Board and Executive

The Board has a responsibility to DTAA members to fulfil the organization’s functions as expressed in its objectives, which are part of the Constitution. The objectives are to improve the health, wellbeing and creativity of the people of Australasia, by improving the quality and expanding the reach of dance movement therapy in Australasia. This is achieved by providing identity, representation and criteria for certification and registration (Professional Membership) of Australasian dance movement therapists. The Association’s activities include providing opportunities for networking, publishing a journal, producing professional literature, organising in-services and conferences (continuing professional development), establishing resources (library; responding to enquiries) and addressing industrial and /or employment issues.

To achieve these objectives, a number of Committees undertake specific tasks and report back to the Board. These are Admin; Finance; Publications including Journal; Professional Membership; PACFA liaison; Continuing Professional Development; Regional Liaison; Research; and the Hanny Exiner Memorial Fund. Other specific projects arise from time to time, such as the current Competency, NDIS and Supervision projects that are led by sub-committees. All DTAA activities or business come under one of these committees. The General Committee meets monthly by Zoom and at least annually in person at the Annual General Meeting.

An Executive Committee comprising the President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer provide leadership for the Board.

Board Members

Kim Dunphy (President)

Kim Dunphy, BA, Grad Dip Movement Dance, M.Ed, PhD, DTAA (Prof. DMT), has worked as a dance educator and therapist in a range of settings, including community groups, schools, hospitals and disability services. She has lectured in dance education at Deakin and Melbourne Universities and dance movement therapy at RMIT University and Phoenix Institute. Kim is currently a Mackenzie Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Creative Arts Therapies Research Unit at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where she is exploring her interests in assessment and evaluation of DMT.

Prior to her role as President, Kim was Vice-President for almost a decade, with contributions to the DTAA in other roles prior to that. Kim has a lifelong passion for dance and its contribution to a good life, and her work in dance therapy enables others to have that enjoyment as well. Kim views her work with the DTAA as essential, given the small size and relative youth of our profession. She believes that DM therapists need to work together to improve the quality and reach of our services and that the DTAA is a vital agent in that task.

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Connor Kelly (Vice-President)

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Sandra Lauffenburger (Secretary)

Sandra Kay Lauffenburger, B.Ed. M.Sc. B.Soc.Sci.(Hons Psych), DTAA (Prof. DMT) Reg. 203-01, PACFA Clinical Member & Supervisor (Reg. 020209), Certified Laban Movement Analyst

Sandra works in private practice as a dance movement and somatic psychotherapist. Her therapeutic focus is chronic illness, psychosomatic issues, and childhood developmental trauma. For more than two decades, she has taught movement analysis and dance movement therapy around the world, including for the Wesley Institute (Australia and Canada), IDTIA and DTAA (Australia) and the Apollo Institute (PRC). Her professional focus is integrating movement analysis theories with psychodynamic frameworks to support dance movement therapists toward greater efficacy in their work.  Currently, she offers this combination to DMT supervisees who work with individuals.

Prior to taking on the role of Secretary, Sandra has acted on the Board of DTAA for three years. She convenes the Professional Membership Committee which supported the growth in Professional Membership over the past three years, developed a Register of Professional Members, established CPD auditing procedures, and is currently streamlining the application process. Additionally, Sandra convenes the Governance Committee, which wrote DTAA’s Constitution (adopted in 2018) and is currently compiling bylaws for the association’s governance procedures.  She is a member of the Competency Committee which wrote the new Competency Standards (also adopted in 2018), and in 2017 she led the development of DTAA’s definition of dance movement therapy.  Sandra passionately believes that DMT is the ‘complete’ psychotherapy as it works with all aspects of the person in ways unique from other psychotherapies and creative arts therapies.  In addition to teaching and supervising, she spends time writing on DMT’s uniqueness.

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Robyn Price (Treasurer)

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Ben Assan (Assistant Treasurer, Finance Committee)

Ben Assan

Ben Assan, Bachelor Child and Adolescent Psych Nursing, Grad Dip Movement Dance, Post Grad Dip Family Therapy, Adv Cert Couple Therapy, DTAA (Associate), originally from Ghana, is a child and family therapist at the Austin Hospital. He uses his dance movement therapy expertise in his work with hard to engage adolescents and their families. Ben has experience in community residential and forensic mental health and has been published in peer-reviewed journals including the Australian Journal of Psychiatry.

