Our Team | Mandala Staff Support

The Mandala Staff Support team has a broad range of experience in the humanitarian emergency, disaster relief and international development sectors.

Our team has specialised skills in trauma and crisis support; psychosocial field projects; organisational development; cross-cultural psychology; human resources; and vocational counselling. This enables us to offer integrated support and advice to organisations and individuals to better support staff and volunteers working in high-pressure environments.

Kate Minto

Director & Senior Psychologist

Kate is a psychologist who worked in various roles with Mandala Foundation from 2008 to 2017. She commenced in a regional staff support role based in the Pacific, and lead the organisation from 2014. She also played a key role in co-developing Mandala’s psychosocial risk management resources and guidelines for the aid sector. Her current role incorporates leadership and advocacy, strategy, HR, and organisational consultancies. With fourteen years’ experience in the humanitarian sector, Kate is specialised in applying psychosocial principles of support to humanitarian and development contexts. Her field experience includes work for Oxfam International and the Mandala Foundation in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.

Iris Trapman

Senior Consulting Psychologist & Cultural Anthropologist

Before relocating to Australia, Iris worked for many years as a Mandala Foundation consultant in Timor-Leste. There she provided counselling services to local and expatriate humanitarian workers and delivered trainings on topics such as stress and trauma management, sexual harassment, and cross-cultural team management. Iris has over 20 years’ experience working on mental health, psychosocial support and gender based violence projects in the humanitarian sector, completing projects in Timor-Leste, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Bosnia, Burundi, Indonesia, Honduras, Iraq, Myanmar, Fiji and her native Netherlands for a range of organisations.

Di Rachinger

Senior Psychologist

Drawing on her extensive experience in the careers and employment sector, Di specialises in providing vocational counselling, mentoring and training to aspiring (in addition to current) humanitarian workers and volunteers. Di worked for many years at the University of Melbourne in the areas of Careers & Employment, Student Volunteering and International Exchange and with students and staff of the Masters of International Development program. Di also has a strong background in management and organisational behaviour.

Susannah Tipping


Susannah is a registered clinical psychologist with 17 years of experience working in mental health and not-for-profit settings in Australia and the United States. Alongside her work for Mandala, Susannah works as a sessional clinical psychologist and trainer/facilitator at Foundation House, a not-for-profit in the refugee sector. In 2011 Susannah completed a Doctor of Philosophy in the area of refugee mental health, focusing on the resettlement experiences of young people from a South Sudanese refugee background.

Janine Ward


Janine is a psychologist with more than 13 years experience working with people experiencing severe mental health difficulties and supporting individuals and communities affected by trauma, grief and loss. She has a particular interest in the area of trauma and is currently completing a Masters in Clinical Psychology to gain specialist training in this area. She has direct field experience working with UNHCR & UNICEF (deployed through RedR Australia) in Indonesia and Pakistan. Janine provides psychosocial debriefing, counselling and training to humanitarian workers for Mandala.

Daiva Verbyla


Daiva delivers psychological briefing, counselling and debriefing to humanitarian workers for Mandala. Previously she worked as the Manager of Professional Development Standards with the Australian Psychological Society (APS) for over five years. Daiva has presented at international conferences and has been invited to teach semester units on psychological tests, testing and ethics of testing at Victorian universities at higher degree levels.

Jonathan Black

Consulting Psychologist (New Zealand)

Jonathan is an organisational psychologist and director of Farsight Ltd. Based in Christchurch, New Zealand, he is a specialist in behavioural risk management, particularly training, coaching and advising in conflict management, negotiation, leadership and communication. From 1994-2002 Jonathan was a psychologist with the New Zealand Police, including serving as principal psychological advisor for initial police involvement in East Timor. Jonathan remains a consultant to Police along with other clients in the private sector and public service.

Alanna Myers

Communications Coordinator

Alanna is responsible for Mandala’s external communications. She holds a PhD in environmental communication from the University of Melbourne, focusing on media representations of environmental conflict over mining and industrial development. She is also a Sessional Lecturer and Tutor and Research Assistant in the Media and Communications program at the University of Melbourne and has taught for a number of years in the subject Global Crisis Reporting, which explores the role of the media in theatres of humanitarian action.

Caterina Facchino

Finance & Administration Coordinator

Caterina is our finance and administration co-ordinator. She has been with Mandala for over five years, but brings more than ten years of experience as a BAS Agent and bookkeeper. She is responsible for preparing and maintaining annual budgets, financial statements and reports, assisting with the annual audit and maintaining general bookkeeping duties, including payroll and tax compliance.