Program Committee

Program Committee

Mr Gerard Byrne, Operations Manager, WHOS Treatment Services (co-chair)

Gerard has spent the past 26 years working in the AOD field. Currently, he is the Operations Manager of WHOS Treatment Services.

Gerard has also worked in the private and government AOD sectors for 11 years, providing a range of specialist AOD services. Gerard holds qualifications in Social Sciences, AOD, Psychotherapy, Clinical Supervision, Business Management, Human Resource Management and Workplace Training and Assessment. Gerard holds the following Board positions; NADA, QNADA, ATODA and the ATCA.

Dr Christine Palmer, Lecturer in Nursing, University of the Sunshine Coast (Co-Chair)

Christine Palmer is a Lecturer in Nursing at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She is a mental health nurse with extensive experience in child, adolescent and adult inpatient and community care. She has also worked in private practice, operating from a person-centred, trauma-informed approach.

Dr Maria Bellringer, Associate Director, Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, Auckland University of Technology

Dr Maria Bellringer is a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Director of the Gambling and Addictions Research Centre, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. She has nearly three decades of research project management experience including 15 years researching gambling issues. Her varied background includes biochemistry and toxicology, executive management (CEO of a national gambling helpline) and counselling experience (Rogerian person-centred approach).

Dr. Anni Hine Moana, Associate Lecturer Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Registered Clinical Supervisor (PACFA)

Anni Hine Moana was born in Melbourne. After studies at Deakin and at The University of Melbourne, Anni worked for many years in education and in community health. As a counsellor, Anni has worked with many Indigenous women, not only the First Nation people of Australia, but those from the Torres Strait, New Zealand and Polynesia.  In addition to her academic work she has worked in mental health and alcohol and other drug (AOD) agencies as a senior clinical practitioner educator, counsellor, counselling supervisor and served as a committee member of the Counsellors and Psychotherapists Association of Victoria (CAPAV).

Her interest in some of the particular issues experienced by First Nation people who have experienced colonisation became heightened through working, in a counselling role, with Aboriginal women in Melbourne and Maori women in Brisbane.

Anni’s way of working has been informed by the work of Aunty Barbara Wingard and Michael White whose work is cited as providing culturally acceptable responses to Australian Aboriginal people who have been affected by a range of issues including loss and trauma.

Currently undertaking a PhD by research at LaTrobe University, using narrative/ethnographic research methods Anni is exploring the reported relationship between the self-conscious emotion of shame and alcohol problems amongst Australian Aboriginal women living in urban and regional areas. Anni’s research interests include the significance of language, and issues of power and privilege in the development of therapeutic relationships.

Anni also is currently working at Uniting ReGen as a senior clinical practitioner educator.

Mr Steve Stokes, Consultant & Counsellor, Steve Stokes Consulting and Counselling

Steve Stokes is a counsellor, and has been working in the Addictions and Mental Health Field for 29 years. Currently runs Steve Stokes Counselling Services and Consulting, and works for the Department of Health. Formerly the Program Director of South Pacific Private.

Specializes in Developmental Trauma Treatment, Complex PTSD and Affect Regulation Techniques and it’s relationship to all Addiction Treatment. Steve specializes in Sex Addiction Treatment, Drug and Alcohol Addiction and co-occurring addictions.

Steve is also a practitioner of Radical Exposure Therapy (Tapping Therapy) trained by Dr Laurie McKinnon , and Brainspotting, trained by Dr Roby Abeles. Private Practice offers one on one and relationship counselling, Interventions and currently facilitating Mens and Women’s Yallom Process Groups.