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Elizabeth Mackney, BN MMusThy, RN RMT NMT. Registered NDIS Provider, Registered Nurse, Registered Music Therapist, Neurologic Music Therapist, Cardiac Rehabilitation Facilitator, Rhythm2Recovery Facilitator, Talkabout Social Skills Assessor, 8th Grade Piano, 5th Grade Cello, 5th Grade Theory of Music (Honours) & Basic Key Word Sign (KWS)
Liz has been providing specialised music therapy services to people living with disabilities in the Northern Rivers NSW since 2013. Liz is committed to collaborating with large and small community organisations, businesses and other sole providers to develop innovative pathways to meaningful, rewarding, sustainable and expanding social, community and economic participation for NDIS participants living in the NSW Northern Rivers region and beyond. Liz and the team with whom she collaborates (those included on this website) consider that the expressive therapies have a critical role to play in leading the way to realising the social change intended by the NDIS.
Liz has national and international industry experience in the health and disability sectors, as well as unique and specialised training and experience in setting up, co-ordinating and delivering large-scale multi-disciplinary programs in metropolitan and rural hospitals and community contexts. Liz serves on the Australian Music Therapy Association’s (AMTA’s) NDIS Committee and offers clinical supervision to Masters students from the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, as well as other health professions. Liz’s Masters thesis studied the benefits of combining the roles and skills of a music therapist and a registered nurse to offer a unique and specialised holistic service to rehabilitation patients in a rural hospital. It was the first research of its kind in Australia, and Liz received a Lion’s Nursing Scholarship to undertake the research.
Jodie Boicos Speech Pathologist, Master of Speech and Langauage Pathology, BA Linguistics. Fluent Italian, conversational French, German, Czech and Basic KWS
As a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist and member of Speech Pathology Australia, roles at Lismore Child and Family Health, The Aboriginal Medical Service in remote NSW (where Jodie established a successful Speech Pathology program to service local schools, preschools and playgroups given the well documented benefits of strong communication skills upon social, health, learning, emotional and positive life outcomes) and private practice in The Northern Rivers with all ages, across individual and group settings and company (i.e including families, carers and support staff, medical and allied health including Paediatrics, Audiology, Psychiatry, Music Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Psychology, Physiotherapy and education) have led Jodie to further share and gain from exchanges made possible by contexts which depend on value for time spent observing, listening, watching, learning and facilitating specific ways to encourage and support each client’s best version of themself in the world.
As a person lucky enough to experience in her own life an undeniable sense of joy, freedom and confidence that has come from being heard, seen and understood for what is meaningful to her, Jodie knows that the power of offering a space for all kinds of shared creativity is an undeniable opportunity to allow others to connect and communicate clearly in their own particular manner, with a reach and sense of ease and ability and pride that stretches far beyond what even they may believe to be possible.
Meghan Thamm, GDipMusThy BMus AMusA (French Horn), RMT NMT. Registered NDIS Provider, Registered Music Therapist, Neurologic Music Therapist, Rhythm2Recovery Facilitator, Drumbeat Facilitator, Talkabout Social Skills Assessor, 8th Grade Piano, & Basic Key Word Sign (KWS). Lismore Music Therapy collaborator
Meghan has always enjoyed participating in school and community choirs, musicals, orchestras (including national and international youth orchestras), and instrumental ensembles and has conducted children’s choirs. Meghan’s career as a Registered Music Therapist has taken her from South East Queensland to Darwin and now to the beautiful Northern Rivers where she enjoys life with her husband, two children and pet Labrador.
Meghan has worked as a music therapist with people of all ages and abilities in a wide range of settings such as early intervention, schools, disability, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, mental health, palliative care, and aged care, and was the first Senior Creative Arts Worker at the Darwin Hospice. Meghan is passionate about contributing to the community, making the arts accessible to everyone, and to supporting people to express themselves and their stories through creative arts experiences.
