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Meet our wonderful bunch of people!

Timothea Goddard - Director

BA, Dip Psych (ANZAP) Workplace Trainer, Cert V, MBSR Cert. (UMass) TSY Yoga teacher (YA500H)

Timothea Goddard (Tim) has been practicing yoga and meditation (in the Vipassana tradition) since her early twenties, having also spent some years practicing Zen and Aikido. She sees meditation as a pragmatic way of inviting people into recognizing their own basic goodness - in terms of clarity, courage and wisdom – and how to bring this goodness into the world.  She is acknowledged as a pioneer in bringing Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and associated programs to Australia over the past 16 years.  She has worked in private practice for 35 years as a developmental psychotherapist having trained in humanistic, psychodynamic, body-based and systemic ways of exploring challenges in life and relationships. Her latest forays into learning has been in Internal Family Systems, trauma sensitive yoga teacher training and Clean Language.

She is founding director of Openground – an Australia-wide network of clinicians and teachers offering MBSR and related mindfulness programs, workshops and retreats, and of the Mindfulness Training Institute – Australia and New Zealand – a not-for-profit which offers teacher training and Vipassana retreats.

Elizabeth Granger - Director

BEc, LLB, Dip. Som. Psych. PACFA Reg.

Elizabeth (Libba) Granger - Mindfulness teacher and director Openground for Organisations - SydneyLibba is a psychotherapist in private practice in Sydney as well as being a long term mindfulness practitioner. She has been teaching MBSR since 2007 through Openground and is also the co-founding Director of Openground for Organisations which has been running mindfulness programs in corporate, health, educational and government sectors for over a decade. 

Prior to that Libba worked as a litigation lawyer for 14 years, including at partnership level, and because of this background, has been passionate about bringing mindfulness into organisations and opening people to the best in themselves and their lives. She understands the realities and practicalities of practising mindfulness in daily life and work, and is passionate about sharing the possibilities for self discoveryand freedom that mindfulness can offer.

She also sits on the Advisory Board of the Mindful Futures Network which looks at new research and applications of mindfulness, empathy and compassion in shaping social change in Australia as well as linking with similar organisations around the world. 

Libba brings a very down to earth manner to all her teaching with much warmth and a sense of humour. She practices in the Insight tradition - when she is not teaching mindfulness, surfing and wrangling her three delightful children.

Alex Thorpe - Director

Alex ThorpeAlex is a business person and philanthropist whose life has been positively impacted by attending an Openground MBSR course 10 years ago. Alex brings his care for people and community, his exceptional business expertise of over 20 years and his passion for mindfulness to the Openground project.  He will provide the necessary financial, legal and logistical stewardship for the success of Openground into the future.


Lydia Vorona - Partnerships and Major Donors

B. Mus, Grad Dip. Ed, MBSR Teacher, iRest Instructor, Seasons for Growth and Stormbirds Companion
Lydia is a professional educator, mindfulness teacher and meditation practitioner. Her corporate work includes management roles in Higher  Education (UNSW), Corporate Training, The Applied Arts and Tourism in Europe and Australia. With expertise in Project Management, Business Development and Sponsorship Management, Lydia brings a diversity of experience to the team.

Lydia is also an MBSR teacher and since 2016 has worked with schools, organisations and individuals, delivering MBSR and a range of mindfulness-based mental health programs.  After the 2020 bushfires Lydia joined  headspace Schools and worked alongside Beyond Blue supporting disaster-impacted communities across New South Wales with a range of trauma-informed resources, including Mindfulness for Educators and post-vention support in schools.   

Lydia brings a warmth and a depth to her teaching, with a genuine enthusiasm for sharing the benefits of mindfulness so people can live well and thrive.   

Deb Algar

Certified Hakomi Therapist, Certified Hakomi Teacher, Dip.Hol. Couns; Cert.Hol.Life Coaching; Cert IV Training & Assessment

Deb has been facilitating MBSR courses for the general public since 2011, after completing MBSR Teacher Training with Openground. She also teaches mindfulness workshops in the workplace. She has worked as a psychotherapist in private practice since 2004, after training in Holistic Counselling and then becoming a Certified Hakomi Therapist. Hakomi is a mindfulness-centred somatic psychotherapy. She is also a Certified Hakomi Teacher on the Hakomi Pacifica Training team. Deb has had a long-term interest in yoga and meditation and has an established mindfulness practice which has developed and deepened over many years. She is passionate about sharing the possibilities for self-discovery, connectedness and freedom that mindfulness offers.

