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NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors

Jeanette Ninnis

Jeanette Ninnis, is a social work practitioner who has specialised for twenty-two years in mental health clinical therapy and counselling. She holds a Master of Social Work Advanced Practice from Charles Sturt University, and a Bachelor of Social Work with Distinction from LaTrobe University.

For the past ten years, Jeanette has provided torture and trauma counselling at STARTTS Service for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors. Jeanette works in a regional area and has specialist training and experience in providing counselling for people across the lifespan and from many refugee background communities. Prior to this, as a sexual assault counsellor, Jeanette initiated a focus on outreach engagement to encourage women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to seek sexual assault counselling. As a clinician for people with serious mental illness, Jeanette facilitated programs for young people and families impacted by first episode psychosis, women with life threatening self-harm behaviours, and children of parents with mental illness.

Jeanette also teaches social work at Charles Sturt University. Her teaching experience includes developing and delivering an online counselling skills subject, and coordinating and lecturing for subjects across communication, counselling theory, group work, human rights and human rights law.

Jeanette’s Master’s dissertation, outlines a cross-cultural trauma counselling model, developed from a literature review of what women from Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo report assists their psychological wellbeing after conflict-related sexual violence. The model highlights that wellbeing comes from the intersecting of worldview strengths, cultural recovery knowledges, Western counselling knowledges and attention to structural power and disadvantage. This model informed understanding and aligned with the views expressed by single mothers from Congolese refugee background settling in regional Australia. It assisted the development of their STARTTS group to support trauma recovery and wellbeing.

Jeanette has presented at National and International conferences including International Federation of Social Workers Conference in Dublin 2018 and Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma, Australia and New Zealand Refugee Trauma Recovery in Resettlement Conference – Sydney 2017 and Brisbane 2019. She has also collaborated on publications including on the topic of ‘Mental health access issues by people of refugee backgrounds in Australia’ published in 2019.

In addition to striving to contribute to the knowledge base and practice understanding of effective counselling for mental health wellbeing, Jeanette maintains a passionate commitment to her family and engagement with the natural environment, arts practice, and music making.

Jeanette Ninnis will present at a STARTTS Clinical Master Class in November 2022.

STARTTS Clinical Master Classes
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