Meet Our Academic Team


Dr Adrian Bennett, PhD, MComms, is an academic, published author, and business leader who is an innovator, and strategic manager. He has regularly entered environments in need of positive change management, or improvement or that are facing immediate challenges and has worked successfully to overcome issues and enhance processes. His focus is typically on improving student overall satisfaction and performance and to create strong internal work communities.

He has been responsible for: large-scale budgets; leadership of staff and faculty numbering in the hundreds, with many direct reports; and has had overall responsibility for thousands of continuously enrolled students. He has significant experience in both Higher Education and VET and has been personally responsible for a number of HE Registrations, HE Accreditations, VET Re-registrations and VET accreditations or scope additions with TEQSA and ASQA.

Dr Bennett emphasises and champions the use of progressive business and management practises, such as Six Sigma, Agile and Lean and the resulting continuous improvement processes. This is coupled with an entrepreneurial approach to developing better systems.

Dr Adrian Bennett

Dean of Education


Dr. Tra–ill Dowie is the Head of the School of Counselling, at Ikon. He has previously been the Chair of the Australian Counselling Association (ACA) Panel for Trauma Standards & Practice, and he is a practicing psychotherapist, supervisor and public speaker. He holds dual PhDs, receiving a PhD in Psychiatry from Monash University and a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Melbourne as well as qualifications in psychology, philosophy, sociology, history of ideas and Jungian psychology.

He has extensive knowledge of European philosophy and psychotherapy, including existential and phenomenological systems.

Dr. Dowie’s academic life and public lectures cover a broad range of interdisciplinary topics that relate to the human condition; psychiatry, psychotherapy, trauma, continental philosophy, philosophy of mind, anthropology, health and wellbeing, and human optimisation.

Dr Tra-ill Dowie

Head of School, Counselling

Julie Michlmayr is Ikon’s Head of the School of Education with more than 25 years’ experience in education provision across a wide variety of educational contexts, including 15 years in Early Childhood and Primary Education, 5 years in Vocational Education and 10 years in Higher Education. Before joining Ikon, Julie worked as an Academic and Course Coordinator on TAFE NSW’s Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care (Birth-5).

As a teaching professional Julie has taught students from 6 weeks old to over 60 years old across a multitude of curriculum frameworks and education specialisations. Julie’s brings strong insights from her experiences as an accredited early childhood teacher, lecturer, educational leader, consultant, and curriculum content designer and developer to her work at Ikon. Over her career, Julie has continued her own life-long teaching and learning journey starting with a Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Birth-8 years) from the University of Wollongong, a Master of Education (Early Childhood) with a specialisation in Leadership and Management from Torrens University, and a TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment from TAFE NSW. 

Her research into rethinking and reconceptualising early childhood course structure, subject content, and delivery for the 21st Century Early Childhood Student and Graduate Teacher has resulted in the conceptual framework of the 9 domains (ethics and principles; theoretical knowledge; pedagogical practices; pedagogical leadership; educational leadership; curriculum content; skills; knowledge; and attitude) of the 21st century early childhood teacher. 

Julie is a passionate advocate for all levels of education, with a particular interest in contributing to all children across the globe obtaining a holistic education through innovative teaching and learning practices.

Julie Michlmayr

Head of School, Education


Dr Daniel R. Rothschild is a lecturer in the Bachelor of Counselling and Psychotherapy course. After completing a Bachelor of Music, specialising in composition, from the University of Adelaide, Dan began an Advanced Diploma of Counselling and a Bachelor Degree in anthropology.

After completing his Advanced Diploma and attaining First Class Honours in anthropology, Dan completed a PhD in Social Theory from the University of Melbourne. Dan has previously practiced clinically as a transpersonal counsellor and more recently practices as an integrative psychotherapist. He has been invited to speak about his own work at academic conferences in Melbourne, the University of California, Berkeley, the Centre for American Studies in Heidelberg, Germany, and at the 200th anniversary celebration of Walt Whitman’s birth in Long Island, New York.

Dr Daniel R. Rothschild

Senior Lecturer, Melbourne

Dr Joshua Comyn is a psychotherapist, lecturer, researcher and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. Before turning to the practice of psychotherapy, Josh completed a PhD at The University of Melbourne in which he explored the nature of human subjectivity through literature, philosophy and history.

