Board, Staff & Advisors

Meet the team behind the organisation

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Board Members

Danielle Gordon – President

Danielle brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role. As well as a passion for yoga, Danielle has a background in law and governance. These skills are extremely valuable for guiding Yoga Australia through the unchartered waters of COVID-19 and beyond, developing new ways to be sustainable, inclusive and supporting members in meaningful ways.

For Danielle, this appointment presents an opportunity to give back to a yoga community that has guided and supported her on her path. Her goal is to support the Yoga Australia board to serve members, grow the yoga community and promote the practice of yoga with integrity.

Dee Garcha – Treasurer

Dee is a Chartered Accountant with over 18 years’ experience in private sector organisations in Australia and United Kingdom. As a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors with a passion for good governance, transparency, strong culture and respect. Dee has extensive experience in treasury, financial management and organisational effectiveness and is looking forward to applying her financial expertise to Yoga Australia. Dee has been practicing mindful mediation for many years and has is a strong advocate of the benefits of Yoga mindful meditation in the management of stress and prevention of mental health issues. 

Rebel Tucker – Secretary

Rebel is a qualified naturopath of over 25 years and a yoga teacher of 7 years. She has been practicing yoga for over 35 years, since her mum introduced her at the age of 12. She is a level 2 member with Yoga Australia and is currently extending her studies in yoga to become a yoga therapist. Passionate about research and ongoing education in the field of natural health and yoga, she particularly finds the philosophy and meditation practices of yoga to be the most supportive in her own life and for her students. Rebel believes that ongoing professional development is fundamental for yoga teachers and that belonging to a membership group that encourages learning and supports yoga teachers with the business side of things is incredibly helpful. She comes to the Board of Yoga Australia as Secretary and hopes to support Yoga Australia in continuing to grow the community of teachers and therapists and further develop the resources and support available to members.

Lisa Allwell – Ordinary Board Member

I’m a health professional who unexpectedly fell in love with yoga. I held senior public health roles in mental health, cancer, stroke and chronic illness, but traded up a focus on evidence, research and evaluation to teach yoga. Now, I encourage my students to run the yoga experiment in their own body and mind, with a sample size of one, and richly reap the rewards of their own personal research program. 

I have been teaching for over 10 years in a variety of yoga settings including studios, gyms and corporate spaces. In 2017 I co-founded Seed Yoga + Wellness, which has grown into a thriving community exploring accessible and inclusive yoga. I lead vibrant retreats and yoga trainings both locally and internationally. Life throws us all kinds of challenges. While we can’t control the complications that present themselves, we can control how we deal with and react to these situations. Yoga has given me the tools to cope infinitely better. And – as an added bonus – I’m not quite as clumsy as I used to be (in fact, sometimes I have the occasional moment of grace).

Shahzma Patel – Ordinary Board Member

Shahzma teaches yoga and meditation to both children and adults. She has been practising meditation most of her life and starting teaching yoga formally in 2020. Shahzma works in Banking and uses yoga and meditation to deal with her own stress. She is passionate about helping the vulnerable in society and has enjoyed working in the Social Impact side of banking, mainly Sustainability and Social Responsibility. Shahzma’s areas of special interest chronic pain/injuries and children’s yoga as well as sustainability and social responsibility.

Merridy Woodroffe – Ordinary Board Member

Merridy is a certified Yoga Therapist, Level 2 Yoga Teacher, and Lawyer with a passion for wellbeing. She combines the principles of yoga with a successful legal practice by encouraging her corporate colleagues to live well through movement, breathing and meditation; and by supporting the legal needs of yoga studios and teachers. As a Board member, Merridy is committed to furthering Yoga Australia’s objectives in supporting the important work of our country’s yoga teachers, their wellbeing, and the health of their students.