Jo Young, Bachelor of Contemporary Music/Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Commerce, Rhythm2Recovery Facilitator and Basic KWS
Jo Young is a Community Musician and Educator with over 20 years experience teaching and making music with hundreds of people ranging from early childhood, primary and high school, and adults of all abilities. She is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who has performed solo and as part of folk ensembles for almost 30 years around the Northern Rivers, Sydney, Perth and in Ireland. When in Ireland, Jo was the founding musical director of vocal ensemble The Gunas and ran performance and song writing workshops with members of the Irish Chamber Orchestra as part of Feile Eile (Children’s Festival).
Like most musicians, Jo has balanced her writing and performing career with teaching, establishing a thriving music teaching studio in Killaloe, Ireland between 2007-2012. Jo completed training as a specialist school music teacher on her return to Australia in 2013 at Southern Cross University, also completing the Vocal major of the Contemporary Music program and honing her technical and audio production skills.
In 2019 Jo began collaborating with music therapists Liz Mackney and Meghan Thamm to support people with disabilities to bridge between music therapy and becoming practising musicians in the community. Jo works collaboratively with musicians with disabilities to develop their creative practice and bring their musical ideas to fruition.
Jo also works as a program worker with people who are recovering and maintaining their mental health through Grow Mental Wellbeing Programs. She empowers and promotes the program skills of volunteer leaders in 16 Grow groups across NSW and the ACT. Bringing out leadership in others has been a part of Jo’s career since the beginning. Jo established the UNSW Yellow Shirts Orientation Student Leadership Program in 1990 and worked as an Academic Tutor in Leadership at Southern Cross University between 1992 and 1998.
Jo also brings qualifications and valuable experience in Marketing and Communications, including marketing campaigns for Telstra, promotion of Orientation and Student Engagement at Southern Cross University.
Melita Gapes, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Teaching – Early Childhood Major
Melita is a Mother, Wife, and Primary Teacher of 26 years. Her Horses, Hands and Hearts Company offers an Equine Learning Facilitated program for individuals and groups. While Melita has loved being a teacher for many years and seeing children grow and develop into healthy social, emotional, and active humans, she has come to realise that she has something unique to offer children whose needs cannot always be met in the classroom. Melita has always known and felt the healing attributes of horses. She considers the simplicity they bring to life a must for all. In response to this calling Melita is currently studying through the Equine Psychotherapy Institute, Victoria, to complete her Equine Learning Facilitator Certificate in May 2022. She is also studying Equine Sports Massage, through Equestricare, WA to be completed by the end of 2022. Where possible, Melita seeks to attend as many horsemanship clinics as possible to continue her education regarding horses and their welfare, as well as to advance her understanding of what they can offer humans. Currently, and for the last two years, Melita has served as the Secretary of Kyogle Pony Club.
Catherine Volkov, Registered Art Therapist and Outdoor Educator, Master of Mental Health, BA in Narrative Studies and Indigenous Studies
Catherine recently embarked upon developing her practice as an Art Therapist, working collaboratively with Liz Mackney and Jodie Boicos. Catherine’s qualifications and experience as a therapist and educator have set her up with many skills to bring to the work she does, and has done for 20 years, with people from many walks of life.
Catherine has been actively involved in local community performing arts, as a dancer with the Cassettes, and acting and doing production work at the Drill Hall theatre. Catherine has worked to create props for Falls Festival, and has created and delivered art workshops at Woodford Festival. She has been working with an American University for the past 13 years, managing study abroad programs to Australia. As well as having to be adept at communicating with people, this role has helped her build in-depth administrative experience in project management, working within budgets to create study abroad programs for American university students. Prior to that Catherine was part of a team to create Adventure Activity Standards for Queensland’s Department of Sport and Recreation.
Alicia Martin, Bachelor of Nursing/Bachelor of Clinical Practice (Paramedic). Graduate Diploma in Midwifery, Current studies: Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) (2022). Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife, Essential Oil Specialist, Human Design reader, Self-taught Photographer.
Alicia has worked predominately as a midwife for the past 15 years, but loves to twist and change the path of life and so also dabbles in photography, essential oils and human design, all whilst studying pharmacy and playing mum to her three children.
Alicia’s latest journey is that of becoming a human design reader. Human design is your energetic blue print for life, a tool designed to know ourselves better, to be ourselves we must first know who that self is. As a parent this tool can be used to guide and know our children through their own unique design.