Suite 6, Level 1, 88 Boundary Street, West End, Brisbane Q 4101


Minds & Hearts has a team of psychologists, allied health professionals and four administrative staff. Although not all disciplines are represented in our team we maintain close ties with other specialists in Brisbane and will assist in finding the best professional for the need.

We hold a strong commitment to professional training, and usually will also have a Clinical Postgraduate Intern on placement with us. Interns are in their 6th or 7th year of study. They provide some psychological services under clinical supervision. These services are offered at a reduced rate and for a specified period of time. Please contact us if you are interested in these services.

Dr Michelle Garnett

MPsych(Clin) PhD MAPS MCCP

Dr Michelle Garnett PhD is a clinical psychologist and founder of Minds & Hearts, a clinic specialising in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Brisbane, Australia. Michelle has over 25 years’ experience in all areas of ASD. She was awarded a PhD for her original research on ASD and psychological health in 2007. She co-wrote the first screening tool for Asperger’s syndrome in 1993, and for girls and women in 2011. Michelle has co-authored four books on ASD, and has published in peer reviewed journal articles. Her most recent book with Barb Cook is a seminal work on the female presentation, Spectrum Women: Walking to the Beat of Autism. She has co-authored three books with Prof Tony Attwood on emotion management for children and adolescents. She provides training in ASD for four Australian Universities. She is an accredited yoga teacher.

Prof Tony Attwood


Tony is a clinical psychologist and Senior Consultant at Minds & Hearts. He acquired his original qualifications in England, and achieved a PhD from the University of London. He has specialised in autism spectrum conditions, especially Asperger’s syndrome. Tony is an adjunct professor at Griffith University, Queensland. His book Asperger’s Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals has become one of the primary texts on Asperger’s Syndrome and has been translated into twenty languages.

His current clinical interests are developing diagnostic procedures and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for emotion management for children and adults with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Dr Wesley Turner

BPsych, BSocSc, Clinical PhD, MAPS

Wesley is a clinical psychologist. He completed his PhD in Clinical Psychology at Griffith University, with his research focusing on the development of a video game based assessment of Problem Gambling/Gambling Disorder.

Wesley is passionate about working with individuals and Autism Spectrum Conditions, and conducts individual, group and couples therapy, and congnitive assessments. His practice is guided by evidence-based interventions including Behaviour Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness. 

Wesley’s clinical interest areas include addictions and coping, emotion understanding and management, resilience and hope, couples therapy, and trauma. Wesley greatly values helping individuals, couples and families to develop and improve their abilities to overcome challenges and enjoy life.

Dr David Zimmerman

BPsySc(Hons) Clinical PhD, MAPS

David is a Clinical Psychologist and a board approved Clinical Supervisor who has been working at the Minds & Hearts clinic since 2015. Gaining a Clinical PhD from Griffith University, his research was focused on understanding why certain adults with ASD seemed to cope better than others with everyday challenges.

In the clinical setting, David primarily works with adults and older adolescents conducting diagnostic assessments and providing individual treatment for a range of psychological presentations. David’s treatment approach is strongly guided by evidence-based interventions, such as Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. Principles from Feedback-Informed Treatment and Compassion-Focused Therapy further influence David’s treatment methodology.  

David has published four peer-reviewed articles and has presented at the International Society for Autism Research conference in Beijing, China. David is a dedicated and caring practitioner that is passionate about supporting individuals on the Autism Spectrum and improving their quality of life.

Dr Cora MacHatch

Cora is a Psychologist (Clinical Psychology Registrar) who completed her PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at Southern Cross University and her Master in Clinical Psychology at the University of Queensland.

