Service Update: Welcome Belinda Nixon

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Service update: Welcome Belinda Nixon and Michal Fisher.


I have recently joined the Quirky Kid Team in Woollahra and Austinmer as a Senior Psychologist. I bring with me experience working in a busy private practice with children, adolescents and families, with a variety of presentations including anxiety; depression; challenging behaviours; social and emotional problems; trauma; bullying; toileting and attachment difficulties. My approach is child-centred and inclusive of parents in the therapeutic process. I work within a cognitive behavioural therapy framework and an interpersonal therapy framework with an attachment focus.

I have a strong background in psychometric assessments and diagnostic assessments for children with attention difficulties, learning disorders, and intellectual disabilities.

During 2007, I completed my Postgraduate Diploma and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology)  at Macquarie University. In 2011 I completed my internship at The READ Clinic, on the Central Coast working with children and adults with complex presentations. I began my career working with children on the autism spectrum, at the Lizard Centre, Sydney, delivering Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) therapy to children in the home and shadowing children at school.



During my internship, I volunteered at Lifeline, taking crisis calls. I also worked for a corporate psychology company coordinating crisis support for critical incidents.

Together with Professor Ashleigh Craig at the University of Sydney, I researched the mental health and best practice assessment and intervention of newly injured spinal cord patients.

I am passionate about travel and I’m aiming to see as many of the top 100 lonely planet destinations as I can. Currently sitting on 35. Next destination … Japan. During summer, I am at the beach, as I love anything by the water. Other interests include creative pursuits, delicious food, and trying new experiences.

Why have I moved to Quirky Kid?

I have enjoyed working in private practice for the last 5 years. Working in a busy private practice provided me with the opportunity to work autonomously and develop my personal boundaries and clinical skills. However, the team environment attracted me to Quirky Kid. I am excited to join a team of friendly and experienced professionals who I can both learn from and contribute to.

Quirky Kid’s vision to make meaningful contributions to the social and emotional development of children inspired me to join this progressive and exciting company.

What are my skills?

My expertise is in working with children, adolescents and parents to develop their interpersonal relationships, and implement strategies to improve their emotional, behavioural and social skills.  I am skilled in conducting both clinical and psychometric assessments and in tailoring intervention programs to meet the individual needs of children and families.

In my experience, a holistic approach to client care, including liaison with teachers, doctors and allied health professionals, provides the best outcomes for the child.

What will my role at QK be?

My role will be to engage and build a trusting relationship with children and parents/carers and to provide evidence-based interventions and assessments.

Consultations will typically involve an initial assessment of the background information provided by the parents/carers, and follow up consultations with the child or adolescent. Parents/carers are essential to the outcomes of children and will be included throughout the therapeutic process. When needed, allied health professionals, doctors and teachers may be consulted.

Part of my role will be delivering social and emotional programs and anxiety management group programs at Quirky Kid clinic.

I am very excited about joining the Quirky Kid team and empowering children and young people to achieve their potential. Please feel free to contact our reception on 02 9362 9297 for any enquiries or further information.



Valli Jones & Associates and BoF

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

We are proud to announce Valli Jones is now a Licensed and Accredited Facilitator of ‘The Best of Friends’® program.

Valli Jones is a Gold Coast-based psychologist with a special interest in child and adolescent psychology. Working from a holistic, person-centred perspective, Valli uses evidenced-based methods to assess and treat a range of common behavioural and mental health concerns. Valli holds a Master of Clinical Psychology, is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society.

Her clinic enrolment continues to establish our Social and Emotional program as an effective intervention to foster children’s social and emotional wellbeing. We continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe.

Dates for workshops and registrations are available here.

About Valli Jones

Valli Jones works one-on-one with children, adolescents and families to help them develop the skills they need to manage their emotions and behaviour. Using evidence-based therapies delivered in an engaging and play-informed style, children are supported while they learn to understand and regulate their inner world, and adopt more positive ways of behaving and relating.

Social and Emotional Learning

Equally, with their commitment to academic results and positive psychology, Valli Jones has demonstrated a clear commitment to the Social and Emotional Learning of her clients. We were impressed with the knowledge, focus, diligence and commitment Valli’s practice commits to their clients.
About The Best of Friends and the Clinic.

The implementation of The Best of Friends ® will take place progressively and will be closely supported by the program author and our Educational Developmental Psychologists Dr. Kimberley O’Brien.

Participants taking part in the groups will receive a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid. Facilitators and teachers have access to a series of manuals and regular supervision as and when required. The Best of Friends is a Social and Emotional Learning program developed by The Quirky Kid Clinic.

Find out more.

Interested in offering The Best of Friends ® program at your school?

Currently, the program is available to a limited number of schools and organisations. The BoF program® has a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan and we are keen to identify partners committed to SEL implementation and evaluation.

Schools can choose from a target (small group) or universal (classroom) format. We will provide all the implementation assistance required, including training, supervision and support for key staff members.


Quirky Kid Open Day 2018

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Quirky Kid Open Day

The Quirky Kid Team is looking forward to meeting with parents and professionals during our 2018 Open Day.

This is a great opportunity to explore our inspiring clinical space, engage with our team and explore our products and programs for parents, professionals and schools.  

