About Us – Meet the Staff of HEAL

Taraka Sticha

Creative Arts Therapist

Taraka Sticha is a Creative Arts Therapist. She completed her Graduate Diploma (2010) with the Melbourne Institute of Creative Arts Therapy (MIECAT Institute), will finish her Masters in Therapeutic Arts Practice in 2016 and is an ANZATA member.

Her undergraduate study was in Visual Arts and Education (QUT), Taraka has also completed a Masters of Social Work (QUT) and is a registered teacher (QCT) and social worker (AASW). Taraka has taught in lower socio-economic school settings in Australian and Hong Kong schools. Her experience working in the enriching multi-cultural sector and refugee support started in 2011, at Milpera SHS, and followed in Hong Kong at Christian Action (Refugee Centre) and developing educational programs in Mainland China (2010-2012).Currently Taraka works at Woodridge SHS, one day a week, and Yeronga SHS four days per week.

Taraka considers working with refugee young people a privilege due to the values based approach possible with such resilient and conscientious students she therapeutically companions. Seeing students applying themselves to study and the complex school environment, despite the unimaginable difficulties they faced shows inexplicable hope and tremendous courage.

A deep interest in traditional cultures has urged her to travel extensively in Asia (China, India, Indonesia), and South America, where she has facilitated Creative Arts workshops and retreats. The experience of being with people of many different cultures informs the ways she works with her clients today.

Judith Gordon

Creative Arts Therapist

Judy is a Creative Arts Therapist with experience in group facilitation and individual companioning in a range of different contexts. She completed her training through The Melbourne Institute of Creative Arts Therapy (MIECAT Institute) with a Graduate Diploma in 2007 and a Masters in 2009. Judy has also completed a Diploma of Teaching and a Bachelor of Arts (Drama/communication) and has many years of experience as a teacher in a variety of locations.

Judy has worked therapeutically with a variety of focus groups and individuals including breast cancer patients, adults with disabilities, carers, children in care and educators. She began her work with FHEAL at St James College and now works across three schools with the addition of Woodridge State High and Kedron State High. Judy embraces the opportunity to support young people who, despite the trauma and difficulties they have faced and experienced, continue to strive and thrive with hope and resilience.