About HEAL

HEAL is an award-winning mental health service, employing expressive therapies to support the wellbeing and trauma recovery of children, young people and communities from refugee and culturally diverse backgrounds.

HEAL is an acronym for Healing through Expressive Arts and Learning.

The HEAL program incorporates a range of expressive therapies, including art therapy, music therapy, play therapy and other modalities, offering:

  • Individual and small group therapy
  • Transition support
  • Crisis support
  • Workshops and other tailored services

Expressive arts therapies are evidence-based and delivered by qualified therapists.

Through community donations and fee-for-service programs, HEAL supports over 250 school students and community members each year.

In 2005, HEAL won Education Queensland’s Showcase Award for Excellence in Inclusive Education and in 2016, the Friends of HEAL Foundation (HEAL’s fundraising arm) received the Services and Organisations Award at the Multicultural Queensland Awards.

In 2021, HEAL and the Friends of HEAL Foundation joined with QPASTT, Queensland’s specialist trauma-recovery agency.

To contact HEAL about our services, email heal@qpastt.org.au

Read HEAL’s Strategic Framework

Our Board

HEAL’s Board of Directors consists of people from refugee communities, human rights workers, financial specialists and education, health and welfare workers who have experience in providing services to people from refugee backgrounds

Professor Emerita Keithia Wilson

Professor Emerita Keithia Wilson

Chair

Professor Emerita Keithia Wilson has extensive experience as both an academic psychologist and tertiary educator at Griffith University for 26 years, and a practising psychologist in the areas of counselling, organisational and community psychology in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors for 37 years.

She has been nationally recognised for her effectiveness as an educator having received the Prime Minister’s Award for the 2007 Australian University Teacher of the Year, and a National Senior Teaching Fellowship in 2010. Keithia also has extensive experience in leadership roles in management consultancy and professional training and development

Her key areas of professional practice include the design and facilitation of change management processes, conflict management, strategic planning, professional supervision, interpersonal skills, group facilitation, and loss and grief counselling. In the not-for-profit sector, Keithia has served in voluntary leadership roles since 1984 on the Boards of 5 community organisations as President, Vice-President and Director, and is currently in her 15th year as the President of QPASTT and 20th year as a Board member.

Adele Rice AM

Adele Rice AM

Director

Adele Rice AM is a nationally recognised expert in multicultural education. She was the Founding Principal of Milpera, Brisbane’s state high school for refugee and migrant students, from when it opened in 1984 until she retired from the role in 2012, and was instrumental in establishing a study program that equipped the next generation of specialist ESL teachers who continue her legacy.

Adele’s current positions include Board Member of the Global Learning Centre, Advisory Board Member of Asylum Circle, Member of the Global Citizenship Education Network, and Board Member of St James College. Adele joined the QPASTT Board in 2021.

Adele’s contribution to education and multiculturalism has been recognised with many awards, including a Member of the Order of Australia, a Churchill Fellowship, a Save the Children White Flame Award, a Paul Harris Fellowship (rotary), a Queensland Multicultural Achiever Award, and the inaugural Director General’s Award for Individual Contribution to Education. She was also named joint winner of the 2011 Professor Betty Watts Memorial Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Teaching. She was made an honorary Fellow of the Australian College of Educational Leaders in 2011 and received an Honorary Doctorate from the Queensland University of Technology in 2020. In 2023, Adele was honoured as a Queensland Great, which recognises extraordinary people and institutions who have made a meaningful contribution to Queensland.

Dr Ian Mannion

Dr Ian Mannion

Director

Dr Ian Mannion (MBBS (UQ) DRACOG FRACGP) has been practicing medicine for over thirty years, and currently owns and manages the General Practice in Highgate Hill.

He has a broad range of experience which includes extensive hospital training, rural practice and emergency medicine. He has clinical expertise in refugee health with twenty years’ experience in Brisbane and a stint with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). He has been a lecturer at the University of Queensland, teaching medical students in the field of general practice, and has helped to run early GP refugee training sessions in Brisbane. He has helped to set up refugee counselling services as well as the state’s first refugee health clinic at the Mater Hospital.

