Frances Carleton is a counsellor and psychotherapist of six years. In a previous, life she was a change management consultant and trainer for more than 20 years. The idea for WildTalk came to her as she worked with animal rescue – first domestic and then wildlife. She was a volunteer for three years, rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing lizards, turtles and snakes. Frances noticed a need for wildlife carers to be supported in their work and started offering free counselling to carers in 2015.
In 2018, Frances was invited to speak at the Australian Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference on the subject of mental health, and her research formed the basis for the foundation of WildTalk.
Frances has a Masters of Applied Counselling and Psychotherapy and Master of Writing, as well as a Diploma in Business Administration and Certificate IV in Training.
Tess Reilly-Browne is a counsellor in North Melbourne. She grew up in rural Queensland, where she was strongly influenced by the kindness and care her father and grandparents provided to people, animals and the land. The essence of these early learnings is lived out in her private counselling practice and consolidated by a Masters of Applied Social Science (Counselling) and an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education, along with a wealth of life’s lessons.
She believes a greater focus needs to be given to relationship counselling – a society that has healthier relationships makes for a more nurturing and productive world for us all. To this end, Tess presents at conferences and provides ongoing professional development for other therapists on a trauma-informed relationship therapy.
Tess is a university lecturer, clinical supervisor and mentors Masters counselling students in their work placements.
Elizabeth Stewart has lived on a small farm for the last 40 years. Three years ago that farm was devastated by a bushfire, and the fear of losing everything dear to her changed Elizabeth’s life forever. She first met Frances as a result of the free counselling on offer for local bushfire survivors. It was probably a life-saver, as the ensuing post traumatic stress and depression were an unexpected and shocking outcome of the bushfire experience. She was aware that Frances was a wildlife carer, and also offered wildlife carers support.
Elizabeth believes that now, more than ever in Australia, we need trained therapists to look after our wildlife carers in order to prevent burnout and mental health problems, just like any first responders. Her personal experience of PTS, and how much counselling helped, is why she believes WildTalk is an important component in the recovery of Australian wildlife.
Jacquie Walton is an Australian Public Service (APS) Human Resources and Change Management Executive. Her 20+ year APS career has primarily focused on corporate roles, as she believes great internal services are what help to drive an organisation forward. She has led major organisational change projects with the Australian National Audit Office as the Branch Director, Corporate Strategy and People.
Jacquie is currently the Executive Leader of People and Business Management at the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC), where her role is to empower and enable a team of human resource professionals to build the workforce capability of the APS. She also manages the corporate capability within the APSC in leading the human resources, change, parliamentary, procurement, budget and financial management services.