All of our consultants have professional qualifications with extensive post graduate experience. All psychologists and social workers are connected to their relevant professional associations and adhere to strict ethical standards.

ACCESS is also fortunate to employ some multi-lingual staff, including speakers of Italian and Spanish.

Amanda Coldwell – Manager



Darren McGeachie – Senior Consultant

B. Social Work; B.A. LLB (Hons); Nationally Accredited Mediator (Leadr); Cert. IV TAE

Darren is qualified in law and social work and practiced as a solicitor in private practice for a number of years. He has worked as a Solicitor and Senior Conciliator with the Equal Opportunity Commission., joining ACCESS-OCAR in 2000. His current interests are in organisational consultancy, coaching, dispute resolution and workplace investigation. He has trained as a mediator with LEADR, and coaches trainee mediators at the University of South Australia. He lectures in law and social work at Flinders University, and is a past Vice President of the Employee Assistance Professional Association of Australia Inc (EAPAA). He also holds the Certificate iv in Workplace Assessment, and acts as a trainer in the area of case recording.

Cris Pirone – Consultant / Counsellor / Senior Clinician

B.A. (Psychology); B. Social Work; B. Ed (Counselling)

Cris is a registered Psychologist and has over 25 years of experience in working with couples, individuals and families in counselling. She draws upon a range of evidence based frameworks and has clinical experience in providing Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness based therapy, Family Therapy, Relationship Counselling, Individual Counselling and Counselling for children. Cris aims to support and assist individuals to build upon their strengths and skills and to learn new ways of managing their concerns so that they can enhance their wellbeing, develop their potential and live the life they want to live.

Michelle Harlow – Service Coordinator

Michelle has a wealth of experience in office administration, customer service and finance. She believes in exceptional customer service and building strong relationships with client organisations. Michelle coordinates Critical Incidents, Trauma Support Services and Training as well as provides EAP quotations and assists with business and service related enquiries.

Brittany Priwer – Service Administrator



Sotira Biris – Counsellor

B. Psychology

Sotira Biris is a registered psychologist with 32 years’ experience supporting individuals and organisations in creating a mentally healthy life and workplace. Sotira has experience working across a number of settings within government, private and community sectors including private practice, health, and Employee Assistance Programs. Sotira uses a humanistic, collaborative and strength based approach to her short-term counselling interventions and has received training in a variety of therapeutic models that achieve outcomes for clients. Within the EAP services Sotira has facilitated many workshops and presentations including; Improving Mental Health, Mindfulness, Life Balance, and Improving Sleep.

Lee Bradley – Consultant

Diploma Community Services – Mental Health; Diploma Remedial Practitioner; Certified Mediator; Certificate IV Workplace Injury Management.

Lee has completed formal qualifications in areas surrounding Injury Management, Mediation and Workplace Consultancy. She has experience designing and facilitating workshops in Stress Management for local community centres in the southern area. She has worked in the private sector as a Case Manager, as a Rehabilitation Consultant at SA Health and Injury Management Consultant with SAPOL. Her passion is in assisting people in conflict to come to an agreement. She supports people in highly confidential matters with sensitivity, empathy and hope.

Valeria Cavallo – Consultant / Counsellor

B. Psychology (Hons)

Valeria is a registered Psychologist who graduated in Argentina in 1987 and has an extensive background in Psychoanalysis and Clinical Psychology. She has worked overseas with adults, children and adolescents. Her expertise is in mental health and organisational issues. She has been a Consultant / Psychologist with ACCESS working with adults since 1994 and can speak, read and write fluent Italian and Spanish.

Gemma David – Consultant

B. Management (Human Resources Management); Grad Dip. Psychology; Grad Dip. Counselling; Grad Cert. Careers Education and Development; Certificate IV Frontline Management; Certificate IV Training and Assessment

Gemma has formal qualifications across human resources, career development and counselling. Her experience in coaching, conflict management, training development/facilitation and implementing wellbeing strategies, is underpinned by her passion to support employers and individuals to meet their organisational and individual professional goals. Alongside experience in formal reviews and investigations, Gemma has change management experience in the development and implementation of culture change plans and can offer a holistic career coaching service. With an empathetic, respectful and professional approach, Gemma provides organisational consultancy services grounded with a wellbeing and solution-focussed approach.

Patricia Donovan – Counsellor

B.A Social Work (Hons); Post Grad. Dip. Family Therapy; Associate Dip. Child Studies; Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Training, Mindfulness Cognitive behavioural Therapy for Professionals

Patricia has a Bachelor of Social Work with Hons, Post Grad in Narrative Therapy and Community Work. She has worked with adults, children and adolescents, family groups and group work.  Experience and training in mental health, Mindfulness CBT, Sensory Motor Psychotherapy. In counselling roles her practice  is informed by a combination of approaches including Solution Focused, Strengths based, Motivational Interviewing , Mindfulness CBT, Narrative and Brief Therapy, Grief and Loss counselling, Sensory Motor understanding of trauma and recovery.

Fiona Graf – Counsellor

B. Social Work; B. Social Planning

Fiona has been providing counselling and social work services for many years and has considerable experience working in the mental health sector and with young people and families. Her passion is supporting people achieve their goals in a safe and confidential space. Fiona works from a strengths based perspective and utilises her skills in motivational interviewing, solution-focused brief therapy and grief and loss counselling.

