St Luke’s Innovative Resources offers specialist training and workshops. This training can occur at your premises, or you are welcome to come to us and use our training rooms.

The facilitators listed below all carry individual skills across various areas of practice, and we will allocate you a facilitator who can best meet your training requirements.

Our Tools for Change workshops continue to draw from a wide array of Innovative Resources facilitators and guest facilitators, to really tailor tools workshops to your specific area of work or set of circumstances.

In 2020 we are partnering with Unique Outcomes to extend our capacity in delivering strengths-based training.  Andrew Shirres, Paul Montgomery, David Lees and Amy Stephenson, together will represent Innovative Resources in the delivery of strengths-based practice, and strengths-based supervision to heath and human services organisations and teams.

Karen Bedford

Karen has a Master’s Degree, a Diploma of Teaching and a Diploma of Counselling Psychology. As the managing editor at St Luke’s Innovative Resources, she has been involved in creating over fifty strengths-based books and card sets for counsellors,  teachers and social workers. Karen is the author of a book called The Uses of Sadness (Allen and Unwin) and a card set called  The Nature of Strengths. She recently created and facilitated a series of therapeutic creative writing programs resulting in a book called The Treasure Trove. Karen has many years experience as a speaker, adult educator, trainer and group facilitator.

Karen has been instrumental in the development of our most popular latest resources, namely Rainbow Talk, Body Signals, Self-Care Cards, Anxiety Solutions and Anxiety Solutions for Kids. Her research and partnering with specialists has further enhanced Karen’s capacity to bring a strong therapeutic approach to her workshops.

Georgena Stuckenschmidt

Georgena has worked across the not-for-profit sector for over 25 years, in roles stretching from Community Development Worker to Chief Financial Officer, and is currently the General Manager of St Luke’s Innovative Resources. Georgena is a CPA, with a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA), and has completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Georgena contributes both theories and frameworks to workshops, bringing practical experience in people management, team building and the process of change to both organisations and communities. She has witnessed and contributed to change and growth in a variety of contexts, and has used conversation-building tools in many settings to achieve better outcomes for teams, individuals, community groups and organisations.

Sue King-Smith

Sue has moved across from community development work within Anglicare Victoria’s St Luke’s, to develop a new e-learning platform for Innovative Resources. She holds a PhD in Creative Arts along with degrees and diplomas in the humanities, teaching and management, and is an accredited life coach. Her community services work and teaching is informed by strengths-based and solution-focused approaches, and she has a long-standing interest in transpersonal psychology. Sue is also a published poet and nonfiction writer. For three years, she was the co-editor of the literary ezine, The Animist, which was archived under the National Library’s Pandora Project. She has just finished a stint as chief editor for the Melbourne Poets Union.

John Bonnice

John has an extensive background in the community services sector having worked in a range of roles including casework practitioner, youth and community development, service coordination, program management and social policy development. John’s previous roles have included Director for Strategy and Innovation, General Manager for Children, Youth and Family Services, and Program Manager for Youth Services. John has previously worked in youth justice and child protection at the Department of Human Services and also in youth development roles at Melbourne City Mission and the Young Christian Workers Movement. John is an experienced facilitator of conversations with organisations around practice development, social inclusion, cultural competency and community development.

Andrew Shirres – Strengths Trainer

Andrew has a Bachelor’s Degree and a Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts, a Bachelor of Social Work, a Diploma of Management and a Cert IV in Training and Assessment. He is a highly experienced facilitator of ‘strengths-based practice’, delivering workshops across many community and social service sectors throughout Australia. Through his training and group facilitation work Andrew has developed a myriad of skills and experiences to share with new and seasoned practitioners. Andrew’s commitment and dedication to reflective practice have earned him great respect while working extensively in both service delivery and management for more than 10 years. He is a facilitator of ‘strengths approach’ learning and skills development for individuals, teams and organisations.

Paul Montgomery – Strengths Trainer

pAul has been an intrepid explorer of solution-oriented and narrative ideas for two decades. These travels have included stays in a range of human service and community work settings in the field of: parenting and family work including working with folks effected by abuse; work with children and young people; personal and relationship counselling; work with folks living with disabilities and their families; and community training and development projects.

He has been involved in direct practice, service co-ordination, professional supervision, training and social work leadership. pAul’s interests lie in what it takes to create an environment that supports the rich and thoughtful development of more helpful stories, especially in the midst of a sense that there is only one unhelpful story to tell. pAul enjoys contributing to energetic and critical conversations with individuals, couples, families and organisations looking for new pathways through the long dark journeys that are often part of life and human service work. He has found that new ways of looking at problems and our initial responses to them almost always yield creative home-grown ideas for “rising to the challenge”. He continues to be most energised by direct involvement in significant change processes. His supervision and training work is imbued with this energy and with stories of recent practice. pAul has established a reputation for bringing creativity, calmness and a gently respectful humour to all of his work.

Amy Stephenson – Strengths Trainer

Amy has been committed to ways of working that bring about positive social change for two decades in a range of human service practice contexts. Her thinking has been influenced by experiences gathered in domestic and family violence, homelessness, family intervention, out of home care and the early childhood services sectors. Amy has enjoyed roles spanning from frontline practice work through to executive management in both state wide and national organisations, finding practice development work particularly captivating over the last decade.

Amy is energised by approaches that thoughtfully engage with the strengths and dignity of people. To this end, she is strongly influenced by response-based practice and the ways in which intentional and meaningful conversations can provide a foundation for exploring people’s capacity for change. Amy has an engagement style that aligns with strengths-based, solution focussed and participatory leadership methods – at all times aiming to balance empathy with a sense of fun.  She has significant experience in professional supervision and workplace training – specifically in the areas of strengths based practice, domestic violence and out of home care – as well as university lecturing. Amy’s continuing doctoral studies within public health shows her commitment to lifelong learning and advocacy, and her thesis aims to harness the advances that are rapidly occurring in Australia regarding violence against women and social change.

David Lees – Strengths Trainer

David is a social worker with over 30 years experience in community organisations, government agencies, universities and small business. During this time David’s roles have included counsellor, direct practice worker, team leader, manager, evaluator, facilitator, lecturer, tutor, consultant, researcher, business owner, supervisor and trainer.

His experience includes involvement in several ground-breaking research, capacity building and development projects within organisations and communities. For the last 15 years David has been a leader in the articulation and implementation of strengths and collaborative approaches within the Australian human services sector, providing a range of training, coaching, supervision and organisational consulting services. He has presented at many national and international conferences and delivered hundreds of workshops across Australia, New Zealand and Ireland. David has a persistent belief in the capacity and resilience of people and is inspired by the stories of initiatives taken by people in the face of difficult or unjust circumstances. He has embraced ways of thinking about change that emphasis multiple perspectives (stories), collaborative effort, appreciative foundations, compelling aspirations and constructive first steps. In his work with individuals, groups or organisations David seeks to create reflective, generative ‘spaces’ in which peoples curiosity, energies, values and aspirations come to the fore. Over the years David has become known for his passion, respectful approach, gentle thoughtfulness, clear practical ideas and playful engaging style.

Danni McDougall – Guest Facilitator

Danni McDougall

Author, art therapist and senior mental health practitioner