She is passionate about delivering evidence-based treatment in a warm and supportive manner, with a client-directed focus. Cora is committed to achieving positive outcomes for her clients. She believes in working collaboratively with you to help you gain insight and understanding of the problem, and to formulate goals you would like to work towards. Cora will assist you to understand your own psychological processes, will teach you practical skills to manage your thoughts, feelings and behaviours to achieve relief from your symptoms, improve your quality of life and prevent relapse. She will help you solve problems such as dependence to cigarettes or other substances, deal with a work-related problem, manage stress, relationship difficulties or simply learn to problem-solve.

Cora has extensive experience working with individuals (children, adolescents, adults) with Autism Spectrum Conditions. She is very fortunate to have worked alongside experts in this area such as Professor Tony Attwood and Dr Michelle Garnett, under who’s guidance she trained. She also has experience treating anxiety, depression, stress and interpersonal difficulties. Cora has worked in a variety of settings, including treating traumatised children in remote Australia, and has worked in psychiatric teams and treating degenerative cognitive conditions such as Parkinson’s disease; she also has experience working with people suffering from Diabetes and Complex Obesity as well as people struggling with eating disorders. She is an accredited Triple P provider which means she has experience delivering the most effective parenting programs, helping parents better understand and manage difficulties that arise with raising children, whether they are little ones, adolescents, children with physical or cognitive disabilities, or children whose parents are going through a divorce. Cora has a deep appreciation and understanding of people from different cultures, including Indigenous Australians.

Cora has specialist training and experience delivering evidence-based therapies such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Applied Behaviour Analysis. These treatments have been found to be effective in providing significant psychological benefits. She also has special interests in neuroscience and behavioural psychology. Her approach has been effective in treating depression, anxiety, stress and trauma, coping with parenting, loss and separation, and relationship problems.

Dr India Whitehouse

BPsych (Hons), Doctorate in Clinical Psychology

India is a clinical psychologist specialising in, and passionate about, working with children and adults with Autistic behaviours and traits, and their families.

She completed her doctorate in clinical psychology (DClinPsych) in 2006 at Bristol University and has been specialising in working with children and adults with Autistic traits for over 10 years.

India is aware of the critical importance of personal reflection and personal development in supporting others to reach their life, educational and happiness potential. She has a strong personal commitment to her own learning, including keeping up to date on effective interventions and the evidence base for them. She works with young people and adults, with great success.

She also pursues and implement personal strategies for maintaining psychological, emotional and physical balance and robustness. This includes weekly supervision and her own therapeutic process in which she has been engaged for the last ten years, as she does not believe she can take anyone further than she has gone herself. These are invaluable inputs to her effectiveness, complementing and extending her training; they are the backbone of her ability to offer insight, empathy, compassion and unconditional support as she works with young people and adults with Autism Spectrum traits and their families, to implement simple, practical but profoundly effective techniques to address and overcome their difficulties.

Tonéya Ashby

BPsych (Hons), MPsych (Clin), MAPS

Tonéya is a registered psychologist and a clinical psychology registrar. She completed her Master of Clinical Psychology at Macquarie University in Sydney, and her undergraduate and Honours degrees at the University of Adelaide. During her Honours year of study, Tonéya worked as an in-home Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapist for a number of children with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC). Here, she found her passions each for working with children and adolescents, and working in the ASC area.

Tonéya brings a warm and enthusiastic approach to her work, and is committed to helping children and adolescents with an ASC to build resilience, empower them to overcome their challenges, and to capitalize on their strengths. She has particular interests in helping children manage their emotions, develop social skills, build a strong and positive sense of self, and providing support to parents of children with an ASC.

Tonéya is registered with the Psychology Board of Australia, and is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Fun fact: Tonéya has a Samoyed at home called Miesha, who she would love to train to become a therapy dog in the future!

Sonya Blandford

BEd/Psych MEd (Guid & Couns) AMAPS

Sonya started out her career as a primary school teacher. She then worked as a Guidance Officer before she moved to London, UK to work for 12 years as an Educational Psychologist. Sonya currently works part time at Minds and Hearts and part time as a Guidance Officer in a North Brisbane Primary School.

