Our People
Dr Andrew McAuley

Prof. Andrew McAuley


Ishrat Siddique

Ishrat Siddique

BIA Campus Manager

Dr Judith Ayre

Dr Judith Ayre



Andrew McKinley


Renée McDonald

Renée McDonald


Dr Louise (Lou) Cooper

Dr Louise (Lou) Cooper


Ms Fiona Hird (individual)

Ms Fiona Hird



Mr Jeremy Barbouttis

Clinical Supervisor

Dr Andrew McAuley, Chief Executive Officer

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Andrew attended the University in Nottingham, England where he completed his BA and PhD in Geography. His academic career began as a Research Assistant at Lancaster University before moving to the University of Stirling in Scotland where he worked for 22 years. Having begun his career at Stirling as a Research Fellow in the Scottish Enterprise Foundation, he finished his time there as Professor of Marketing Management, Head of the Department of Marketing and Vice-Dean for Learning & Teaching.
He has published in many leading marketing journals including the European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, and the Journal of Consumer Marketing. Professor McAuley serves on the Editorial Advisory Boards for the European Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, reflecting his research interest in small business marketing and entrepreneurship. In 2009 he moved to Australia as Professor of Marketing and Head of the Department of Marketing at Griffith University in Brisbane. Professor McAuley joined Southern Cross University in December 2010 as Pro Vice-Chancellor Business & Law. In April 2014 he became Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) with responsibility for Teaching and Learning, Equity and Diversity, Student Engagement and Retention, UniLife and the Student Associations. Further additions to his management responsibilities were made when he was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). His passion is for the transformative power of teaching and learning, and the enhancement of the student experience.
He is a founding co-Editor of the Journal of Social Marketing launched in 2011. In addition, he is a past Chair and Vice President of the UK based Academy of Marketing. In 2015 he was created Fellow and Life Member of the Academy of Marketing in recognition of his distinguished service.
In July 2018 Andrew was appointed CEO of IEFT.

Ishrat Siddique, Campus Manager

Ishrat has a Master degree in E-commerce and a master degree in Home economics. Ishrat worked at the Australian College for Applied psychology for over 7 years, where she specialised in blended online learning and teaching. Ishrat has a strong passion for e-learning. Her presentation in the 6th Annual Blended Learning Summit 2017 on Using an online Teacher Lounge to build a strong sense of community, was highly regarded by her colleagues from other universities.

Dr Judith Ayre, Senior Lecturer

Dr Judith Ayre began teaching in the Master of Counselling program at La Trobe University in Melbourne in 2003 whilst simultaneously working as an individual, child, couple and family counsellor in the public health and welfare sectors in Victoria.

In 2005, Judith introduced Emotion-Focused Therapy as an 80-hour counselling specialisation into the Master of Counselling at La Trobe University. There are now more than 200 La Trobe University graduates practising EFT in Victoria.

Over the past 15 years, Judith has taught counselling at post-graduate and undergraduate levels, written curriculum for all levels, and has maintained a clinical practice in both Emotion-Focused Therapy and Jungian Sandplay that includes the clinical supervision of counsellors and psychotherapists.

Judith’s Story

My attraction to La Trobe University arose through my contact with a number of the academic staff at that university who had either worked personally with Carl Rogers, developer of ‘Person-Centred Counselling’, or had an in-depth involvement in the area of person-centred and experiential therapies. These factors had led to Person-Centred and Experiential (PCE) philosophy, theory and practice becoming central to the curriculum and teaching in the faculty of Counselling and Psychological Health. I continue to be grateful for the mentoring I received in humanistic practice within this faculty, both in my teaching and in my doctoral studies, and I carry those principles over to my work as a teacher of counsellors and as a clinical supervisor and therapist.

