Dance Therapy Association of Australia

DTAA Sub-committees

Admin Team

This group manages the operations of the DTAA, including phone and email enquiries and membership and provides administrative support for PD events.
Convenor Secretary Jane Guthrie
Administrative Assistant Tessa Hens

Conference Sub-Committee (CC)

This group plans and oversees the DTAA’s regular conferences.
Convenor Kim Dunphy

Education Sub-Committee (EC)

This group establishes and monitors standards for DMT training and education programs.
Convenor Tracey Nicholson

Finance Sub-Committee (FC)

This sub-committee group oversees the DTAA’s finances, including producing and monitoring its budget, and reporting to state government. This committee reports on progress to the GC.
Convenor Ben Assan

HEMF Committee (HEMF)

This group runs the Hanny Exiner Memorial Foundation, including grants for research and professional development; awards the HEMF Achievement Award; and selects a prominent DM therapist to present the HEMF address at the DTAA’s conferences. More about HEMF.
Convenor Naomi Aitchison

Industrial Relations Sub-Committee (IRC)

This committee has responsibilities for issues such as rates of pay for DM therapists, contracting and ethical issues.

Journal and Publications Sub-Committee (JPC)

This sub-committee publishes the DTAA’s biannual journal Moving On, the monthly e-news Current Moves to DTAA’s subscriber list, and DT Collections books from time to time.
Convenor Jane Guthrie


Teri McNeil handles requests for library materials. More about Library holdings.

Marketing and Promotions Sub-Committee (MPC)

This group works to promote dance movement therapy and the DTAA outside the profession, including overseeing the website.
Convenor Elizabeth Mackenzie

Professional Development Sub-Committee (PDC)

This sub-committee is responsible for planning and running professional development activities for members, and others interested in dance movement therapy. These activities address the strategic objectives of the DTAA for its members, and also take advantage of opportunities from visiting experts to ensure DM therapists stay abreast of latest developments in our own and related professional areas. It identifies the number of PD points for each PD activity. See DTAA Events.
Convenor Jane Guthrie

Professional Membership Sub-Committee (PMC)

This sub-committee manages enquiries and applications for all levels of membership which now includes Associate, Provisional Professional and Professional level membership; and is pro-active in mentoring members through these levels.  It regularly monitors and upgrades the criteria needed to reach the required standards for each membership level so that the DTAA is aligned with the other psychotherapeutic and counselling professions. It audits members’ supervision and PD documentation. The committee also liaises with the Professional Development Committee to address the overlapping concerns regarding professional development needed for continuing education requirements. This committee also undertakes business related to DTAA’s membership of PACFA (Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia). More about membership.
Convenor Sandra Lauffenburger

Regional Reps (RR)

These individuals represent the DTAA in their regions. Their responsibilities are to promote DMT in their region as opportunities allow and respond to local enquiries. Regional reps attend GC meetings by skype from time to time. See Contact page.
Convenor: Connor Kelly

Research Sub-Committee (RC)

This committee promotes evidence-based practice and practitioners’ skills by advancing research in and about dance movement therapy. It also works with members to encourage contributions to professional development activities in fields outside DMT.
Convenor Eileen McDonald

Sub-committee members

Sandra LauffenburgerSandra Lauffenburger (Convenor PMC)

Sandra (B.Ed., M.Sc., Assoc. Degree (Dance), Cert. Laban Movement Analysis, LIMS ,Dip. Dance/Movement Therapy IDTIA, Dip. Adult Psychotherapy, Grad Dip. Psychology, B.Soc.Sci.(Hons Psych); DTAA (Professional) is interested in the importance of and application of non-verbal communication and its use in psychotherapy. She has worked in private practice since 1985, originally as a movement therapist and later as a dance movement psychotherapist and somatic movement psychotherapist. As a Certified Laban Movement Analyst, she has taught in dance movement therapy programs for the Wesley Institute, (Drummoyne, NSW and Canada), the IDTIA, and Tensegrity Training’s Graduate Certificate in Movement-based Somatic Therapy. She also provides movement therapy/psychotherapy supervision for graduates of many somatic/movement therapy training programs.

