Staff and Researchers

Dr Karen Martin, Chief Investigator

Karen Martin is a Professor in Trauma-Informed Pedagogy in the School of Education at The University of Tasmania. In addition to promoting awareness about the impact of trauma, her areas of expertise include child and adolescent mental health, psychological and post-traumatic distress, and family and domestic violence. Karen’ vision is that all schools and communities understand the impact of trauma on individuals and work to prevent modifiable contributors to traumatic events. This will be achieved by assisting with generating explicit teaching in this field, embedding knowledge about trauma in University teaching and research, policy and services Prior to her role at the University of Tasmania, Professor Martin was a teaching and research academic within the School of Population and Global Health at The University of Western Australia (UWA). Karen founded the Western Australian Trauma-informed and Restorative Schools Collaboration (TARSC)- a group of multidisciplinary academics and practitioners whose vision was to increase education sector awareness about the impact of trauma on children and adolescents in school in Western Australia. By working with these passionate stakeholders, colleagues, UWA staff and doctoral students, Professor Martin led the development of the International Trauma-Informed Practice Principles for Schools and the Thoughtful Schools Program.

Dr Stephan Lund, Co-Investigator

After 20 years in the field as a front line Social Worker and Senior Manager, I am an Early Career Researcher and Academic. My skills in communication and facilitation, creative and innovative practice and problem-solving make me a sought after team member, presenter and research collaborator. My main research interests are in the out-of-home care field, particularly exploring issues for foster and kinship carers and innovation in the care sector. I also have a strong interest in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, improving teaching methods and a strong focus on the student mental health and wellbeing.

Amanda Kasten-Lee, Education Consultant

Amanda Kasten-Lee is a Research Assistant in the School of Population and Global Health at The University of WA. With a background in teaching children challenged by the education system in Australia and overseas, Amanda is dedicated to inspiring reform within the education system.

Monique Platell, Research Fellow

Dr Platell is an early career researcher in the School of Population and Global Health at UWA after completing her PhD 2020. Her thesis explored the factors influencing adolescents’ mental health service access and use in Perth. Dr Platell’s expertise lies in qualitative research and central to her doctoral research were the perspectives of adolescent mental health consumers and mental health professionals to identify gaps and barriers in the mental health system. Leading this research Dr Platell developed her passion for mental health advocacy, ensuring that all in our community have equitable access to mental health services to promote happy and healthy lives. Dr Platell has also worked in the area of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health, specifically investigating cultural safety within mental health services.

Alix Woolard, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Alix Woolard is a research fellow in Child Mental Health in the Youth Mental Health team at the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Australia. Alix’s current research is looking at childhood trauma and the ways we can identify, target, intervene and improve the lives of children and young people who have experienced trauma. She is currently working on psychosocial interventions to improve the resilience and recovery of children who experience child maltreatment or medical trauma. Previously, Alix has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Institute focusing on neurodevelopmental research across the lifespan. Alix’s research background is in psychology, parent-child relationships, social and emotional development, neurodevelopment, and childhood trauma.

Kate Fitzgerald, PhD Candidate

Kate completed her Bachelor of Science (Hons I) majoring in Population Health at the University of Western Australia in 2018. Alongside her studies Kate has been a part of Dr Karen Martin's research team for the past 4 years and has developed a passion for trauma-informed practice and improving the health of vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. Kate is currently completing her PhD exploring the facilitators and barriers to developing positive relationships between teachers and students in Western Australian schools, viewed through a trauma-informed lens.

Ella Carton, PHD Candidate

Ella completed her Bachelor of Biomedical Science, majoring in Population Health and Marketing at the University of Western Australia in 2020. Ella completed first class honours in Population Health 2021, receiving the top mark. Ella has been working with the Thoughtful Schools Team since completing her undergraduate in 2020. Ella is currently completing her PhD exploring pre-service teachers and early career teachers’ knowledge, perceptions and experiences surrounding trauma-informed practice in a school environment. Her PhD is investigating if university Initial Teacher Education programs impact the way teachers respond and support trauma-impacted children.