SWell Conference 2018

For those longing for ecological, communal and spiritual connection.

SWell provides a welcoming community where you will experience healing,

befriend your true-self, discover clarity of purpose

and begin to awaken abundant life through Presence,


SWell Conference
6pm Friday 12th - 14th 2pm Sunday October 2018

The 2018 SWell conference welcomes guest speaker and facilitator Rod Pattenden who explores our human calling to attend to Presence. SWell Spirituality and Wellbeing practitioners and facilitators create extraordinary spaces for companionship, connection and cultivating Presence.

This conference brings together those working with body, mind, Spirit integration to deepen health and wellbeing for individuals and communities. Meet like-minded practitioners for two days of ground breaking workshops, rituals, art and inspiration. Join other Wellbeing practitioners and those nurturing the spiritual journey in themselves and others as we support and awaken abundant life.



5.30pm Arrival and registration
6pm Drinks and Presence art exhibition opening
7pm Dinner with Rod Pattenden
9pm Finish


9.30am Gathering, Welcome or acknowledgement of Country
10am Key note Speaker Rod Pattenden
11am Morning Tea
11:30am - 1pm Workshops
        Embodied Presence with Yoga
        Present when eating through Psychotherapy
        The Pulse of Presence and Meridians
        Presence in Pain as Spiritual Companions
        Moving into Presence with Feldenkrais
1pm Lunch and Market Stalls
2pm - 3:30pm Workshops
        Present to your life through Psychology
        Being Present with Mindfulness Mandala making and Art Therapy
        Presence in nature Enneagram Presence
2:30pm-4pm Afternoon Tea
4pm-5pm Plenary
Q&A 5:30pm Dinner out for those who want to join
9pm-10pm Labyrinth Walk


9.30am Welcome & Gathering
10am - 12pm Being Presence in Dance, Poetry, Story and Song
12pm Lunch
1:30pm Closing Ritual

Workshop Details:

Saturday Morning

Embodied Presence with Yoga - Virginia Kirton
Virginia is a yoga teacher and therapist with a love for the wholeness with which yoga can inform our life, whatever our spiritual beliefs. Virginia started her yoga journey 55 years ago, taking a rather crooked path to her practice today. Yogic attitudes and lifestyle increasingly guide the way Virginia conducts her life. The primary aim of all yoga practice is to still the mind. Letting go of memories and future fantasies, a yogi seeks the joy, alertness and infinite beauty of presence. The workshop will offer a glimpse of the BIG yoga picture. It will look at some threads in its very practical philosophy, systematically developed over millennia; at the variety of practices that suit our differing challenges and aspirations; and you will experience some simple practices for stilling the busy mind. You will find lightness and wellbeing through union of physical body, mind and spirit.

The Pulse of Presence - Sarah Cosgrave
Sarah Cosgrave is a registered practitioner of Reiki and Nuero Training and a Nurtured Nurse expert. As a critical care nurse and wellness consultant, Sarah works with flat out, stressed out and burnt out nurses and guides them to feel relaxed, reconnected and re-energised within their mind, body and soul. Sarah is passionate about encouraging people to stop and rest so that they can embrace the happiness and balance that they deserve and to live the life they want to live. The Pulse of Presence will be an experiential workshop exploring presence through mindfulness, meridians and movement. Sarah will guide you through visualisation of energy centres known as 'chakras' and you will learn how to trace your meridian pathways, becoming aware of the energy that pulses through your body. The workshop will include the gentle movement of Qi Gong exploring the presence of energy both within and around you and it will conclude with an open dialogue and sharing on 'The Pulse of Presence'.

