OUR TEAM

Meet the Team who make this work possible!

Atira Professional

Atira Tan

CEO & Founding Director

Clinical & International Operations Manager

Expressive Art Therapist, SEP & Yoga Teacher

With almost fifteen years of experience working with trauma – informed approaches alongside art, yoga and mindfulness, Atira has a deep commitment and passion in empowering and healing women and girls globally from the inside out. Hailing from Singapore, she has a deep understanding about Asian cross-cultural women’s issues through her own journey of recovery and empowerment from gender discrimination and domestic violence.

Since 2004, Atira has set up numerous clinical art therapy and trauma recovery programs, researching the benefits of art therapy, somatic therapies, yoga, mindfulness and ritual in trauma recovery and sexual abuse, from the refugee camps in the jungles of Burma, earthquake hit areas in Nepal, to the wide open spaces of rural Aboriginal communities in the desert of Australia.

In addition to her work at Art to Healing, Atira has worked as a clinician and supervisor in Australia and the Asia – Pacific region in the contexts of psycho-social care, mental health services, disaster relief, community health and as an educator in Transpersonal Art Therapy.

A MA graduate in Art Therapy from Latrobe University in Melbourne, Atira has also been featured on TED X, and is a published author of the chapter: Surviving Shame, from the book Art Therapy in Asia, published by Jessica Kingsley (2012).

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Tara Emmerson

Co-Director

 Administration and Volunteer Manager

Creative Art Therapist & Meditation Teacher

Tara is our co-director, and our systems,  operational and volunteer manager at Art to Healing. She is a qualified Art Therapist and Primary Educator, and is studying a Master of Child Play Therapy. Tara has a background in building business systems and structures related to creative and holistic practice.

Tara obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 2008 with a focus on Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Sociology and Feminism. She also has A Diploma in Visual Art, a Graduate Diploma in Primary Education and is a qualified meditation teacher. She has a deep passion for women’s issues and is passionate about the safety of children and animals all over the world. She has a keen interest in cultural and sexual trauma, particularly deeply entrenched patterns passed from generation to generation.

Tara started off as a trained artist and gallery owner with a background in business administration. In 2001 she held her first solo art exhibition titled ‘Letters from My Womb’ where 12 out of the 15 paintings were sold. The purpose of this exhibition was to help women reclaim their sexuality.

She is passionate about creating art exhibitions and workshops where art is not merely a commodity, but rather a medicinal tool for the mind, body and spirit. She enjoys using space to creating community, feed the soul and bring people together.

She lives on the Mornington Peninsula with her husband, three dogs, two cats, four turtles and too many chickens. Many of the animals were rescued.

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Hira Dahal

Co-Director

Nepal Logistics & Program Manager

With over 13 years of experience in working with women and girls who have experienced sex exploitation, trafficking and slavery, Hira Dahal is passionate about ending trafficking and gender-based discrimination in Nepal. She has devoted her life working for women and girls who need support in Nepal, and has been steering and coordinating Art to Healing art therapy projects for trauma recovery, self-care, reproductive health and earthquake recovery in Nepal for the past 8 years.

 A deeply empathetic and caring individual, Hira has worked in various sex trafficking organizations in Nepal in various capacities, including as a program officer in Shakti Samuha. She has since renewed and directed CAP Nepal with new vision of empowering women, and more recently,she founded  Chhori, and through her dedicated work, introduced numerous programs for the rehabilitation, care and reintegration of women and girls who have experienced sexual exploitation and slavery.

The scope of her work has included supporting the recovery of women and girls in the entertainment sector, and is an active advocate in Nepal for gender discrimination, specifically in the male preference culture. After being abused by her family members after the birth of her second daughter, she experienced first-hand the systemic effects of violence on this issue. She is also passionate about helping women care and love themselves, and works hard at reversing the menstrual taboo through the education system and remote communities of Nepal. Hira lives in Kathmandu with her husband and two beautiful girls, and serves the mission of ending sex slavery and exploitation tirelessly with her team at Chhori.

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Jessica Sandral

Marketing & Social Media Manager

Yoga Teacher

Jessica Sandral is the Marketing Manager and Yoga Teacher (Trauma – Informed Programs) for Art to Healing.

With a BA in Marketing and Journalism and her 200 hour Embodied Flow Yoga certification she is passionate about using her skills to help promote  social change for a cause close to her heart.

Jessica has known from a young age that she wants to help people and her journey to Nepal in 2016 with Art to Healing further solidified her calling to work with women who have been trafficked. Witnessing first hand the difference therapeutic based trauma recovery programs make to the lives of trafficked victims was truly a life changing experience.

Jessica works in Australia running the marketing for Art to Healing and on the ground in Nepal teaching yoga and meditation in the shelters and assisting in training workshops.

When she is in Australia the women she has worked with in Nepal are always close to her heart.

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Elio Geusa

Fundraising Logistical Coordinator

Graduating with a BA in Social Work from his home in Italy, Elio enjoys travelling and making a meaningful difference in developing countries. He is passionate about helping others, and creating positive impact in the world.

He has worked in the red light districts of Calcutta with women and girls who have experienced sex slavery in income-generating projects, Tibetan refugees and orphans in educational programs, as well as healthcare projects with lepers in India.

With thirteen years of experience in working with adults and children with intellectual disabilities, Elio founded Friends for Friends, a community based initiative in Ancona, Italy, to improve the lives of young adults with intellectual disabilities.

Elio lives in Melbourne, and is Art to Healing Fundraising logistical coordinator, assisting in our fundraising initiatives and projects, including the annual Yoga for Freedom charity event.

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Jessica Phillips

Copywriter and Website Wordsmith

Jess is a Melbourne based human, copywriter and writer.

She helps purpose driven people to create social impact- she does this with words and a great attitude.

Jess works with courageous entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses and social enterprises.She creates authentic, swoon worthy copy that nails one’s purpose, freeing them up to obsess over their why and achieve great things.

Writing of Jess’s that doesn’t fit beneath the umbrella of copywriting has been published in The Guardian (UK), Pilerats, The Good Good Girl and others. When she’s not helping her client’s to grow their businesses she’s likely to be found reading, writing a thesis or spending time with good hearted people.

http://www.jessp.net 

jess@jessp.net

Liarna

Dance/Movement Therapist + Yoga Teacher

Liarna Chantelle Conder

Liarna is a qualified yoga teacher, dancer and intuitive movement based specialist. She shares her experiences and wisdom around working with creative expression and movement based practices as tools and resources to support resolution of trauma in the body/mind.

She believes that by co-creating compassionate fields for all stories to be seen, heard and acknowledged we are then able to pave new pathways where personal empowerment, faith and honouring of self, life and others takes place over guilt, shame, fear and disconnect.

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