Meet the Training team

The Centre for Youth AOD Research and Practice team is made up of dedicated and passionate people who believe in creating a better future for all young people.

The Training team aims to bring evidence based with current training methods and ideas to the Youth AOD sector and wider community. By offering a high level of training and up skilling participants it is being seen that the youth of today and tomorrow are getting the best from our workers.

Karina Belloti

Master in Business Management, Bachelor Social Communication

Karina is an experienced Business Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the not for profit and corporate sector. Her career includes providing project support to a large Japanese manufacturing company as well as leading roles in project and event management.

At YSAS, Karina played a key supporting role assisting the finance team. Now, as part of the Centre for Youth AOD Research and Practice, she manages the training and evaluation team. Karina is leading the development and implementation of YSAS Commercial Training + Evaluation across Australia.

Karina is a genuine people person and is passionate about YSAS' amazing work assisting disadvantaged young people.

Bianca Johnston

Bachelor of Criminology, Masters of Social Work

Bianca Johnston is a Social Worker, Criminologist and Senior Youth Work Practitioner with over 13 years’ experience in the youth area. Bianca has had roles with young people in both statutory and community settings including Child Protection, Out of Home Care and Youth Alcohol and other Drug services.

Bianca has specialized in better understanding family violence and surrounding issues and recently designed and developed the Family Violence Capabilities for the sector with FSV from the Victorian Government.

A key focus of her research and practice has been engagement and intervention with young women who experience complex issues including experiences of intimate and family violence, criminal justice system contact and trauma. 

Her work has ranged from individual support, therapeutic groups, community development projects, large-scale community art projects, and workforce and sector capacity building.

Bianca is a committed advocate for young women and is leading practice change in the Victorian Youth support service.

Dr Madeline Wishart

Adjunct Research Fellow

Madeline has a special interest in nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI), with her PhD into the psychosocial determinants of the acts and functions of nonsuicidal self-injury convened in 2018.

At Nillumbik Community Health Service, she was the Project Officer on the Managing Deliberate Self Harm Project, and then co-developed and co-facilitated the From Harm To Calm therapeutic group. Madeline has also worked as a youth, school, and trauma counsellor.

Madeline has over a decade of experience presenting on managing NSSI in young people, ranging from brief presentations to full day workshops. Throughout her PhD, she was engaged as a sessional lecturer and tutor at Victoria University. She is currently dividing her time working as a research officer at Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS) in Melbourne; completing her Masters in Clinical Psychology; and working in a consultative capacity with schools and organisations to provide professional development, therapeutic support and policy development around NSSI.

Dr Nathan Castle

Adjunct Research Fellow

Dr Nathan Castle is a Senior Clinical Psychologist with experience working in Pain Management, Child and Family Services, Addiction Services, Specialist Personality Disorder Services, Primary Mental Health, Community Mental Health, CATT Teams, and Private Practice. Nathan is passionate about dual diagnosis treatment and ensuring that best-practice treatment is provided to individuals experiencing difficulties with substance use and mental health.  

Nathan has consulted with the Tasmanian Government on risk assessment and management procedures, collaborated with Alfred Hospital on addiction treatment for complex clients, and trained staff from inpatient and community services on improving outcomes for those struggling with substance use. Nathan was the Dual Diagnosis Senior Service Representative for the Family Violence Risk Assessment and Management Panel (RAMP) which aimed to provide safety of individuals at imminent risk of death due to family violence.
Nathan currently works in public health and private practice providing treatment to those effected by prescribed and illicit substance use. Nathan provides consultancy and training services to addiction services on how to conduct meaningful research by utilising current client data, developing inter-agency partnerships and matching research directions to organizational values.
training, professional development, workers, events

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