Presence in Pain - Joan Wright Howie and Jenny Batten
Joan is the minister of Habitat Uniting Church and director of the SWell Centre, with a vision to awaken abundant life. She has a MA in Spiritual Direction and teaches with the WellSpring spiritual direction formation program and a program training supervisors. She is keen to support people to engage in spiritual formation through a process of holding people in Love, as they clarify identity, experience healing, sense their own calling and unique gifts.
Jenny is in her final year of study towards a Masters in Therapeutic Arts Practices (MIECAT) and is currently in a placement with SWell Spirituality Centre. She is also in her second year of formation as a Spiritual Director with the Living Well Centre. Jenny is an accredited InterPlay leader and applies Body Wisdom practices to integrate mind, body & spirit through story, voice & movement. She is also a section leader and committee member of the Melbourne Singers of Gospel and is Music Director of the Melbourne Threshold Choir.
This workshop with explore pain as part of the human experience. 'The pain of life may teach us to understand life and in our understanding of life, love life. To love life truly is to be whole in all ones parts; and to be whole in all ones parts is to be free and unafraid' - Howard Thurman Using InterPlay forms of improvised story, voice, stillness and movement, Joan and Jenny will invite you to become present to the pain people experience. Encounter your own pain and the pain you witness in others in this playful, safe space of presence. Practice the art of deep listening to the pain of life and discover the freedom of the unafraid.

Moving into Presence with Feldenkrais - Megan Hopley
A search for resolution of several major injuries lead Megan to the Feldenkrais Method®. She discovered so much more than injury recovery and the journey compelled her to share the benefits of this method with others. Megan loves to share the experience gained through her own journey of recovery from pain and injury and how she cultivated more freedom and joy through the Feldenkrais Method®. Megan's workshop will be a wonderful opportunity for people for those wishing to be present to their own unfolding journey, bring ease and comfort into their life and to find freedom from pain, injury and stiffness. It is for those wishing to move out of stuck patterns, habits or perceived limitations as well as those wishing to clarify their abilities and intentions through presence and the Feldenkrais® method.

Accumulate Your Health - Nutrition and Lifestyle Workshop - Cindy Yu
Cindy is a Nutrition and Lifestyle Counsellor, accredited by the Australian Counselling Association. She has a background in nutrition and psychology and believes there is a strong link between the two. Cindy has had extensive training in psychotherapy and mental health disorders, as well as a strong interest in nutrition and fitness and is currently studying to become an accredited dietitian. Through nutritional education, lifestyle advice and psychotherapy, Cindy aims to help individuals achieve their personal goals, improve mood and motivation and most importantly, help them improve their quality of life. Cindy's workshop will focus on the little successes toward a healthy lifestyle, and the ability to be present in your goal rather than focusing on past failure or future challenges. In this workshop you will explore and define what health means to you and discover ways to make sustainable lifelong changes. You will also learn how to set achievable goals, gain some nutrition and lifestyle tips as well as develop a positive mindset, all of which will set you on the road to health and wellness.


Being Present to Self, Being Present to Others - Rod Pattenden
Rod Pattenden is a creative innovator with background as an artist, curator, and teacher. He is interested in the connections between the visual and expressive arts, spirituality and community development. He is curious about the resources found in the arts to live a fuller dynamic life, to sustain healing in our lives and how to create more just and compassionate communities. He is Co-founder of InterPlay Australia, has written widely on the arts in Australia, has curated exhibitions on significant Australian artists, and led workshops exploring the arts and community development in Australian and overseas. InterPlay is a community based art form that offers creative transformation through simple expressive means to build communities of change and hope. As the co-founder of InterPlay Australia, Rod's workshop will use the skills of InterPlay - movement, story, voice, stillness and of course play. Play teaches us to be present to ourselves with creative curiosity and to treat others as playmates through creative synthesis, building a community based in an ethics of affirmation and mutual respect. During the workshop, you will expand the opportunity to be present to yourself with delight and grace." www.interplayaus.com.au

Be Present to your Life - Peter Ross
Peter Ross is a counselling psychologist and contemporary psychoanalytic trained psychotherapist. He has had a long association with the Swell Centre where he has facilitated groups and works with individual clients. Over the years he has developed a strong interest in the significance of the numinous dimension of experience for its contribution to well-being and maturity. Peter's workshop will be a conversational presentation that aims to explore what it means to be present in your life. The transformational potential and challenges flowing from presence will be considered along with the possibility of presence situating us in reality in a fully embodied and vibrant way that transcends superficial knowing and facilitates negative capability. Presence challenges the usual paradigms of causality, subject object differentiation and invites us to participate in a co evolutionary celebration of life. So what do you think? That will be the conversation.

