What's important to us

We keep it real

We pride ourselves on building authentic relationships with real empathy.

We lend an ear

Learning, to us, begins with listening. Before all else, we take the time to listen to service users, staff on the ground and to the researchers who have come before us.

We do work we’re proud of

We’re purpose-driven not only as a business, but as individuals. We care about and take pride in doing quality work we’re proud of, knowing our success makes a difference in improving real people’s lives.

We punch above our weight

Armed with curiosity, we aim to create outsized impact by innovating solutions that think outside the box.

My experience working with the Peregrine Centre on the facilitation of a co-design process was a perfect example of their values in action. As a lived experience facilitator who works in mental health and suicide prevention systems improvement initiatives, I can often feel like my expertise is not valued or my input even really wanted. Rebecca and Rich treated me as an equal partner from start to finish. It was the same way they approached engagement with the lived experience co-design participants – they took a humble and generous approach to working with community and showed a genuine desire to deeply listen and learn from each and every person. This meant that authentic relationships were able to be built quickly with people who have understandably low levels of trust – this allowed for really rich and meaningful conversations to happen.

Carrie Lumby, Director, Lived Experience, National Mental Health Commission

Our people

Frontline experience
Clinical expertise

Rebecca Sng


Rebecca holds a Doctorate of Clinical Psychology/Masters of Science from the University of Sydney and an MBA in Social Impact from UNSW. She is a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Family Therapist and has been practicing for over 20 years.

Her previous positions include Deputy Director of Clinical Psychology at the University of Wollongong, Unit Head at the Alternate Care Clinic (Tertiary NSW Health clinic for children in Out of Home Care) and Director of Mental Health at Grand Pacific Health (an NGO supplying health services in regional NSW/ACT).

She has previously been the Chair of Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy and a member of the executive for the Australian Association for Family Therapy.

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Rebecca is still an Honorary Fellow at the University of Wollongong and the external representative on the university-wide Student Wellbeing Advisory Panel.

She was a member of the executive for the successful Illawarra-Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative from 2016-2021.

She is a Churchill Fellow and Centre for Social Impact Scholarship holder.

Rebecca’s particular publication interests include breaking intergenerational cycles of violence, particularly via improved family functioning and suicide prevention.

Rebecca founded The Peregrine Centre to assist social impact organisations to do better by embracing rigorous and intentional learning from research, from service users and from their own experience.

Frank Deane

Researcher / Evaluator

Prof. Frank Deane is a Honorary Senior Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Wollongong and was previously Director of the Illawarra Institute for Mental Health at the University of Wollongong for 20 years.

He trained as a clinical psychologist at Massey University in New Zealand (BSc., MSc., PGDip.Clin.Psych) and practiced in the USA for 6 years before returning to New Zealand, where he completed his PhD and became a Senior Lecturer at Massey University.

Frank moved to the University of Wollongong in 1998 to be the Director of Clinical Psychology programs and taught in the clinical programs for 22 years.

Frank has broad research interests related to understanding what determines help-seeking for mental health problems and factors that lead to better treatment outcomes for both mental health and alcohol or other drug problems.

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He is also interested in research on clinical training, supervision and coaching.

He has conducted research evaluating the effectiveness of different coaching models at increasing transfer of training and improving fidelity among staff delivering recovery oriented services for people with severe and persistent mental illnesses.

He has published over 318 peer reviewed journal articles and supervised 50 doctoral students and over 100 Masters or Honours research student projects to completion.

He is particularly interested in pragmatic study designs and utilises a diverse range of research methodologies and data analytic strategies in his research and evaluation activities.

Dayle Raftery 

Research Associate – Rural Mental Health Partnership

Dayle is a registered psychologist and holds a PhD (Clinical Psychology). Alongside her role within The Peregrine Centre, Dayle currently practices as a psychologist working with adolescents and their families. Dayle is a strong advocate for mental health education and access. 

Dayle has worked within mental health research for over a decade, with a particular focus on people from marginalised groups. She has experience working on a range of projects, including delivery of online programs, telephone care, clinical trials, and collaborating with peer workers to deliver care. 

 Having grown up in the New England area, Dayle understands the difficulties for regional and rural populations to access care. Dayle is passionate about the delivery of timely and appropriate mental health care to all people, no matter personal circumstance. 

Caitlin Miller

Research Associate – Rural Mental Health Partnership

Caitlin is a Clinical Psychologist who holds a PhD (Clinical Psychology) from University of Wollongong. Caitlin has worked in a variety of research and clinical roles, with her research focused predominantly on vulnerable and at-risk populations including children and adolescents engaging in suicidal behaviours, individuals with personality disorders and individuals with substance use concerns. Outside of her work at The Peregrine Centre, Caitlin works as a Clinical Psychologist with adolescents, adults and families. She enjoys working alongside individuals in a collaborative way to improve their mental health.  

Caitlin has lived in remote, rural, regional and metropolitan areas throughout her life. This has provided her with an understanding of the barriers to accessing care. She is passionate about equitable access to mental health services within communities to provide all individuals the chance to engage in treatment for mental health. 

Heather Gant 

Local Project Officer – Rural Mental Health Partnership

Covers Western NSW and Far West Local Health Districts


Heather has a background in nursing; she commenced working in mental health as a new graduate, in Child & Adolescent Mental Health, providing services to families in regional centres, through to rural and remote communities in Western NSW LHD.  She has also worked in crisis mental health, providing services via Telehealth across Western NSW & Far West LHD. 

