Alana views life itself as a creative process.
Soul Strong Society was inspired by Alana’s experience in the environmental and community health sector. As far as she could work out, the biological and social imbalances she was seeing stemmed from a root of individual wellbeing (soul strength) or lack of. A balanced person does not dominate others or the environment.
Alana has spent the last 15 years studying arts, crafts and wellbeing theory and practice with different peoples and traditions from around the world. She believes it is our diversity of talent and knowledge that will help us face the opportunities and challenges of life together on a planet home to 7 billion people.
Juju Haifawi is a sustainable designer, health coach and freelance arts all-rounder. She believes in sustainable practices throughout the disciplines of art, craft, design and health and strives to apply ‘green’ thinking in all creative projects. If she’s not crafting away in her studio, you can usually catch Juju working on imaginative community projects…from large installations for local festivals to outdoor furniture pieces for community spaces.
Since starting her career as a contemporary jeweller, Juju has branched out to become the co-writer and producer for ABC documentary ‘The Agony of Ecstasy’ and has managed the arts and poster design for festivals such as ‘Gorgeous Festival’ in McLaren Vale and the ‘Festival of Now’ in Adelaide.
Juju is trained as a health coach through Neami National and also runs mental health art groups through this organisation. She is currently studying a Master of Sustainable Design and hopes to work with local Indigenous communities to co-create sustainable design solutions for a prosperous and healthy community life.
Kara is a Visual Artist and Maker. Her practice is informed by themes of engagement and questions of what makes us connect: to ourselves, to others and the world we live in. From this, what makes us feel enriched, strong and empowered? Kara creates public art including murals and sculptural works, makes jewellery and facilitates origami based workshops.
Jo Norton is a MASTER of business, strategy, stakeholder relations and dance. She has worked in a variety of roles across the arts and environmental sectors including stints with CRC Care as an executive officer, SA Manager of the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, and administrative roles within the University of South Australia team.
With a background in creative writing and screen studies, Jo traverses the world of creativity and business. She is as happy breaking it down with her b-girls as she is baking up ideas in the boardroom.
Katrin was born in Germany. The most life experience, however, she collected on her extended stays in various places around the world. Including;
– time spent in the United States as a student and summer worker,
– studying language in Spain,
– living in India as a student of the Southern Indian healing and martial art Kalarippayat,
– visiting Laos and Thailand as a student of Nuad Thai (Thai Yoga Massage) and,
– moving to Australia to become a Soul Strong Society conspirer.
Katrin loves to learn and pass on knowledge and skills. She teaches Yoga and Kalari, is an avid cook and baker and loves to help people feel good within themselves. She is passionate about contributing to a more sustainable attitude towards life, on an individual and a universal level. Her motto is “…leave a place more wealthy and healthy than you found it!”
Collaborators & Advisors
Dr. Maura Kenny
Maura is a Consultant Psychiatrist and a long-term meditator within the Insight Meditation tradition. She is the Coordinator of the Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) Programs at the Centre for the Treatment of Anxiety & Depression in SA Health, and specialises in the areas of Stress, Mood and Anxiety disorders. She has conducted some research in these areas, and has used mindfulness approaches in clinical, organisational and workplace settings.
Maura is interested in the wellbeing and resilience of the medical profession in particular, and has developed a 6 week mindfulness course for healthcare and other professionals. She teaches these courses regularly through the year.
She is also the Convenor of the Mindfulness Research Group at the University of Adelaide, Co-Director of the Mindfulness Training Institute Australasia, and an Associate Teacher-Trainer at the University of Oxford’s Mindfulness Centre.
Lisa Philip-Harbutt has spent over 35 years as an artist exploring the overlaps between visual, performing and community arts. Her passion is initiating cultural development and social change through arts practice. Lisa has worked in rural and urban contexts, in schools, workplaces and community settings. She has designed sets and costumes, painted murals, made sculptures, puppets and temporary installations, created plays and short films, taken photos and edited videos. She uses the most appropriate artform for the concept of the project.
Lisa has been involved in the arts and health field of practice for over 20 years. During 1997–98 Lisa was the first Community Artist in Residence at the Flinders Medical Centre (FMC). FMC Arts in Health Program was the first program to be established in a hospital in South Australia and is recognised as the largest and most diverse program in Australia. Lisa also ran the Arts and Health stream of the National Rural Health Alliance Conference in Canberra in 2001.