In the 1990s, the La Trobe faculty became interested in the emotion process work of Robert Elliott, Leslie Greenberg and Laura Rice, and Robert Elliott was invited to Melbourne to speak about their new model of Process-Experiential Emotion-Focused therapy, as it was then known. Friendships developed and a continued interest in the growth of the new model ensued. Manuscripts for chapters for the 2004 EFT manual by Elliott, Greenberg, Jeanne Watson and Rhonda Goldman, which came to be titled ‘Learning Emotion-Focused Therapy’, were sent to Melbourne, to keep the La Trobe staff up to date with developments. Faculty members also began practising and supporting each other in the implementation of the method. In 2003, the faculty established a single EFT subject in the Master of Psychology. The Master of Counselling students heard how exciting the subject was and demanded that they also have the opportunity to study EFT. And so it was that I was given the task of developing a two-unit (80-hour) specialisation in EFT to begin in 2005. Flowing from my experiences with developing and teaching EFT at La Trobe, I completed a Doctorate of Clinical Science (Counselling and Psychotherapy), which explored the experience of students learning EFT with a strong experiential focus.

Professional Affiliations
  • Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia (PACFA) – Clinical Member.
  • ACAAPE – Australian Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators (Since 2004).
  • Australian Counselling Association – Member Level 4.
  • College of Supervisors, Australian Counselling Association.
  • PACFA registered Supervisor.
  • World Association of Person-Centred and Experiential Counsellors.
  • European Association of Transpersonal Counsellors (EUROTAS) – Clinical Member.

Andrew McKinley, Trainer

Andrew McKinley is a psychologist who has been working in the field since 1999. He studied a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Psychology at the University of Wollongong, completing his training in psychology in 1998. He is fully registered and holds membership with the Australian Psychological Society.
During his career he has worked with a wide socio-economic and culturally diverse clientele in both the public service and private practice. He worked in a wide range of settings and situations throughout the wider Sydney region.
He has been providing psychological and counselling services to a diverse range of individuals, couples, families and organisations as a consultant psychologist in private practice.
He has provided personal counselling assisting people in a wide range of situations. He has provided counselling on interpersonal problems, grief and homelessness. He has provided crisis intervention on issues of suicidality, victims of crime, torture and trauma.
As a psychiatric disability consultant Andrew has advised on adjustments for people with psychiatric disability to allow them to achieve more positive outcomes in their various pursuits.
Andrew has also has experience providing education and vocational counselling within an educational setting.
Working closely with Doctors and allied health professionals on mental health care treatment plans, Andrew has conducted psychological interventions treating people with depression, anxiety and other psychological conditions and provided ongoing reporting of treatment progress.
Andrew has been involved in assessment and report writing for a wide variety of clients. This included reports for various agencies to inform them of client needs or put forward proposals for programs. Individual education planning is another regular form of assessment and reporting he has had regular involvement with.
In private practice Andrew has completed detailed psychological reports for people suffering psychological injuries from motor accidents, victims of crime, work place injuries and medical negligence. He has also completed psychological reports and other documents for people facing criminal charges, where the defendant has a psychological condition that is a contributing factor to the situation.

Renée McDonald, Trainer

Renée McDonald is a second-generation helping professional and is a trained and qualified counsellor, psychotherapist, educator and coach. She has worked in the therapy industry for 18 years and in private practice for 13 years and in the online space for over 10 years of that.
She has worked in multiple roles within online education over the past six years. Initially, she worked for TAFE NSW, then Open Colleges in teaching trainee counsellors on the Diploma of Counselling courses. More recently, she has been educating future counsellors as an Academic Educator at the Australian College of Applied Psychology, in their online and blended delivery teaching unit. In addition, she has written large courses from scratch for large institutions.
Four years ago, she commenced training counsellors, psychotherapists, social workers and psychologists in Australia in Online Therapy and Telehealth service delivery. Her courses were one of the first independent short courses in Australia, training Online Therapists. Recently, due to demand, her company Australian Online Therapy Training (AOTT), was born.
Prior to working as a helping professional, Renée worked in media, marketing and the entertainment business. This media experience is something that has really assisted her in providing online therapy sessions that has included gaining traction for her business through social media.
Renée is a Clinical Member and Accredited Supervisor with PACFA (the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia), a member of the Australian Clinical Supervision Association and a professional member of the International Association, ACTO (the Association for Counselling and Therapy Online). She holds a Bachelor of Counselling (Coaching), a Graduate Diploma of Counselling, a Masters of Applied Social Science and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. In addition, she holds the international qualification of a General Certificate of Online Counselling & Psychotherapy with the Academy of Online Counselling & Psychotherapy in Europe, and has most recently joined as a professional member of ACTO (the Association for Counselling and Therapy Online). In 2019, she launched her textbook, which is based on her extensive training, practical and research materials from her online and virtual practice.
Finally, she is a wife and mother of 3 children, whereby she really understands the current predicament the world is in, from first-hand experience, where she is juggling her responsibilities and running her company from home!