Sandra has always been keen to promote the value of dance/movement/nonverbal therapies. Her recent publications include a chapter in the edited collection Counselling and Psychotherapy Works published by PACFA (2015) and an article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy (2016). She believes it is important for those who have benefited from working in this field to give back to our profession, and to that end, she contributes her various skills to the DTAA.

Tessa HensTessa Hens, Administrative Assistant

Tessa (Bachelor of Contemporary Arts, Major Contemporary Dance, Grad Dip Visual and Performing Arts – Dance Movement Therapy, Grad Dip Teaching in the Life Long Learning Sector specializing in Specialist Education, DTAA (Associate)

After an eight years of living in the UK and working in the disability sector to qualify as a Post-16 specialist teacher, Tessa has returned to Australia to focus on her young family alongside continuing to work in the disability field, expanding on her dance movement therapy experience and undertaking further study. She is currently running a weekly dance therapy program and introducing creative dance holiday programs for young adults with disabilities at Bayley House, Brighton. Tessa is also working within a specialist school setting to complement her current studies in Early Learning and Teaching and runs weekly dance sessions there. Tessa has loved reconnecting and working with the DTAA since returning to Australia and hopes through her role to contribute in small ways to the growth and development of the organization and the DMT profession here in Australia.

Contact Tessa on

Eileen McDonald, M Couns, Grad Dip DMT, T Cert (Dance), BA (Communications), Cert IV TAE, Cert IV MHPW, DTAA (Associate)

Eileen ), is a Dance Movement Therapist (DMT), Counsellor, Mental Health and Disability Consultant providing training, mentoring and research. She trained and performed in dance and drama in several countries and has worked in community, clinical and educational settings for over 40 years. Eileen was a lecturer and supervisor for 15 years in the Graduate School of Counselling DMT course at the Wesley Institute Sydney. She has supervised IDTIA Diploma students in NSW and provides curriculum development and training in recovery practice, trauma informed care, and creative wellbeing for mental health and disability organizations, conferences and workshops in Australia and overseas.
Eileen is a member of the PACFA Research Committee Expert Consultation Group and the DTAA Research Chair & a NSW Liaison for the DTAA national committee. She is a member of several national and state mental health advisory, policy, advocacy and expert reference groups.
Eileen is coordinating the development of DMT programs with The Wangu Kanja Foundation (WKF) in Kenya in a Nairobi slum. The WKF is committed to providing health, wellbeing, empowerment and human rights for women and children survivors of sexual abuse and gender based violence.

econnorkellyE. Connor Kelly

E. Connor Kelly, Masters in Dance/Movement Therapy New York University (USA), Board Certified Dance Movement Therapist (USA), Licensed Professional Counselor (Colorado, USA), DTAA (Professional), currently resides on the island of Guam, USA. She spent the past 12 plus years in New Plymouth, New Zealand, working with head-injured adults and having a small private practice. Her experiences include working with developmentally disabled adults and children, frail elderly, children and families, and adults. She studies and facilitates Authentic Movement (30 years), Bartenieff Fundamentals, Body Mapping and Physical Storytelling, (co-created with Dr Steve Harvey), contributed to various community dance projects/performances and also teaches yoga. She has lived in four countries and taught in various dance movement therapy programmes as well as supervising students and professional dance movement therapists. She has authored and co-authored several articles and presented at numerous conferences. A La Leche League Leader for more than 20 years, over the past 12 years in New Zealand she has helped to accredit new leaders and review books. For 10 years she was a consumer representative for NZ College of Midwives Standards Review Team.

Previous ADTA committee work includes President of two USA chapters, past Education Chairperson for ADTA as well as Programme Committee Chairperson of the ADTA for the NCATA conference in 1990 in Washington, DC. She has supported the work of the DTAA over many years through her involvement in a number of committees.