Being Present with Mindfulness - Maggie O'Shea
A long-term meditator and relationship counsellor, Maggie O’Shea is passionate about teaching mindfulness and the related neuroscience that help us drop below the constant thinking of the automatic “doing” mode of mind into a more embodied experience of “being” or presence. Through Mindfulness and Compassion practice we have the inner “felt” experiences and awareness that are necessary for learning how to work more skillfully with a tricky human brain wired for safety and survival, rather than ease. This experiential workshop will be suitable for participants who are beginning or experienced meditators. Short meditation practices and interactive exercises will be offered from the evidence-based Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self Compassion and/or Positive Neuro-plasticity programs. These practices will be used as a way of exploring some of the new understandings about the brain and how we can use this to support us in living the lives we truly wish to lead with more ease and joy.

Present When Eating with Psychotherapy - Chriss Polymeni
Chriss Polymeni, is a psychoanalyst with an expertise in emotional eating issues. Using Psychoanalysis and Cognitive-Behavioural tools, Chriss is passionate about sharing her journey and assisting others on theirs too. The workshop will be an open conversation around emotional eating, food addiction, eating disorders, trauma, stress management and analysis. “Presence” in eating behaviour will be discussed as mindfulness, as the connection between self and symptom and as the transition from a traumatic reaction that belongs to the past to the enjoyment of food as a healing device for body and soul that can belong to the present.

Presence in Nature - Jane Ormonde
Jane Ormonde is a spiritual director, a pastoral carer, a writer and has had a professional career spanning journalism, staff training and government work in refugee services. She is currently completing a Masters of Spirituality, in which she has specialised in learning about Australian Indigenous spirituality of the land, including dadirri. She is particularly interested in how we, as modern people, often feel a diminished sense of connection to the natural world, and ourselves. We can reconnect with an ancient ‘knowing’ which is still evident in our yearning to connect in deeper and more relational ways. Jane has done several workshops with Miriam Rose Ungunmerr, from Daly River, NT, learning about dadirri. She is a long-term spiritual seeker, a daily meditator, has a Graduate Diploma in Theology. Jane will invite you to slow down, take a break from your busy mind and enter into relationship with Presence in the natural world – rekindling an ancient wisdom all humans contain to experience something of a connection that human beings have known. Inspired by the Indigenous dadirri practice of deep listening to the land, as well as others such those found in Celtic spiritual traditions, you will be invited back into a “felt sense” of connection - a relational experience - awakening anew wonder and awe. This 1.5 hour workshop draws upon meditation, mindfulness and movement – and helps us to connect to Presence and spirit in nature in a fresh and uplifting way. This is a practice you will be able to take home with you and incorporate into your daily life and may profoundly change the way you feel about nature.


Early Bird whole event $195 (book before 25th Sep)
Whole event $210
Friday night Dinner & Speaker $55
Saturday Conference $130
Sunday morning & Lunch $35
Children under 14 free


Habitat Uniting Church - Hawthorn
2 Minona Street, Hawthorn VIC 3122



Habitat Uniting Church Office
2 Minona Street, Hawthorn VIC
phone 9819 2844

St David's Centre
cnr Burke & Mont Albert Rds
Canterbury VIC

Habitat Spirituality Centre
@ Augustine

2 Minona St, Hawthorn VIC

Kew Uniting Church
23 Highbury Grove