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James F. Donnelly

Clinical Psychologist and Senior Lecturer, Southern Cross University

Dr James Donnelly served as a University Lecturer and researcher in Psychology for 25 years (Tennessee State University/USA; University of New England/Armidale NSW; Southern Cross University (SCU)/Coffs Harbour, NSW). He taught units in Psychological and Neuropsychological Assessment, Psychophysiology, Human Development, Statistics, Ethics, and Abnormal Psychology and served as a research supervisor for a wide range of Honours and PhD research projects (e.g., assessing emotion processing, measuring the effects of concussions, measuring the effects of age and meditative practices on thinking and emotion). His training was initially in the biological sciences, neuroanatomy and pre-medical coursework, then focused on psychophysiology/ neurophysiology (University of California (UC) at Irvine, Vanderbilt University, UC San Francisco), and also clinical training in psychotherapy and neuropsychology with children and older adults. He moved to Australia in 2001 where along with Lecturing he served as a clinical and neuropsychology supervisor at the University of New England. With colleagues, he set up the first memory disorder clinic in Armidale, NSW, and the first school-based concussion risk management program in Australia. He then served as the first Head of Psychology and Neuropsychology at Sydney Children's Hospital before moving to SCU in Coffs Harbour, NSW in 2009. Dr Donnelly left academia at SCU in 2021 to focus on his clinical work with Allegra School, Bridging the Gap Men's Resource Centre, and the Australian Psychology and Wellness Centre in Coffs Harbour, before moving to the Cairnmillar Institute in Hawthorne East, Victoria in 2023. He currently continues his part-time private practice to support clients remotely but also serves on the team at Cairnmillar to provide assessment, psychotherapy and research supervision as a Clinical Psychologist and Senior Lecturer.


  • 2012–present
    Psychologist/Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice
  • 2023–present
    Senior Clinical Psychologist/Senior Lecturer, Cairnmillar Institute
  • 2022–present
    Psychologist, Australian Psychology and Wellness Centre, Coffs Harbour
  • 2022–2023
    School Psychologist, Allegra School, Coffs Harbour, NSW
  • 2009–2021
    Lecturer/Psychology, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, NSW
  • 2001–2010
    Psychologist/Clinical Psychologist, Private Practice
  • 2006–2009
    Head of Psychology and Neuropsychology, Sydney Children's Hospital
  • 2001–2006
    Lecturer/Clinical and Neuropsychology Supervisor, University of New England Clinical Psychology Training Program


  • 2001 
    University of California at San Francisco/Langely Porter Psychiatric Institute, Post Graduate Fellowship in Clinical and Neuropsychology
  • 2000 
    Vanderbilt University, USA, MSc, PhD Clinical Psychology
  • 1986 
    University of California at Irvine, BSc Biological Sciences/Pre-medical

Professional Memberships

  • Australian Psychological Society