Rob Bentley

Rob has been practising mindfulness since attending an MBSR course in 2007. Since that time he has attended various silent retreats, and trained with Timothea Goddard of Openground and the Mindfulness Training Institute of Australia.  As well as offering MBSR in community settings, he incorporates a mindfulness approach into his coaching and conducts Mindfulness at Work programs for teams of people in various businesses throughout Australia and Singapore.  Following a successful military and corporate career and running a small business since 1999, Rob has studied at Harvard Business School and also developed the Acuity Leadership Program in 2007.   Rob brings a great deal of warmth and humour into the courses, and is excellent at empowering people to practice and to really open up to their available choices in life.

Dr Jennie Broughton

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Facilitator, B Med, Dip. Paediatrics, Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Dr Jennie Broughton - Mindfulness Teacher - Newcastle, NSWJennie is a GP working in Newcastle. She came to mindfulness practice as good medicine for herself and to address the increasing stress, from worry and anxiety, she could see in her patients. Between starting medicine, on finishing school, and restarting again in the 1990’s she trained and worked in improvisational community theatre and education, travelled widely including a stint living with the rainforest nomads of Borneo. During her adult life she has practiced meditation in various forms and places for over 25 years. In her medical life she has worked in hospital and community medicine in paediatrics, general practice and geriatric medicine and is grateful to have the practice of mindfulness to bring to her work. Jennie brings this diverse background to her teaching and loves the learning Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) brings to participants and herself. She has run a meditation group for 21 years, maintains an ongoing mindfulness practice, attends retreats and trainings in the western insight tradition. She recently completed a 2 year mindfulness teacher training with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, two of America’s senior mindfulness teachers. 

Georgie Davidson

B App Sc physio, M Physio, MAPA Yoga teacher YTISA MBSR facilitator 

Georgie Davidson - Mindfulness teacher - Adelaide, S.AGeorgie loves the sense of possibility that arises when people come together in a safe and engaging space to practice mindfulness. She brings to her teaching a fascination for the philosophy and contemporary science underlying mindfulness. These provide a pathway for each person to develop a deeper connection to their inner wisdom to heal and thrive.  

Georgie's background is in musculoskeletal and pain physiotherapy. Searching for ways to enhance healing, she became interested in the body-mind connection. She experimented in her own life, discovering the power of yoga and meditation. Wanting to share with others she dedicated time to training and began teaching yoga in 2007 and MBSR in 2010, receiving credentialing with the Mindfulness Teacher’s Institute of Australasia (MTIA) in 2019. In addition to open mindfulness classes, Georgie has also provided mindfulness education in workplaces and universities and is the creator of BodyMAP, a course for health professionals working with people with pain.


Astrid de Ruiter

MSc (Physics), Grad Dip Counseling, Dip Holistic Counseling

Astrid de Ruiter - Mindfulness Teacher - Brisbane and Sunshine Coast, QldAstrid is a certified MBSR teacher, with the Centre of Mindfulness, UMass having trained extensively with them and Openground.  She is a counsellor/ psychotherapist and has a background in science (physics). She has been teaching mindfulness to groups and individuals since 2006, to both clinical and non-clinical populations. Astrid's personal practice of mindfulness spans a period of over 15 years within various Insight meditation traditions. Astrid teaches MBSR courses in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast. She brings a gentle yet lively and engaging presence to her teaching of mindfulness. She is strongly committed to helping participants develop their own relationship to mindfulness and mindfulness practice, so that it is personally and professionally relevant. She is gifted in her capacity to balance theory and practice, and to make the learning journey an inspiring and productive one.

Caroline Friend

National Co-ordinator for Openground, BA, Level 2 Member Yoga Australia

Caroline Friend is Openground's National Coordinator and looks forward to assisting you in all matters relating to administration, registration, communications and finance. Prior to working with Openground, Caroline was managing director of Rainbow Serpent Pty Ltd from 1991-2013, which specialised in the sale of Aboriginal art, craft and design. The business was located at Sydney and Brisbane International Airport's and online. Caroline is also yoga teacher and Level I MBSR teacher in training and has a regular yoga and mindfulness meditation practice. 

