Dr Dwayne Andrew Kennedy

Welcome to our website. You can read about my formal qualifications below. Personally speaking, I enjoy gardening and the simple things in life. My hope is for others, to improve their lives.

Dr Dwayne Andrew Kennedy, Senior Clinical Specialist Counsellor Psychotherapist

Dr Dwayne Andrew Kennedy’s formal qualifications include a PhD in Counselling with Art Therapy and Trauma Recovery, MEd Honours in Counselling, Bachelor of Counselling, Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Teaching, Certificate III Disabilities, Certificate III Childcare, Certificate III Welfare, Senior Clinician Australian Counselling Association, Member Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine, Member of Animal Therapies LTD, Registered Behaviour Specialist NDIS Commission.

Dwayne has over 30 years experience in the disability and mental health sectors. He has taught over the years in early childhood education. Dr Kennedy has consulted and mentored clients, staff, and management on ways forward through empowerment, resilience, and accomplishment of client-focused goals.

Dr Kennedy’s work focuses in many ways on assisting youth and children, and he works with all ages. He uses CBT with mindfulness, enjoys symbol work, sand play therapy, gaming therapy, eco-garden therapy. Dr Kennedy is a Certified Practitioner in Ayurveda with the Satya School of Yoga and Ayurveda.

Rev Dr Kennedy maintains a practice of spirituality, meditation, mindfulness and contemplative life. Dwayne Kennedy is an Ordained Minister and Registered Marriage Celebrant in NSW, and he affiliates with Christ Our Hope Community.

At ATS Pty Ltd Dr Kennedy is a Senior Behaviour Support Specialist Counsellor Psychotherapist.

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“Working online during Covid-19 has been a challenging but exciting reality for me and clients. We have all been in the same boat. We have faced the transition head on, and changed the way that we work. Not just for me, but for many, the improvements from working online are many and we look forward to continuing in this approach.”

– Dr Dwayne Andrew Kennedy

Dr Kennedy works closely with parents and with many single mums of children with Autism, Intellectual Disability, ADHD, and other unique gifts and abilities. He works from a strength-based and personal approach that builds up people in skills and capacities. Dr Kennedy sees mums, especially as the expert in their own experience in life and as the best advocate. As such, mums have the best most holistic perspective on the reality and needs of their children. Empowering parents and mums especially to be strong in their wisdom and to move forward with greater confidence is a great honour and is central to our role.

silhouette of man touching woman against sunset sky
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com



Kennedy, D. 2020, Dreaming Emu: Men, Trauma, Art, and Healing, Ability Therapy Specialists Pty Ltd, Armidale.

Dreaming Emu: Men, Trauma, Art, and Healing awakens the soul to the anguish, suffering and insidious nature of racism, sexism, and gender-based prejudice. These interwoven dynamics are explored through an equally provocative analysis of the shadowy heart of Australian identity. The author artfully exposes the Australian male’s tender underbelly by examining the history and culture of masculinity-gone-wrong. From the depths of colonial despair arise signs of Aboriginal Australian’s contemporary quest to reclaim men’s identity and the Dreaming. Incorporating art-as-therapy combined with narrative analysis, the author demonstrates a practical and hopeful pathway for the recovery of culture, identity and Sacred Business. Analysis of the life and work of Albert Namatjira and two contemporary male Indigenous artists deepen the ethnographic profile. More than essential reading, this work is vital to redefining the national identity of Australia while recasting reconciliation and Aboriginal affairs within a new landscape of integrity.

Kennedy D, and Kennedy G. (2020) Lypptuss the Gum Tree Dragon: You Too Can Have Friends, Ability Therapy Specialists Pty Ltd, Armidale.

Lypptuss the Gum Tree Dragon: You Too Can Have Friends, is a heartwarming story for hearts young and not so young. A beautiful family treasure, this book is based on a long-protected and thirty-year-old manuscript. The drawings had shown a lovely yellow patina as a loving sign of age, timelessness, and beauty. Digitally reproduced and enhanced, the original artwork is by Dwayne and complements the story written by Grace many years ago. It was her dream to see this work shared with others. Joseph provided editing, layout, design, and contributions to the text.

Bowers J. and Kennedy D. (2020) Telehealth Clinical Services in Australia: How Telehealth Works and Its Effectiveness in the Context of Specialist Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Behaviour Support, Ability Therapy Specialists Pty Ltd, Armidale NSW.

Telehealth is one word that describes a range of communication methods that are used wherever people are in different locations. Dr Joseph Randolph Bowers, Senior Clinical Behaviour Specialist Counsellor Psychotherapist, outlines the practical “how to” of telehealth methods. He then provides a brief overview of the history of telehealth and its efficacy in clinical research with emphasis on behaviour support.

Bowers J. and Kennedy, D. 2018, Clinical Practice with Indigenous Australians, In Pelling N, & Burton L. Abnormal Psychology in Context: The Australian and New Zealand Handbook, Cambridge University Press, New York.

Written by leading researchers from Australia and New Zealand, each chapter examines a particular psychological disorder, details symptoms and responses, and includes relevant statistics, case studies, further reading and links to community resources. The chapters give equal weight to Australian and New Zealand experiences in abnormal psychology matters.

Kennedy, D. 2011, ‘Dreaming Emu: Indigenous cultural empowerment through art as therapy – Men & healing from the violence of colonisation,’ A PhD Thesis in Partial Fulfilment of the degree Doctor of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Peace Studies, University of New England, Armidale.

