Kellie Knapton

Kellie Knapton

Director and Psychologist

Bachelor of Social Sciences (Psychology), University of Western Sydney
Postgraduate Diploma (Psychology), University of Western Sydney

Kellie has been working in the field for over 18 years and has a strong background in working with youth and their families to provide comprehensive and individualised support in areas including anger management, anxiety, parent support, learning and cognition, depression and neurodevelopmental assessment. She has an extensive background in implementing early intervention programs for children with developmental delays such as Autism and has a special interest in working with children who have more complex learning needs.

Kellie created Cherished Minds from a strong value system and desire to provide a safe and happy place for clients and their families to talk about their struggles, share their successes and learn how to improve their overall health and well-being through creating long lasting change in their lives.

Kristy Chavura

Kristy Chavura

Senior Psychologist

Kristy is a registered psychologist with 18 years’ experience working with patients providing short-term therapy, support, consultation and specialist assessments.

Kristy has worked as a psychologist in Australia and the United Kingdom and has enjoyed working with patients of different ages and backgrounds. She has a broad range of experience and expertise in a variety of settings and has worked with a wide range of clinical presentations. These include anxiety, depression, risk management, interpersonal issues, anger and aggression, neurodevelopmental assessment and parenting support.

Kristy has a particular passion for helping those who find it hard to access formal therapy and believes that everyone has a right to feel heard.

Jelena Djukic

Jelena Djukic

Psychologist

Diploma in Applied Psychology, Macquarie University
Bachelor of Psychology, University of Western Sydney
Diploma of Community Services, Welfare institute of TAFE

Jelena speaks four languages including English, Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian

Jelena’s passion since the beginning of her career has been developmental and educational psychology. Jelena has extensive experience in early intervention and assessment. Jelena has facilitated paediatrics clinics in partnership with NSW area Health across Liverpool, Bankstown, Campbelltown and Alexandria areas for over 6 years.

Jelena enjoys working with children who present with anxiety and/or behavioural difficulties, and has extensive experience on how to work collaboratively with parents to ensure good relationships are established for the whole family.

Anil Kaushik

Anil Kaushik

Psychologist

Bachelor of Science (Psychology), University of Newcastle
Diploma of Applied Hypnosis, College of Medical Hypnosis

Anil has 27 years’ experience as a psychologist. He completed his psychology degree from the University of Newcastle. Anil has experience working in NSW Health in both Mental Health and Community Health. In the Community Health setting, Anil worked in Child and Family teams and has much experience and a special interest in this area of psychology.

While he works in a thoroughly professional and ethical manner, he engages well with clients and is quick to develop rapport and establish a connection with people that enhances the therapy process.

Anil is a popular psychologist amongst his peers and his warm nature and sense of humour make him the perfect choice as a counsellor. He understands very well the experiences people have on their journey through life and he can help add clarity to situations based not only on evidence-based theory, but through practical experience as well.

Victoria Do

Victoria Do

Psychologist

Bachelor of Psychology, University of Western Sydney

Victoria is a warm and empathetic clinician with a strong passion in working with children of all ages, supporting them with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties. She has experience working in clinic settings as well as in numerous schools across Sydney, in a way that is evidence-based yet also tailored to the individual. Victoria also has extensive experience in administering psychometric assessments and facilitating group programs for social skills (3+ years) and anxiety management.

Victoria has a special interest in early intervention, working with children with developmental delays such as Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is trained in ABA therapy and is able to guide parents with strategies to achieving expected milestones in learning, behaviour and play. She is skilled in working with varying levels of expressive language including non-verbal children, and is able to support development in functional communication.

Jessica Castelao

Jessica Castelao

Psychologist

Bachelor of Arts Psychology
Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology
Master of Professional Psychology
Master of Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy

Jessica’s experience includes working with Children and Young People, in foster care, residential care, new mothers in residential care and with parents of Children and Young People to assist with therapy outcomes.

Using a variety of therapeutic evidence-based modalities, Jessica has worked with complex adolescent trauma from a trauma-informed-care approach; in particular those from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background. Furthermore, she has provided positive behaviour support for Children and Young People presenting with challenging behaviours, short-term primary intervention for depression and anxiety, and psychoeducation groups to Children, Young People and mothers.

