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).
Dr Joel Porter, PsyD, MA, BS – Clinical Director
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.
Christopher Gibbings, MSA, MEd, BSc – General Manager
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 is 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. Chris is here to keep the centre running and make sure the supportive community and the gardens and animals are as healthy as they can be. His earlier career in computer systems also comes in handy, more often than he likes it to. See Chris talk about our location and facilities.
Shian Perawiti, Dip Yoga – Activities Coordinator
Diploma in Yoga
Shian is a yoga teacher who is trained in trauma informed yoga, a dancer and a personal trainer. She is passionate about helping people find joy, balance and purpose in life. Originally from New Zealand, she’s spent the last 5 years sharing yoga, dance and wellness across Australasia, at yoga retreats in Sri Lanka, and now calls Byron Bay home. With a deep connection to nature, she believes that most of “life’s problems” can be solved outdoors amongst the elements and enjoys weaving the principles of ayurveda and mindfulness into her sessions. Shian presents fitness in a way that is fun and grounding, providing people simple and useful tools which they can take home and easily integrate into their lives. As our Activities Coordinator, she creates a full timetable of fun activities to keep your body active, your mind calm and your spirit feeling bright and strong. See Shian talk about activities 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 – Addiction Counsellor
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 close to completing her studies to become a yoga and meditation teacher.
Helen Boland – Meals Design & Preparation, Kitchen Management
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