areas such as infant and toddler trauma, working with child victims of sexual abuse and attachment disorders.

Lisa is registered and golds the following qualifications:

  • Australian Counselling Association (ACA)
  • Bachelor of Early childhood (BTEC)
  • Graduate Certificate of Play Therapy
  • Certificate of Child Psychology
  • Diploma of Counselling; Major in Children and Family therapies, expressive therapies and loss and grief.
  • Cert IV Training and Assessment
Emily Holywell

Emily is a qualified Social Worker with a background in working with children who have experienced trauma and their families. Emily has a passion for supporting children and helping them to heal and grow. Emily has completed a Certificate of Play Therapy Studies and Advanced Clinical Training through the Centre for Play Therapy in Brisbane. She has used her Child Centred Play Therapy skills in working therapeutically with a vast range of presentations including children having experienced trauma, anxiety, disabilities (e.g. ASD, ADHD), medical trauma, living in out of home care, and parental separation. Emily has a strong focus on trauma informed, child centred and attachment based work with children. Emily enjoys working closely with children's families and caregivers to provide strategies and education around supporting children who have experienced trauma.

Emily is a Registered Play Therapist with the Play Therapy Practitioners Association and is working towards her accreditation as a Mental Health Social Worker.

Diane Rickard ~ Secretary

After completing her Bachelor's Degree in Education in 2006 she began working in a Primary School, in Melbourne's South Eastern Suburbs, as a classroom teacher. Teaching in all areas of the school and holding a number of leadership positions over 14 years, Diane quickly realised the importance of knowing the whole child and how important it was to build relationships with each individual. She also learnt that learning and teaching was not the same for every child and a lot needed to be considered when planning curriculum and lessons. The student's wellbeing, their family and culture, their learning styles, their ability to express themselves and their interests.

Diane began to research many different theorists and ways of teaching and learning from all around the world. She learnt about how to obtain school funding to help assist children in the classroom and attended many Professional Development sessions building her understandings. With all of this knowledge obtained it led her to rewrite the Junior School Curriculum adding in ‘Play' and "Project Based Learning" for two hours each day. This program became known as Discovery Time. Discovery time puts the whole child at the centre and allows each individual to learn at their own rate and pace. It also puts emphasis on the children building on their own interests allowing them to explore, create, investigate and play. This curriculum is now a huge part of the school that Diane works at and has been taught now for over 8 years. Wanting to explore and research student wellbeing and the notion of play in children further led Diane to complete her Certificate in Play Therapy Studies through the Centre for Play Therapy.

With Diane's experience in the school setting and now in completing her Play Therapy training it has helped increase her passion and highlighted the importance of working with young children as soon as possible to ensure they are given the tools and intervention needed to succeed in life.

Diane is really looking forward to bringing Play Therapy into a school setting and having the wonderful opportunity to be able to do this working for the Centre for Play Therapy as part of the Victorian team.