Who we are
Founder & President
Tina is the founder of The Blue Butterfly Institute. She is a survivor of childhood sexual trauma and domestic violence, and Tina has spent the last five years consciously healing the many layers of the impact of this trauma.
Tina was a high school English teacher in south-west Sydney for 26 years before leaving to pursue her business aspirations. Tina owns and runs Tina’s Tutoring and Akashic Healing. Central to both businesses is the mantra, Empower Yourself.
Tina holds qualifications in a variety of fields, including a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and English), a Diploma in Education (Secondary English) and a Master of Arts in Writing. She is a certified Reiki Master, EFT Practitioner, Life Coach, Holistic Counsellor, Meditation Teacher, Chair Yoga facilitator and Sound Healer.
Tina has had extensive and diverse Board experience in a variety of roles throughout her adult life. She is currently Vice President of the Wollondilly Women in Business network, an active founding member of the Wollondilly Women in Excellence Awards, and an executive member of the Australian Tapping Institute. Tina was President of Bradbury Ambarvale Football Club (2007 – 2012), a board member of Macarthur District Soccer Football Association, Secretary of Thomas Reddall High School P&C, and during the 90s, was actively involved in various committees at the local level for the Australian Labor Party.
Patty has spent the past fifteen years of her professional career employed as an early intervention, child protection practitioner within two of the state’s leading child protection non-government organisations. Throughout this time, she has been an active part of many interagency meetings and assisted with the running of multiple Domestic Violence awareness & prevention projects; she was also involved with the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program at Campbelltown Court and ran many community events and projects whilst working alongside families in need.
Patty is passionate about working cross culturally and has a wealth of knowledge and experience when working alongside and supporting various cultural groups. In 2012, she began her volunteer career working alongside Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) providing knowledge and assistance where it was needed in Samoa and Sydney. She was appointed as an Executive member of SVSG Sydney where she developed and delivered multiple programs for Pacific Communities. Patty has also lived in Samoa and assisted with the running of Samoa’s only shelter for child victims of sexual crimes, family violence and abandonment whilst implementing and delivering a nationwide domestic violence campaign.
Alofa Connections Inc was birthed from the SVSG Volunteer Journey. Patty was one of three co-founders who established this not for profit volunteer organisation to raise awareness, support and empower Pacific communities in Sydney. Patty wrote and developed programs and delivered a handful of community projects for Child Sexual Abuse awareness, Domestic Violence awareness and Suicide awareness and prevention. All of these community initiatives received recognition and awards from various platforms, in particular the NSW Council for Pacific Community Awards and the prestigious Zest Community Awards.
Patty has a Diploma in Counselling, a Diploma in Community Service Co-ordinatio, and also various Early Childhood qualifications. She considers herself a child protection advocate and continues to attend workshops and training to meet the needs of her clients and community. Patty is currently a board member for Samoa Victim Support Group and is Vice President for The Blue Butterfly Institute.
Whilst not serving the community, Patty is a mother to three young adults and grandmother to two precious chatterboxes who keep her heart warm. Patty has grown up and lived most of her life in south-west Sydney and Western Sydney.
Natasha Boyce is a dedicated mother of three, who puts family at the forefront of her life. Professionally, she is an inspired leader at Western Sydney University, having undertaken training in the field. She has been recognised for her efforts with both a School Excellence Award and Vice Chancellor Meritorious Citation for Professional Service.
Natasha was a founding member of Power in People – PiP, a support group for vulnerable and isolated people in the community. It is her compassion for others that finds her now a proud and committed member of The Blue Butterfly Institute.
Natasha is passionate about advocating for victims and survivors of sexual trauma and their families. She endeavours to give a voice to all people and end the silence around sexual trauma.
Wendy White is an active resident of the greater Macarthur Region.
As the Treasurer of The Blue Butterfly Institute, Wendy is a professional and qualified Bookkeeper and Registered BAS Agent. She runs a successful and sought-after business in this field.
She is currently the Scouts NSW State Commission Member Support with twenty years varied Scouting experience. Wendy is a qualified Mental Health First Aid trainer with Mental Health First Aid Australia on behalf of Scouts NSW.
Wendy is a former Secretary of Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard of Camden Inc and serves and supports many local business and community groups.
Many years ago, Wendy found her voice through Toastmasters International and loves to use that voice for goodness in the world.