During her time as an Educational Psychologist working in an Inner London Borough, Sonya gained broad experience with many types of disability and behaviour problems in schools. Sonya worked with children under five, primary schools and secondary schools. Sonya also worked in behaviour units and special schools. Sonya worked on a Behaviour Improvement Project for nine years that aimed to reduce exclusion, increase attendance and improve behaviour in schools. This role involved helping schools improve policies, training staff and doing individual work with the most complex behaviour cases. Sonya also worked on the Early Years Team working with children 0-5 years of age and their Teachers and Families for five years. This involved assessing and planning interventions for children with complex needs and supporting Early Years settings to manage difficult behaviours and situations. During her time in London, Sonya developed a speciality in ASD and was allocated time to create a role with her colleague that provided individual assessment and intervention, group problem solving sessions, transition support (including co-ordinating a group that summarised the borough’s transition practice) and the training of staff and parents.

Sonya enjoys working with families to assess current needs and to develop a plan to help achieve treatment goals. Sonya believes in looking at the presenting issues in a positive way and working together with the families to decide on the best evidenced based strategies to use. Sonya is available to diagnose under 5’s with ASD and work with children, families and schools up to secondary age.

Sonya has recently met the standards of a 5 day intensive course in Animal Assisted Therapy Human-Canine Team training. Sonya and her labrador Lulu graduated at level one and are working towards level two. Level one means that Lulu is deemed suitable for therapy work, but will need to wear her lead in the clinic. She is also suitable for working with calm, older children and adults. Lulu is working with Sonya at Minds and Hearts on Tuesday afternoons. Research has been continuing to increase regarding the positive impact animals have. As animals are non-judgemental and provide an unconditional love, they not only assist in increasing the engagement between therapist and client, but can also assist as an intrinsic motivator. Animals also have the unique ability to provide immediate feedback regarding a person’s mood, behaviour and method of communication.

Radhika Tanksale

M.A., M.Phil (MAPS)

Radhika gained her Post-Masters in Clinical Psychology from India in 2004 with her area of research in behavioural interventions in children with autism. Since qualifying, Radhika has been closely associated with the ASD population. She is one of the founding members of a school for children with autism in her homtown in India. Radhika moved to Brisbane in 2010 from Massachusetts, USA where she lived for 3 years and continued to gain experience in this field in both community and school settings. She realizes the importance of a multidisciplinary approach in the management of children on the autism spectrum and understands the therapy for them needs to be individually tailored as they possess a unique set of interests and strengths.

Radhika is registered with the Psychology Board of Australia and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Sarah Ormond

Psychologist (Clinical Registrar)

BPsych (Hons), MClinPsych, MAPS

Sarah is a registered Psychologist and has completed her Master of Clinical Psychology at Griffith University in Brisbane.

Sarah has an enthusiasm and advocacy in supporting children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC), and their families. Her friendly and considered approach is guided by evidence-based assessment and therapeutic intervention. Sarah encourages collaboration with her clients in assessing concerns and planning for realistic treatment goals to promote wellbeing and clarify her clients’ understanding of their unique strengths and abilities throughout development.

Sarah also brings together clinical and research interest in collaboration with Prof. Tony Attwood and Dr Michelle Garnett as the lead researcher in the statistical investigation of the Questionnaire for Autism Spectrum Conditions (Q-ASC), a screening tool designed to identify behaviours and abilities sensitive to a female presentation for children with Autism Spectrum Conditions.

Sarah is a registered member of the Psychology Board of Australia and is a Member of the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY), International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), and Australian Psychological Society (APS).