Lisa has a BA in Visual Arts and Masters in Business (Research) in which she tackled decision making in the arts sector in South Australia. Her methodology was participatory action research. Situated in the International Graduate School of Management, her thesis was titled ‘Look out there is an artist in the business school doing research: A quest for an appropriate methodology’.
Gwen Egg established Southern Beaches Landcare/Coastcare to try to minimise the impact of encroaching residential development. A passionate and practical environmentalist, Gwen has been a Landcare force in Tasmania for more than 20 years. Thanks to Gwen and the group, joint management plans are now in place for more than a dozen council reserves, 23 kilometres of coastal reserves and two small offshore islands, testament to her foresight and persistence.
Gwen is also a well-known fibre artist and teacher, she understands that the future of the environment lies with the young. Gwen uses her art to raise environmental awareness, sharing the Landcare ethic in local schools through artist residencies, workshops, festivals and exhibitions. Her achievements and commitment were recognised recently when she was awarded the 2012 Tasmanian Individual Landcarer Award.
Dr. Levina Clark
Dr. Levina Clark completed her Clinical PhD in Psychology at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia in 2008. Since that time she has worked in a variety of clinical and research roles. As well as being a program and research advisor to Soul Strong Society Levina divides her days between the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and Flinders University Psychology Clinic. In her spare time she is involved with Rotary Club of Adelaide Edge, and regularly volunteers on Star Bear camps run by Anglicare for bereaved children.
Levina is particularly passionate about helping children and adolescents who suffer from anxiety and depression.
Levina has a wicked sense of humour and she does not like to have her photo on the internet. Hence, Levina is the pink socks.
Ramona is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy, but began studying Kalari Healing and Martial Arts in 2009. She has made several trips to India to study and train with her teacher and Guru, Sat Guru Hanuman Das, the founder of the Kalariyil Dharmikam Ashram in Kerala.
Originally from India, Ramona has lived and studied in various countries such as Brazil, Singapore, India and Japan. She has also practiced Kalari Healing and Martial Arts in Brazil and North America. During her travel she explored local medicines, foods and cultures and also treated people from all over the world.
Ramona believes that Kalari and natural medicine involves continual study and is constantly working to improve her knowledge of traditional remedies and disciplines.
Ramona is passionate about health and well-being, and employs Kalari in her personal life. She endeavours to help individuals gain equilibrium and harmony in their lives. Ramona is a firm believer that using Kalari methods, one can synergize the body, mind and spirit.
If you put an obstacle in front of Travis (aka TJ) he will jump over it. Doesn’t matter what it is. He will jump it. TJ has is the founder of Point A – a community hub where you can learn to juggle, jump, flip, sit, roll, and just generally inhabit and appreciate your body.
An advocate for movement cultures that aren’t centred on competitive sport, Travis volunteers his time and energy to encourage young people to embrace constructive, healthy choices. His help is sought by governments and schools and he was recently nominated for Young South Australian of the Year. TJ runs demonstrations for local councils and has helped design parks for people to practice parkour safely. In January, he held a movement festival street party, which attracted around 600 people. Travis openly shares his philosophy of empowerment, discipline, nutrition, creativity and inclusiveness, and is a positive example of healthy, active living.
Uncle Moogy, also known as Major Sumner, is a Ngarrindjeri Elder from the Coorong region in South Australia. Uncle Moogy is a teacher and mentor to many of his people. He continues the traditional Ngarrindjeri martial arts and dancing by teaching these practices to the next generation. Uncle Moogy is an Elder with a strong spirit; “We have to make sure these things don’t get lost again. That’s what we’re doing here – dancing the healing spirit back into the land and the water and back into ourselves.” Uncle Moogy has undertaken study tours to Canada to work with the First Nations to learn about their cultural rehabilitation programs for prisoners. He has also traveled to London and Scotland to repatriate ancestral remains.
“I’m a Ngarrindjeri man. I’m a part of this country and it’s a part of me, the birds, the snakes, the lizards, the fish, the spiders – we’re all a part of each other. I don’t practice culture for economic gain. I do it because I want to learn, teach and survive and be connected to my country and people.”
Dr. Sonia Kleindorfer
Professor Sonia Kleindorfer is an internationally recognised ornithologist who specialises in conservation research and behavioural ecology. She is Scientific Director of the Flinders Research Centre for Climate Adaptation and Animal Behaviour and Head of Department for Animal Behaviour at Flinders University. Sonia is currently working on creating a Sustainability Centre at Flinders University and her research interests include Ecotourism.
