Holistic Counsellor, Therapist, Life Coach & Teacher.
My qualifications and experience include over 20 years of supporting individuals and groups with their personal development.
I have been part of the Heavy Metal Team for the past seven years. I co-facilitate the men’s program with David, where I am the voice of the women and children and I facilitate the women’s program.
I started with Heavy METAL when I was invited to share my personal journey through family violence. I have experienced every form of violence, in my family of origin, my marriage and with my teenage children. At my lowest point I had a breakdown and was unable to leave the house, answer the door or the phone and lived in fear. I had no idea who I was or what I needed. Everything I did was for everyone else. Now everything has changed, I love who I am and the work I do. Abuse is no longer a part of my life.
Part of my healing journey included joining a women’s group which was co-facilitated by a survivor of family violence. She was strong and inspirational and understood how family violence affects every part of you and your life. I was inspired to make a difference and support others by sharing the tools that supported my journey.
This was where I met Tanya from Heavy METAL my dear friend. We went on to volunteer with various groups and were two of three founding members of a support and advocacy group for female survivors of family violence called SAFEAS.
I believe everyone has the right to live without family violence. Home is a place to be loved unconditionally, not judged, hurt, controlled or made to feel wrong. I believe violence is a choice and change is possible for men and women. I have personally witnessed change and it’s why I believe in the work we do.
My aim as a teacher, practitioner and counsellor is to provide a safe, caring environment in which you feel fully supported and not judged. Through education, support and developing life skills my aim is to inspire your personal self-awareness, self-development and self- acceptance.
My personal goal is to inspire, motivate and support others in seeing their true potential and living a life that honours them and realises their dreams.
Today I have been married for 34 years to a loving supportive husband, I’m a mother of 4 beautiful strong creative boys and their sensitive beautiful partners and grandmother to a beautiful granddaughter.
In 2002, Tanya started as a participant of a women’s domestic violence program and has gone on to design, develop and facilitate many programs, forums and workshops to support and advocate for women and children in saying no to domestic violence. Facilitating domestic violence workshops for health professionals and police officers as well as present in General Practioner’s programs.
Tanya is dedicated to helping men, women and children to enable themselves to find a better way of dealing with their challenges and increase their chances of having positive, healthy relationships and lives.
In 2006, Tanya became a part of the team as a facilitator with the Heavy M.E.T.A.L Group, in the men’s, women’s and couples programs and has enjoyed seeing the changes people have made in their lives with hard work and dedication.
Tanya has a Certificate IV Introduction to Domestic Violence and a Certificate IV Train the Trainer & Train Small Groups and is completing a Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Counselling) and as a result of her work with Heavy M.E.T.A.L she has realised how critical it is to support young people to make better choices earlier in their lives and is deeply interested in working within the youth justice system.
I joined the Heavy M.E.T.A.L Program in 2007 after realising my behaviour was going to end my marriage.
The program helped me and my family immensely as I was able to understand how the impact my behaviours and attitudes had on my family.
After completing each level of the program, I continued attending Phase two just to keep my learning and understanding up.
After two years I was asked by David to become a peer educator and for the last 5 years I have been a co – facilitator and peer educator with the program. I have found doing this work very rewarding, I have been able to encourage and support other men who have struggled with letting go of the behaviours and attitudes I had to face in the beginning. Seeing men break away from the cycle of violence and hear the positive feedback from their partners and children confirms this work is having a positive ripple effect on our community.
I believe in the work we do and I believe men can change, it takes a lot of honesty and a lot of hard work to change attitudes and behaviours but it can be done!
I started my journey with David and the Heavy M.E.T.A.L. Group late 2010. I was struggling with my behaviour at home and my wife had given me the ultimatum- shape up or ship out! My abusive behaviour had my wife in constant fear of what I was going to do next.
So I Googled anger management men’s groups and found David. It was clear from the initial assessment meeting with David that I had found someone who was non-judgemental and really enthusiastic about helping guys like me. Even my wife was optimistic.
I completed phase one over two terms then phase two over nearly two years. Once I felt I had sufficiently learned enough to be the husband & father my wife & children knew I could be I left the group. After six months however the wheels became a little wobbly and I was welcomed back into the group where I started from phase one again.
Once completing the program again in 2013, and getting myself back on track, David invited me to join the team. I now sit with the phase two group as a Peer Educator which allows me to give the guys who may be struggling with certain concepts of change a more specific point of view. I would also like to think that I can be a beacon of hope for them that change is possible.
My inspiration to become part of and involved in Men's Behavioural Change Programmes comes from seeking formal qualifications as a profession in Counselling and combining these with a multitude of life experiences. Growing up we men have generational approaches, behaviours, teachings and expectations instilled in us, we experience other facets of life from society, media and our own personal experiences some of which reinforce who we become, not necessarily all ideal approaches. We as men are responsible for how we apply these absorbed facets of our character, our surrounding life and the people in them impacted by the influences we have on them.
Reflecting on the whole of humanity we men being the other half are responsible for some amazing achievements but we as part of this species are also responsible for some outcomes that have born massive consequences and resulted in huge destruction.
From my personal experiences of life witnessing, be impacted by and being part of the resulting injury to life of; abuse, abuse of substances, abuses of perceived privilege, the denial of truth, emotional onslaught to others, some of who we apparently care for, it's time to make a difference, to help change.
I am privileged to be invited to be part of Heavy M.E.T.A.L. Group, to offer my services as a Co-Facilitator of this amazing programme created by David Nugent and presented by him and the others that come before me. I am a qualified counsellor registered with the Australian Counselling Association, a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors and continually continue study in the associated fields of counselling and therapies. I have had experience with the procedures of Family Law and also studied the subject via such avenues as member of the Mental Health Academy.
I believe I have something to offer, to contribute to help. I have witnessed the amazing positive changes in men, the blossoming of the good men that preside inside. If you have recognised that change is necessary there is no better place to do it.