With qualifications across psychology, social work and counselling, plus a variety of life and professional experience, our counsellors have a wide range of skills to help you with the challenges you’re facing.
Tsin Koh - Counselling Team Leader
Tsin graduated with a Master of Psychology (Clinical/Health) in Perth in 1997. She spent a short time working in Singapore before returning to Perth, where she worked for one year with the Disability Services Commission, followed by 17 years with the Department of Health Western Australia.
At the Health Department, Tsin worked within the Rockingham Kwinana Mental Health Service, in both inpatient and community mental health services.
After working with people with severe mental health disorders for many years, I have developed an interest in working preventative care with university students. I also have a special interest in working with international students because I was one myself.”
Tsin has been at Murdoch University since 2015, and works closely with Bella, one of our Counselling Service dogs. In addition to working with students, Tsin collaborates with staff across the university to develop programs that enhance the well-being of our university community.
Athalie Phau - University Counsellor
Athalie is a psychologist who completed her clinical psychology degree at Murdoch University. She grew up in a small, bustling city called Singapore and is grateful to also call Perth her home.
Through the many years growing up in a multicultural country, she has a deep appreciation for different cultures and ethnicities. She enjoys the process of building positive relationships with people she meets and works with.
Life can sometimes throw us curve balls that may make it difficult to keep us moving forward. Athalie's passion is to support people as they journey through life and to have renewed confidence about the future.
Outside of work, she loves staying connected with family and friends all over the world (with the help of technology), hiking, and reading mystery novels.
Clare Nicholls - University Counsellor
Clare is a Clinical Psychologist working in the Murdoch University Counselling Service and is leading the Suicide Prevention and Postvention Project at Murdoch University. Clare has worked with adolescents and adults across hospital, community and private settings.
She is a lover of the outdoors and enjoys the beach, the bush and everything in between. When the weather is not so good, you’ll find her reading a book or scrolling through dog memes.
Danni McCullough - University Counsellor
Originally from Northern Ireland, Danni has worked in mental health for more than 10 years in the UK, USA and Australia. She has lived in Perth for five years now.
Danni is particularly interested in adolescent and young adult mental health, suicide prevention and LGBTIQA+ advocacy.
When she’s not working, Danni spends her time travelling to other countries (she is very proud of having visited 30 countries before age 30), doing martial arts, or eating junk food and binge-watching Netflix.
Gaynor Pettit - University Counsellor
Gaynor is a clinical psychologist and counsellor who has been with the Murdoch University Counselling Service for many years.
Her extensive experience as both a former Murdoch student and a counsellor at Murdoch mean Gaynor understands the unique challenges faced by students.
She is passionate about supporting students as they work through issues such as procrastination, adjusting to university study, life balance, and many other areas of mental health.
Gaynor enjoys working with students who have diverse lives, and who value learning and participating in the university experience.
Lynlea Polak - University Counsellor
Lynlea initially graduated with a biological science degree from Murdoch, working as a biotechnology researcher and then with CSIRO marine laboratories.
When a lack of cetaceans research (and a propensity for seasickness) led her to seek new career opportunities, she decided to take the step into psychology.
After graduating, Lynlea worked in cognitive psychology research, then spent 11 years working within the disability, government and corporate sectors as well as in private practice.
Lynlea joined the Counselling Service four years ago, where she enjoys working with students to help them successfully navigate their own journeys.
Roanne Young - University Counsellor
Roanne Young is a clinical psychologist who completed her studies right here at Murdoch University. Roanne has experience working in across hospital, community, and private settings, and is particularly interested in difficulties concerning emotion dysregulation and self-criticism. Humour is important in Roanne’s approach and she hopes to bring a lightness to the painful experiences we carry.
Outside of work, Roanne can be found at karate training, hunched over a jigsaw puzzle, engaging in pun battles, or Marie Kondo-ing any disorganised space she’s left near too long. Roanne cannot function without eggs for breakfast.
Sarah Farrell - University Counsellor
Sarah has a background in social work and a Master of Counselling. She has worked as a counsellor in a variety of settings within the city and in rural and remote Australia, working in youth mental health and general counselling with people of all ages.
Sarah has a particular interest in trauma, working in crime-related trauma and military trauma prior to joining our counselling team at the beginning of 2016. She also has experience in case management and vocational rehabilitation, and is a qualified Mental Health First Aid instructor.
Sarah’s preferred modalities are acceptance and commitment therapy, hypnotherapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), logotherapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and narrative therapy.
She views counselling work as a privilege to be able to support others to identify and connect with their purpose in life, and help them find a way through difficult times by connecting with what’s most important to them.
Outside of work, Sarah is an avid trail and ultramarathon runner and enjoys weekends out in the bush, camping and at the beach.
Shirley Farr - University Counsellor
Shirley is an experienced counsellor who has a warm, genuine and gentle approach to working with clients in a person-centred framework. Alongside this, she is passionate about understanding how a client is coping with day to day life regardless of any diagnosis.
Primarily having worked with clients who have experienced trauma particularly childhood sexual abuse and/or domestic violence, Shirley has a special interest in drug and alcohol counselling, assisting those with anxiety and depression and focusing on healing through relationships and self-care and compassion.
Shirley is a member of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) and holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology in addition to a masters degree in Counselling from Murdoch University. On a personal note, Shirley has 4 children and 7 grandchildren and enjoys camping and 4 wheel driving.
Samantha Ellis - University Counsellor
Sam is a Clinical Psychologist who completed her undergraduate and post-graduate studies here at Murdoch University. She has worked with young people in the alcohol and other drug sector, children and adults with a range of presenting problems in private practice, before finding her way back to the tertiary setting as a student counsellor at UNSW Sydney in 2013. She has spent much of her adult life submerged in the university environment either working or studying and understands the many unique challenges faced by students.
Sam also provides Mental Health First Aid training to both staff and students at the university.
Outside of work you'll find Sam watching the footy, playing old-school video games, reading novels, experiencing a love/hate relationship with a jigsaw puzzle, or watching trashy tv.
Trisha Fairfull - Administration Officer
Trisha joined the Counselling Service in 2019 and has always had an interest in Mental Health. Prior to working with Murdoch University Counselling, Trisha lived in Broome for 17 years and has worked within the Private and Public Health Sector.
Trisha was the first Administration Officer to work in the new Broome Mental Health Unit (Mabu Liyan) which she thoroughly enjoyed for 5 years and was later seconded to Kimberley Mental Health and Drug Service in Broome. Working closely to Indigenous Clients and Staff has brought her deeper sense of understanding.
She has a passion with working alongside diverse cultures and empowering people to believe in themselves, their passion and find their purpose. Her wealth of understanding of the challenges and rewards of living and working in rural and remote areas have reinforced her passion in her work and the people she supports.
Trisha enjoys, meditation, fishing, movies and heading down to the beach to enjoy the sun and surf!!
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you”.
~ Oprah Winfrey
“The most beautiful moments in life are moments when you are expressing your joy, not when you are seeking it”.
Get in touchMurdoch University Counselling Service is available Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm.
If you need mental health support in a crisis or outside of our operating hours there are a number of support services available.
Find out where else to get help in a crisis or outside of our operating hours.
Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm
Counselling for Murdoch University employees is available through our employee assistance program.
In an emergency
First call 000 (triple zero)Then call Murdoch University Security (Security will escort emergency services on campus and help them locate the emergency.):
for Ambulance, Police or Fire services