Meet the Team
Timothea Goddard - DirectorBA, Dip Psych (ANZAP) Workplace Trainer, Cert V, Yoga teacher (YA200H)
Timothea Goddard is recognised as a pioneer in bringing MBSR to Australia over the past 14 years being the first in Australia to complete the training and be accredited as an MBSR teacher through the Center for Mindfulness, UMass Medical Center, USA; she maintains strong professional links there. Timothea has worked in private practice for 30 years as a psychotherapist, educator and workplace trainer, having trained in humanistic, psychodynamic and body-based psychotherapy as well as comprehensive training in MiCBT, and basic training in ACT, Breathworks, .B, and Mindful Schools. Since 2007, she has been offering MBSR training and supervision for health professionals and others.
She is a long time student of yoga, Aikido and meditation and practices in the Insight tradition. She is the Director of Openground – an Australia-wide network of clinicians and teachers offering MBSR and related programs. She is a founding director of MTI and is currently the Director of Training. She is very interested in the interface of biology and psychology and how mindfulness practice can facilitate the integration between what we experience as "body" and "mind".
She swims in the ocean every morning, practices yoga like a dervish, and loves cooking, people and straight-talking.
Astrid de RuiterMSc (Physics), Grad Dip Counseling, Dip Holistic Counseling
Astrid 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
Ben Engel (Border Mindfulness)
Ben has a background in Human Resources and has worked in a variety of HR roles with several local multinational organisations. As part of his ongoing professional development, Ben is currently completing a two year PACFA accredited post-graduate training in Holistic Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Ben brings a pragmatic and compassionate approach to mindfulness training. His focus is on each participant gaining an experiential understanding of how applied mindfulness practice can lead to a life fully lived, regardless of the individual circumstances an individual may face.
Bjorn MellaBEc, LLB, Dip. Som. Psych.
Bjorn has had an ongoing interest and personal practice of Tai Chi and meditation since attending his first Tai Chi class in 1986. This lead to studies in massage and Traditional Chinese Medicine qualifying as an acupuncturist in 1996. While doing a Masters degree looking at modern science and traditional beliefs of the body and mind he became increasingly interested in Mindfulness practices. He completed an internship in MBSR at University of Massachusetts Medical centre in 1999 and began teaching MBSR in Maitland in 2004. After a break, and with the current interest in Mindfulness he will again be running the MBSR courses. Bjorn is an Acupuncturist and Director of the Maitland Wellness Centre and still a student of Tai Chi, Qi Gong and meditation.
Caroline FriendOpenground Coordinator
Caroline Friend is very happy to be 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 has a regular yoga and mindfulness meditation practice and is very grateful for being introduced to MBSR and Openground.
Deb AlgarCertified Hakomi Therapist, 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 Teacher in Training on the current Hakomi Professional Training. 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.
Dr Adele Stewart
Dr Adele Stewart MBBS FRACGP has been a GP for over 25 years in the Illawarra. Adele is registered to provide focussed psychological strategies. She trained
in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy under Dr Russ Harris and offers ACT therapy to a handful of patients per week. She did her first 10 day silent
meditation retreat in 1987 and in the last 10 years 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 trained with Mindfulness Training Institute in 2016 and teaches MBSR on Saturday afternoons. She finds the MBSR courses as both a participant and teacher increase the meaning and richness of
daily life as well as building a wonderful sense of connection. Keep an eye on her website as she plans to start teaching MBCT in 2019. www.woononamedical.com.au
Dr Jennie Broughton (Hunter Mindfulness)Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Facilitator, B Med, Dip. Paediatrics, Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Jennie 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 is currently completing
a 2 year mindfulness teacher training with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, two of America’s senior mindfulness teachers. www.huntermindfulness.com
Elizabeth GrangerBEc, LLB, Dip. Som. Psych.
Elizabeth (Libba) is a psychotherapist who has been in private practice for over a decade as well as being a long term mindfulness practitioner, primarily in the Insight tradition. She has been teaching MBSR to the general public for 8 years and continues to be inspired by the changes that people make enhancing their own wellbeing and supporting ongoing personal growth.
Prior to that she was a lawyer and because of this background, has also been passionate about bringing mindfulness into organisations and opening people to the best in themselves and their lives. She therefore also runs mindfulness programs in the corporate sector and brings to all her teaching a very down to earth manner 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.
Eva PapadopouloCert.Couns., Grad Dip. Psychotherapy, Mem., A.A.S.P. Member PACFA Register.
Eva 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.
Georgie Davidson (Mindful Movement)B App Sc physio, M Physio, MAPA Yoga teacher YTISA MBSR facilitator, Associate of Openground
Georgie Davidson is a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, yoga teacher, MBSR mindfulness facilitator and educator. She offered the first MBSR in South Australia in 2010 and she has been honoured to walk beside many who have embarked on a mindfulness journey. Georgie's experience, personal mindfulness and yoga practice, scientific knowledge and natural curiosity, combine to create a safe, nourishing and engaging space to explore new possibilities.