Sarah can assist with:

  • Understanding and managing emotions
  • Social skills development
  • Anxiety-related conditions
  • Depression and related concerns
  • Helping with challenging behaviours
  • Obsessive-Compulsive behaviours
  • Sleep problems
  • Coping and problem-solving strategies
  • Supporting families and siblings
  • School and Interdisciplinary team approaches
  • Psychometric, neuropsychological/cognitive, diagnostic (ADOS-2) assessments

Clients: Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults aged 5-25 years

Clinic Day: Friday 

Luke Blackwood

Psychologist (Clinical Registrar)

BPsych, MPsych (Clin), MAPS

Luke is a registered psychologist and clinical psychology registrar, completing his Master of Psychology at James Cook University. His research focused on the impact of positive emotions and social connection on health. Luke is warm and passionate about his work with clients and celebrates their interests, talents and unique world view.

Luke began his career working in the juvenile justice system and treats all his clients with compassion and respect, allowing him to build a therapeutic relationship with difficult to engage clients. It also developed his ability to assist in safely managing crises and aggressive behaviour but most importantly, helping children to express how they are feeling, manage their emotions and develop social skills. Since then, Luke has worked in non-government organisations, schools and private practice.

Luke primarily works with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Conditions, conducting assessments and providing individual treatment. He also works with a range of conditions including trauma, depression, anxiety, adjustment, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder.

Luke uses evidence-based interventions and draws on his experience in family therapy at all stages of treatment, working with the family and school. He also uses cognitive behavioural therapy, behavioural therapy and mindfulness-based practices. Luke has a focus on social justice and empowerment, designing interventions that aim to not only to ‘fix the problem’ but to allow people to develop meaningful relationships and improve wellbeing and quality of life.  

Rebecca Kuhn

BPsych (Hons), MPsych (Clin), MAPS

Rebecca is a registered psychologist who has completed her Master of Clinical Psychology at Queensland University of Technology.

During her Honours year of study Rebecca facilitated the RAP-A-ASD Program (Resourceful Adolescent Program), which aims to build resilience and promote positive mental health outcomes in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC). Throughout this time she also conducted neuroscience research at the Translational Research Institute, investigating fear and anxiety pathways in the brain.

Rebecca continues to work in the field of health psychology, assisting individuals suffering from chronic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and adult congenital heart disease. Part of her work focuses on assisting young people to transition from the Queensland Children’s Hospital to the adult hospital setting. She has also worked in severe adult mental health, assisting adults who suffer from severe anxiety, depression, and psychoses. Rebecca has experience in conducting a range of cognitive assessments in both children and adults.

Rebecca believes in the importance of working with an individual’s strengths and resources to improve their quality of life. She takes a warm, empathic, and non-judgemental approach to working with her clients and their families. She believes strongly in collaboration, and providing strategies based on a range of evidence-based techniques.

Rebecca is flexible, curious, and creative in her approach to work.

Nicole Dargue

Psychologist BPsych (Hons), Master of Research (Psychology)

Nicole is a Registered Psychologist and member of the Australian Psychological Society working towards endorsement as a Clinical Neuropsychologist. She has recently submitted her PhD, which she completed at Macquarie University alongside a Master of Clinical Neuropsychology. Nicole’s research focused on the beneficial effects of observing hand gestures on comprehension in children and adults, including children with autism spectrum disorder. She has published four peer-reviewed articles and presented her research at three international conferences.

Nicole is passionate about working with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders (including ASD) and their families. She believes that working with children and their families to set and meet goals as well as enhance day to day functioning is a vital (and rewarding) component of treatment. During her Masters, Nicole received training and experience in two private clinics and two major children’s hospitals across Sydney and the Gold Coast. Throughout her training, she worked with individuals with a variety of conditions, including autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, specific learning disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, foetal alcohol spectrum disorder, anxiety disorders, and depression. She has been trained in the neuropsychological assessment of these conditions for diagnostic and monitoring purposes. Nicole is also able to conduct neuropsychological assessments to gain a thorough understanding of where a child’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses lie and provide tailored strategies and recommendations to be used both at home and school to help children to reach their potential.

