World class and highly qualified professionals make up the Gunnebah team.

Led by Doctor Joel Porter and Doctor Jennifer Parer the goal of the Gunnebah team is to provide the latest evidence based world’s best practice addiction treatment methods to break addictions and replace them with good physical and mental health and provide the tools for permanent recovery. (Read more about our method and our program).

Our Team

Dr Joel Porter, PsyD, MA, BS – Programme Supervisor
Doctor of Psychology, Master of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Registered Clinical Psychologist, Board Certified Clinical Supervisor,Member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers
Dr Joel Porter has dedicated his career towards understanding and the successful treatment of addictive behaviours. He is a registered Clinical Psychologist and Board Certified Clinical Supervisor, consults to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and holds an Adjunct Associate Professor role at University of Canberra – Centre for Applied Psychology. He has practiced extensively in four countries and consulted in many others. Dr Porter is widely published, and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. He is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and has provided training consultation throughout Australia and overseas. Dr Porter believes in an evidence-informed holistic approach to understanding and facilitating change. See Joel talk about addiction.

Dr Jennifer Parer, MBBS, FRACGP, dipRACOG – Medical Director
Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma of Obstetrics, Fellow of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Dr Jennifer Parer is a General Practitioner on the Gold Coast with 26 years experience and special interests in mental health, addiction medicine, women’s health and preventative health care. She has an honours degree in Medicine, a diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and is a member of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. She will visit clients on a twice weekly or as needs basis providing general and mental health care. There will be no extra cost for this service for all medicare-eligible patients. See Jennifer talk about health at Gunnebah.
Warwick Parer, LLB – Managing Director
Bachelor of Laws, Solicitor Supreme Court Queensland, Captain Australian Army Reserve
Warwick is a Graduate Law from Bond University and a fully qualified Solicitor. Having practiced law for 14 years he then moved into the world of business and gained experience in a diverse range of areas including Ship Repair, Retail, Manufacturing, Property Development and Financial Management. Outside work he is the proud father of six children and was also a Captain in the Australian Army Reserve. Warwick has always had a passion for exercise and nutrition and through this has developed a strong belief in holistic wellness which is a core belief in the Gunnebah philosophy. See Warwick talk about the background to Gunnebah.
Alexis Postans, Bsc Grad Dip Psy – Provisional Psychologist
Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science, Bachelor of Science (Psychology)
Alexis has extensive experience in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, mental health policy, youth residential care, child protection and working with trauma. She is passionate about working with people, and understanding them in the broader context of the society they are part of. She is particularly interested in how positive psychology research and practice may be applied to treating addiction. She believes that through nurturing the body, mind and spirit, and instilling a sense of hope and connection, recovery is possible for anyone. Alexis is also a qualified yoga and meditation teacher.
Alastair Gibson, BSW, Dip Com Serv – Addiction Counsellor
Bachelor of Social Work, Diploma of Community Services Work
Alastair has extensive experience working with adults and young people who experience addiction and who want to change their behaviour patterns. As a Social Worker, Alastair works with guests to understand how recovery may look for them within the context of their individual lives. He works from a Strengths Based approach which fosters innate traits and abilities to help people develop positive self-identity and support for their unique journey. His expertise includes Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Acceptance and Committment Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Therapeutic Life-Story work and Trauma-Focussed Adventure Therapy. Alastair is a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and is currently studying a Master of Counseling.  In his spare time Alastair plays drums. He is also a keen adventure cyclist.
Alex Draper, B. Psych. (hons) – Addiction Counsellor
Bachelor of Psychology (Honours)
Alex has 8 years experience working in mental health and addiction rehabilitation and has been trained in numerous modalities, including: Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, COPE Therapy (Concurrent treatment of PTSD and substance use disorders using prolonged exposure), Voice Dialogue, Behavioural Activation Therapy, Somatic Clay Work (for trauma), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindfulness Based Self Compassion. She is passionate about neuroplasticity, nutrition, creativity, movement and facilitating people to understand their own capacity towards change. In her spare time, Alex loves travelling and getting off the beaten track for mountain climbing and mutli-day hikes.