Josh Pryor – Ordinary Board Member

Josh is a Mysore Style Yoga Practitioner, Lifelong Student & Author of The Spirit of the Matter. He also has an extensive background in IT consulting and business development, with specialist expertise in systems analysis and development. Josh is an experienced commercial negotiator and has provided business development services to over 300 small and large businesses, while actively participating in local business advocacy and support organisations (committee and board level). Since exiting that career (mostly), and pursuing yoga, Josh has travelled to India 6 times, participated in several teacher training courses, run teacher training courses, workshops and weekend retreats.

Committees 2021

Grievance Committee

  • Danielle Gordon – President, Chair
  • Janet Rodger – CEO
  • Merridy Woodroffe – Board Member
  • Gabrielle Boswell – Teaching & Standards Principal

Governance & Policy Committee

  • Merridy Woodroffe – Chair
  • Eilis Hurley

Working Groups 2021

Teacher Training Standards and Education

  • Kylie Hennessy – Chair
  • Josh Pryor – Board Member
  • Gabrielle Boswell (Staff Rep)
  • Estefi Maiztegui
  • Leigh Wood
  • Nic Russell
  • Regina Cruichank
  • Alison Verbruggen

Yoga Therapy Standards and Education

  • Liz Bennet – Chair
  • Rebel Tucker (Research)
  • Kendra Boone
  • Natja Wunsch

Yoga as a Business

  • Samantha Doyle – Chair
  • Lisa Allwell -Board Member
  • Delamay Devi
  • Judes Yang
  • Karen Bishton
  • Tanya Clark

Social Responsibility and Sustainability

  • Sarah Nuttridge – Chair
  • Shahzma Patel (Board Representative)
  • Kaylene Wombat
  • Narendra Nathan
  • Vivian Castillo

RAP 

  • Cate Peterson (Ngungwulah)
  • Patricia Ma.Borden (Ngungwulah)
  • Janet Rodger (Chair)
  • Erin Tucci/Wendy Lim (Yoga Australia)
  • Michele Heaton (Yaan Circle)
  • Trish McNichol (Yaan Circle)

Community Representatives

QLD – Camille Jeboult

With 25 years of teaching experience, Yoga Australia Level 3 Senior yoga teacher Camille Jeboult imbues her classes and professional-growth-for-yoga-teacher programs with intelligence, warm-heartedness and professionalism. Camille has a Master’s degree in Communication through which she refined her skills in mediation, dialogue facilitation writing and digital media production.

Sunshine Coast, QLD – Agnieszka Maminska – Gray

Agnieszka is a fully qualified Hatha yoga and meditation teacher. She’s studied at the International Gita School of Yoga. Gita Yoga is integrating classic Hatha postures, breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation. Agnieszka has completed the Diploma of Teaching Meditation and Gold Diploma of Teaching Hatha Yoga (over 900hrs training), as well as other short courses. She began her classes in her own home while she worked as an accountant in the city. Supported by a loving husband, they both have two beautiful daughters together, Isabella and Amelia.

QLD – Guy Hancock

NSW Wollongong – Merryn Lee Perez

NSW Byron Bay – Flo Fenton

TAS – Sophie Keegan

VIC – Julie Marshall

VIC – Kirsteen Warrington

WA – Valerie Faneco

SA – Vani Shukla

NT – Vacant

ACT – Vacant

Office Team

Let us introduce you to the team that provides the best of support for members, yoga schools, teacher trainees and the general public while ensuring the ‘best-practice’ management of the day to day operations of the Organisation.

Janet Rodger (Hopkins) – CEO

Janet is an experienced CEO and senior leader in the Not for Profit sector, much of it focused on mental health and well-being. Janet has been CEO of Lantern Mental Health and General Manager for SANE Australia and Mindful Employer. A qualified accountant, she is also an experienced Management Consultant, working across the country on various projects, large and small.

Janet has been practicing Yoga for many years and has a strong interest in mindfulness-based stress reduction and meditation. A self-confessed early adopter, she is very comfortable around technology and digital media, and her roles have frequently drawn on her wide range of administrative and management skills, including driving transformational change.  Janet is in the office from Tuesday to Friday.

