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Samantha Schoeler-Jones

Samantha Schoeler-Jones

Conference Convenor

Having completed a Bachelor of Music Performance at the Western Australian Conservatorium of Music with Richard Gill as Dean, Sam moved to Germany to further her studies in flute at the Hochschule fuer Musik, Franz Liszt. Weimar. On completing these studies, she had one of those life changing moments when she found some brochures on a table at the music school about studying music therapy in Germany. And so began a new journey…..

With a passion for teaching, Sam began a Diploma of Education (Music) and returned to Australia in 2004 with her family to build on the knowledge and experience she’d gained during the 9 years of living in Germany and completing her Dip Ed.

In 2007, Sam completed the process of registration with the AMTA and in 2008 became involved with the NSW AMTA in the role as Treasurer for a number of years. As someone who values the importance of being active within our Association, she also accepted the opportunity to be Social Chair for the 2013 National Conference. Currently, she is working as a Clinical Specialist with Sing&Grow Australia (NSW Team), specialist classroom music teacher and music therapist for the Department of Education, mentor for the National Music Teachers Mentoring Program and curriculum consultant, with the occasional performance to nurture the musician inside!

Dr. Alison Liew Stewart

Dr. Alison Liew Stewart (previously Creighton)

Scientific Chair

Ali is passionate about empowering families to develop and maintain secure attachments. She currently works as a Clinical Specialist for Sing&Grow Australia (NSW team) and privately facilitates the Circle of Security Group Parenting Program.

Ali has a penchant for studying, learning and teaching. In 2014, she completed her PhD in how the experience of mother-infant singing interaction contributes to attachment. In 2015-2016 she was a casual lecturer at the University of Western Sydney Creative Music Therapy course. In 2017 she completed a Masters in Special Education (deaf and hard of hearing) to pursue her interest in assisting children with hearing loss to acquire and develop language.

Ali’s goal is to combine and utilise all these passions to continue empowering families while assisting children reach their potential.

Vanessa Lucas

Vanessa Lucas

PDS Convenor

As a Masters’ graduate from UTS in 2010 and current Music Therapist at Giant Steps School in Sydney, Vanessa is passionate about elevating the well-being, emotional health and quality of life of her students through active engagement, participation and diversity of musical and arts-based experiences.

Vanessa is committed to improving and increasing informed and inclusive arts-access options for young people with Autism and their families. She has worked collaboratively with prominent arts organisations (i.e. Sydney Opera House, Sydney Festival, Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of NSW) to share her knowledge and experience on how to provide effective Autism-friendly communication and support, in order to enhance the venue’s offering and consequently each patron’s experience.

Vanessa presented on this subject at both the Arts Activated Conference in 2014 and at the National AMTA Conference in Sydney in 2015. In 2014 she also presented a research paper on the ‘Xylophone Project’ at both the World Congress of Music Therapy in Austria and the AMTA Conference in Melbourne. Last year, she received an Access award from the Sydney Opera House for her training, advice and expertise relating to Relaxed Performances.

Christine Morson

Christine Morson

Social Chair

Christine completed her Graduate Diploma of Creative Music Therapy at WSU in 2004. Since then she has worked as a contractor for Nordoff-Robbins, Sing and Grow, Boppin Babies as well as her own private practice servicing individual clients and organisations such as relationships Australia.

Over the past 13 years she has worked as part of an outreach team establishing programs in state high schools for adolescents with behaviour and emotional disorders. Implementing programs for families at risk including the prison setting. Working with people with disabilities of all ages to reach their full potential and more recently for Health NSW in adult mental health.

Christine is currently the NSW Chair and has been challenged and says she learnt so much during the past 18 months or so. She loves the diversity that our profession provides and being a part of the change of so many lives through music is a pleasure and a privilege.

Lauren Bortolazzo

Lauren Bortolazzo

Conference Assistant

Lauren graduated from the Western Sydney University’s (WSU) Masters of Creative Music Therapy degree with Distinction in 2016 and has been enjoying her first few years as a newly graduated Registered Music Therapist. Lauren was previously the WSU Student Representative on the NSW AMTA board and she currently holds the Secretarial position. This role has given Lauren the opportunity to engage with NSW AMTA members and help organise beneficial events and opportunities for RMT’s as well as advocate for the Music Therapy profession through Social Media. Lauren is passionate about supporting students and RMTs who are new to the profession.

Lauren currently works as an RMT for MusicConnect and the Salvation Army in the areas of youth mental health and family therapy and she is passionate about empowering the young people and families she works with.

Jacinta Calabro

Jacinta Calabro

Conference & PDS Chair

Jacinta Calabro runs TLC Music and is the founder of Music Therapy Online. She has extensive clinical experience working with babies, children and families and is passionate about ongoing learning and empowering music therapists to thrive.