Working and advocating with the Young Persons system such as their family, school or other practitioners is something Jessica is passionate about and believes to be an essential part of therapy.

Nicoll (Nikki) Larrea

Nicoll (Nikki) Larrea

Psychologist

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) – Western Sydney University
Graduate Diploma in Psychology (Advanced) – Monash University

Nikki has experience counselling children with a range of presentations such as anxiety, depression, social skills difficulties, emotional regulation difficulties, anger management problems, behavioural difficulties, and relationship difficulties. Nikki is experienced with assessments including cognitive assessments (i.e., WISC-V) and academic assessments (i.e., WIAT). She is also trained in the Cool Kids anxiety program.

Nikki has a particular interest in ADHD and enjoys helping families who have a child with ADHD. Nikki is currently researching and completing training in ADHD and uses this knowledge to inform treatment and provide strategies.

Nikki enjoys working with children, teens, and young adults. She also enjoys working collaboratively with parents (and schools, if needed) to properly understand the presenting issue. Nikki prides herself on her warm, friendly nature and takes time to properly get to know her clients and their parents. Nikki enjoys listening to children and empowering them to reach their goals through evidence-based techniques.

Yen Nguyen

Yen Nguyen

Psychologist

Bachelor of Psychology, University of Western Sydney
Graduate Diploma in Relationship Counselling, Australian Institute of Relationship Studies

Yen is a highly skilled and compassionate psychologist with a broad range of experience and expertise in various settings. With a commitment to providing exceptional care, she has worked with individuals across diverse clinical presentations, including anxiety, depression, interpersonal issues, anger and aggression. Fluent in Vietnamese, she is able to provide counselling services in both English and Vietnamese, ensuring effective communication and cultural sensitivity.

One of Yen’s passions lies in working with children who face challenges related to anxiety and behavioural difficulties. Her experience in this area has equipped her with a deep understanding of how to effectively collaborate with parents. By fostering strong relationships with families, she ensures that holistic support is provided, benefiting the entire family unit.

In her practice, Yen has successfully counselled children dealing with a wide range of presentations. She has helped children and adolescents struggling with anxiety, depression, social skills difficulties, emotional regulation challenges, anger management problems, behavioural issues, and relationship difficulties. Driven by her commitment to comprehensive care, she goes beyond counselling, offering cognitive assessments, such as the WISC-V, to evaluate intellectual functioning.

Yen brings a warm and empathetic approach to her practice, establishing a safe and nurturing environment where clients feel supported and understood. Her collaborative and evidence-based approach ensures that each individual’s unique needs are met, empowering them to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.

Xinxin (Coco) Xu

Xinxin (Coco) Xu

Psychologist

Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours)
Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science

Coco is bi-lingual (English and Mandarin) and can connect with people from a culturally and linguistically diverse range of backgrounds.

Coco enjoys working with children and adolescents, helps them understand and manage their unhelpful thoughts, emotions and behaviours, and provides emotional, psychological, and behavioural support. She adopts a person-centred approach and believes and respects that everyone is unique. She comes to this role with a world of knowledge and life experiences and has a sense of mission to help children and young people navigate their journey in life.

Coco has furthered her knowledge through experience, supervision, and professional training. She commits to using evidence-based assessments and interventions (e.g., Cognitive Behavioural Therapy – CBT) to assist children, young people, and their families in improving their mental health and achieving a better life.

Interested In Joing Our Team?

If Cherished Minds calls to you and you would like to develop your career further, we would love to hear from you.

Admin Team

Melissa, Carmelina and Aneeta are passionate about providing great customer service to Cherished Minds families. As the first point of contact, they are happy to assist with all enquiries and help in any way that they can. Between them they have many years’ experience in different customer service and administration roles. Melissa, Carmelina and Aneeta provide the day to day support that is integral to the successful functioning of the clinic and play an essential role in the services that we offer at Cherished Minds.

Melissa Violi
Aneeta Augustine