On Site Psychological Services

Since 2010 our team had been growing rapidly to join Paul Zappa, NIRODAH Director. The management team consists of Rel Katiforis as the General Manager, Dan Cocker as Program Manager, Dr Nicole Kahhan as Manager of Research and Development and Brad Lacey as Communications & Operations Manager. Currently we have a team of 25 psychologists working across Melbourne and Geelong primary and secondary schools. Program facilitators also include Charnze Nicoll- Klostad and Joshua Minhinnick from NRL Melbourne Storm who co faciliate with our staff across sporting clubs and schools.
Paul Zappa, Founder and Director

After a long career as a secondary teacher with many roles in senior management, Paul moved into the community education sector, first working as Education Manager at AFL World and then moving to Manager of Service Development and Education at OzChild. In 2009 Paul saw an opportunity for a business providing service excellence to Australian schools in the violence prevention and mental health sector. First contracted to work with a large inner Melbourne school to address their bullying culture, NIRODAH is now a dynamic business that employs 26 staff who work as counsellors and program facilitators.

Paul has facilitated wonderful relationships with the Victorian Women’s Trust (VWT), White Ribbon, Melbourne Storm and, most recently, Netball Australia. NIRODAH now develops and delivers the Be The Hero program for the VWT, the Breaking The Silence program on behalf of White Ribbon, trains under 18 and under 20 Melbourne Storm players and under 17/19/21 Australian Netball Squads. NIRODAH has also developed anti violence programs for primary schools. Over the past 3 years the KidzBiz program has been successfully delivered to 3 large primary schools and the Respect Ambassador Program is currently being delivered into 7 primary schools. NIRODAH has also developed the Expect Respect Program for Netball Australia and are currently creating an online version of this program on their behalf. Paul continues to work in the direct delivery of the NIRODAH programs as well as dedicating a significant amount of time presenting at conferences and school or business staff training sessions with the aim of engaging key adults who work with young people. NIRODAH aims to support schools to assist their whole community in the education of respectful relationships and the one to one support that many people require to work through the trauma that interferes with their learning. NIRODAH continues to work with schools in partnerships that are genuine, sustainable and allow young people to enter the classroom ready to learn.
Nicole Kahhan, PhD. Manager of Research and Development, Clinical Psychologist

Nicole recently moved to Australia after receiving her doctorate in Clinical and Health Psychology from the University of Florida in the United States. She specialises in the development, research, and implementation of community based mental health and wellbeing programs. Additionally she provides clinical services to children, adolescents and young adults as well as psychological supervision and professional development training as one of NIRODAHs clinical psychologists.
Dan Cocker, Program Manager