Jackie Rogers – Membership Manager

Jackie is no novice to membership management and customer service with over ten years experience in the role; she’s responsible for the smooth day-to-day running of the Yoga Australia Membership Department. Her responsibilities encompass many aspects of our business including memberships, billing and customer service. Her incredible organisational skills keep our team running smoothly.

In her spare time, Jackie enjoys spending time with her family and is passionate about her health and fitness. Jackie’ s calm and happy demeanour sets the perfect undertone to our humming office. Jackie works Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Alison O’Malley – Membership Admin

Ali is a new addition to the Yoga Australia team.  With over 20 years experience in sport, governance, community and healthcare,  Ali finally and thankfully found Yoga.  Having experienced firsthand benefits of a regular yoga practice and caring guidance from experienced and knowledgeable teachers and mentors, she wishes for yoga to be accessible to everybody.

Ali is a team player and in her role will utilise her broad range of skills and experiences to support Yoga Australia and its members practically, operationally and strategically.  In her spare time, Ali loves hanging out with her family in nature.

Wendy Lim – Member Support, Communications & Systems Improvement

Wendy is a passionate Yoga Teacher and creator of PT for the Mind, who in a past life was a Chemical Engineer. She personally loves the mental benefits that yoga brings and considers herself a lifelong student of yoga. Her current fascination is guiding people through inner exploration in Restorative Yoga. Her experience organising and managing projects and her interest in yoga are assets she brings to the Events team. Wendy is a big foodie, loves cooking and spending time growing anything edible (herbs, veggies, fruits, etc). She has three happy free ranging chickens who bring her lots of daily joy.

Gabrielle Boswell – Teaching and Standards Principal

Gabrielle has been teaching yoga since 2002 and her greatest passion is sharing the joy and benefits of yoga with others. She is C-IAYT yoga therapist and registered senior teacher with Yoga Australia. Gabrielle brings her experience as a yoga training provider and studio owner to her role as Training and Standards principal. She loves walking in nature and cuddling up with her two rescue dogs, a whippet and a grey.

Geoffrey Nicholas – Finance Officer

Geoffrey is an experienced finance professional with a passion for growing businesses. With a background in IT and business acquisitions he leverages technology to help improve business processes. He is looking forward to contributing to the ongoing growth and success of Yoga Australia.

In his spare time Geoffrey enjoys spending time with his family and border collie on their hobby farm, and spending time in the garden.

Erin Tucci- Communications and Events Coordinator

Erin is the Yoga Australia Events & Communications Coordinator. Her passion for self-care and wellness is what inspired her to leave her job in tourism and venture out into the Wellbeing Industry. She is a qualified Nutritional Advisor & Wellness Coach, Event Planner and Level 2 Reiki Healer.
Energetic, optimistic, bubbly, creative and motivated are words which best describe Erin’s personality. Erin is excited to work for a member-based organisation to establish deeper relationships and make a difference to the wider community. Her organisational skills help her to effectively plan events nation-wide, at the same time ensuring Yoga Australia’s Purpose, Vision and Mission are upheld.

Council of Advisors

The Yoga Australia Council of Advisors (YACA) is an honorary group of respected leaders in the field of Yoga and related professions. We are grateful for our Advisors’ independent, authoritative opinions on critical matters related to the operations of our Association and the teaching of Yoga in Australia. Appointment to the Council of Advisors is regarded by the association as an expression of honour and respect.

  • Di Lucas
  • Julianne Wantrup
  • Suzanne Fletcher
  • Paul Ellison
  • Janet Lowndes
  • Jean Byrne
  • Tamara Ogilvie
  • Deb Roberts
  • Merryn Lee Perez
  • Leanne Davis
  • Robyn Lewis
  • Shyamala Benakovic

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