Julia Grieves

Julia Grieves - mindfulness teacher - Melbourne, VicBA, International Studies (Anthropology), MA, Environmental Management
Julia has a longstanding practice in meditation and mindfulness and a deep trust in its capacity to open doors for personal and collective change. With a background in environmental and community development, anthropology and teaching, Julia has a strong interest in supporting learning, grounding and orienting in how we relate to self, other and world. She trained with the Mindfulness Training Institute of Australasia to be able to offer the MBSR Program within her work and strongly resonates with how the program offers new ways of responding to difficulty and encourages us to connect with our internal wisdom. 

Ingrid Jolley

Ingrid Jolley - Mindfulness Teacher - Melbourne VicIngrid is a dedicated practitioner and teacher of mindfulness, meditation and yoga. She began practising in 2001 which has inspired profound healing, growth and positive change within her life. She has a background in social work within the aged care, homelessness and disability sectors. In 2010 she had a career change and began working privately with individuals and groups using the practice of yoga therapy and meditation to empower them to live healthy and fulfilling lives. To complement her work Ingrid went on to train as an MBSR teacher with the Mindfulness Training Institute - Australia and New Zealand. She is extremely passionate about teaching MBSR and loves to create a safe and welcoming space for people to connect with themselves, others and learn the wonderful practice of mindfulness.

Karen Haddon

GCMan, AdvDipBus, GCGov, CertIVFS, CertIVBowen, CertIVCom, MBSR(MTIA)

Karen Haddon - Mindfulness teacher - Perth, W.AKaren is passionate about bringing mindfulness into the world and draws on her long experience with people in the corporate, small business and not-for-profit sectors in her MBSR teaching. She brings vitality, curiosity and caring to her classes and has the skills to enthuse and support people in their mindfulness training. Karen has practiced meditation and yoga for over 20 years and is qualified as an MBSR teacher with the Mindfulness Training Institute. She is strongly committed to helping others in finding the most relevant way for them to integrate mindfulness into their personal and professional lives and draws inspiration from the transformations she sees in each person as they begin their own mindfulness practice.

A strong advocate for the benefits of mindfulness for young people, Karen has qualified to teach four internationally recognised programs: MBSR for Teens, MiSP.B, Mindful Schools and MindUp.

Karen spends her days immersed in sharing the benefits and practices of mindfulness with those who attend her MBSR classes, with educators in Primary and Secondary schools, teens in both schools and in her community MBSR-T program, with workplace teams and this year has worked with three of WA’s top sports teams introducing them to mindfulness in sport.

Rick Hanson


Rick Hanson P.h.D - mindfulness and PNT teacher - USARick Hanson is a neuropsychologist, meditation teacher and co- founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom ( A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, his latest book is Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom (with Richard Mendius, M.D., Foreword by Dan Siegel, M.D., Preface by Jack Kornfield, PhD.) He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin, writes the weekly Just One Thing newsletter, and his articles have appeared in Tricycle Magazine, Insight Journal, and Inquiring Mind. He has taught at the University of East London, Sonoma State University, and meditation centers in America and Europe.

Since 1974, Rick has practiced meditation in several traditions, sat on the Board of Spirit Rock Meditation Center for nine years and teaches at many Buddhist centers. Dr. Hanson is a lively and humorous speaker with an unusual ability to translate scientific findings into clear ideas and useful tools for everyday life (see for his interview on BBC 4 radio). He and his wife have a young adult daughter and son.

Megan Layton

Senior MBSR and Yoga teacher

BA (ANU), BASW (Monash), Cert IV Training and Assessment (TAA), Certified Yoga and Meditation teacher, Registered MBSR teacher, IFS L1 Therapist
Megan Layton is the Director of Simply Mindful and an experienced Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teacher, Yoga and Meditation teacher and Mental Health Social Worker working with individuals and groups to help them thrive. She also has a Cert IV in Training and Assessment.

She has been teaching MBSR to the general public, organisations, workplaces and individuals with Simply Mindful for 10 years and is a long-time practitioner and teacher of yoga and meditation. She trained with Openground in 2009 and undertook the Teacher Development Intensive with Bob Stahl and Florence Meleo-Meyer from the Centre for Mindfulness (USA) in 2012. Megan practices mindfulness meditation daily and continues to maintain her enthusiasm for learning, practicing and teaching; regularly undertaking long meditation retreats and further training. 