This study investigates an Aboriginal Australian Indigenous epistemology through narrative analysis by contextualising colonial history within a contemporary Aboriginal standpoint approach. This work seeks to understand the place of identity among Aboriginal people with an emphasis on the experience of Indigenous men. Aboriginal male identity is explored as a place of fracture, disintegration, healing and empowerment. The practice of Indigenous epistemology and knowing or research is facilitated by the use of postcolonial narrative analysis, (auto)-ethnography, and Aboriginal arts-speak through the sharing of analysis-as-story. The central metaphor of the study is the Dreaming Emu artwork that provides a visual and epistemic meeting place for the critical work of deconstructing colonial narratives while acknowledging how art-as-process assists in generating new forms of identity among Aboriginal men. Three Aboriginal male artists are discussed, and their experiences of confronting colonial narratives are explored. The work provides an example of pathways that Aboriginal men may follow while they are engaged in the revision of identity and place within the practice of art as culture and spirituality. 

Atkinson, J. Kennedy, D. Bowers, R. Aboriginal First Nations Approaches to Counselling, In Pelling, N. Bowers, & Armstrong, P. 2006, The Practice of Counselling, Thomson Publications, Melbourne.

The Practice of Counselling is an outstanding Australian text book that addresses a wide spectrum of contemporary issues faced by practising counsellors. It is designed to cover a comprehensive range of issues for the practicing counsellor and for students of counselling, including integrative approaches to the field, social and political issues, cross-cultural counselling, cultural diversity, Indigenous issues; and counselling in various contexts including grief and loss, crisis work, and issues in supervision. It is imperative professional counsellors and psychotherapists understand the social and cultural influences that impact clients. This understanding is equally essential for the teaching and learning process. This text explores best practices in the areas of counselling interventions to address some of the most challenging issues facing practitioners today. Offering solid, innovative, state-of-the-art guidance and models, this text helps students to learn and engage in critical thinking much more readily as the literature reflects their own environment and experiences. An essential text that helps the counsellor understands the client’s world-view while assisting the student to explore the transition from theory into practice.


Kennedy, D. 2010, PLACE: Three artists, two countries, one heart: An exhibition of contemporary Indigenous paintings from Australia and Canada, Inaugural Exhibition, Cape Breton University Art Gallery, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Kennedy, D. 2006, Indigenous Awakenings: Facing the challenges of education, culture, and healing in Aboriginal Australia, The University of New England A thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Education with Honours, School of Professional Development and Leadership University of New England October 2006.

Using auto-ethnography, this study recounts personal life experiences from an Aboriginal Australian and minority perspective while engaging in reflective critical analysis of learning within mainstream educational institutions. Reconstructing the story of Indigenous culture and spirituality, the study examines personal, social, and political issues with the help of analytical tools including experimental writing, poetry, and storytelling. These approaches provide a narrative basis for generative healing work at personal and social levels, creating a dialogical space where aspects of autobiography (personal story) and ethnographic analysis (sociohistorical context) act to challenge dominant ways of knowing. These practices honour the context of more traditional cultural ways of knowing within an Indigenous worldview. The work seeks to reframe challenging life experiences to enable a clear knowledge of how Aboriginal spirituality and culture can be reclaimed and celebrated in today’s world.

Kennedy, D. 2005, Encouraging Quality of Life for Aging Persons who have Developmental Disabilities, Counselling, Psychotherapy, and health, 2 (1) 62-67, April.

Studies indicate that people with developmental disabilities are ageing at a similar rate to the mainstream. This has occurred from the time of deinstitutionalisation and the move into community based living. Community based programs and services have encouraged quality of life outcomes that address the need for improved medical, physical, and nutritional care. These factors have contributed to addressing psychological, social and spiritual needs, as well as generating opportunities for education and employment. This article discusses encouraging quality of life outcomes for those who are ageing with developmental disabilities, and how social educators and caregivers need to attend to training programs that address the dual concerns of ageing and disability services. This article gives an overview of the historical background of these issues and highlights the health concerns for those who are ageing with developmental disabilities.

Kennedy, D. 2005, ‘Butterfly Awakening,’ A commissioned icon from an original painting, commissioned by C.P.H-Journal Board of Editors, Medium: Acrylic on Canvas, Australian Counselling Association, Sponsored by the Australian Counselling Association, including the artist’s commentary on the work (original link no longer exists), image used for new incarnation of the journal Australian Counselling Research Journal (15-9-23).

Kennedy, D. (2002) Respect yourself, Youth program. Psychobabble New England Area Health Service.

Cited By

“The article, Encouraging Quality of Life for Aging Persons who have Developmental Disabilities by Dwayne Kennedy is timely given that people with mental disabilities are being moved into community based living often without adequate support and services. As those with disabilities age, there is even a greater need that educators and caregivers develop programs that address the dual concerns of ageing and disability services. Dwayne strongly advocates for community based programs and services that encourage the quality of life and that address the need for psychological, social and spiritual needs and the needs for education and employment.”

Artistic Exhibition

Images of a few of Dr Kennedy’s paintings during the 2010 Exhibition at Cape Breton University in Canada. The exhibit was to celebrate Three Artists, Two Countries, One Heart. The show was curated by the artists and presented by the Cape Breton University Art Gallery, with publications of the exhibit and papers arising.

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