Meet Our Team

Innate Therapies Australia is one of Cairns' leading therapeutic practices providing counselling and therapeutic services to the Cairns region for over ten years.  All staff undertake continuous professional development to ensure we are bringing you the most up-to-date therapeutic practices and the highest level of care possible. 

Principal practitioner & founder

Donna Mahoney


australian counselling association SUPERVISOR

Donna began Innate Therapies over ten years ago whilst working full time as a Counsellor/Art Therapist within the Not For Profit sector of Cairns. Donna has built an impressive career in the fields of counselling & art therapy and is well known for the work she does in working with children and adults for a wide range of concerns and specialises in attachment and trauma.

Donna‚Äôs wide range of modalities and skill set within her counselling/Art Therapy sessions include, but are not limited to,  Symbol Work and Sandplay, Clay Field Therapy, Sensorimotor Art Therapy, Play Therapy, Expressive Therapies and Emotional Freedom Technique.

Donna is called on regularly by many agencies as a Specialist Counsellor to provide support/training for their staff and provides Professional Supervision to other counsellors to enhance their skills. Donna has worked extensively within the Yarrabah Aboriginal Community and the South of Cairns within the schools providing workshops and counselling/art therapy.


Bachelor of Arts - Majoring in Human Services

Diploma of Community Services (Welfare Studies)

Diploma of Professional Counselling

Diploma in Sensorimotor Art Therapy

Diploma in Clay Field Therapy 

Certificate in Expressive Therapies with Children and Adolescents

Certificate in Sand Play Therapy and Symbol Work with Children, Adolescents and Adults

Level 1 & 2 Emotional Freedom Technique (E.F.T.)

Registered NDIS Provider

Senior practitioner

Melissa Bann

specialised counsellor

creative art therapist

Melissa has an extensive career in providing counselling and therapeutic to clients of all ages and backgrounds.

Melissa's main specialities are person-centred counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy, trauma counselling, psychodynamic approach, narrative therapy and mindfulness.

Melissa has also worked closely with indigenous organisations both in Cairns and in her home state of Victoria,  providing trauma care for children in and out of home as well as within a school setting.

Melissa's work has also involved Kinship care groups to empower carers with the skills to support indigenous children through trauma and attachment disorders.


Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Counselling)

Diploma in Community Services (Case Management) 

Certificate IV  Mental Health

Certificate IV Youth Work. Qualified

Main Trainer in Aggression Replacement Training.

Jess Hodson

trainee counsellor

Jess is currently studying her Diploma in Counselling and has joined us at Innate Therapies during her training to gain hands on experience under the guidance of our Principal Practitioner, Donna Mahoney.

Erin Zovko

Administration support

Erin has recently joined Innate Therapies and has quickly become an invaluable part of our team as she juggles our diaries, appointments and the extensive administration that comes with running a thriving therapy practice.