Nicole can assist with:

  • Neuropsychological assessment/diagnostic assessment of:
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder (Including ADOS-2)
    • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    • Specific Learning Disorder
    • Intellectual Disability
    • Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
    • Other neurodevelopmental/acquired disorders (e.g., hydrocephalus, multiple sclerosis etc)
    • Anxiety and depression
  • Neuropsychological review (i.e., following prior assessment)
  • Psychoeducation and coping strategies
  • Strategies to implement at home and school (e.g., to assist with behaviour and learning)
  • Goal setting and planning
  • Assisting with challenging behaviours
  • Understanding and managing emotions
  • Social skills development

What is a Neuropsychological Assessment?

A neuropsychological assessment looks at how our brain functions. The assessment involves using lots of different tests of cognitive function (e.g., intellectual ability, academic skills, attention, memory, problem solving, planning and organisation, speed of processing, emotional and behavioural functioning, adaptive functioning etc) to understand where an individual’s cognitive strengths and weaknesses lie. This information can help answer lots of important questions (e.g., does my child have an intellectual disability? Is it ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder?) and assist in providing tailored strategies and recommendations to support day to day functioning (e.g., at home and school). All neuropsychological assessments are individually tailored to the individual’s needs and include an interview, cognitive testing, feedback session, and comprehensive report.

Naomi Francis

Speech Pathologist

Naomi is a Speech Pathologist that completed her Bachelor of Speech Pathology at James Cook University in 2014. Since graduating, she has gained experience in multidisciplinary private practice with individuals across the lifespan with varying presentations; including a large representation of children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities. Having lived in Townsville since the rollout of NDIS in 2016, she is familiar with the NDIS framework and expectations for both participants and providers.

She is trained to assess, diagnose and provide therapeutic intervention for various communication disorders including speech sound disorders, language disorders, fluency difficulties, feeding difficulties, social skill and pragmatic difficulties, and some Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) systems. Naomi is a Hanen Certified Speech Pathologist for both the More Than Words (MTW) and It Takes Two to Talk (ITTT) programs. Naomi is also trained in the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) assessment.

Naomi enjoys supporting individuals and their families to achieve functional outcomes. She believes in celebrating the small achievements on the way to reaching long term goals.

Barb Cook

Developmental Educator

M.Aut. (Education)

Barb is a Developmental Educator and Life Coach for neurodivergent adults (autism, ADHD and dyslexia). She is a full member of the Developmental Educators Australia Inc. (DEAI), and a registered service provider with the NDIS for plan and agency managed participants. Barb has a Master of Autism (education) with focus on employment from the University of Wollongong, where she is also a tutor in this program and a research assistant in the area of self-determination and self-advocacy for adults on the autism spectrum.

As a Developmental Educator, Barb focuses on developing individualised learning strategies, tools and supports with positive outcomes for individuals across the lifespan. Barb embraces a collaborative approach by working with health and educational professionals, support staff, employers, employees, families and caregivers to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of a person-centred approach in fostering positive support and enhancement of life outcomes. Barb has extensive experience in working with people on the autism spectrum, ADHD and dyslexia, especially with adults in creating pathways in attaining life goals in the areas of education, employment, health and interpersonal relationships.

Services Barb provides for neurodivergent adults (autism, ADHD and dyslexia) but not limited to:

  • Sensory profiling
  • Developing informative individual profiles
  • Individualised support plans (person-centred approach)
  • Goal and vision planning
  • Facilitating self-determination and self-advocacy
  • Establishing effective communication skills
  • Cultivating positive interpersonal skills
  • Transition Support – e.g. school to higher education, education to employment
  • Developing independent living skills
  • Enhancing Quality of Life (QoL) and community participation
  • Environmental audits/assessments
  • Positive Behaviour Support plans
  • Assessments (Vineland 3)

Lizaan Schwartz

Provisional Psychologist

BA, BPsych, MEd(Autism)

Lizaan gained her BA and BPsych in psychology from South Africa 2015. When Lizaan was completing her undergraduate and Honours degree in psychology between 2011 and 2015 she volunteered as a teacher assistant (Golden-Key programme) at an autism-specific school in South Africa. She supported teachers and children on the spectrum from the ages of 3 to 18 years. She became the Co-Director of this programme in 2013. Lizaan’s passion to work with children, adolescents, and adults on the spectrum started from her volunteering experience. 

