Nick Laurence

I am a listener, facilitator and clinical psychology student. I'm currently completing my internship in Taranaki and finishing up my doctoral thesis on mindfulness, wellbeing and climate change. Work with fellow MfC contributor Michael Smith on a social enterprise creating companion apps for Mindfulness-Integrated Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and other mindfulness programmes.

I'm interested in change at all levels, from one-on-one relationships to small groups, high performing teams, restorative communities, Teal organisations, non-hierarchical networks, social movements, and media/politics. Working with others on setting up the commons of MfC so that as contributors we can all contribute our gifts at whatever level we are pulled towards - and do so in a way that's fun, effective, and makes us come alive. Also a keen hockey player, cricket watcher and bedroom DJ.

Caroline Taylor

I am a change-maker, systems leader and committed meditator. I'm passionate about system transformation and I've been a host for the Presencing Foundation Program in Perth and I'm co-convening the Wellington ULab hub.  I'm a local coordinator for the climate action group 350 Aotearoa. I've spent many years as a policy manager and lawyer for government. 

Mindfulness has been transformational for me. I believe if many of us bring the greater awareness we gain from mindfulness to our interactions with each other we will be able to change society's systems to benefit us all.

Martin Giles

I am an explorer in every sense of the word. I’m driven by an endless curiosity about people and the world around us. My work has been varied and interesting over the years, from engineering to psychology and it has taken me around the world and brought me to manydifferent people. As a consequence of watching and learning, I have developed a clear understanding of where people source their happiness. Everyone’s happiness and growth comes from the present moment – whether you are just starting out or at the end of your life – everything good comes from standing in your truth and just being there as much as possible, even when it is uncomfortable. This is not always easy, but worth the persistence required.

Overall, my role in the world is to encourage people to be fully themselves and to share their personal gifts with those around them, without fear. People all carry a golden core of light and love and it is our sacred duty to help that shine through.  I get to do this both in my work as a business change consultant and as a mindfulness coach and I'm grateful for that.

Meredith Youngson &

Robin Youngson

Dr Robin Youngson is an anesthesiologist in New Zealand, internationally renowned for his work on compassion in healthcare. A founding member of the national Quality Improvement Committee in New Zealand, Robin was the NZ representative on the WHO International Steering Committee for Patient Safety Solutions. Current positions include: Editorial Board of the Journal of Compassionate Healthcare, and Global Compassion Council of the international Charter for Compassion. In 2016 Robin was given the highest honor of the New Zealand Medical Association, the Chair’s Award, for outstanding contribution to the health of New Zealand. Robin is the author of the acclaimed book “TIME TO CARE – How to love your patients and your job” and more recently, “From HERO to HEALER – Awakening the Inner Activist

Meredith Youngson began her career in medical microbiology but expanded her health roles to leadership in the interface between community and health authorities. She has a long history in community development and was a founder and community coordinator for Waitakere Health Link, a grass-roots organisation that brings the community voice to healthcare planning and decision making. Most recently she was a community broker and relationship manager for Project Twin Streams in Waitakere City, a $60million environmental restoration project.

As Co-Founders of Hearts in Healthcare, Meredith and Robin work together on organisational strategy, movement building, consulting and workshop facilitation. Their work has taken them to fifteen countries. Happily married for 36 years they have three grown up daughters and two gorgeous grandchildren.

Sarrah Jayne

I am an oxytocin co-creator, I work with individuals and groups in many settings to help them feel calm, grounded, confident and nurtured. 

I teach yoga for communities and businesses. I facilitate an engineering empathy programme for the students at Dev Academy which is fast becoming an offering for other teams. I assist parents in their journey through birth as a Doula (which is kind of like a sherpa). I am also a massage therapist. 

I am passionate about individual change becoming global change and how we can make that leap together. I believe the work has to start from within but it cannot end there, we must go out into the world and create the change we want to see. I love to dance and sing and make joy! Laughter is my medicine and I love to play to relax. 


Sam O'sullivan

A playful artistic scientist trained as a Clinical Psychologist. I believe the answers to many of our questions can be found at the edge, and we only make progress when we push through our comfort zones. Currently my focus is on creating a Youtube series called Tough Talk, which is dedicated to a mentally well and flourishing New Zealand.

I have practised and taught mindfulness in an array of settings from Enspiral Dev Academy to Kiwiburn, and have worked as a therapist at an inpatient hospital and privately at Healthfit Collective. I have created content for wellbeing campaigns and programmes including the Mental Health Foundation of NZColiberate, and The New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists, I'm learning graphic design and marketing, and I'm now an aspiring film maker. I also love to recite poetry and get loose on the dance floor.



Richard Turton

I help people and organisations to understand and navigate complex change. I’ve worked in strategy consulting and management roles here in NZ and overseas, generally with government agencies such as the Ministry of Health. I’ve also been involved in the advancement of more sustainable and integrated approaches to regional development.

I believe that many of the global and local challenges we face could be resolved through greater empathy and compassion. Personal experience of meditation and mindfulness has heightened my understanding of self, and significantly enhanced my connection and engagement with the world around me.

I’m interested to explore how we can work together in mindful and creative ways that to begin to create a better future; one in which we value the environment and the diversity of human experience.

Peter Jacobson

50% of Kiwi's aren't feeling awesome. We have the highest suicide rate in the OECD. Our work & learning environments have a massive impact on us - with Heartwork I'm enabling these environments to be enlivening for all through creating a playful, honest national culture of awareness, sharing & response to feelings, beliefs & needs.

