Who We Are
We are a group of people from a range of disciplines who share a passion for the wellbeing of our world. We have formed the Climate Wellbeing Network to offer support for healthy engagement with climate change and related challenges. We are exploring the different ways that we, (as activists, therapists and researchers), can work together to engender creative responses to feelings of burnout, isolation, depression, environmental grief and despair. Through our personal and professional experiences we trust that, with support, such signs of deep caring can develop into a resilient participation in positive individual and collective change.
Members of the Climate Wellbeing Network
Michael Apathy - Master of Health Science, Registered Psychotherapist
I practice psychotherapy and am passionate about connecting mental health and environmental issues. I have run mindfulness in nature workshops, adapted motivational interviewing for having difficult conversations about climate change, and am writing a book of case studies on doing psychotherapy with activists. I have a private practice via skype and in Christchurch, New Zealand. My approach to environmental issues is also informed by my practice of Zen Buddhism.
Rosemary Faire - PhD, MA, Registered Expressive Arts Therapist
I am an expressive arts therapist and adult educator desiring to support climate change engagement and resilience in transition. My work-life journey has taken me through biological sciences (epigenetics), embodied education (somatics), music and movement therapies and deep ecology, and I'm keen to facilitate the formation of creativity-based peer support groups and Active Hope groups among those who are concerned about our planetary sustainability.
Nicole Thornton - BSc (Environmental Science), Hons (Ecology)
I have been an environmental scientist for more than 20 years with a very diverse career. It has ranged from sustainable and outdoor education and ecotourism in Australia, Canada and the UK (my favourite being the Daintree and Cape Tribulation rainforest in far north Queensland) to household water research and social practices for my PhD; from water sensitive cities to liveable and sustainable households and communities. I have a passion for social justice, giving voice to the voiceless, and sharing good food, stories, company and ideas to create a vibrant community and healthy individuals.
Merle Conyer - Master of Counselling & Applied Psychotherapy, Master of Education, Grad. Dip. Communication Management, Dip. Somatic Psychotherapy, Dip. Energetic Healing
Registered Psychotherapist and Counsellor
As an experienced psychotherapist, mentor and trainer I support people recovering from trauma and loss, making significant life transitions, and advocating for the common good. I also strengthen organisations contributing to wellbeing, a caring and just society, and a healthy planet. I am keen to connect with others to respond to a culture of violence which harms people, communities and the planet. www.linkedin.com/in/merleconyer
Sally Gillespite - PhD, Masters of Counselling
I have recently completed a doctorate which drew upon my knowledge and skills as a Jungian
psychotherapist to inquire into the psychological terrain of climate change engagement. What
I learnt through my research is the value of open conversations about the full gamut of the
thoughts and feelings we all go through in the process of encountering and living with the
realities of climate change. I am particularly interested in encouraging peer groups and
climate change organisations to make the space for, conversations about the psychological
ups and downs of engaging with contemporary ecological realities not only to support
resilience but also to foster the evolution of new understandings about self, society and world.
Beth Hill - BA Communications Social Inquiry (Hons), BA International Studies
I am currently a PhD candidate at Sydney University, my research explores the lived experience of climate change as a complex social, cultural, political and economic phenomenon that is already being encountered by many people in the navigation of their daily lives. Prior to this research project I worked in the environment movement as climate activist and as a campaigner on ocean conservation - much of this experience informs my understanding of burn out and the critical need for better support of activists as they come to terms with the realities of environmental crisis. Joanna Macy's Work that Reconnects and my Insight meditation practice are key influences in my own life and how I approach my work. I am passionate about better understanding the connection we share with each other and our planet, and the role that this connection can play in empowering people to make meaningful change in their own lives and in the world.