Pamela Lovell

BSc, MSc, MA Counselling 

Pamela Lovell - mindfulness teacher - HobartPamela trained with the Center for Mindfulness and Openground and is a certified MBSR teacher with the Centre of Mindfulness, UMass.   She is an Organisational Development Consultant with 20 years of experience working with leaders, managers and staff to effectively handle change and improve communication and behaviours for a better workplace. Pamela’s interest in teaching MBSR came through her work with organisations where work/life balance seemed elusive and many people were finding the stress of everyday life overwhelming. Since 2007 Pamela has taught MBSR privately and in organisation settings. Pamela has 13 years of experience with mindfulness and has studied this work for 20 years.

Mary McIntyre

B.A​ .(Bus), Dip. Counselling, MACA II,  Somatic Experiencing Practitioner

Mary has practised meditation since 1988, primarily in the Insight tradition and later in other lineages. She came to appreciate firsthand the clinical application of mindfulness meditation for anxiety, pain and stress and has facilitated  Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction groups since 2011. She is a certified teacher with MTI, Mindfulness Training Institute - Australia New Zealand . Mary is passionate about how we can achieve optimal inner and outer health through body-mind practices. She works as a counsellor / somatic psychotherapist in Brisbane and supports trainee mindfulness teachers in honing their craft.

Nique Murch

B.A. Dip.,Adult Education, Feldenkrais Practitioner, Dip. Mime Mask and Movement, IFS level 1 and 2

Nique Murch - Mindfulness and IFS Teacher - Melbourne, VicNique has a rich background in adult education teaching movement, improvisation and critical literacies. She has practiced meditation in both Eastern and Western traditions over many years, experiencing first hand how effective ontological approaches can be in the management of stress and pain.  She has trained in Mindfulness-based interventions with Openground, the Centre for Mindfulness (University of Massachusetts) and Breathworks in the UK.  Nique has been facilitating MBSR since 2006, and tutors with the Mindfulness Training Institute of Australasia.  She also works with the Humour Foundation - gleefully practicing radical simplicity as an elder clown with people in group residences.

Maggie O'Shea

Masters of Couple Counselling, MA, BSW, MAASW

Maggie O'Shea - Mindfulness teacher - Castlemaine, VicMaggie is a mental health social worker, couple therapist, and mother, and brings to teaching mindfulness a deep sensitivity and warmth. After twenty years of social work in health settings, she moved into private practice, specialising in loss, grief and trauma, before more recently focusing on couples. Health issues nudged her into yoga and her first 10-day meditation retreat in 1994, however combining daily meditation with motherhood proved elusive until discovering MBSR & what she experiences as the more practical and integrated, mind-body approach of Jon Kabat Zinn.

Maggie’s MBSR teacher training includes a 7-day residential with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, a 10-week teacher training Practicum, and the 8-day Teacher Development Intensive with Openground & the Center for Mindfulness, UMass. She has also completed teacher training in Mindful Self Compassion, Positive Neuroplasticity, and Brene Brown’s Rising Strong & Daring Way programs. She lives near the bush in Castlemaine with her partner, 3 teenage daughters & chocolate lab, Charlie. 

Eva Papadopoulo

Cert.Couns., Grad Dip. Psychotherapy, Mem., A.A.S.P. Member PACFA Register. 

Eva Papadopoulo - Mindfulness and IFS Teacher - Sydney, NSWEva is a psychotherapist and is in private practice in Sydney. She has been an MBSR teacher with Openground since 2004 and is a co-director and mindfulness teacher with the Mindfulness Training Institute of Australasia. She has also designed and teaches the Living with Compassion workshop. Eva trained in body-oriented, contemporary psychodynamic, developmental and relational orientations with the Somatic Institute of Australia in 2000 and trained with Openground and attended the Teacher Development Intensive offered by the CFM with Bob Stahl and Florence Meleo-Meyer in 2012. Eva has also had much experience in teaching mindfulness meditation as pain-management with cancer, HIV and AIDS and has worked in many organizations offering stress and anger management. Her interest in an integrated body-mind approach both personally and professionally has been deepened through many years of practice in insight meditation, yoga, Ortho-Bionomy, Body Mind Centering (BMC) and dance and theatre improvisation.