She has completed her Masters in Mental Health (Child & Adolescent), a Grad Cert in D&A Nursing and a Grad Cert in Disability Inclusion.  Heather is passionate about equity of health service provision to rural and remote communities, which stems from growing up in a small farming community.   

Charlotte Finlayson

Local Project Officer – Rural Mental Health Partnership

Covers Murrumbidgee Local Health District


Charlotte is a current PhD candidate at the University of Sydney School of Education and Social Work. She has a Bachelor of Social Work (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (Sociology and Socio-legal Studies) from the University of Sydney. Charlotte is an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker with experience working in community mental health, suicide prevention and counselling settings.

Charlotte has a special interest rural and remote mental health and in incorporating lived experience approaches into services responses to social and emotional distress. Her current research is focused on exploring experiences help-seeking for suicidal distress in rural and remote NSW. 

Michelle Bonner

Local Project Officer – Rural Mental Health Partnership

Covers Southern NSW Local Health District


Michelle Bonner is currently a generalist social worker in Community Health in the Eurobodalla region. Previously she was a case manager with the Eurobodalla Bushfire Recovery Support Service working with individuals impacted by the Black Summer Bushfires 2019/2020. She has also worked at the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in their policy and community engagement teams.

In her role at Dress for Success Sydney she was a member of the CQU Regional Engagement Committee (NSW Region) and managed Success Works, a program focused on supporting women with a criminal history into employment.

Michelle is a social worker by background having worked in the government, non-government, charitable and academic sectors in NSW and Northern Territory. Michelle has worked in the complex and sensitive areas of domestic violence, grief and loss, elder abuse, sexual health, child sexual abuse and women in the criminal justice system, managing several challenging projects. She has an ongoing commitment and passion for human rights and social justice in Australia aiming to bridge the gap between the advantaged and less advantaged in society.

Brittany Smith

Local Project Officer – Rural Mental Health Partnership

Covers Northern NSW Local Health District


Brittany is a Clinical Psychology Registrar, who holds a Master of Clinical Psychology from the University of Technology Sydney. Alongside her role within The Peregrine Centre, Brittany works as a Clinical Psychology Registrar providing services to children and families across Northern NSW. Brittany has experience working in community mental health, research, and disability support settings. Brittany enjoys working collaboratively with individuals and their support system in working to strengthen relationships and improve mental health and wellbeing.

Having grown up on the north coast and worked in both rural and metropolitan settings, Brittany is passionate about the delivery of equitable and sustainable mental health services in rural and remote communities. Brittany is committed to being a part of local research, and education initiatives that strengthen inclusive, supportive, and evidence-based practice to support improved access for all community members.

Diane Heathcote

Local Project Officer – Rural Mental Health Partnership

Covers Lower Hunter New England and Nepean Blue Mountains Health Districts:


Diane has worked as a Psychologist in numerous public, private and not for profit settings using a range of assessment and evidence-based counselling, behavioural, psychoeducational and parenting interventions for clients of all ages.  She completed a Master in Clinical Psychology at the University of Newcastle and has worked in a variety of research, educational and clinical roles. Her focus has been to support children and young teenagers experiencing a range of neurodivergent, learning, emotional and/or social challenges. She has co-developed and presented numerous parenting programs for parents of children with ADHD. She firmly believes that as children are integrated within their environments it is important to work with  families, schools and communities to provide support and develop strategies that are meaningful and workable. Increasingly this requires training and consultation within these support structures, further benefitting the community and enhancing its resilience and providing opportunities to share lived experiences.

Diane’s experiences with community health, ASPECT, and establishing a regional Outreach service for The Behavioural Problems Clinic, reinforced her belief that community centric mental health services provide the best opportunity for those who are struggling to find pathways to connect and thrive.

Sarah Sherratt

Local Project Officer – Rural Mental Health Partnership

Upper Hunter New England and the Mid North Coast NSW Local Health Districts




Sarah is a Clinical Psychologist, who holds a Master of Clinical Psychology from the University of New England and a Bachelor of Psychology with Honours from Griffith University. Alongside her role within The Peregrine Centre, Sarah works as a Clinical Psychologist within Community Mental Health providing services to children and families. Sarah also provides support to her community through private practice seeing clients across the lifespan within the New England area. Sarah has experience working in government, non-government and private settings, in clinical, research, academic and educational roles.

Growing up in a small town within the New England area Sarah is aware of the challenges that face regional communities. Having lived and worked in both rural and urban settings, Sarah is passionate about access and delivery of effective, evidence-based sustainable mental health supports in rural and remote communities and supporting local clinicians to grow and develop across their carers to best support their own local communities.

Laura Parrish
Local Project Officer – Rural Mental Health Partnership
Covers Illawarra Shoalhaven NSW Local Health District


Laura holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) from the University of Wollongong. Beyond her role as Local Project Officer, Laura has several years’ experience within mental health research. She has contributed to a range of projects including clinical trials, online interventions, diagnostic tool evaluations, and program evaluations.

Laura is dedicated to advancing and promoting accessible and inclusive mental health care for everyone. Recognising the challenges individuals in rural and remote areas face in accessing essential mental health services, she is passionate about enhancing service delivery in these communities.