Georgie, with her extensive training and unique set of skills, is an innovator in creating and presenting mindfulness-based programs in the fields of pain, trauma, mindfulness and yoga research, health professional education and leadership. She has connections with a number of organisations including Flinders University, Adelaide University, University of SA, The Repatriation Hospital and WorkCoverSA.
Georgie lives with her husband, two teenage daughters and a collection of animals. She is inspired by the beauty and contradictions of life - the natural world around and the complex world within - which she explores through mindfulness, connecting with others, photography, painting, writing, gardening and walking in nature.
Gustavo Se Cestari (Amar Centre)BPsych, PGDipPsych, Assoc MAPS, Associate of Openground
Gustavo works in private practice as well as provides mindfulness-based stress reduction services for businesses. During years of study in the field of psychology Gustavo completed a thesis on the effects of meditation on psychological wellbeing as well as undertook Master’s level training in therapeutic frameworks and interventions. His work is also heavily influenced by the field of Positive Psychology, which seeks to identify and expand on human strengths and virtues and promote fulfilment in life. Gustavo obtained MBSR teacher training with Openground in 2009 and his experience with meditation stretches over 17 years. He brings grounded insight and much warmth and passion for assisting others in cultivating mindfulness in their lives. He is particularly interested in the use of mindful awareness as a platform for the cultivation of gratitude, self-compassion, and kindness.
Hannah Perkins (Hunter Mindfulness)MBSR and Mindfulness-Based Cancer Recovery (MBCR) Facilitator, Mindful Schools Educator, Yoga Teacher, Level 1 Member Yoga Australia, B. Design (Visual Communications)
Hannah discovered mindfulness as an antidote to the stress of working with various environmental campaigns. She took up regular meditation, because she
noticed it made her day better and helped her to recognise the spiral of negative thoughts that she often found herself in. But it wasn’t until age
29, when diagnosed with cancer, that she discovered the incredible healing potential of her body-heart-mind. Through daily practice she is learning
to turn towards the ongoing pain and grief of illness and to fully inhabit her body ‘exactly as it is’. She is a MBSR Facilitator and Yoga Teacher
who draws inspiration from her teachers, Sarah and Ty Powers (Insight Yoga) and Thich Nhat Hanh (Plum Village). Hannah is passionate about sharing
what she has learned with those serving on the ‘frontline’ of our communities, particularly school teachers and healthcare professionals, as well as
anyone facing the uncertainty of anxiety/depression, life-threatening illness and chronic pain. www.lovethismoment.com.au
Heather Albrecht (Mindful Wellbeing)Grad Dip Holistic Psychotherapy; Honours Bachelor Business; Cert. Holistic Health Couns; Cert. Yoga Teacher, Associate of Openground
Heather works in the corporate world as a professional trainer, the academic world as a lecturer at UNSW and in private practice as a mindfulness-based psychotherapist, as well as teaching MBSR in the community and organizations.
Her business career has ridden alongside a deep interest in Self-Knowledge, which has taken her to ashrams in India, meditation retreats in Asia and the transpersonal schools of North America.
She 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.
Ingrid is a dedicated practitioner and teacher of mindfulness, meditation and yoga. She began practicing 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 compliment 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 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, having trained with the Mindfulness Training Institute and being strongly grounded in her own practice. She is a strong advocate for mindfulness
in schools having qualified to teach two internationally recognised programs: MiSP .B and Mindful Schools. She has presented at the Positive Schools
Conference, volunteers with zero2hero to bring the benefits of mindfulness to young people, has been engaged by Mindful Meditation Australia to contribute
to writing the framework for the mindfulness component of their whole school approach to mindfulness and represents Smiling Mind for Schools in WA.
Lisa Pollard (Yoga Newcastle)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, Associate of Openground
Lisa is a Yoga and Meditation Teacher with with more than 27 years of self-practice and teaching experience, in educational, corporate, medical and organisational settings. She has been facilitating 8-week mindfulness-based interventions since 2007, including MBSR, MB-Stillness Meditation and MB-Restorative Yoga. Lisa feels yoga is an embodied organic practice, which explores the interconnectedness of movement and stillness, in the spirit of self care. Her open-hearted approach to teaching creates a warm inviting space to discover the joys of these mind-body practices.
Maggie O'SheaMasters of Couple Counselling, MA, BSW, MAASW
Maggie 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.
Margaret MillsMargaret Mills (BA, MA Voice)
Margaret has a long term interest and practice in mindfulness meditation and the body (Alexander technique and yoga) and also in teaching. She initially trained as an MBSR teacher with Openground in 2007, and further through the Teacher Development Intensive with the Center for Mindfulness, UMass in 2012. Margaret completed a Masters in Voice at the CSSD, University of London in 2013 to explore her hunch that mindfulness practise was a powerful foundation for vocal development. She now uses this approach to teach post-grad and young students of voice and performance. She loves the way that the MBSR program holds all the different aspects of people and gives each person a lot of personal authority for their own learning as the course unfolds.