Lizaan has since moved to Brisbane in 2016 to complete her Masters degree in Autism Studies. During this time, she continued to gain experience in this field by completing a 12-month Internship at the Minds & Hearts Clinic. During this time, she was supervised by Dr Michelle Garnett and Prof Tony Attwood. Lizaan is passionately committed to work and support individuals of all ages on the autism spectrum that experience daily challenges. She realises the value of working in a team that shares the same passion for children on the spectrum. Lizaan is committed to assisting her clients to build on their strengths to reach their full potential. Lizaan has a special interest in helping girls on the spectrum to develop their social-emotional and self-understanding.

Amy Cleator

Provisional Psychologist

Amy is a provisionally registered psychologist who is currently completing her Master of Clinical Psychology at Griffith University.  She attained a Master of Suicidology after her undergraduate studies in Psychology, and is currently also working towards completing a PhD in Psychology, with her research focusing on the role of risk factors and emotion dysregulation on deliberate self-harm behaviours among youth.  Amy has previously worked in the areas of disability and mental health and places importance on working collaboratively with individuals and families to promote resilience and positive mental health and wellbeing. Amy’s practice is guided by evidence based interventions such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and Attachment based approaches.

Amy has presented research at several national and international health conferences and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Ms Nicola Stigter

Provisional Psychologist

BPsychScience (Hons)

Nicola is a provisionally registered psychologist who completed her Bachelor of Psychological Science with first class honours at the University of Queensland in 2016. During her undergraduate degree she was a Research Assistant for the UQ School of Psychology, working in the cognitive engineering section. She assisted with a PhD research project and co-authored a paper on peripheral detection of stimuli via google glass in the Journal of Human Factors.  Nicola has worked for Minds & Hearts for the past two years and in the future hopes to complete her Master in Clinical Psychology. Nicola has a warm and caring nature and a particular interest in helping children with ASD manage their emotions (like anxiety), develop social skills and build a strong positive sense of self. 

Fun fact: Nicola has a miniature dachshund at home called Alfie, who sometimes struggles with his anxiety. 

Farisha Islam

Provisional Psychologist

Farisha is a provisionally registered psychologist with Minds & Hearts. She completed her bachelor of Psychological Science with First class honours at The University of Queensland in 2018 and received the Dean’s Commendation for academic excellence in her final year. Throughout her degree she focused on development throughout the lifespan and cultural differences, completing her final thesis on Attitudes Towards Asylum Seekers. Farisha also assisted in the development of Dr Kamal’s “How to save your Marriage” and “De-Escalation & Resolution of Conflict in The Workplace” programs. She has volunteered for St John’s Residential Aged Care in which she worked closely with residents who suffered with mental disabilities. She is also trained in the Ready Reading Volunteering Program which assists children’s development in vocabulary, language skills and imagination.

Farisha is a caring and vibrant person with a passion for working with children and young adults with ASD and is endeavouring to embark on a career specialising in ASD. Her primary focuses are emotion regulation in children and working with young adults on conquering anxiety. Farisha uses evidence-based interventions such as Cognitive Based Therapy, Psychoeducation, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Mindfulness.

Hannah McInnes

Administration and Operations Manager


Hannah is the Administration and Operations Manager at Minds and Hearts. Prior to joining Minds and Hearts Hannah completed a degree in Health Science. Hannah has a passionate interest in the health and wellbeing of children and adults and has a strong background in working with people of all ages and cultures.

Edwina Yee – Administration Officer

Tracy McDonald – Administration Officer

Farisha Islam – Administration Officer

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