Jeff Richardson - Rekindling the Spirit Counsellor

staff 003


I’m Jeff Richardson a Rekindling the Spirit Counsellor, I have a passionate interest in the Stolen Generation and in working with people that have survived the trauma of being forcibly removed from family and country. My background is in health and social and emotional wellbeing as an Aboriginal Health Worker and Counsellor.

I am 63 years of age and have survived the rigours of growing up as a man of mixed race and have experienced the dilemma of trying to sort out just where I fit into this world “too black to be white, too white to be black, too yellow to be white, too white to be yellow” I found happiness and contentment when I ACCEPTED ME and learned to respect and love myself. Perhaps I can be of assistance to you, I would love to hear from you.

Rekindling the Spirit “Empowering People to Take Control of their Lives”

Debbie Thompson - Rekindling the Spirit Counsellor

Staff Deb Thompson

Hi I am Debbie Thompson a Rekindling The Spirit counsellor, originally from Peak Hill my mob are Wiradjuri , I have lived in Lismore since 2004 and started working with Rekindling in 2012.

I have a special interest in the Stolen Generation and I co –facilitate the Stolen Generation Support Group and assist clients with family tracing, I have completed the Aunty Lorraine Peeters Marumali programme which is specialised training for working with people from the Stolen Generation.

I also have a strong interest in assisting clients with using computers and other office equipment to search for work.

RTS clients can access Computers, Phone, Fax, Copier, Printer and the normal array of office equipment from 8.30 to 4.30 Monday to Thursday, to complete and lodge forms (Centrelink, housing etc.), access their email accounts, apply for work, develop resume’s, contact potential employers and training/education organisations (anything to do with education, work, social and emotional wellbeing). Information, advice and referrals to a wide range of services and welfare/charity organisations is also available.

Rekindling the Spirit “Empowering People to Take Control of their Lives”

Sharmaine Keogh - Rekindling the Spirit Counsellor

staff 005Hi I am Sharmaine Keogh, I am part of a dynamic team of Rekindling the Spirit Counsellors. My passion lies in reducing ‘Violence and Victimisation’ in the Aboriginal Communities. Violence is presented in all forms in many areas of Society: Besides Domestic/family Violence, which carries its own dynamics, violence is also present in Schools, Workplace, Clubs, and Streets. Then there is secondary and lateral violence, much more subtle, but also impacts on the individual/family,

I believe that the client is the ‘expert’ in their own lives and have the answers/solutions, which might be deeply hidden/supressed under layers of trauma. I believe I have the skills to support you to find the answers. I also believe the way forward or to make changes is to take responsibility for your ‘own thoughts, feelings and behaviours’ before change can happen.

I have been in the Human Resource field for over 20years, in ‘Mainstream and Aboriginal Services’, in that time I have gained experience and developed interdisciplinary knowledge base. Focussing on prevention and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall quality of life for individual/families.

I was born in India to Irish/Portuguese/ Indian heritage, came to Australia from India when I was 13yrs old. My life has not been without tragedy and pain. I feel honoured and privileged to have been accepted by the Aboriginal Community.

My life experience is invaluable to my work and it enables me to understand and feel compassion on a deep level, I believe it also fine-tuned my intuition. However I do have formal education in this field, I have completed a Post Graduate Degree In Aboriginal Studies and Well-being, Associate Diploma in Social Science, Diploma in Counselling and the Rekindling the Spirit Advanced therapeutic Group Leadership and the Marumali Program Training, Accreditation in Strength Based ‘case management’ from Charles Strut University and the Training and Assessment Module. I furthermore trained in Narrative, Gestalt, Expressive art therapy, mental health etc.

Rekindling the Spirit “Empowering People to Take Control of their Lives”

Dwayne O’Connor - Rekindling the Spirit Counsellor


Hey I’m Dwayne O’Connor an RTS counsellor at Rekindling The Spirit. I am a proud Aboriginal man from Barkindji land and a guest in the Bundjalung Nation. My background is Drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, depression, anxiety, paranoia, gambling and family dysfunction just to name a few. I used to live a life of pain and misery, constantly on the grind for some sort of substance to feel normal and to suppress my emotions. I came to a point in my life where nothing was working and I could not do anything right, always making the wrong choices and getting bad results. In my heart I knew what I had to do but had no idea how to do it. At that moment I had to ask for help and make decisions that would allow me to learn a new way of living so I started to change the way I was thinking and doing things. I could only make changes with the help and support of a few different organisations.

I am now qualified and fully employed at RTS with an experienced team who believe in “Empowering people to take control of their lives”. Staff here at Rekindling The Spirit are a skilled team of people that are very passionate about helping people who want to help themselves. If you think this service could help you “help yourself” don’t hesitate to contact us.

For further information please give us a call on 02 662 255 34 or come to our office to have a chat at 25 Urallba Street Lismore

Rekindling the Spirit “Empowering People to Take Control of their Lives”

Stuart Cohen - Rekindling The Spirit Counsellor

staff 004Hi, I’m Stuart Cohen and I am a Rekindling The Spirit Counsellor. Here at RTS we understand the issues that can present itself in daily life and the complications that it brings. We are also aware of the need to express ourselves and to be listened to in an environment that is safe and free from judgement.

I am part of a multi-disciplined team that have a diverse range of skills and experience who can assist with the process of sorting through your issues.

I am fortunate enough to have some lived experience in regards to substance misuse, family dynamics and Social and Emotional Wellbeing and how it can impact on everyday living.

We strongly believe in ”Empowering People to Take Control of Their Lives” and are willing to assist you with removing some of the barriers that are in your life.

If you feel that we can offer you some assistance or just need someone to listen then please contact us on 02 66552234 or come and have a chat at our office at 25 Uralba St. Lismore.

Rekindling the Spirit “Empowering People to Take Control of their Lives”