Mark Baxter (Mindfulness Wollongong)B.Science (Psych), Grad Dip (Psych), Registered Psychologist
Mark is a psychologist from Wollongong who has delivered mindfulness and psychological flexibility courses, counselling and supervision in the community and in organisations. He teaches the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course in Wollongong and has designed two Acceptance and Commitment Therapy based courses; one for human service staff and another for parents of children with an intellectual disability or autism. Mark is focused on making mindfulness easy to understand, accessible and directly relevant to everyday experience. As a group facilitator, his encouraging and compassionate nature help to find the lightness amongst the heaviness in this human condition thing. Mark works as a senior manager in government human services agency and is also a Motivational Interviewing trainer. He keeps delivering mindfulness courses because it makes him practice himself and he enjoys being on the journey with others. Mark has also started offering overseas mindfulness retreats as a way to help people rest, restore and reset.
Mary McIntyre (SW Living Well)Mary McIntyre B.A .(Bus), Dip. Couns, Cert Sandplay Therapy & Symbol Work, Cert IV Architecture, MACA II, Associate of Openground
Mary has practised meditation since 1988, primarily in the Insight tradition and later in other lineages. She came to appreciate the clinical application
of mindfulness meditation for anxiety, pain and stress so subsequently completed MBSR professional training and adheres to Good Practice mindfulness
teaching guidelines. With a strong interest in mind-body science, Mary is passionate about how we can achieve optimal health through inner resources
and she loved her stint teaching meditation in a hospital pain management program. She has trained in many modalities of therapy including a current
passion for somatic approaches. She works in person and by distance in private practice as a counsellor / psychotherapist in rural Yallingup, WA.
Michael has been practicing meditation for over 20 years. He has also been a Buteyko breathing instructor and for over 20 yrs has had a keen interest in the efficacy of breathing therapies, particularly in its relationship to stress reduction and mental clarity. He is also a facilitator and professional mediator with over 25 years experience working with people in highly stressful circumstances to move towards resolution. Michael has studied with the Mindfulness Training Institute of Australia to be able to provide the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, and has an ongoing engagement with these and other courses to explore and develop his practice.
Michael ShawMichael Shaw B.Ed, Dip. counselling. Dip. Art therapy. Somatic Experiencing Practitioner.
Michael is the director of Insideout Education - a company which delivers anti-bullying programs to primary aged children, their parents and teachers. Having trained with the Mindfulness in Schools Project in 2015 Michael also now offers mindfulness classes for children. He graduated as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in 2015, a training which supports his value and understanding of a body-mind approach. A keen student of meditation for more than 30 years, he trained with Openground in 2008. Michael also has many years experience in business and more than 15 years training in theatre improvisation.
Nicole WelshBA/BBus (Mgt), Dip. AOD, Dip. MH, Associate of Openground
Nik is a dedicated practitioner of mindfulness, meditation and yoga and has experienced deep personal transformation through her practice. After running her own furniture and homewares design company for many years, Nik embarked on a new career as an addiction counsellor. In this role, her work included teaching mindfulness-based relapse prevention at residential rehabilitation facilities. Nik currently runs the Mindfulness Project, where she teaches MBSR, and serves as the National Coordinator of Openground. She is enthusiastic about sharing the practice of mindfulness and making it accessible to all. Nik lives in the Yarra Valley, Victoria with her husband and three children.
Nique MurchB.A. Dip.,Adult Education, Feldenkrais Practitioner, Dip. Mime Mask and Movement
Nique 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.
Pamela Lovell (Mindful Intent)BSc, MSc, MA Counselling, Associate of Openground
Pamela 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.
Regina GerlachMPsych, Clinical Psychologist, PNT and ACT Practitioner, ACIML Mentor
Regina is a passionate and committed Clinical Psychologist, Mindfulness-Based practitioner and formally trained Mediator. Regina is a certified MBSR and MBCT teacher. Regina frequently attends silent retreats (Vipassana) and receives ongoing teaching and supervision on an individual basis.Regina has been trained by Mark Williams and Zindel Segal (MBCT), Jon Kabat-Zinn (aspects of MBSR and residential retreat), Saki Santorelli (ethics in Mindfulness), James Baraz, Rick Hanson (certified PNT practitioner), Russ Harris (certified ACT therapist), Elisha Goldstein (online Mindfulness training), and Bob Stahl (MBSR/MBCT practicum and retreat), and also trained in Mindful Schools Curriculum.Regina has instigated and established a University-based mindfulness community at Curtin University in Western Australia. She teaches MBCT and MBSR and has developed several mindfulness-informed programs, i.e., the Mindfulness modules for the ‘My Happiness Project’, a Mindfulness-Based Conflict Response (MBCR) course, and a Mindfulness-Based Stress Management (MBSM) course (also available online), and a Self-Care with Mindfulness Program. She is the developer of the app Mindfulness2Go that is designed to enhance participant’s experience of mindfulness during MBSR, MBCT and similar courses.Regina is providing peer supervision and training to her colleagues who are trained in Mindfulness; she was a member of the Steering Committee for Mindful Meditation Australia and is the Australian Mentor of Elisha Goldstein's Mindful Living online program (ACIML).
Rick Hanson is a neuropsychologist, meditation teacher and co- founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom (www.WiseBrain.org). 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 www.RickHanson.net for his interview on BBC 4 radio). He and his wife have a young adult daughter and son.
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.