Ben can be contacted at

Jane Guthrie (Convenor, Publications Committee; Co-Convenor, Continuing Professional Development Committee)Jane Guthrie

Jane Guthrie, B. App. Sc. Phyty, Grad Dip Movement and Dance, Dance Therapy Certificate, M. Ed {Advanced Studies in Movement and Dance}, DTAA (Prof. DMT), is an experienced dance movement therapist, physiotherapist and Certified Movement Analyst who was formerly Head of Department in a busy rehabilitation hospital. She has lectured in dance movement therapy at IDTIA, Phoenix Institute and RMIT University. Jane is skilled in working with clients who have head injuries, work-related injuries and other neurological problems. She incorporates dance movement therapy as part of a holistic approach to her clients’ needs, using a combination of functional and expressive approaches to movement. Jane is an Associate Editor for the international journal Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy. She was the DTAA’s President between 2007 and 2015 and is editor of the journal Moving On.

Contact Jane at

Juliette Kirkwood (Liaison to PACFA)

AssocDip, BAppSc, Grad Dip DMT, DTAA (Prof DMT) Reg. No. 208-01; PACFA Reg. Provisional 25337

Juliette has been a dance movement therapist since 2005 including lecturing in the Graduate Diploma of Dance Therapy at Wesley Institute for five years. Juliette has facilitated dance movement therapy sessions in a psychiatric hospital setting and more recently with the benevolent society. Her work includes both inpatient and outpatient programs dealing with a wide range of mental health issues. Juliette has developed DMT programs for specific client groups in the community such as Aboriginal women’s health retreats, Arabic women’s health, general women’s health and Authentic Movement workshops for the community.

Juliette is a partner in private practice: mBodyWisdom, which offers a variety of services including private DMT sessions as well as group, community and corporate programs. Juliette’s specialises in adult mental health including psychiatric disorders, women’s mental health, drug and alcohol misuse and complex trauma in adult survivors of child abuse.

Juliette’s diverse background enables her to bring an understanding of a wide range of dance movement therapists settings to her role as PACFA Liaison Officer. Juliette considers the DTAA’s relationship with PACFA as crucial in the overall strategic plan for DTAA. Juliette is passionate about communication and understanding between PACFA and the DTAA to facilitate a mutually beneficial outcome for all stakeholders.

Contact Juliette on 0423 698 587 or

Maeve Larkin  (Convenor, Marketing and Promotions Committee)

Maeve Larkin B.Ed, DTAA (Prof.DMT) Reg. 209-01, PACFA Reg.22126, Dip.Counselling.

Maeve facilitates DMT groups for people living with dementia in aged care and the community. Maeve has experience working with adults with intellectual disabilities and facilitating workshops for the general public. She also offers private counselling and DMT sessions. She has extensive experience of somatic approaches, particularly Bodymind Centering. Maeve’s current interest is using DMT and her teaching skills to increase aged care volunteers understanding and use of non-verbal communication when interacting with people living with dementia.

Sue Mullane (Training and Education Convenor)

B. Ed., Grad. Dip. Educational Studies – Special Education, Grad. Dip. Movement Dance, M. Ed. (DMT), Certificate IV- Training and Assessment, DTAA (Prof. DMT) is an experienced educator and dance movement therapist. Early in her teaching career, she taught in primary and secondary mainstream schools where her involvement with dance in education in Wollongong, NSW, included a role as inaugural Regional Dance Consultant, K-12. Once qualified in dance movement therapy, Sue worked with a focus on disability and trauma with adults and children in a variety of Melbourne-based education, community and health settings. For the past ten years, she was a movement specialist in a large, special developmental school where she supported students with intellectual disability and other complex needs. Sue has completed research, presented and published on dance movement therapy and trauma recovery, and assessment of outcomes in school-based therapeutic movement programs. She has lectured in dance movement therapy at La Trobe University, Ikon Institute of Australia, and Phoenix Institute. Sue is currently a PhD candidate (Deakin University) where she is exploring what arises as personal and social knowledge through participation in shared improvised movement.

Eileen McDonald (Supervision Committee Convenor)