Meet our lovely and vibrant staff and volunteers. Everyone brings their own wealth of knowledge, skills and gifts to the Karli Health Centre team. See our team’s profiles below.

Clinical, Psychology & Therapy Assistant Services

Karli Dettman
Karli DettmanDirector, Clinical Counsellor and Supervisor, Senior Yoga Teacher and Yoga Therapist
Karli is the Director of Karli Health Centre Pty Ltd. She works as a clinical counsellor and a yoga therapist in individual and group sessions. As well, she is a supervisor for her staff and work placement students.

She has a MA degree in Mental Health Counselling from Gallaudet University in Washington D.C., USA attained in 1998 as well as a BA in psychology and developmental drama in 1996. She also completed a foundation certificate in family therapy (London, UK) in 2000. Karli is a member (Level 4) of the Australian Counselling Association and is a Senior Yoga teacher/member with Yoga Australia.

Karli has extensive experience working with Deaf children and adults with various additional needs since 1998, both overseas and in Australia. Karli is also a volunteer in advocating in the areas of Deaf Mental Health, by networking and partnering with other organisations. In 2020, she has coined the term Deaf Trauma with her Deaf Mental Health volunteer team. She had noted the six unique Deaf traumas in her work with both past and current clients. For more information about what is Deaf Trauma, please visit https://deafmentalhealth.com.au

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, relaxing, meditating, walking, swimming and, of course, yoga and spending time with her family and friends.

Gillian Bartholomew
Gillian BartholomewCounsellor
Gillian began working as trainee counsellor/therapy assistant for Karli Health Centre in early 2022 and completed her Bachelor of Counselling in 2023 while doing her practicum placement. She is now a qualified counsellor and a registered member of PACFA. Gillian also has an Associate Diploma of Arts and a background in creative arts, business and support work.

Gillian is Deaf, has a lived experience in many challenging areas of life and understands the importance of Deaf and HoH people having a safe and confidential space to be heard and understood. She uses a trauma-informed, person-centred integrative approach and respects that everyone is unique, yet valuable, no matter who they are or what their background is. Gillian uses a holistic approach (Bio-Psycho-Social-Spiritual) and believes each person has the potential to find a positive way forward in life with support.

Gillian has a special interest in Deaf Trauma, Complex Trauma, Postnatal Depression, Addictions, and Ageing. She is passionate about Deafness and Mental Health, and volunteers for Deaf Mental Health Fund – link: https://deafmentalhealth.com.au

Irene Holub
Irene HolubCounsellor and Yoga and Art Therapist
Irene is a Deaf registered Counsellor and Yoga Therapist/ Art Therapist. She believes everyone has the desire and the capacity to grow towards fulfilling their full potential and that they are the experts of their own lives. Irene works with the client through empowerment, positive change and strength based/person centered approach. She offers confidential, non-judgemental, culturally appropriate and holistic support through counselling, wellbeing programs including art and yoga therapies.

Irene is also a multidisciplinary artist where her works have been shown at galleries, festivals and performances. She has had extensive experience working in Deaf education, early intervention, advocacy and Deaf arts. She is passionate about teaching the art of creativity, mindfulness and simplicity and exploring ways to enhance our quality of life, wellness, self-development and relationships.

Leesa Selwyn
Leesa SelwynTherapy Assistant (Mental Health, Movement and Mindfulness Specialist and Retreat Coordinator/Host)
Leesa provides mental health and well-being support to Deaf, HoH and hearing clients at KHC.

Leesa has been a yoga and meditation teacher for over 15 years and has run several yoga retreats in Bali and Melbourne – you can read more about joining a retreat under “Events” on KHC website.

She offers a unique process of mindfulness, movement, meditation and additional therapeutic techniques. You can expect to learn relaxation and regulation exercises as well as stress and anxiety management. Her clients testify that these experiences are uplifting and promote positive and effective change in everyday life.

She loves to study and expand her knowledge; holding three certified yoga teacher qualifications, (2008, 2012, 2018), a Diploma of Auslan (2003), Diploma of interpreting (2011) and Certificate IV in Mental Health (2021) training in the areas of trauma, ACT, person centred and holistic approaches and is likely to continue her studies in the area of counselling.

She is passionate, and intuitive, designing programs to support and achieve clients’ diverse wellbeing goals.

You can book an online appointment with Leesa, where our services are accessible to people at home, all over Australia – in Auslan and English.

Leesa enjoys living in the Yarra Valley where she loves to grow vegetables and go for long walks along the river.

Debra Swann
Debra SwannTherapy Assistant (Social Worker and Domestic Violence Specialist)
Debra Swann is a highly experienced Social Worker with particular knowledge in the area of domestic violence as well as drug and alcohol issues. She is currently studying a Master in Counselling with Torrens University.

In addition, Debra has the following qualifications:
Masters of Social Work from La Trobe University
** Bachelor of Human Services from La Trobe University
** Diploma of Community Services (Alcohol, Other Drugs and Mental Health) from TAFE Gippsland – formerly GippsTAFE

Debra provides client support and will be able to address a range of issues that can impact of client’s lives, particularly in relation to domestic violence, drug/alcohol abuse and mental health issues.

Debra loves walking on the beach with her dog, Jett. She also loves travelling, meeting new people, and learning about their culture, and way of living. She enjoys the company of her friends over good food.

