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Information for Parents & Referrers

About Us

Ruth Schmidt Neven established the Centre for Child and Family Development in 1994. She is a child psychotherapist who trained at the Tavistock Clinic in England, and a registered psychologist who is a member of the Australian Psychological Society. Ruth came to Australia in 1989 to take up the first position of Chief Psychotherapist at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, a post she held until 1994.

With over 25 years experience of work with children parents and adolescents, Ruth is committed to promoting knowledge and understanding about child and family development in the broader community. She was a founder of the innovative national support service Exploring Parenthood in the U.K., and she writes and lectures extensively on all aspects of child development, runs training programmes in Australia and overseas, and acts as an adviser to Human Services Departments and in the educational field.

Ruth has written four books, Exploring Parenthood, Emotional Milestones: From Birth to Adulthood, Rethinking ADHD: Integrated approaches to helping children at home and at school and Core Principles of Assessment and Therapeutic Communication with Children Parents and Families.

The Consulting Reference Group

The Consulting Reference Group is an informal multidisciplinary advisory group of senior professionals who keep the Centre up to date with developments in areas relating to the development of children, parents and young people in a changing society.

Dr. Jennifer McIntosh Clinical Child psychologist, family therapist and research consultant. Director Family Transitions

Emil Neven Adult psychotherapist and head of Pastoral Care, Monash Medical Centre

Diane Penkethman Head, The Currajong School Malvern

Dr. Sharne Rolfe Educational and developmental psychologist, Centre for Equity and Innovation in Early Childhood, University of Melbourne

Dr. David Sturrock Consultant adult psychiatrist in  private practice

Ann Cebon Consulting Child Psychotherapist, founding member, Victorian Association of Psychotherapists

Elisabeth Hanscombe Adult Psychotherapist

Dr. Jacinta Coleman Developmental and Behavioural Paediatrician Monash Medical Centre

Michael Grose Parent Educator Consultant and Writer

Anne Manne Journalist and Writer

William Hanscombe Solicitor

New South Wales:

Lorraine Rose Psychologist and Psychotherapist, Founding Member of the Parent Infant Foundation


Dr Janet Rhind Child Psychiatrist, and member of the Brisbane Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies

Western Australia:

Dr. Lynda Chadwick Paediatrician State Child Development Centre

South Australia:

Dr. Rebecca Coleman  Clinical child adolescent and family psychologist  Founder, Kindness for Kids programme

Ruth Schmidt Neven
Founding Director
Ruth Schmidt Neven

The Centre for Child and Family Development
Director: Ruth Schmidt Neven
721A Riversdale Road, Camberwell
Victoria 3124
Tel: (03) 9830 0422   Fax: (03) 9830 0455
Email: ccfdau@ozemail.com.au