Drop me a line to to have a chat - I'd love to hear your story and questions.


Justin Connor

I am a facilitator who loves to cook. I help individuals, leadership teams and community groups to design their futures (sometimes referred to as 'strategy'). I've worked on most continents with the UN, NGOs, governments, indigenous communities, social enterprises and big old corporates. I've recently returned to Aotearoa - my home - to see how I might be helpful in ushering in 'the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible' (thanks Charles Eisenstein).

Meditation, yoga and journaling are my lifeline, helping me daily to re-discover my quiet self and listen to my inner-knowing. My Mindfulness for Change friends are constant companions, ever-inspiring me to more deeply find my own joy whilst navigating my social and working life toward the well-being of others. How good is that?

Elli Yates

I am interested in holding space for healing and liberation. My work as a secondary school English teacher is a great place to start! I believe whole-heartedly in the power of story, and the changes which are possible when we begin listening for and telling different ones. For this reason I seek authentic voices among the babble. As an ex-Steiner school student, I think that integration between art and science is key for stepping sideways into stories which serve the planet better. Through walking the path of engaged Buddhism, I continually come to know the world more compassionately. This journey has been painful and wonderful, guided by teachings received at the Wangapeka Study and Retreat Centre. I have helped facilitate retreats for young adults there, and am interested in the Mindfulness Aotearoa and other organisations bringing meditation to schools. I am also involved with Women's Group work.

My mates at Mindfulness for Change keep me grounded and seeking wisdom, while buoying my confidence in the human capacity for humour and gentleness in the face of suffering.


Patricia Morgan

Contemplative practice interweaves the three aspects of my career in which I have worked as an artist, community developer, teacher and researcher.  In my early work as a performance and video artist I explored the ways my trance videos could induce relaxation. This led to postgraduate research into the impacts of environment on health, and then to a community arts practice in which I facilitated arts-based self-development courses that included contemplative practice.  After finishing a contract facilitating health education programs in Papua New Guinea where I also used creative and contemplative practice I completed an interdisciplinary PhD focused in Contemplative Education for which I received an Australian government scholarship. My PhD, which examines pre-conceptual experience in contemplative education, is the first of its kind in Australia, and led to contract research and teaching in contemplative education, transformative learning, contemplative ethics, law, mathematics and art, and mindful leadership. 

To learn more about contemplative education you may like to visit my website:, please feel free to contact me on

I feel very lucky to be a part of MfC and am committed to its aims and values, particularly learning together to affect change through contemplative practices such as mindfulness. 

Brent Cherry

I am a counsellor and meditation teacher with over 21 years experience in private practice. I currently have counselling practices in both Lower Hutt and Kapiti. I work with individuals and couples. My counselling has two primary components that intertwine throughout the counselling, mindfulness meditation and narrative therapy. My counselling is about encouraging the people I work with to become more emotionally agile - where they can create a space between stimulus (their hooks and hidden agendas) and their responses. I encourage clients to name and unpack their emotions, to observe and feel them in a new self compassionate light. As people learn to stay with and keep their emotions company, rather than avoid them, they become more resilient and able to cope with both current and past events. 

Meditation became part of my life, when I attended the Gawler Cancer Foundation, Living with Cancer programme in the Yarra Valley in Victoria, Australia, in 2004. Mindfulness meditation allowed me to cope and stay present as I faced my wife Karen’s death from Breast Cancer and to then engage with grief as it took me on a wild, feral and untamed ride.

In March 2016 I completed Meditation Teacher Training at The Gawler Cancer Foundation and became an approved provider of their 8 week Mindfulness Based Stillness Based Meditation Class. See more about my work and practice at


Sean Weaver & Jo Campbell

Sean Weaver is a social entrepreneur, ecological economist, and Zen teacher (Sensei) in the Diamond Sangha Zen lineage. His professional and Zen practice worlds intersect in wonderful ways in the pursuit of compassionate approaches to environmental protection, community economic development and climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

Sean and his wife, Jo Campbell, have developed a training form for compassionate environmental and social action that they call 'Ekodo'. Ekodo (ecological way) focuses on honing heart-mind skills in the assertive compassionate arts as Zen Ecology fusion. The point is to sharpen ourselves as agents of positive change, capable of cutting through conflict like a diamond, embodying and delivering transformative change for good. This is also a direct path in the ancient stream of self realisation, cultivated and nurtured in the Zen tradition, now flourishing in the West and commonly flavoured with environmental and social activism.

Sean teaches Zen and Ekodo retreats and workshops - some residential, some not. Jo and Sean host 'Golden Bay Zen' - a weekly meditation group in Takaka.  To find out more about Ekodo go to

Sean is executive Director of Ekos - a social enterprise rainforest carbon boutique that supplies carbon neutrality and ethical carbon offsets from our own community-based rainforest carbon projects in NZ and the Pacific Islands.  To find out more about Ekos go to

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Ming Janssen

"How do we integrate wisdom of our bodies, hearts and minds when we go out in the world and offer our koha/ unique gift?" is the question that inspires my personal practice as well as my work.

I work with teams and communities to invite authentic connection in playful ways. With a background in Strategy and Organisational Change, I now facilitates Human Skills and design events at Enspiral Dev Academy. I also offer integrated wellbeing experiences, Yoga and facilitation as part of EHF New frontiers.

Mindfulness for Change offers this unique space where I can explore and experiment with new ways of being, working and connecting to each other and the world. It's like fertile soil to me!