Lisa Pollard

B Ed., MBSR Facilitator, Yoga Teacher, CertIV Level 3 Member Yoga Australia, Senior Teacher Meditation Association of Australia, ATMA, Relax & Renew Trainer & endorsed by the Gawler Foundation, Registered teacher with MTI - AU & NZ

Lisa is a Yoga & meditation teacher with more than 30 years of self-practice and teaching experience in educational, corporate, medical & organizational settings. She has been facilitating 8-week mindfulness-based interventions since 2007, including MBSR, MB-Stillness Meditation & MB-Restorative Yoga. Lisa feels Yoga is an embodies organic practice that explores the inter-connectedness of movement and stillness, in the spirit of self care. Her open hearted teaching creates a warm, inviting space to discover the joys of these mind-body practices.

Lisa is particularly interested in the effects of restorative yoga and its application in supporting wellness and reducing stress and anxiety. She teaches weekly yoga classes and has a private practice working theoretically with adults. This work includes 8-week interventions, yoga mentoring and individual self practice. Lisa has trained in the applications of mindfulness meditation in clinical settings, including MiCBT & advanced Training in ACT. 

Amara Saraswati

Amara began practicing mindfulness yoga and meditation in 1977. On noticing how effective the practices were in supporting her physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, and with a heartfelt longing to be able to support others, she immersed herself in study and practice. From 1987-2008 she was manager and senior teacher at the Manly Yoga and Meditation centre, a not for profit organisation. During her 35 years of teaching experience she has taught mindfulness yoga and meditation in private consultation, schools, work places, community groups, retreat centres and to inpatients at both Manly and Royal North Shore Hospital drug and alcohol rehabilitation units. From 2017-2018 she taught 4 classes a week to inpatients in the acute mental health wards at Manly Hospital.

Di Shaw

Grad. Dip. Sustainability Studies, GAICD

Di Shaw - Mindfulness teacher - Melbourne, VicDi has long been curious about neuroplasticity and our capacity for change. Her personal mindfulness practice has included Feldenkrais awareness through movement for over thirty years and mindfulness meditation for over thirteen years, including a number of Silent Insight Meditation retreats. She trained as an MBSR teacher with Openground in Melbourne in 2007.  She completed her Professional Feldenkrais Training in London in 1991. Di is an experienced facilitator and has engaged diverse and remote communities across Australia in dialogue and cultural and strategic planning to assist their self-agency and improve their quality of life. Di is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She holds a Post Graduate Degree in Sustainability.


Dr Adele Stewart

Dr Adele Stewart - Mindfulness teacher - Wollongong, NSWDr Adele Stewart MBBS FRACGP has been a GP for about 30 years in the Illawarra. Adele is registered to provide focussed psychological strategies and practices in a trauma informed framework. She is trained in Acceptance and Commitment (ACT) Therapy under Dr Russ Harris, Internal Family Systems therapy at the IFS institute, Mindfulness integrated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MiCBT) under Bruno Cayoun and Explain Pain with NOI. She did her first 10 day silent meditation retreat in 1987 and in the last 15 years or so has done yearly week long silent retreats and has been increasingly absorbed in yoga, qigong and mindfulness meditation practices. She offers a down to earth, engaging and compassionate attitude to teaching mindfulness. Adele is a certified MBSR teacher and trained MSC (Mindful Self Compassion) teacher. She finds these mindfulness courses as both a participant and teacher increase the meaning and richness of daily life as well as building a wonderful sense of connection. 

Marelle Wilson

B App Sc (Physio), MAPA, APMA certified Pilates Instructor, Member of Mindfulness Teacher's Network SA, MBSR facilitator.

Marelle Wilson is a physiotherapist with 25 years of experience and has been practising meditation for almost 15 years. She started incorporating meditation training for patients with complex pain problems almost 10 years ago . In 2007, she started MBSR teacher training and in 2009, attended a 7 day retreat with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. She has also attended practicum teacher training with Openground and has been teaching regular MBSR since 2013 in addition to working as a physio in private practice.

She now has a special interest in treating complex, chronic pain using a combination of neuroscience based education, mindfulness meditation and more traditional physical and exercise therapies. She brings experience, warmth and humour to her teaching.

Marelle is in the midst of a busy time of life, living in Adelaide with her husband, two teenage boys and gorgeous westie Darcey. 

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