Dr Louise (Lou) Cooper. Pronouns: she/they

(Online Group)
Lou is a Counseling Psychologist, facilitator, trainer/teacher and supervisor working in private practice, Talking Emotions, in Melbourne. Lou has a particular interest in working with LGBTQ+ community with issues of anxiety, trauma, relationships and chronic illness. She is also part of the training team at the Australian Institute of Emotion Focused Therapy (AIEFT) in Melbourne and an internationally accredited EFT supervisor with the International Society of Emotion Focused Therapy (ISEFT). Lou presents and runs trainings regularly on LGBTQ+ inclusive practice as well as workplace mental health, trauma informed practice and psychosocial aspects of Parkinson Disease, her doctoral research area. She has presented papers on these subjects both close to home and internationally.
After graduating from Swinburne University of Technology Lou worked at the Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria (ARCVic) co-ordinating group programs, started up a private practice and taught within the psychology departments at Swinburne and RMIT. In early 2000’s she became a voluntary committee member of the Transgender Victoria for three years after which she took steps to turn her human rights activism into psychological practice with trans and gender diverse people of all ages and their families. More recently Lou was a Family Practitioner at Drummond Street Services Queerspace for two years before combining her queer focus with EFT at Talking Emotions.
In a previous life Lou worked in theatre and as a producer and broadcaster at ABC Radio and can still be heard regularly on radio in Melbourne and occasionally treads the boards. She is a parent, step-parent and grandparent with a love of water and all things outdoors. It’s a busy life!

Ms Fiona Hird (individual)

BA (Psychology) Macquarie University
Grad Dip Counselling and Psychotherapy in Individual Psychotherapy and Relational Therapy – Jansen Newman Institute Graduate Diploma in Emotionally Focused Therapy – The Institute for Emotionally Focused Therapy
Fiona Hird has twenty years of experience working with clients from an Emotionally Focused perspective, creating practices in Annandale, Glebe and Balmain. Fiona has assisted thousands of clients to clearly understand their emotional states, patterns and perceptions. Clients learn to develop their emotional intelligence, creating flexibility in adapting and moving through challenging life events. Fiona assists clients to recover and newly discover their strengths and resources in an empathic and supportive environment. Fiona has considerable experience working with trauma, anxiety, addiction, depression, conflict, self-esteem, decision making, separation, loss and issues relating to psychological well-being. Fiona offers Therapy, Supervision, Life Coaching and has over the last six years developed an interest in Neuropsychology.
Keeping up with current advancements in Neuropsychology and increasing information on Neuroplasticity Fiona has now integrated into her practice a computerised medical bio-resonance technology, which is the world latest scientific achievement. This technology allows Fiona to develop a further understanding of a client’s emotional experience.
Fiona has a passion for mentoring and supervising students and assisting in the process of developing an individual understanding of EFT while encouraging self-awareness and curiosity of the students own reflective process.

Mr Jeremy Barbouttis (individual)

Jeremy Barbouttis has an established private practice in the Sydney CBD, working with both individuals and couples. His focus and interest has been particularly around the impact of complex trauma on the presenting issues of his clients, and works extensively with trauma, as a result. He has integrated Emotionally-Focused Therapy and interventions into his practice, which either complements or is core to his work with other therapies. His practice also focuses on intimacy issues within relationships and how to overcome those through an emotionally focused lens.