Rod Mason is a respected Ngarigo elder and “Traditional Land Manager”. Rod has devoted himself to teaching and sharing traditional land management practices and it is his dream to see current landholders and land managers reintroduce Traditional Practices.
Rod has learnt traditional methods of living in landscapes between the Kosciuszko range to the south coast - an area he calls home, but has also returned many times to his ancestoral country in Central Australia. Rod also has connections with the La Perouse area where his mother lived in a mission for many years. Rod however never lived in a mission and maintained his links with the SE NSW region.
Rod's family are water people and Rod has a responsibility for water creatures but has an affinity with all native animals and their place in the landscape ie ring tailed possums in tea tree, brush tailed possums in wattle thickets and greater gliders in forests.
For more than 20 years Rod applied his knowledge and teachings through his on-ground show and tell style and held various positions with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. He was the co-creator of the Teach the Teacher workshops, Discovery program.
Rod is one of a small group of people nationally who has undertaken the Diploma of Natural and Cultural Resource Management. Much of Rod’s management revolves around the use of fire and cool mosaic burning of vegetation, to inject necessary nutrients into the soil ‘to straighten the crooked trunks in trees and wattles ’, enhance seed and fruit orchards and protect habitats from wildfire damage.
Rod has been involved in the successful campaign to return Lambie Gorge (near Cooma) to Aboriginal management. He has been honoured by being awarded the title of Local Citizen of the Year in 2008 by the Snowy River Shire Council and by having his face on a postage stamp.
Rod is also an accomplished artist and sold his work to the likes of Hilary Clinton and has been asked to recreate original spears using local materials for the National Museum.
Last year Rod completed a series of workshops under a grant obtained by Friends of Grasslands. These two day workshops brought hundreds of attendees into Rod’s aura and resulted in attendees themselves practicing Rod’s style of landscape management. Rod has convinced farmers and government agency staff alike that the landscape is a living breathing beingthat needs assistance to function – he works with the three elements - rain, wind and fire.
Currently, Rod is working with the Kosciuszko to Coast partnership in its various projects that aim to reintroduce landholders to traditional practices (mainly cool burning in native vegetation). So far Rod has visited over 40 properties in the greater Monaro region and is due to perform further cool burns in workshops and directly on landholder’s properties.
Dr Didge Dolphin and ShamanaTara
Dr Didge Dolphin (Arpana Obrien) is a musician and senior yoga teacher who worked as a GP in Arnhemland in aboriginal community over 10 years. He brings his joy of life, his enquiring mind and the gifts from his 28 years of General Medical Practice and his equal journey with the healing sound of Didgeridoo (Yidaki) and circular breath.
ShamanaTara -Lungurrma is a sound medicine woman and intuitive energy healer. She creates deep peace and space from her 60 year dance with life as mother, lover, senior yoga teacher, song writer, business owner, tv producer, psychologist, crystal grid worker and singer of the ancient whale song lines.
Sound as Medicine
Together they bring their passion for life, their love, and their humble presence to create sacred space for us to explore the dance of light and dark through sound to balance, release and rejuvenate. They offer a dynamic fusion and weave their magic into their yoga classes, workshops and presentations. They are inspired and grateful for Djalu Gurruwiwi and family for adopting them into Yolngu culture. Dr Didge as Mutjalanydjal - dolphin, who leads the way and has fun along the journey. ShamanaTara as Lungurrma - north wind who carries the voices of the ancestors, whales and star beings.
Padma Menon has an international career as a choreographer, facilitator, teacher and dance activist. She was one of India’s top classical dancers having trained under legendary Indian choreographers. When she moved to Australia, she led one of Australia’s first contemporary professional multicultural dance companies in the nineties.
In 1994 she was awarded Canberra Times Artist of the Year. She then worked in renowned production houses in Europe and also set up a dance centre in India which partnered with human rights organisations to use dance as a tool for activism.
Padma has a post graduate degree in English Literature and post graduate qualifications in Choreography from the Netherlands.
Besides classical Indian dance theatre, she has also studied and taught contemporary western dance, Indian martial arts practice of kalaripayattu, yoga and Indian Vedanta philosophy.
Currently she is the founder of Moving Archetypes which runs courses in dance as a way of connecting with archetypes from all over the world for contemplation and self reflection.