Dr Lauren PorterDr Lauren Porter BA, MSW, DSW – Addiction Counsellor
Bachelor of Arts, Master of Social Work, Doctorate of Social Work
Lauren is a clinical social worker with extensive experience in addiction, a family therapist and infant mental health specialist. She has over 20 years of clinical experience working with individuals and families, with a focus on mental health and relationships. She worked for five years in addiction treatment with the US military overseas and has served as a consultant to NGOs and government. She is a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers, the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors and Psychotherapists and is a registered social worker in New Zealand. When she is not working at Gunnebah, Lauren loves being a mum, NZ rugby, reading and walking.
Jock Mackenzie, GD Psych, GD AoD, MSW – Addiction Counsellor
Grad Dip Psych, Grad Dip Alcohol & Other Drug Studies, Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying)
Jock has worked in both recovery oriented and harm reduction drug and alcohol services for the past seven years in both clinical and research roles. He is a qualified social worker and member of the Australian Association of Social Workers. Jock uses a range of methodologies and has a particular interest in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy because of how it helps people make peace with distressing thoughts and feeling rather than struggling to try get rid of them. Jock’s interests outside of work are permaculture, bonsai and life drawing.
Trinity Parer BBA, Dip Bus. – Office Manager
Bachelor of Business, Diploma of Business
Trinity has been keeping the administration of Gunnebah ticking along since she joined us in 2017. Before coming to Gunnebah, Trinity worked in retail and hospitality and volunteered with the St Vincent de Paul Society for 5 years. In her spare time, she breeds border collies and loves to bring the puppies along to Gunnebah for a cuddle with the guests. She is also an accomplished singer and guitarist and has a passion for healthy living which spills over to our guests.
Helen Boland – Meals Design & Preparation, Kitchen Manager
Certified Food Preparation Supervisor, Cert. IV Enterprise Management
Helen has a wealth of experience encompassing restaurant management, meals
preparation, retail & business management. People centric, married to a design
consultant and having two designer sons, her work is influenced by design excellence. Together with a passion for the authentic country lifestyle and a preference for natural, organic produce, Helen is inspired to design & prepare meals which excite the taste buds, stimulate good health & wellness, and which unite Gunnebah team & guests as extended family.
Danielle Small, AVNAT, Cert IV Vet N – Administration Assistant
Australian Veterinary Nurse and Technician, Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing
After nine years in retail, Danielle spent four years as a qualified veterinary nurse, where she did everything from anaesthetics and assisting in surgery through to admission and reception. A positive change of scenery caused Danielle to recognise her passion for Mental health and she is currently studying a Cert IV in Community Services with a view to becoming a mental health support worker. She is passionate about helping people and seeing them make positive change in their lives. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys drawing, camping, and the company of her family and her dog.
Christopher-Gibbings-MSA-MEd-BSc-–-General-ManagerChristopher Gibbings, MSA, MEd, BSc – Manager Strategic Systems
Master of Social Administration, Master of Education (Pastoral Guidance), Bachelor of Science, Permaculture Design Certificate, Certificate in Training and Development
Chris has 20 years experience in community development, permaculture design and Information Technology. He has established a successful ecovillage and for ten years was a Director of the Association for Sustainable Communities as well as a Vision Councillor for the Global Ecovillage Network Oceania and Asia. A former Community Development Coordinator for Brisbane City Council and Red Cross international worker, Chris has led numerous homelessness and refugee projects. Together, Chris and Warwick spent an intense 20 months setting up Gunnebah as a rehab. Now, Chris is part time, with a focus on effective systems and processes to help Gunnebah thrive. In his spare time, he paraglides, is learning to surf, meditates, dances salsa and goes on extremely long hikes. See Chris talk about our location and facilities.

Now that you know our leadership team, take a look at our method and our program or contact us to find out more.


The program is informed and sophisticated but for me it is the passion and enthusiasm in each member of the team that makes the place truly exceptional. I have heard more than a few horror stories about rehabs in Australia and I consider myself extremely lucky to have found Gunnebah. ~ Felix M.

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