David Hawke – Consultant / Counsellor

Dip. Counselling and Group Work; Grad. Dip. Relationships Counselling

David is an experienced Counsellor who has been providing counselling and therapeutic group work for over 15 years. He welcomes a diverse range of concerns presented by individuals or couples. He came to ACCESS with extensive experience in understanding and addressing workplace related concerns and has over 40 years’ experience in workplace training. David maintains clinical membership of the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia through meeting annual requirements for ethical standards, continuing professional development and regular supervision as a counsellor. He is a compassionate Counsellor who applies an integrated theoretical approach to his work and uses a combination of counselling approaches including; Solution Focused Brief therapy, Narrative Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Mindfulness and Grief and Loss counselling.

Christopher Hibberd – Counsellor

B. Behavioural Science (Psychology); Grad. Cert (Mental Health Science)

Christopher has been working as a clinician and counsellor for 15 years, particularly in Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) and with placements at the Centre for Anxiety and Related Disorders and with an OCD support service. In counselling, Christopher draws from his knowledge and experience in using Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy (including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy / Mindfulness and training in Moral Reconation Therapy), Client Centred / Positive Psychology, Narrative Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Strengths Based, Grief and Loss, Problem Solving and Goal Setting, Behaviour Activation and Resilience Building.

Leigh Hoff – Counsellor

B.A Social Science (Psychology); M.A Counselling and Psychotherapy; M.A Social Work

Leigh has worked as a counsellor in the community sector for over seven years. His education background and work experience has prepared him well for working with a range of issues (e.g. substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and relationship issues). He enjoys working with individuals, couples, families, and groups as he understands the importance of our social connection in the construction of life problems. He draws from a range of evidence based models including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Narrative Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in his work and approaches counselling with a non-judgemental and strength-based approach to support clients to work through any issues they are facing.

Elaine Kelly – Consultant / Counsellor

B. Social Work

Elaine has been providing counselling services for over 20 years in government working in the education sector in the role of counsellor to staff on matters of psychological health and wellbeing, and Social Worker to children and families. Elaine has experience in community mental health as well as clinical mental health hospital settings. Elaine utilizes a variety of counselling approaches including Strengths Based, Solution Focused, Brief therapy, Cognitive Behavioural therapy, Mindfulness and Grief and Loss counselling.

Di Nayda – Counsellor

B. Psychology (Hons)

Di has been providing counselling services for many years, predominantly in the area of anxiety disorders, for individuals families and couples. Di has an Honours degree in Psychology and is currently completing her Doctorate at Flinders University. She draws from a range of evidenced based therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy and Self Compassion- Based Mindfulness Therapy tailored to the individual or family to ensure the best outcome. ​Di’s primary objective is to build on the clients strengths and coping strategies, to learn new ways of managing challenging situation in order to enhance their well being and reach their potential.

Shannon Pedler – Counsellor

B. Social Work; Adv. Dip. Management; Dip. Financial Counselling; Dip Legal Services; Dip. Accounting

Shannon has provided counselling support to clients for many years and also has a strong background in training, mediation, financial counselling, and management. Shannon has worked in a variety of roles across the community, government and business Sectors, including health, palliative care, mental health, disability and corrections.  Shannon uses a range of therapeutic approaches to assist clients to achieve positive outcomes.

 Leanne Pine – Counsellor

B. Social Work

Leanne has experience working with youth and families as a case manager for several years in government and non-government roles. Previously enrolled nurse in the Defence Force, working in local hospitals and rehab services in Adelaide. Leanne has experience as a clinician and counsellor in the Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) sector. She has completed training in co-morbidity in AOD and mental health conditions and trauma informed practices. Leanne utilises different theories and practices such as Bio psycho social assessment, Motivational and Narrative interviewing with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Strength, Wellbeing and Solution based theories, personalised to each individual or family to service the best outcome.

Lee Ritchie – Counsellor

B. Social Science (Human Services and Anthropology); M. Social Work (Prof. Qual); Post Grad Cert. Community Development; Dip. Alcohol and Other Drugs

Lee is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker who has over 13 years of experience in the social services field. Lee has predominantly worked in case management and counselling roles with a broad range of adult client groups including: people living with mental illness; carers; asylum seekers and refugees; people experiencing homelessness; and individuals using alcohol or other drugs. She has a passion for working one on one with frontline employees in a strengths based approach helping them navigate the challenging work they do. Lee encourages a positive work life balance with an aim of improving overall wellbeing, often in relation to depression, anxiety and stress management. Lee also enjoys working with clients to set and achieve goals for personal growth and career development through various life stages such as, entering professions and retirement.

Christine Sibley – Counsellor

B.Psychology; M. Social Science (Counselling); Grad Dip. Jungian Psych; Cert. Women’s Studies

Christine has a background in Psychology, Psychotherapy and Counselling and holds degrees in Psychology, Jungian Psychology, Psychotherapy and Counselling. She has a background working in relationship counselling, staff counselling and consultancy, psychiatric group work and EAP counselling. She uses Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Jungian, Systemic and she likes to work in the area of loss and grief, personality and psychology.

Shane Strikwerda – Counsellor

Bachelor of Applied Social Science, Advanced Diploma Applied Science (counselling)

Shane has worked as a counsellor for over ten years, and during this time he has supported individuals and families experiencing a range of challenges. Prior to joining ACCESS programs, Shane worked as a crisis counsellor, a family counsellor, and as team leader of a mental health program. Shane draws on a range of evidence based therapies to help people overcome challenges and increase their confidence and wellbeing, including Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Motivational Interviewing and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy.

Elly Wild – Counsellor

B.Social Work; B.Science; Grad Dip (Group Work)

Elly has extensive and varied clinical work as a social worker and counsellor. Elly has considerable experience in working with people who have experienced childhood trauma. She also embraces working with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. In counselling her work is informed by a combination of approaches including Solution Focused, Strengths Based, Motivational Interviewing, Narrative Therapy, Interactive Drawing Therapy, Grief and Loss as well as somatic based understandings of trauma and recovery.