Founder & Child Psychologist
Michael Hawton is a registered Australian psychologist, trained teacher, author of Talk Less Listen More™, Engaging Adolescents™, and The Anxiety Coach™, international speaker, media commentator, and a father of two. With 30 years’ experience working with children and families including in his private practice, working with the United Nations in Seychelles, and preparing child welfare reports for the Family Court, Michael is one of Australia’s foremost experts in child anxiety and managing difficult behaviours in children, adolescents, and adults.
Hayley has 20 years’ experience in strategic communications, strategic brand management, marketing and events, she has been with Parentshop since 2019. Hayley has worked across government, universities and private sectors managing major change projects and Australia-wide communication teams and strategic communication planning. Hayley then moved into events trying her hand at managing large scale events as General Manager for a Sydney catering company working on everything from boardroom lunches to large public events of over 5,000 people. More recently, Hayley ran her own business managing luxury weddings and corporate events in the Byron Bay area in her own business, while consulting to luxury brands, venues and clients in Australia and beyond. As a mother of two, Hayley brings to Parentshop a passion for child development, and programs to help the community navigate how to raise the new generation.
Business Development Executive
Caitlin started her professional life in the film and television industry in Melbourne and Sydney and for many years worked on some of our favourite old TV shows. She now heads the sales and research team at Parentshop building extensive relationships throughout the community health, early learning and education sectors.
Marketing & Executive Support Coordinator
After retiring from a professional dance career, Elle took over as Artistic Director of Innate Dance Company and choreographed, facilitated, and produced various events and productions for the company for six years. Elle then went on to assist directors in environmental conservation for the Queensland government before joining Parentshop and picking back up her events management skills as Learning Coordinator.
Veerle had a career in the music industry as a manager and vocalist before finally pursuing her passion for teaching in 2015. She earned a Bachelor of Education in The Netherlands, gaining extensive experience as a secondary school teacher and receiving the highest distinction upon graduation for designing and delivering large-scale education projects in collaboration with stakeholders in various settings. With the pandemic changing the landscape of education, Veerle shifted her focus to hybrid and online learning. In 2021, she moved to Byron Bay and became a Learning Designer for an online mental health education company. Since 2023, Veerle is an Instructional Designer at Parentshop, combining her experience in education and interest in mental health to make a positive impact across all of our projects.
Shelley, originally from Brisbane but having also lived in California and the Whitsundays, before finding her home in Byron Bay has a deep affection for coastal living and vibrant communities. Shelley is an experienced professional with a background as an Executive Assistant in the public health sector. She possesses exceptional organizational skills and a deep-rooted passion for community health and wellbeing. Embracing her role as an Event Coordinator at ParentShop. With a dedication to making a positive impact, she is excited to contribute to the diverse community while creating memorable events at ParentShop.
Kylie has a background in accounts and administration across a variety of industries and enjoys creating and contributing to business organisation and efficiencies.
Rob Steventon has been a Primary School Principal for 37 years and specialised in gifted and talented education, inclusion of students with physical disabilities within mainstream education, and consulting in social/emotional learning (SEL) for students, staff, and parents. He has a strong desire to support school leaders who face intense challenges in times of unprecedented expectations.
Sally Learey is a keynote speaker, author and education consultant. She holds qualifications in teaching, training, positive psychology, coaching and counselling. Sally has 30 years combined experience working across adult training, parent education, primary and secondary teaching and workshop and conference presenting. She has worked with thousands of teachers and school leaders throughout Australia, facilitating evidence-based professional learning and implementing system wide change. Sally is known for her insight and authenticity, her inspirational energy and the impact her presentations have on participants. All her work aligns with Parentshop’s vision for ‘lifelong behaviour change’. Sally is also the author of 7 children’s books and an adult non-fiction personal development book.
Angharad is a Registered Psychologist, Board Authorised Supervisor and Adjunct Fellow with Macquarie University’s Department of Psychology. She has been practising for over 30 years and has always worked with children, adolescents and parents. As well as her role as Consultant with Parentshop she is the Practice Manager of Family Wellbeing with CatholicCare Sydney. Angharad has a long history working in the field of adoption, out of home care, child development and clinical development. She is the lead author of two, externally evaluated and internationally recognised parenting programs; Keeping Kids in Mind, for parents engaged in chronic conflict post separation and My Kids and Me for parents whose children have been removed into statutory care. My Kids and Me also achieved Gold Standard Accreditation with the Institute of Group Leaders and won the CSSA Award for Most Innovative New Program in 2014. Angharad regularly trains, supervises and mentors practitioners in a number of areas including counselling, child development, parent coaching, working with trauma and group facilitation skills. She regularly speaks at conferences and parenting events and is called on for comment by the media regarding parenting issues. She is a parent to four teenage and young adult boys.