Sonia is blow-your-socks-off smart. AND, she is able to communicate extremely complex ideas in a way, which every person in the room is able to not only understand, but get excited about.
Dr. Jeremy Robertson
Dr. Jeremy Robertson’s areas of expertise include animal behaviour, evolutionary ecology, conservation and ecotourism. All are areas of active research in which he is involved in national and international projects.
Dr. Robertson is particularly good at communicating and interpreting ideas of science. Having run his own successful Ecotourism business in Scotland, and being the father to three curious children, Dr. Jeremy is skilled at making nature and science ‘come alive’ to those around him.
Andrea is from Berlin, Germany. Her loves are creativity and movement. Andrea comes from a background in Gemology, working as a Goldsmith. Her practice of Yoga began 15 years ago and she is dedicated to providing holistic experiences for her students. Andrea’s understanding of the human body is vast – she is a working physiotherapist and continues to add to her knowledge of the creative and regenerative abilities of our bodies and minds, through the study of Osteopathy and Ayurveda.
Jo Zealand initiates, facilitates and generates creative thinking in everyone she meets! Using expression through the artistry of performing, comedy and film, Jo invites people to revel in the pleasure of creativity whilst gaining greater self awareness and understanding of the humanity within us all. Jo is a little bit crazy, which means we are all allowed to be a little bit crazy too.
With a long interest in alternative therapies, yoga and mindfulness, Hannah continues to seek new ways to infuse her marketing background into new projects that promote sustainability and well-being.
Since her first yoga practice in 2009, Hannah has been passionate about exploring all facets of yoga and its philosophy. In 2015 she travelled to Rishikesh, India to expand her knowledge by completing her 200 hour yoga teacher training.
Graduating from a Bachelor of Media in 2015, Hannah explores ethical fashion and mindful consuming through her blog, Ethical Fashion Global.
After graduating with a business degree in Toulouse – France and the Universidad de Los Andes de Bogotá, Shingo went to New York City where he studied documentary and photojournalism at the International Center of Photography. Shingo is a photographic contributor to the New York Times, and Time magazine, amongst others. He spent two years assisting New York Times photographer Michael Kamber, with whom he co-directed the creation of the Bronx Documentary Center. Apart from working with Soul Strong Society on media projects Shingo has co-founded MONO FILMS, and is currently working on a long-term project about displaced populations, victims of the conflict and mining industries in Colombia.
Daryl has worked as an audio and visual technician for a number clients including Fox Sports, Adelaide’s 5AA and Adelaide Oval. For Daryl the end product is what matters most. He is motivated to produce the best work he can to ensure a quality product and a happy client. Having worked in a variety of roles, and in a variety of projects from the ground up, Daryl is a genuine all round media professional who has proved himself to be highly capable in the face of any challenge! As a person, Daryl is loyal, curious, humble, and thoughtful. He has a deep personal interest in exercise physiology and the potential of the human mind and body.
Dr. Pelin Kayaalp
Pelin’s research in evolutionary biology has taken her across Australia, to Africa, and China. Working alongside diverse communities has given Pelin an enormous joy for the many cultures she has encountered. She believes that understanding, working with, and embracing our natural surroundings are fundamental to our well-being, both as individuals and as a world community.
Alisen has worked on programs broadcast on the Discovery Channel Canada, the Slice Network, CBC, and CTV. She is a creative genius, hilarious, and will not stop until the job is DONE.
With academic qualifications and over 20 years’ experience in environmental management, communication services, and community engagement, Dawn established Emu Consulting in 2008, because of her love of people and communities. Dawn is committed to helping communities address challenges and realize opportunities. She is a firm believer that the environmental, cultural and social needs of people are equally as important as their economic needs.
Patrick Charleson IV
Patrick Charleson IV, respectfully known as Grandpa Pat to many, is a Hesquiaht Elder of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations of Western Canada. Grandpa Pat was taken from his family as a child and raised in the Canadian residential school system. Having lived through experiences many of us cannot imagine, Patrick Charleson IV has come out the other side with a fierce sense of justice, and a strong will to create a better life for the next generation of First Nations youth. Grandpa Pat was involved with the Unique Ways of Being: Hesquiaht First Nation community initiative. Patrick Charleson IV continues to be a cultural advisor to Soul Strong Society and is an inspiration to the team in general due to his bravery, and ability to ‘live from his heart’ despite the hardships he has endured.
This is Joe. Joe’s skills are many and varied. Mostly he’s just great to have around.