Dr Pamela Douglas

Dr Pamela Douglas

Director

Dr Pamela Douglas has practiced as a GP since 1987. She is also a researcher, holding positions as Adjunct Associate Professor with the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University, and Senior Lecturer with the Primary Care Clinical Unit, The University of Queensland.

Pam is founder and medical director of the charitable organisation Possums for Parents with Babies, and has for the past ten years specialised clinically in the care of parents with babies.

She is honoured to serve as a Director on the Board of QPASTT, and has done so since 2012.

Raziq Qasimi

Raziq Qasimi

Director

Raziq is a former refugee from Afghanistan who graduated with a Bachelor of Law and Justice (Honours) from the Queensland University of Technology in 2019. He joined the Board of QPASTT at the beginning of 2017.

Raziq has volunteered with numerous organisations within the refugee sector. He was President of the Youth Voice Committee, an initiative of QPASTT, which explores ideas and educates peers and the broader community on issues of social justice, social policy and government processes which affect young people. He also currently serves as a steering committee member at the National Refugee-led Advisory and Advocacy Group (NRAAG).

Raziq intends to practise law while continuing his work within the non-profit sector and helping marginalised people and communities in Australia and abroad. Raziq currently works with Legal Aid Queensland.

Fraser Power

Fraser Power

Director

Fraser Power is legally trained in addition to holding qualifications in Business and Human Resources and is a specialist in the field of external affairs and stakeholder engagement, advocacy and relationship management to assist organisations to achieve their business outcomes.

He is currently the Stakeholder and Advocacy Manager for Australia Pacific LNG having worked on this large project since 2012. Fraser works across community investment, advocacy, stakeholder and government engagement, issues management and communications. He was previously the Customer Advocate at Ergon Energy and General Manager, Service Quality at Queensland Rail where he managed business improvement, complaint management and reporting functions. Prior to that, Fraser worked in the office of the Queensland Ombudsman.

Fraser has extensive experience in the refugee settlement and non-profit sector having worked with the UNHCR in Cambodia on refugee assessment and resettlement programs.

Kerrin Benson AM

Kerrin Benson AM

Director

Kerrin Benson AM is a social worker with 35 years’ experience in the not for profit sector and government, both in Australia and internationally. Her experience includes work in child protection, community development, homelessness and domestic violence.

Kerrin has spent the last 20 years in executive roles in the settlement sector, with 17 years as CEO of Multicultural Australia. She is passionate about values-driven leadership. In 2019, Kerrin joined Peter Shergold AO and Margaret Piper AM on an expert panel reviewing settlement in Australia.

Kerrin left full time work in 2020 and now spreads her time on the Refugee and Migrant Services Advisory Council advising the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs. Kerrin is also a Director of the Board of QPASTT and Welcoming Australia.

In her spare time, Kerrin indulges her passion for the arts, most recently as Executive Producer of Brothers Book Club. In 2021, Kerrin was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Our Leadership

Sally Stewart

Sally Stewart

Co-CEO of Partnerships and Opportunity Development

As Co-CEO of QPASTT, Sally Stewart provides strategic leadership for the HEAL program.

Sally has worked with families and young people of refugee backgrounds for more than 10 years at QPASTT and at Multicultural Australia.

Sally has worked in community development, systemic advocacy, business development and senior management roles, often at the interface of community health service, research and government policy.

Sally is passionate about creating inclusion and weaves together people and opportunities to build responsive and sustainable services. She has a Masters of Public Policy and Bachelor of International Business.

Erica Fernandez

Erica Fernandez

Manager

Erica has worked as a Senior Practitioner and Counsellor/ Advocate at QPASTT for the past 12 years.

Of these, ten years have been working with children (aged 4 to 12 years old) using expressive therapies including play therapy. She has over thirty years’ experience working with people who have experienced trauma. Most of her work experience has been working across cultures.

Erica has a degree in Social Science, a Master of Social Work, postgraduate studies in Counselling/Supervision and is currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Somatics and Dance Movement Therapy.