Education & Training

Training and courses to help deal with a variety of challenging situations

Our training team

Donna Zander

Donna Zander - outstanding educator of issues relating to survivors of traumaDonna Zander is a social worker and outstanding educator renowned for her unique style of raising awareness of social justice and human rights issues relating to survivors of trauma. She has clinical experience working with vulnerable and abused children, young people and adults in a range of settings.

Donna has trained extensively across the welfare and education sectors with a focus on sexual assault and domestic violence trauma, the neurobiology of trauma, trauma-based interventions and loss and grief. As the part time Coordinator of Post Trauma Victoria she oversees the civilian psychological trauma work of Austin Health and is the director of her own private clinical, training and consultancy practice.

Donna Zander & Associates is an Accredited Social Worker by AASWDonna has worked as a trainer for the Training and Professional Development programs of the Australian Childhood Foundation, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, and No To Violence Victoria. She has also been responsible for the development and facilitation of a number of statewide training initiatives including work with Victoria Police, Departments of Human Services, Justice and the International White Ribbon Campaign.

Donna has a history of developing high quality training programs and is a keen advocate for experiential group work and creative therapies. She has provided training for RTOs in the Diplomas of Disability, Justice, and Community Services Case Management. Donna's personalised, energetic and dynamic presentation style sees her services as a keynote speaker and facilitator are in great demand both nationally and overseas.


Adjunct Prof. Stuart Armstrong

Adjunct Prof Stuart Armstrong - graduated from the University of London with a BSc in psychology and zoology, and from La Trobe University with a PhD in psychology (Behavioural Neuroscience)Adjunct Prof. Stuart Armstrong graduated from the University of London with a BSc in psychology and zoology, and from La Trobe University with a PhD in psychology (Behavioural Neuroscience). He was Reader and Associate Professor in the Dept. of Psychology at La Trobe and also worked in research institutes in Germany and the USA. His research work focused on the neuroscience of the sleep-wake cycle with particular emphasis on the role of the pineal hormone melatonin and bright light on the timing of the biological clock and their use in treating sleep and mood disorders. He published over 100 research articles, including in the prestigious journal Science, and was co-author of the first international patent for using melatonin for alleviating jet-lag and other circadian rhythm disorders.

He became actively involved in treating the insomnias in the mid-1980's, establishing insomnia clinics first at the Melbourne Clinic in Richmond, followed by the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg then Epworth Medical Centre, Richmond and East Melbourne. His health work specialises in:

  • Psychophysiological Insomnia (learned/stress induced)
  • Idiopathic Insomnia (childhood onset)
  • Circadian Insomnias (Advanced and delayed sleep phase syndromes, jet lag, sleep in the blind, non-24hour sleep-wake disorder, irregular sleep-wake pattern, some shift work schedules)
  • Nightmares and anxiety dreams
  • Withdrawal from Sleep Medication
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter depression).

He took early retirement from La Trobe in 1995 to work as chief consultant (external) to the international pharmaceutical company Servier International [France]) for chronobiotic efficacy of S20098 (now marketed as Valdoxan), and (Eli Lilly [USA] for chronobiotic efficacy of its melatonin analog. Concomitantly he became Professorial Fellow (honorary) then Adjunct Professor at the Brain Sciences Institute at Swinburne University for two years. He continued his clinical health work at the Epworth Sleep Centre and Heidelberg Repatriation hospital where he became Director of the Sleep Disorders Clinic in the Veterans Psychiatry Unit. He resigned from these positions in December 2013 and relocated to Cairns F.N.Q. where he is Adjunct Professor, College of Health Sciences, James Cook University.


Angela Barker
Consultant Trainer

Victorian Young Australian of the Year 2011

Angela Barker - Victorian Young Australian of the Year 2011Angela Barker, brutally bashed by her ex-boyfriend, suffered severe brain injury and spent three gruelling years in hospital, rehab and a nursing home before being able to return home, still needing full time care. Angela describes the two-and-a-half years spent housed in a nursing home as "hell". As a teenager living among the very elderly, she felt angry, sad and trapped. Despite the enormous challenges she faces daily, Angela is determined to open the hearts and minds of others. She campaigns to stop young people ending up in nursing homes for the elderly and for the introduction of a national no fault insurance scheme, so that people with acquired brain injury can have an equal opportunity to regain an active and productive life.

Angela educates the public on anti-violence, talking to students, young women, police and politicians. She empowers others to say "no" to violence, by advocating respectful relationships and has represented Australia at the United Nations. She also works to educate others to see the person, not the disability. Angela Barker is an exceptional young woman who has displayed strength and courage in the face of horrific injuries.


Krystal Bartlett
Consultant Trainer

Krystal BartlettKrystal Bartlett, was removed from home by child protection at the age of 13 and placed in Out of Home Care. Krystal experienced numerous placements in foster care without her sibling before graduating to residential care and lead tenant. All around her she saw others in the same situation heading down a path of destruction. Amongst all this instability a life-line was thrown to her when her case worker recommended CREATE. Through her involvement at Create she met Donna Zander. Krystal became involved in developing and delivering training on family violence with Donna at age 18 and now at 25 she believes "Being involved in the training was an amazing experience. When I think back now I learnt so many life skills; but most importantly I have learnt how to understand what happened to me. The training also assisted me in believing that I was a survivor and not a victim. I know how easy it would have been to end up uneducated or homeless - or even worse - drug addicted or in prison because I saw it happen to many people around me. People like my little sister who were alone and unsupported. Donna is one of the only workers, that have kept in constant contact with me throughout my experience and throughout my life, encouraging me to be the best I can be - especially in those times of struggle." Krystal is now engaged, working full time, studying a Bachelor of Social Work part time and has brought her first house. She continues to speak out and inspire others about her experiences and volunteer her time to the Create Foundation.


Kara Douglas
Consultant Trainer

Kara DouglasKara Douglas, survived a savagely violent 6 week 'dating'- relationship ordeal. The man involved was a member of a notorious motorbike club. It ended with him shooting Kaera and two innocent men who came to her aid in the middle of a busy city street one morning in 2007. Kaera lost her right kidney and was in a coma for 3 days. Horribly one of the men died. Her attacker received a life sentence of 35 years with no parole; this is Australia's largest sentence to date. Her story was covered excessively in the media and she knows firsthand what societies attitude towards women in domestic disputes are: 'The media is not always kind or true'. At the time 'Dating Abuse' was and still is widely unheard of, but 'Dating Abuse' is on the increase especially in current youth culture. Prior to her fatal incident Kaera was a travel consultant and a successful swimsuit model. Kaera has dealt with all the common responses associated with trauma, for example guilt, blame, denial, anger, remorse, regret and was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but no longer suffers from it. Due to the incident she also suffered anorexia, depression, alcoholism and 'survivors guilt' and is now a reformed alcoholic after a long battle with both drugs and alcohol. Karea is now in a happy relationship with her long term boyfriend and they are saving to buy a house together, she works part time and is studying a Bachelor of Social Science. Her long term vision is to set up her own support group for young women and children involved in domestic abuse; her aim is to teach prevention and raise awareness as well as offering treatment and counselling. 'When my world came crashing down, people tried to help me as much as they could, but because my situation was so different to anything people knew about, I didn't find anything or anyone that I could relate to or identify with. That made it a long, lonely, dark road back to have to walk alone. My wish is that no young girl should ever have to walk that dark road alone again like I did....'