Our Supervisors

Melissa Sarikakis

Melissa completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology in 2007 and completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology in 2008 at the University of Wollongong. She undertook a 4+2 internship program with Learning Links in 2009 -2010 and received general registration as a Psychologist at the start of 2011.

Whilst completing her internship, Melissa worked with the Benevolent Society and gained experience working in case management, conducting child and family assessments, case plan development and review, group work and counseling to assist in the improved well-being of children and their families. She also facilitated group programs such as PALS Social Skills Programs, Cool Kids Anxiety Programs, emotional regulation programs such as ‘Stop Think Do’ as well as Positive Parenting Programs.

Once registered, Melissa moved into a private practice run with other allied health professionals and provided clinical assessments, as well as diagnostic and counseling services to young children, adolescents and their families. She also worked with the Star Kids Australia transition to school program in the Developmental team assessing children at risk for developmental disabilities.

She has worked with children with ASD and gained experience working as a Senior Behavioural Therapist in Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA Therapy) and Natural Environment Training (NET).

Melissa’s passion and experience lies in working with children, adolescents and families. She has a particular interest in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, as well as children in out of home care and supporting families with children with behavioural difficulties. She has a strong background and interest in CBT, ACT, Family Systems and Art and Play Therapy.

Melissa began working part time at Learning Links in October 2018 as a counselling / psychology assessor and began as a psychology Supervisor in August 2019. Her advice to new interns is to be open to all opportunities provided to you, use all available resources to your advantage and remember to take each day as it comes. The program can be overwhelming at times and it is important to remember that there are people around you to support you, to listen, to guide you.

Melissa Sarikakis's Headshot

Veselinka Petruseva

Vesi holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from Macquarie University and a Graduate Diploma in Counselling from ACAP. She completed her postgraduate studies and internship in 2004 when she obtained her general registration as a psychologist.

Vesi has worked at Learning Links since 2010 where she has been involved in providing counselling and behaviour support interventions to families of children with learning difficulties and disabilities, as well as providing individual counselling to children, adolescents and parents on various issues ranging from anxiety, depression, parenting support, ADHD, social skills, self-esteem, bullying issues, transitioning to school and high-school etc. Vesi has also been administering cognitive and academic assessments to children and adolescents and has been facilitating various group programs including social skills programs and parenting programs.

Prior to working at Learning Links, Vesi was working in the mental health sector in crisis intervention and with families and carers of mental health consumers.

Vesi has a particular interest in the areas of parenting, behaviour interventions and trauma.

Vesi commenced her role as supervisor at Learning Links in 2015. She finds being a supervisor rewarding as it provides her with the opportunity to share her passion for helping people and to support provisional psychologists on their path to registration.

Her advice to provisional psychologists would be to ensure they look after themselves and to ask for support when needed as this support is available, and it can make a world of a difference on this intense journey towards registration.

Veselinka Petruseva's Headshot

David Lopis

David graduated from UNSW in 2008 with a BCom in Finance and BSci in Psychology.  Having had an initial first career in finance, he went on to complete PGradDip in Psychology from CSU in 2011.

Since gaining his registration, David has worked in the Family Support area of a community welfare organisation, supporting adults and families. He has also worked as an ABA therapist (Applied Behavioural Analysis), providing interventions to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as well as 2 years as a School Psychologist in the Department of Education where he worked in high schools, primary schools and a school for children with severe physical and intellectual disabilities.

Currently, David works as a Psychologist in a private clinic focusing on children’s mental health, learning issues, social skills and those with ASD and ADHD.

David has significant expertise in providing supervision services, having supported provisional psychologists completing the 4+2 and 5+1 pathways. He is passionate about making provisional psychologists feel more emotionally supported when completing their internships. He describes his therapeutic approach as integrative, and is influenced by CBT, ACT and to a lesser extent, solution focussed therapy and narrative therapy.

David suggests that new interns start thinking about the tasks required early and develop a support network of other provisionals for more ongoing consultation and support.  He recommends making the most of supervision by preparing questions in advance and recognising early that the Case Reports are a huge task.

David joined Learning Links August 2019 and looks forward to working with supervisees who are curious, appreciative and highly motivated. He is always striving to find new innovative ways to encourage a deeper conversation, to become more evidence based and ultimately, ensuring that the supervisee feels fully supported.

Lucy Tchepak

Lucy holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and Post Graduate Diploma in Psychology from Macquarie University. She completed her studies in 2001. She completed her internship program with Learning Links between 2011 and 2015. During this time, she also worked as an Intake Officer at Learning Links, as we as running Professional Development programs and group sessions at schools with children who were identified as being disadvantaged either financially, culturally or due to personal circumstances.

Prior to obtaining her registration as a Psychologist, Lucy worked in the disability field for 13 years specialising in training, return to work and job capacity assessments with a focus on working with those experiencing mental health issues.

Once she was registered, Lucy worked in private practice for 3 years.

Lucy has a particular interest in the areas of parenting, management of anxiety, depression and self-harm, adolescent and child development and also in neurodevelopmental disorders such Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Lucy commenced her role as a Supervisor with Learning Links in late 2018. She finds the role of Supervisor rewarding because every supervision session is an opportunity for learning and growth for both the supervisee and supervisor.

Her advice to provisional psychologists is that er Her

while gaining your registration can seem overwhelming and challenging, be open about any struggles you face, seek support when needed but also have faith in your abilities and enjoy this period of growth and skill development.

Lucy Tchepak's Headshot