Josh’s approach to teaching is to challenge students to think and experience themselves beyond narrow presuppositions about how the world is or is supposed to be. His teaching is filled with invitations to think and feel deeper and further about the world and our place in it. For Josh, psychotherapy is the practice of listening, speaking and being with people in a way that allows them to integrate (make whole) their experience of themselves, of others, and of the world. An integrative approach to psychotherapy is one that views any single-school approach as limited — people are always more complex than psychotherapeutic theory, and integration entails an openness to the complexity of being human.

Josh uses mentalization-based practices that cultivate the ability of clients to see themselves from the outside and others from the inside. Being able to feel and understand an experience from multiple perspectives is the first step towards the integration of that experience. This is the first step we all take towards healing.

Joshua Comyn

Senior Lecturer, Melbourne


After graduating as an Art Therapist from La Trobe Uni, David started a private Art Therapy practice, Healing Images.  He worked as an Art Therapist in hospices and a community-based palliative care service. He has also completed 400 hours of psychodrama training with the Melbourne School of Psychodrama and ran an amateur theatre group for promoting personal growth (Cat and Mouse Productions) as director, drama teacher and occasional actor.   

In 2012, he completed a Masters degree in Counselling & Psychotherapy and left working in palliative care organisations to concentrate on my private practice, Healing Images. In 2014, he wrote a play about the consequences of childhood trauma (‘Pandora’s Dolls’) which was performed at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.  He is interested in the constitution of the self, in the human condition, how we cope with loss and stress, trauma and post-traumatic growth.  His work is informed by psychodynamics, existential theory, narrative theory, sensorimotor approaches to attachment and trauma, and the health benefits of self-expression through the arts, expressive writing and mindfulness. He uses psycho-education to promote understanding of ‘why we are the way we are’ and to normalise our shared human experience.   

For David, helping people overcome the difficulties of the past to free themselves to create more fulfilling lives is a great joy. 

Read David’s Pedagogical Statement

David Champion

Academic Team Member, Melbourne

Jade Nolan is an academic at Ikon’s Adelaide campus where she encourages students, through on-going discourse, to explore and challenge the assumptions they hold about what it means to be human. She emphasises experiential learning, valuing a classroom of reciprocity and the co-creation of new ideas, new meanings, and new understandings.

Outside of Ikon, Jade works as an integrative psychotherapist in private practice holding an undergraduate degree in Behavioural Science and a Master of Counselling Practice, facilitating clients with self-exploration and growth.  

Read Jade’s Pedagogical Statement

Jade Nolan

Academic Team Member, Adelaide

Roman’s training and assimilative integration is grounded in Jungian Sandplay training, registered as a Certified Sandplay Therapist with the International Society for Sandplay Therapy (Zurich). Selectively incorporating practices from humanistic person-centered and systemic family therapy trainings, and registering with a variety of professional organisations, Roman has training and supervision in guided imagery and music therapy (Melbourne University), expressive therapies (Ikon Institute), and couple counselling (Relationships Australia). Roman searches for common elements across different theoretical systems to include a pluralistic integrated psychotherapy. He is the current Convenor of the PACFA College of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators, a national College dedicated to supporting counselling and psychotherapy educators and advancing counselling and psychotherapy education in Australia. He has conducted group experiential work and rites of passage work in the Canadian wilderness with Temagami-Ashinabe Elders, conducted dream incubation in a Mexican Catholic church, and cultural healing with Gunditjamara and Pitjantjatjara elders. He has professional registration with the Australian Register of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (ARCAP), and clinical registration with PACFA. He has kept a dream journal since 1981 and believes in his dreams. 

Read Roman’s Pedagogical Statement

Roman Ilgauskas

Academic Team Member, Brisbane

Jake Potter is a full time Teaching Assistant at Ikon Institute, Founder of the Australian Centre for Embodied Practice, practicing Psychotherapist, Open Floor Teacher and host of the Embodied Life Podcast. He is the Award Winner of the Dr Rafael Locke Award for Clinical & Academic Excellence in the practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy from Ikon Institute and has guest lectured at institutions such as New York University. Jake has had an extensive teaching career which began as a Resident Teacher at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California and has taught across Australia and the United States. Jake has received a BA of Counselling & Psychotherapy, is a Working Member of Open Floor International and Co-Founder of Common Roots; a Melbourne-based organisation uniting and empowering people through movement-based practice.

Read Jake’s Pedagogical Statement

Jake Potter

Teaching Assistant, Melbourne


Our teaching staff are available each week for consulting outside of class times. Contacts details are provided in the course pages in Canvas and bookings can be made through the Student Hub of Canvas.