Kara Dario Thornhill
Kara has worked in Community Services and Not For Profits since 2006. She brings over fifteen years of extensive lived and industry experience in Disability, Mental Health and Aged Care. Kara also has a comprehensive background in policy development, and auditing and operations. She possesses a wealth of knowledge in risk management and business continuity. Committed to influencing change, Kara is driven to design and deliver quality services for vulnerable people. Her passion for continuous improvement and innovation instils confidence and supports others to deliver best practice service.
Kara has qualifications in Business Administration, Human Relations, Auditing, Community Sector Management, and a Postgraduate Degree in Management (Professional Practice). Kara is a member of Quality Managers Network Australasia and a non-executive Board Member for Humanity Matters Ltd. She has held this role since 2018, advocating for vulnerable young people and supporting them through street work and food services.
Further to this, Kara has been involved in the development of the Local Area Coordination Program as part of the NDIS rollout in Sydney, South West and South East Sydney, including the development and implementation of CALD strategies specific to South West Sydney communities and the Indignenous community.
Never one to rest, Kara has shared her own mental health journey, including her recovery, as a guest speaker on the mental health awareness podcast, “How You Going Mate,” and was a panelist on Creative Conversations, “How can the Arts foster social interaction and a sense of social inclusion?”
We will speak, we will be heard and we will emerge to create something beautiful from the darkness...
Lorna Hollinger is a Master EFT Practitioner who now runs a successful online training Institute. Over the last decade, she has supported many clients through the impacts of sexual abuse on their present adult life. As a founding member of The Blue Butterfly Institute, Lorna believes that early support and resources are essential for victims and survivors to help them to recover and live a happy life.
Lorna has extensive public sector experience in grants administration and project management. Lorna holds Diplomas in Project Management, Business Management and Small Business Management; and Master Practitioner certifications in Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT/Tapping) and Neuro-linguistic Programming.
Ruby Mikolaitis is a proud Palawa woman who grew up in Airds (south-west Sydney, NSW). She has overcome many socio-economic challenges and now works as a student ambassador at Notre Dame University in Broadway.
She is currently completing her Bachelor of Communications and Media/Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Politics. She is a survivor of sexual trauma and uses her story to empower others through their healing journey.
Monique brings her experience as a Learning Coach and owner of Brain Wise Learning to The Blue Butterfly Institute. Her focus is to improve the ability to learn - the memory, attention, communication, and mindset skills needed, to approach skill development and confidence. By increasing learning confidence, Monique hopes to assist both children and adults to move forward from the trauma that has impacted their lives.
Monique has dedicated her service to The Blue Butterfly Institute to her best friend, who fought bravely against the ongoing effects of child sexual abuse for far too long.
Mel is a well-known and highly regarded member of the Wollondilly community. She was the P & C President of her local school, successfully holding many fundraisers and is a life member of the P & C Association. She was successful in gaining grants for the school and now works as a Community Support Worker.
Tia Veech is a passionate Aromatherapist who works in the natural therapies field and is involved in her local community. Having worked in secretarial, public service and for a race club, Tia found joy in natural therapies after a car accident left her unable to pursue office work. Tia’s life-long dream was to teach which saw Tia run a family day care service in her home for 5 years after her miracle babies came along but she now channels her teaching back into aromatherapy and is a Silver Leader with her company.
Tia is a wife and mother of 2 and has volunteered in many roles including currently assisting Shining Stars Foundation with an outreach food program weekly in Wollondilly. Other roles have included being a founding member of the Dilly Drought Drive advocating for over 25 local farmers and raising over $1mil worth of support for them. Tia was also part of the original board during the setup of the local Community Pantry.
Tia is a current member of the Board of Directors of Picton & Districts Community Bank having previously served as Chair for 4 years during which time the Bank hit profitability for the first time and paid dividends to the shareholders. Tia now sits on the marketing & sponsorship committee. Tia is actively involved in a couple of networking groups and has a leadership role with the Macarthur Women with Altitude and organises and facilitates the regular monthly day events for Wollondilly Women in Business.
Tia is involved with a social media group called Communities with a Purpose who advocate and assist any and all small charities helping raise awareness and championing for their cause. Through this Tia was one of the volunteers behind the Driveways at Dawn initiative in 2020 and also The Wear it Yellow Day committee to say thank you to all the firefighters.
Tia is proud to be a founding member of The Blue Butterfly Institute working along aside an amazing team of women whose dream it is to empower others to find their voice and raise awareness and create change so that all victims can become proud survivors.