Greg Powell is recognised as one of Australia's leaders in horse handling. Greg has identified that a special relationship with a horse can only be achieved through mutual trust and understanding and not fear and intimidation. Greg's philosophy in his work with horses has been to develop mutually respectful partnerships; whereby positive and engaging techniques are used with the horses to establish a trusting and dually beneficial partnership between horse and handler.
Greg's passion for horses and educating in better ways to treat and work horses has evolved into the exploration and sharing of the healing power of horses. Greg has been practicing what is now known as “equine therapy” with adults and children for
In Greg’s second documentary "Wild Horses, Wild Kids" features Greg's work with Father Chris Riley, the founder of Youth Off The Streets, and some young adults chosen by Father Riley to participate in the brumby project. The brumby project attempts to help those chosen to develop a relationship with their own brumby, encouraging life and social skills that will help them combat life.
Greg saw the value that was in the sharing of skills he used when handling a wild potentially threatened brumby horse with troubled youth and became very excited by the prospect. Greg sourced some brumbies from the Kosciusko National Park and bought them together with a group of troubled kids. This became the second documentary film made by Powell Entertainment. Jack Thompson a good friend of Greg's appeared in the film showing his support of the program. In honour of his father he started a charity to aid in helping troubled youths called the "Kalandan Foundation" and put his horsemanship skills to more use.
He felt there was more he could do with his skills, working with people and horses inspiring and motivating these young people to gain the most out of their lives. Greg's life mission is to grow and develop this charity to its fullest potential sharing his experiences with his horses with others. Greg has since featured on prime time TV shows including "Random Acts of Kindness" and "60 minutes" with Jack Thompson interviewed by Karl Stefanovic. These shows covered the work he does with troubled brumbies in the high country.
Greg loves to live and sing his soul song and does this through his country and western music, as well as horse handling. Greg’s music is inspired by his deep awareness of the healing power we each have within and how this is enriched through our connection with nature.
With an open heart and a beautiful soul, Matt Omo, aka The Gong Guru, is a leader of the sound healing movement in Australia with over 15 years experience working with a variety of sound healing techniques. These processes are steeped in ancient wisdom and delivered through innovative processes designed to connect people to the authentic truth of who they are and what their true purpose in life is.
Matt’s defiant nature as a child not only gained him a permanent seat in the principals office and some hard learned lessons, but was also the fuel that burnt down the picket fence surrounding his narrow-minded middle American way of life to becoming a respected spiritual teacher, master sound healer, visionary and co-owner of Be Still & Chill Health and Wellness Centre (www.justb.net.au) in the heart of Sydney’s Northern beaches.
Matt prided himself on not fitting in until significant life changing events inspired a soul-searching journey around the world. Through this journey Matt embraced wisdom through meditation, yoga, ancient cultures, sound healing, breathwork, volunteer work and spiritual healing. He holds a Masters Degree in Spiritual Psychology, Diploma of Sound Healing, Cert. Kundalini Yoga Instructor, And Reiki Master.
Matt integrates all his healing wisdom in a unique sound-healing journey he created called, Soul Vibing.
Rachel Shields - Nainioman
Rachel Shields – Nainiouman, through her mothers line is a descendant of the Weilwan and Gamilaroi peoples of North Western New South Wales. Rachel also has heritage in other lineages from around the earth and is very comfortable with acknowleding and respecting all elements of her ancestry and the ancestry of all people who walk the Earth today.
As a recognised facilitator of cultural awareness, nature based activities, education and wellbeing, She is greatly respected for her gentle manner and honest nature and her capacity to engage people in an inclusive way, assisting shifts in attitudes generating greater awareness through provoking new ways of thinking and in turn affecting social change.
Rachel, has a strength in her connection to country and her understanding of the spirit of place and the Lore that lives and breathes through all of nature and those who remain true to this, Yet she will tell you that she shares as a human being who is continually growing and learning, and sees herself as individual who is a part of a greater community. A contributor as equal as the next person, and she believes that with this comes a shared responsibilty, one that belongs to all of us.
Over the past twenty years she has worked both formally and informally as an educator within early childhood, primary, secondary and within special needs environments, mentoring youth and teachers,advocating for youth and cultural understandings and ways of being. Promoting health and wellbeing through natural and traditional modalities and nature based activities.
Rachel is also a writer, storyteller, musician, artist and draws upon her strength and connection to nature to support and nurture others in igniting a relation intelligence, a remembering to our KINship and to acknowledging the connections.