Dan has ten years’ experience working with young males and females in custody at the Parkville Youth Justice Precinct. In December 2012 Dan developed, facilitated and co-evaluated an eight week anti violence program with Berry Street Victoria for young men aged 14-17 in care. Dan also facilitates Confict Management training for various Out Of Home Care (OOHC) agencies across Victoria.
Rel Katiforis, General Manager
As an early childhood leading teacher and Assistant Principal, Rel's passion over 20 years in teaching has been developing and delivering well being and social programs that compliment academic curriculum. As the General Manager at NIRODAH, Rel has co developed and co facilitated a variety of anti violence primary school programs including Boy Biz, Kidz Biz, Respect Ambassador Program and is a Seasons for Growth facilitator. Rel has co facilitated the roll out for White Ribbon's " Breaking the Silence" Program in N.S.W. A.C.T & Victorian schools. Rel also assists with the management of psychologists who work with students, parents and staff in the area of mental health across schools in Melbourne and Geelong.
Vicki Cowling, Accredited Mental Health Social Worker
Vicki Cowling, OAM, works as a private practitioner in child and family mental health.  Vicki has worked with children and families in government and non-government settings, including public child and adolescent mental health services, in Victoria and New South Wales. For the past 20 years Vicki has contributed to research and raising awareness and understanding of families with dependent children where parents have a mental illness (www.copmi.net.au). This work has led to the publication of several articles, and edited books, the most recent being Infants of Parents with Mental Illness.
Ella Duckworth, Psychologist
Ella is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked extensively within private, forensic and school settings. She has helped countless individuals experiencing anxiety, depression, grief, disordered eating, study/work stress, difficulty making healthy lifestyle change, and interpersonal conflict to successfully reduce distress and implement positive and lasting change. Ella uses a combination of evidence-based therapies, such as CBT, ACT, Mindfulness, and Schema Therapy. Ella is particularly passionate about early intervention and enjoys working with parents and young people. Ella is a full member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). She works for NIRODAH at Albert Park College and also at a private clinic in Fitzroy. www.salleemclaren.com.au
Roberta Szerekes, Psychologist
Dr Roberta Szekeres is an endorsed clinical psychologist and has recently joined NIRODAH. She completed a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been working in a private group practice for several years, both with adolescents and adults. Prior to becoming a psychologist, Roberta spent numerous years abroad and worked in a diverse range of roles, including social work/case management, teaching at universities and educational facilities, and youth work. Roberta is an empathic and engaging therapist who is very passionate about enhancing the well-being and potential of people. She aspires to a holistic and empowering approach to therapy and utilizes a variety of evidence-based treatments. Roberta continues to work privately, now in her more recent venture called PsychINSPIRE, based at Superior Healthcare Holistic Health in Yarraville.
Alexandra Ehrenberg, Psychologist
Alexandra is a registered psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia and a member of the Australian Psychological Society. She has over 10 years experience in delivering psychological services including individual therapy, family therapy, report writing and providing training and professional development programs. Alexandra is trained in a diverse range of therapeutic frameworks including acceptance and commitment therapy, interactive drawing therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, solution focused therapy and narrative therapy. Alexandra works with children, adults and families; however her passion and expertise focus on adolescent well being; working with young people who have experienced developmental trauma, domestic violence and emerging mental illness.
Sarah Dixon, Psychologist
Sarah has over 12 years of experience working in government and community organisations assisting individuals and families range of issues around emotional and psychological distress. Prior to establishing a private practice in 2007, Sarah has worked in various areas of the public health system including: Adult Psychiatric Services, Disability Services and Specialist Children’s Services. Sarah has a strong interest in working with individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Sarah sees her role as a psychologist as assisting individuals to change the way they think, feel and behave so that they may enhance their lives and relationships. Sarah uses various counselling techniques including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focused and Strengths based approaches, and works collaboratively with each individual to achieve their own goals and needs.
Rebecca McNair, Psychologist
Rebecca is a Clinical Psychologist who has extensive experience working with children, adolescents, adults, families and couples in a variety of contexts including public mental health teams, inpatient and outpatient services, educational institutions, special development schools and private practice. Rebecca brings a warm, collaborative and engaged approach to working with an array of issues including depression, anxiety, relationship and social issues, behavioural difficulties, school refusal, developmental delays, body image and eating issues. Rebecca is a full member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS). She works for NIRODAH at Mother of God Primary School and Thornbury Primary School and at a private practice in Eltham.
Paola Vacarez, Psychologist
Paola is a registered psychologist and a social worker.  She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society. She has experience working with children, adolescents and adults around issues of depression, anxiety, stress, grief and loss, trauma and relationships difficulties. She has experience in a range of settings including disability services; homelessness services; schools; migrants, international students, refugees and asylum seekers support services. Paola utilizes a diverse range of therapeutic frameworks such as CBT, ACT, narrative therapy, play therapy and motivational interviewing. Paola works for NIRODAH and at a private practice on St Kilda Rd www.momentumwellbeing.com.au
Siobhan Hannigan, Psychologist
Siobhan is a counselling psychologist and supervisor with over 20 years experience working with children and their families.
She continues to feel honoured listening to each of her clients views of the world and working with them to appreciate their own uniqueness.
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