Natalie Ng
Natalie NgTherapy Assistant
Natalie is passionate about working with young children and adolescents as she believes that starting with a good foundation of mental and emotional health at a young age will lead to a good and stable lifestyle. Natalie has volunteered her time yearly as a deaf mentor at her local primary school and camp, working with deaf and hard of hearing students from grades 4 to 6.

Natalie completed her Bachelor of Health Science majoring in Psychology and Psychophysiology at Swinburne University of Technology in 2023. In her free time, she enjoys reading fictional books of various genres along with listening to music.

Clair Josling
Clair JoslingTherapy Assistant
Clair is passionate about providing mental health services to all deaf and hard of hearing people. Having a good mental health professional who understands is vital to achieve all the wonderful things life can offer. From a very young age, Clair has been driven to address the issues that are faced by deaf and hard of hearing people. Having worked as a deaf mentor at a deaf high school, as a communication guide and volunteering with KHC since 2023, Clair understands the Deaf journey.

Additionally, Clair has the lived experience of being profoundly deaf herself, as well as having a sight impairment and a mild cerebral palsy. These experiences allow for a unique insight into the daily struggles for Deaf people. She is acutely aware of the problems faced by our teens and youth and she is compelled to help others to navigate their path in this challenging world and in all stages of life.
Being able to communicate with people from all walks of life is a distinct advantage with the ability to communicate in Auslan, English (with the aid of cochlear implant), and deaf-blind sign language.

In 2021 Clair completed her Bachelor of Science in Psychology (minor Philosophy) and has since completed a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. These stepping stones have led to hopes of being a Deaf Psychologist or Counsellor in the near future.

In her spare time Clair enjoys reading, painting and playing with her dog Daisy. Clair says: “Before anyone asks, I am not a great painter but I enjoy it and am proud of the works I have completed”.

KHC Organisational Support Staff

Pam Dethridge
Pam DethridgeManager
Pam has brought a wealth of finance experience to KHC since commencing with us in late 2022. She has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) Degree and Post Graduate Diploma in Accountancy. She obtained her Chartered Accountancy qualification through one of the Big Four accounting firms and is a Member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ). She had worked extensively for public accounting firms – small, medium and large – in a variety of roles in Melbourne and Sydney.

She is a life member of Deaf Victoria, is keenly involved in Deaf groups, and volunteers with the Deaf Mental Health Fund.

She enjoys keeping fit, swimming and travelling having toured extensively in Europe, UK, USA, South America, Asia and Africa.

Gabby Khul
Gabby KhulAdministration Support and Therapy Assistant (specialises in Mental Health Peer Work)
Gabby has worked in a variety of different roles such as customer service, waitressing and office administration, and has certificates in business administration and finance. She has been working at Karli Health Centre since 2020.

Gabby completed her certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work in mid-2023 and has started to work with a handful of Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients. She is currently studying for an Auslan diploma at Melbourne Polytechnic (TAFE). In her spare time she enjoys cafes, bullet journaling, and pet time.

Claire Black
Claire BlackVolunteer and Auslan-English Interpreter
Claire has been volunteering for KHC since October 2019. Her Deaf mother recognised that she shared similar values to Karli and suggested getting in touch. Claire supports KHC by interpreting, captioning, and coordinating the new Deaf Mental Health Trust.

After many years working in Marketing and then Environmental Advocacy, Claire decided to refresh her sign language skills and completed a Diploma of Auslan at MPT in 2019, then gained her NAATI interpreting credential in May 2021.

Claire keeps busy by working as Deaf Blind Communication Guide and an Auslan-English interpreter. She enjoys yoga, qigong, sewing, gardening, cooking, cycling, and camping; however, a lot of her time is now consumed by playing with her new puppy Betty, a gorgeous but mischievous Groodle.

Teresa Cumpston Bird
Teresa Cumpston BirdVolunteer and Auslan-English Interpreter
Teresa is an experienced and qualified mental health Auslan-English interpreter, having worked in this capacity for over 40 years. She has also worked in educational settings and, some years ago, worked for a number of years as a community worker with the Deaf community. Now she is a semi-retired interpreter and is happy to volunteer with Karli Health Centre to provide support and advice.

She has a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Psychology from San Francisco State University as well as an Advanced Diploma of Interpreting and Translating from RMIT.

In her free time, Teresa enjoys her cats, spending time with her hubby, catching up with family and friends as well as walking around the inner north, where she and Kendal live.

Bernhard Andersson
Bernhard AnderssonAdministration Support
Bernhard has a background in Computer Science and helps with Administrative work and IT related issues at Karli Health Centre. He is completing a Masters of Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne while working at KHC.

In his free time, Bernhard likes to go on adventures in the outdoors, including bikepacking and hiking. He also loves to read fantasy books when he has the time, and enjoys cooking.

Belinda Fernando
Belinda FernandoSocial Media Coordinator
Belinda is enthusiastic in providing accessible mental health services for all Deaf and hard of hearing adults and children.. Belinda is currently studying for her Certificate IV in Mental Health at Melbourne Polytechnic and has started her work placement at Karli Health Centre late in 2023. She enjoys being creative in designing posters and adding translation to videos for KHC social media platform.

Belinda is interested in the field of psychology and has an interest in supporting Deaf peers’ mental health and would like to support new group programs. . She is also interested in developing greater awareness of the mental health issues that the Deaf and HoH people face and is a volunteer for Deaf Mental Health fund team.

Belinda enjoys playing different sports, catching up with her family and friends, and travelling overseas.