Here is what to expect:

Explore our clinical space, meet with our Quirky Kid staff and colleagues, and get close and personal with the Quirky Kid products, programs and resources.

Chat with our CEO and Principal Educational and Developmental Psychologist Dr Kimberley O’Brien about her approach to child therapy and her vision for Quirky Kid.

Enjoy the company of our Psychologist Belinda Nixon as she talks about the Best of Friends and BaseCamp programs and how you can take advantage of the materials at your home or school.

Find out from our Psychologist Dawn Young about our clinical and assessment strengths and find the answers to your frequently asked questions including therapeutic approaches, day to day tips for health and well being and more.

In addition, you will have a chance to:

  1. Ask questions from our team
  2. Learn more about our employment and volunteering opportunities
  3. Discuss more about our in-school and clinic-based services
  4. Understand more about how we can support schools with clinical services and programs

Who Should Attend? 

Parents and professionals are all welcome. Thursday 26th July, 12:00pm – 2:00 pm. 

Address: Level 1, Unit 2, 83-85 Queen Street Woollahra NSW

Register Now



Basecamp wins London Book Fair International Excellence Award


Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Following our twin nomination to the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards, our shortlisting for the Australian Book Design Awards, I was honoured to receive the Educational Initiative Award in London last night, on behalf of the Quirky Kid team.

We’re the only Australian publisher to take home an award. The experience of receiving such recognition on the international stage was like no other. It is so rewarding when your team is recognised for their creative efforts and, especially when creating work of significant social impact and importance.

The Educational Initiatives Award –  for organisations which have produced an innovative and exciting new initiative that increases education provision and effectiveness, and wider access to learning  – went to Quirky Kid’s initiative, Basecamp®.

Basecamp® takes kids on a journey through a fictional national park to help explore their emotions, especially related to anxiety. The judges commented:

Now more than ever children and families need resources like Quirky Kid’s Basecamp. This engaging, child-centred approach would make a real difference in building children’s resilience”.

Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair, said: “The International Excellence Awards are a reminder of the magnificent work being done in publishing by creative groups of people all around the world. From translators in Serbia and librarians in Latvia to psychologists in Australia and literary agents in Spain, these awards showcase the diverse talent working in the publishing industry today. It has been a pleasure and honour to celebrate these individuals and organisations here at The London Book Fair, in the creative capital of the world.”

This award represents the international recognition of the important work conducted by Quirky Kid in enhancing the delivery of educational resources for mental health for children and young people.


About Basecamp

BaseCamp® is an innovative anxiety program for children aged 7 to 12 years. Developed by the Quirky Kid team, BaseCamp® draws on decades of experience, combining a sound theoretical cognitive-behavioural approach with effective, engaging and child-centred activities to overcome anxiety.

BaseCamp® is based in a fictional Australian National Park and with the support of the Park Rangers, participants are invited to let go of excess baggage as they make their way into the wilderness. Together they tackle the task of rehabilitating the occupants of an Animal Sanctuary by putting an end to avoidance. Afterall, facing your fears is empowering when you know how!

You can view the full list of this year’s International Excellence winners here.

Media Coverage

Read more about the media coverage of BaseCamp® so far:

  1. The article in the Sydney Morning Herald.
  2. The article in the Illawarra Mercury.
  3. The Books&Publishing Junior Newsletter Article
  4. The Books& Publishing News Article
  5. The London Book Fair Announcement 



Basecamp @ the Book Design Awards 2018

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

In what is a great privilege, Quirky Kid has been nominated for the Longlist for the 66th Australian Book Design Awards 2018! for our submission for Basecamp.

The Australian Book Design Awards celebrate the bravest and brightest, the most original and beautiful books published in Australia each year over 16 categories. With a panel of 7 judges made up of prestigious designers and publishers, the awards are an opportunity to celebrate beautiful Australian literature  – and we’re so proud to be amongst the other amazing titles. 

The Shortlist will be announced on Monday 9 April and the winners of the Australian Book Design Awards will be announced at the Awards Party on Friday 25 May at The Craft & Co in Melbourne.

The awards evening will also include the announcement of The Designers’ Choice awards that ABDA members vote for on the night.

  • The Hachette Designers’ Choice Book of the Year
  • The Booktopia Designers’ Choice Cover of the Year
  • The McPherson’s Printing Group Designers’ Choice Children’s/YA Cover of the Year

Download the Longlist here.

About Basecamp

We feel that Basecamp® is an incredible artwork. Every page was carefully designed to communicate with our users in a unique and interesting way. Navigating through the 182 pages of Basecamp is an adventure full of surprises.

BaseCamp® is an innovative anxiety program for children aged 7 to 12 years. Developed by the Quirky Kid team. BaseCamp® draws on decades of experience, combining a sound theoretical cognitive-behavioural approach with effective, engaging and child-centred activities.

BaseCamp® is based in a fictional Australian National Park. Children are invited on a journey to explore themed settings, team up with a support crew of experienced guides and interact with park animals, all intended to help them tackle the challenges of managing and overcoming anxiety.


The program and resource were also shortlisted for two international awards at the London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2018