Dr. Sharon Parkes worked in the NSW education sector for 47 years engaged in a range of teaching and leadership positions. These included Head Teacher; Senior Education Officer (SOE2); Inspector of Schools; Chief Education Officer (CEO)/ Assistant Regional Director- Hunter Region; Principal School Leadership (PSL); Principal Support Officer (PSL) finishing her career as principal of two large comprehensive high schools for a period of 24years. Sharon has worked across all key learning areas (KLAs) in both primary and secondary NSW government schools providing professional learning, mentoring and support for school leaders. As a Life Member of the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council (NSWSPC) Sharon lead the Principal Support Reference group for 19 years and was an active member of the NSWSPC Executive for 14 years. During that time, together with another member of the executive, Sharon planned, led, and implemented professional Learning for NSW secondary government school principals. As leader of the NSWSPC Principal Support Reference Group Sharon led the biannual collection of survey data to determine the issues which impact on principal well-being. The data from those surveys was used to keep principal support and well-being on the agenda for both the NSW Department of Education (DoE) and school leaders. With a Bachelor of Arts (BA) major in Psychology and Sociology from Newcastle University Sharon developed a career long interest in psychology and behaviour management which has formed the basis for her enjoyment (since retirement) in delivering professional learning/training for school leaders through the Parentshop ‘Tough Conversations for School Leaders’ (TCSL) program. Sharon has a Master of Educational Administration (MAdmin) and a Doctor of Education (DoE) from the University of New England (UNE). Since retiring from DoE in July 2019, Sharon has been working as a Project Officer for NSWSPC and has written several professional learning modules (with a focus on principal well-being) for NSWSPC. Sharon is also a member of the Parentshop team delivering (TCSL) training across NSW. Using the NSWSPC research data, Sharon has been invited to deliver workshops at state, national and international conferences. Since 2013 Sharon has been a speaker for the International Confederation of Principals (ICP) in Cairns; Helsinki; South Africa with the last conference in 2019 in Shanghai China. Sharon lives in Newcastle NSW.
Ruby Otero, CSM, is a registered psychologist with a unique blend of experience in mental health, rehabilitation & injury management, learning & development and organisational psychology. Ruby has worked in a diverse range of government and corporate sectors including aviation, defence, consulting and health. During her service in the Australian Army, Ruby’s work was recognised on the 2013 Australia Day Honours List and awarded the Australian Conspicuous Service Medal for commitment and devotion to duty in soldier rehabilitation, welfare and wellbeing. Ruby established her private practice in the Sutherland Shire providing psychology consultations for individuals working through life’s many challenges or wanting to develop strategies to thrive and fulfill life goals. Ruby is committed to upholding the highest standards of professional practice and providing evidenced-based interventions when working with clients.
Monique Dickerson has over 20 years’ experience facilitating and developing programs for the community, vocational and corporate sectors. She has a Bachelor of Adult Education (Human Resource Development), a Certificate IV Training and Assessment and a Graduate Certificate in Developmental Trauma. Monique is also a certified EQUIPS (Correctional Services) facilitator of programs for offenders identified at a medium to high risk of re-offending; addressing aggression and domestic family violence (DFV). For over 10 years Monique facilitated Parenting and Child Development programs for the diverse population of Sydney’s South West. This experience challenged her to explore and implement innovative face to face and online facilitation techniques to ensure effective engagement of participants with varying and often complicated needs. Since 2010, Monique has led “Train the Trainer” sessions for professionals seeking accreditation for the Keeping Kids In Mind Program (high conflict post-separation) and the award winning; My Kids and Me Program (for parents with children in Out of Home Care). She is currently the Family Safety Worker for a Men’s Behaviour Change Program for one of Sydney’s largest NGOs. Monique has a strong belief that Trauma and DFV informed professionals, working with vulnerable families can be a catalyst profound positive change.
Greg sees life as a learning journey, commencing his career working in education in 1987. Since then he has taught and held leadership positions in both Public and Catholic schools in metropolitan and country NSW. Since graduating in 1986, Greg has completed post-graduate studies in school leadership and Indigenous Studies and Spanish. During the nineties Greg lived and taught in both England and Spain, developing his career further and exposing him firsthand to global trends in education. During this time he was involved in rolling out the National Literacy and Numeracy programs in the UK. Since 2000 Greg has been back in the NSW education system working as a classroom teacher. He has taught all primary grades, including a five year stint in kindergarten. In the past ten years Greg has been working as Assistant Principal in the Northern Rivers, NSW. His key roles have included: mentoring graduate teachers, leading school growth and development through, curriculum, wellbeing and behaviour management initiatives such as Restorative Practices and Circle Time. He has been instrumental in rolling out a school culture change program called Building Cultural Capacity (Insight SRC) which has given him an up close opportunity to understand and learn from the challenges of change management, in the education setting. Greg is passionate about creating learning environments where students can flourish.
James completed his undergraduate training at QUT in Brisbane and a Master of Psychology program through Swinburne University in Melbourne. James is a full member of the Australian Psychological Society and the College of Clinical Psychologists. Over the course of his career James has worked in a number of consulting and clinical psychology settings, including his own private practice, and as a Lecturer in Psychology and Counselling at the University of Southern Queensland. James’ research interests are in fatherhood, including fathers’ use of humour in their homes, and work-life integration. James has completed his doctorate, investigating the importance of relationship closeness between fathers and their children, and barriers to father involvement. James also serves as a non-executive board member of The Fathering Project. James has been engaged as a key note speaker on topics usually such as relationships, fatherhood, and men’s mental health. James enjoys family time with his wife Michelle and their four children. In his spare time James enjoys music, cooking, bushwalking and travel. He is a member of an award winning a 'Capella singing group, Monday Nights.