Amber Rules is a psychotherapist, counsellor, group therapist, clinical supervisor and trainer. She has lived experience of the impact and complexities of addiction in her family, and is a lifelong devotee of counselling as a means to healing, understanding, growing, and thriving.

Amber began her career in addiction rehabilitation settings and specialist outpatient counselling clinics in Sydney. She is the Clinical Director of Sydney Addictions Recovery, a private counselling practice which specialises in supporting individuals and families affected by addiction.

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Throughout her counselling career, Amber has worked across varying counselling settings in public health, not-for-profit, and private health. While doing this work, she noticed the disparities between these differing settings, and how clients who are able to afford private counselling tend to have better access and health outcomes than those who can’t. She also observed the sacrifices counsellors in community and not-for-profit settings make in order to do their job, often being paid far less than their privately-employed counterparts. These counsellors are also expected to work very long hours, pay for their own resources and training, and receive very little support and professional development, which leads to professional burn-out, compassion fatigue, and talented people leaving the industry.


All of these disparities led Amber to find a better way of providing counselling and mental health supports which relieved publicly-funded counselling services, paid counsellors a fairer wage for their expertise, and respected both the client and the counsellors doing the essential work of self-care and growth through therapy.


With the experience and support of Kate Scowen, a Canadian social worker who founded the Hard Feelings model, Amber opened Rough Patch in July 2020. She is joined by a team of passionate counsellors, volunteers and a Board of Advisors who make Rough Patch what it is.



Rough Patch is a non-profit social enterprise, and as such, does not legally require a Board of Directors. However, in order to maintain a high quality of care, transparency and governance, we are grateful for the support and wisdom of the following people who make up our Advisory Committee.

We are always looking for talented people to support Rough Patch. If you are interested in joining our Advisory Committee, please contact us here.

Amber Rules

Psychotherapist, Counsellor, Clinical Supervisor

Amber specialises in the support and treatment of individuals and families impacted by substance use and behavioural addictions. She has worked in inpatient rehabilitation settings and specialist outpatient counselling clinics across Sydney for the past 10 years. She manages the Community of Practice and day-to-day operations of Rough Patch.

Jo Lewin

Head of Trade Books - Booktopia

Jo brings 15 years experience in the retail industry, specialising in books and homewares. Along with her extensive contacts in the books industry, Jo brings expertise in product assortment planning, inventory management, store layout, pricing and margin optimisation.

Kelvin Wang

Certified Practising Accountant - KLW Tax

Kelvin is a business tax and accounting specialist, and the Director of KLW Group. Kelvin provides guidance for the financial management and sustainability of Rough Patch.


Dr Jadey O’Regan

Musicologist, Writer, Academic

Jadey brings 13 years experience as a lecturer, manager and researcher. She is a passionate mental health advocate, and supports the management and counsellors of Rough Patch with administrative and management advice. She is also the Counsellor Liaison Officer.

Glen Brack

Counsellor and Educator

Glen has extensive experience working in the not-for-profit and community sectors. He brings a wealth of experience in the management, governance and supervision of counselling and social justice organisations.

Paul Andrews

Media and Communications Specialist

Paul has managed the media communications needs of some of Australia's most trusted not-for-profit brands for more than 25 years. He supports Rough Patch with media, communications and PR advice.

Amber Hopkins

Solicitor, Associate - McDermott and Associates

Amber brings 13 years experience as a solicitor. She has worked in the community legal sector, and now specialises in contracts and assisting small businesses with their legal needs.

Dr Tim Byron

Music Psychologist, Writer, Academic

Tim brings 15 years experience as a psychology researcher, lecturer and writer. He advises and supports Rough Patch on research, anonymous data collection and other development strategies.