Lisa Coffey

Lisa is the founder of Racing Hearts. Originally from Ireland, Lisa made the move to Australia in 2009. Lisa has worked in the racing industry in both Ireland and Australia.

It wasn’t until a riding injury that Lisa found her love of counselling; while recovering from her injury she studied counselling and psychotherapy. Naturally, Lisa combined her love of horses with her interest in therapy and discovered the benefits of Equine Assisted Therapy. Lisa’s passion is helping both people and horses.

Vanessa Keating with alpacas

Vanessa Keating

With over 20 years of experience in assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health concerns, Vanessa is a registered clinical psychologist who has completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Psychology followed by a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. Vanessa enjoys working in collaboration with each individual client and recognising their unique needs to develop a therapy plan that feels safe, supportive, and empowering. A true animal love, Vanessa has also been running her own farm for 10 years and is currently attempting to breed therapy-friendly alpacas.

Brooke Charteris

Brooke comes to us with an unusual range of qualifications, having gained work experience both here and overseas. She holds a M.Ed(SW) and a B.AgSc (HONS) from The University of Melbourne, along with a PG.DipEd(sec) and a Cert IV TAA and is currently completing her Dip.Couns. Brooke has worked as an equine nutrition advisor, a secondary school teacher and as a horse-riding coach and holds both her EA level one (dressage) and PCA level one coaching qualifications. At Racing Hearts Brooke facilitates the group programs. Brooke is training her own horses and is preparing a young horse for competition as well.

Catherine McGreal

Catherine’s love for horses began when she got her first pony at the early age of 10 and continued throughout her adult years leisure riding in the Victorian high plains. Along with her professional studies in Interior Design (BA) and more recently Arts Therapy (Grad Dip) she now combines her three loves in life using a multi modal arts discipline within Equine Assisted Therapy. Her work is informed by her multi modal Arts Therapy and is experientially based in that she incorporates interaction with the horses, allowing time, space and creative expression for healing to occur for the client within a natural and safe environment. Catherine is a member of the Australian Counselling Association.

Jo Martin

Jo is an Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) Practitioner. She works with her clients with the horses in the “here and now” as the horses are a model for healthy living. Jo has a passion for horses, through owning and riding her own horses, as well as coaching at Pony Club. Jo has recently completed Emmett Technique 4 Horses, a muscle release technique, so that she can support the horse therapy team physical health. Jo has a gentle and calming presence, providing space for her clients to learn about how the horses live, how they can learn about themselves and then apply the learning to their daily living. Jo is currently studying a Diploma of Counselling, so that she can further support her clients at Racing Hearts.

Adam Callow

Adam is an Occupational Therapist who has worked within the child and adolescent mental health sector for over 20 years. He has trained as an child and adolescent psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Adam has practiced psychotherapy since 2008. He has worked extensively with adults, parents and their children/families. He has an extensive history working with horses, starting his working life working with and training harness racing horses. Adam is looking forward to joining Racing Hearts and furthering his interest in equine assisted psychotherapy and occupational therapy.

Sofie Hutchinson

As a Creative Arts Therapist, Sofie has worked alongside both adults and children to facilitate creative expression as an avenue for wellbeing, growth and development. With a Masters Degree in Therapeutic Arts Practice, Sofie’s skills in being alongside another therapeutically are drawn from creative arts processes, rather than traditional counselling or psychology frameworks. Whilst the benefits of art therapy can differ between individuals, these creative processes can support verbal and non verbal expression of feelings and perceptions, develop cognitive and fine motor skills, promote agency, self awareness and self esteem and reduce stress whilst promoting wellbeing. Sofie’s approach when working alongside another is person centred, as she companions the person she is alongside to explore and express what is most meaningful to them.

As an Art Therapist at Racing Hearts, Sofie incorporates the therapeutic benefits of the outdoor spaces within the property as we tend to art making alongside our therapy horses.

Dr. Angela Mornane

Angela holds a PhD in Education and a Masters in Education Counselling and Guidance and has over twenty years experience in the education and counselling field. Angela’s research and practice has focused on building resilience and wellbeing among children, adolescents and adults. She has had extensive experience working with students, families and agencies as a student welfare coordinator and teacher in secondary schools, university lecturer and student advisor and a counsellor in private practice. Angela’s degree in Horticulture has also led to a lifelong passion for plants, animals and sustainable environments and she uses Nature Therapy as part of her counselling practice. Using both contemporary and creative therapies such as Play Therapy, Animal Therapy, Narrative Therapy and Mindfulness are key aspects of her counselling approach.

Marieke Lutterberg

Working in the early childhood education field has provided Marieke with a broad knowledge base of typical and atypical early childhood development, including working with neuro diverse children. Developmental trauma, for example through abuse, family violence, social or economic adversity, may have short term and/or long term effects on children, young people and sometimes far into adulthood, including in the way an adult may parent their own children or build relationships with others.
Marieke is able to support children, young people and adults with life skill development in areas related to Identity, communication, social and emotional wellbeing, learning and participation in community by working closely with the clients in partnership with our herd of therapy horses in the natural environments of the Balnarring Farm.
Certifications Australian Childhood Foundation: Bringing up great kids program facilitator; 
Equine Psychotherapy Institute: Equine Assisted Learning practitioner; 
Hanen: Learning Language and Loving It facilitator
Horses enjoying the shade of a forest