Our Client Contact Team

All of our counsellors and group facilitators have a lived experience of bereavement. Our counsellors and support group facilitators provide one-to-one, family and group counselling services on a fee for service basis. They also volunteer as grief support group facilitators to support the work of the centre. They may also provide educational workshops and professional development workshops from a therapeutical perspective.

Kath Budzinska
Client Contact Team Lead, Counsellor, Educator, Group Facilitator

Kath has been involved at the Grief Centre of WA since December 2015 initially as a specialist grief counsellor and support group facilitator, and more recently as a member of the Management Committee, and now the GCWA Advisory Board. Kath has 4 decades of experience as a Registered Comprehensive Nurse specialising in midwifery. As a result, Kath has worked across the birth, life, and death spectrum. In addition to continuing with her nursing career, Kath completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology in order to offer grief support for the parents of baby-death. Kath regularly runs Professional Development seminars for health professionals, so they have opportunities to acknowledge and attend to their grief outside of the workplace.

Dr Katrin Den Elzen
Counsellor, Workshop Facilitator, Researcher

Katrin joined the GCWA in early 2018 as an experienced counsellor and workshop facilitator who specialises in grief and loss. Katrin offers clients a variety of approaches in addition to counselling, such as writing to work through loss, Compositionwork and PSYCH-K. Her workshops offer practical tools, inspiration, and guidance to transition from grief to more inner peace. Katrin is passionate about writing as a medium to adapt to grief as a powerful pathway that offers validation, clarity, self-understanding, and increased well-being. Katrin has personally experienced the transition from grief to rebuild a new life after the death of her husband and has written a grief memoir about her experiences of young widowhood. She has a PhD and a Masters in Creative Writing, which combined creative writing and narrative psychology. Her research focuses on utilising writing for recovery from grief and contemporary bereavement theory, combining both to develop writing exercises. In 2021 Katrin was the Lead Researcher in a Lotterywest-funded project that was run at the GCWA in association with Curtin University that investigated the efficacy of writing for well-being.

Brenda Dagnall
Counsellor, Group Facilitator

Brenda is a supportive and caring counsellor and group facilitator, who has followed her passion for walking alongside others through life's challenges, to specialise in grief counseling. Journeying through her own bereavement, supporting family members through their bereavement, witnessing the many changes and losses brought by her father's disability and supporting friends through grief, has given her valuable insight into the human capacity to bear heavy losses, adapt, grow and go on to live joyful, meaningful lives, accepting that they have been forever changed by their loss. Brenda's genuine interest in others allows clients to feel their grief story is witnessed, and that they have a companion in their grief journey who can help them explore their grief, understand the common experiences in grief and offer innovative and creative techniques to assist clients in coping and growing through grief.

Liesl Murdoch
Counsellor, Group Facilitator

Joining the Grief Centre in Feb 2023, Liesl is known for her warm and empathetic nature. With professional qualifications in nursing, general counselling and speciality qualifications in bereavement counselling including 13 years in the palliative, chronic illness, and disability sectors she is able to provide specialized support for those who come to the Grief Centre. Using a combination of person centred, evidence-based interventions and compassionate listening Liesl works to create a trusting and collaborative space for clients to explore their emotions, resourcing the individual internally and externally to cope with what most likely feels unbearable. Liesl works with all types of loss – be it expected through illness or disease or sudden and unexpected, from a family member to a family pet to the intangible losses of retrenchment/relationship breakdown/family estrangement or infertility. Liesl has extensive experience supporting persons and their family members (carers) with living losses brought about by illness and disability and companioned individuals and families through their access of Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD). Liesl strongly believes there is always hope for persons to live more gently and kindly with their loss. It is not so much that time heals but it is what we do in that time that heals us. Counselling can assist with softening the pain and sorrow of loss, helping a person to find solace, hope, and meaning in the midst of loss.

Daniela Kolundzija
Counsellor, Group Facilitator

Daniela Kolundzija is a registered Counsellor working in private practice supporting women through life changes, grief and loss. She joined the Grief Centre in November 2023 as a Group Facilitator and Counsellor. Daniela’s background is in administration, the creative arts and wellness. In 2009, she made a change in her life and relocated from Sydney to Perth to complete a Bachelor of Counselling at the University of Notre Dame in Fremantle. Upon graduating in 2012, she gained full-time employment as a Suicide Bereavement Counsellor with Active Response Bereavement Outreach (ARBOR) at AnglicareWA, offering crisis counselling support to individuals and families bereaved by suicide, long term bereavement counselling support, bereavement group facilitation, and community education. After less than two years with ARBOR, Daniela made a decision to be a full-time mother to her blended family. During her time at home, Daniela completed a Graduate Diploma in Family and Relationship Therapy at the William Street Family Therapy Centre, as well as Modules 1-3 Interplay Therapy, a humanistic therapeutic process for children, adolescents, and their parents, using play as the primary source of communication. Daniela recognises the influence of family dynamics on how an individual experiences and copes with grief and believes that taking a family systems approach when working with grieving individuals can provide insight into how an individual’s relationships, support systems, and communication patterns may impact their grieving process, thereby, contributing to a more holistic and comprehensive therapeutic approach. Daniela is a compassionate counsellor and aims to create a safe and nurturing space to encourage connection, healing and personal growth. She will help you build on your own strengths and resources and will provide you with practical tools and techniques to enhance your wellbeing.

Lisa Papas
Counsellor, Educator, Group Faciltator

Lisa has worked in the helping professions for over 35 years. She is a qualified professional who has worked variously with people in crisis, experiencing life limiting and chronic health diagnosis, people with a mental health diagnosis, people experiencing substance use issues, carers and support people and people experiencing profound loss and bereavement. Lisa works with individuals, couples and families. Lisa has worked extensively with people who have experienced profound and traumatic loss and is always humbled by the strength of the human spirit and doesn’t underestimate the trust and privilege extended to her by people sharing these intimate life stories. Lisa brings with her life stories that include her own experiences of grief loss and bereavement which enhances her ability to meet people where they are at. Lisa is empathic and respectful in helping people find their strengths. Her aim is to create a space where a person can be held safely to explore life’s challenges. Lisa believes people are the experts in their own lives with the role of counselling being to facilitate change or work through big life questions. Lisa is an experienced educator and group facilitator who has facilitated allied health and community workers staff training in responding to critical incidents, self care, debriefing and suicidal ideation. She looks forward to the opportunity to meet and talk with you.

Sophie Papas
Counsellor/Group Facilitator

Sophie comes to GCWA with a passion for working in the Death, Dying, and Bereavement community. Sophie’s passion for Grief and Bereavement counselling stems from a keen interest in learning all that Thanatology and its related fields have to offer. Sophie is passionate about offering relevant and useful Bereavement services to adolescents and young adults by using relatable and engaging methods of practice. Sophie has significant life experience and exposure during times of grief and bereavement and is particularly passionate about understanding how death and bereavement are experienced throughout varying cultures. Sophie hopes to expand her knowledge and understanding of differing grief practices and is passionate about offering holistic therapeutic approaches. Sophie is a 3rd year Bachelor Counselling student). When Sophie first began her studies in this field, she attended an international Grief conference. This experience offered a valuable expansion of the tools that Sophie had begun to acquire. Some particularly memorable Keynote Speakers motivated Sophie to explore methods to best support adolescents and young adults. Sophie is privileged to live and work on Whadjuk Noongar Boodjar and acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of this land. Sophie hopes to extend her skills as a holistic and unique therapist and holds a safe and empathic space for those who most need it.About this person...