Mentors & Facilitators

Our Mentors and Facilitators make it happen. They are the heart and soul of CEL and bring great passion and knowledge to their work.

Lisa Siegel

Facilitator, Programs for Schools

Lisa is a skilled environmental educator with over 20 years experience in developing and facilitating educational experiences for children, young people, and adults. Lisa was instrumental in helping a group of students establish Bellingen EYE in 2007, and was its Coordinator for the first five years. She worked as Coordinator of CEL until 2017, developing adult programs while still helping facilitate camps and the EYE Leadership Training Program.

Lisa has a Masters in Education from Columbia University in New York, and a Masters in Social Ecology from the University of Western Sydney. She is a fellow with the Australian School of Social Entrepreneurs. Lisa has trained in Deep Ecology/The Work That Reconnects with John Seed and Joanna Macy, and has been a student of Insight Buddhism for the past five years.

She is currently undertaking PhD research in Environmental Education at Southern Cross University. Lisa works as a teacher at Cascade Environmental Education Centre (a NSW Dept of Education field school) and as a tutor for the School of Education at Southern Cross Uni.

Lisa is a founding member of Transition Bellingen, sits on the Steering committee of the Bellingen Shire Learning Alliance, is the convenor of the Mid North Coast Sustainability Educators Network, and is the Chairperson of Tallowwood Sangha Inc.

Andrew Turbill

Andrew is a founding member of Bellingen EYE and the Centre for Ecological Learning, and is a regular and very popular facilitator at our camps and bushwalks, sharing his knowledge of bird language, climate change science, naturalism and bushcraft skills (as well as his excellent sense of humour) with young people and adults.

Andrew is an environmental educator and a wildlife naturalist with a professional career in conservation land management and environmental education, both as a private consultant, and with the National Parks and Wildlife Service for more than a decade.

With a strong science background (Bach Applied Science), Andrew is a leading climate change science communicator, and is regularly invited to present to a range of community, student, and professional groups, including keynote addresses at conferences and forums. Andrew is a founding member of the Mid River Group of Environmental Educators.

Benn Wolhuter

Benn has worked in ecological education for over 15 years and is currently studying a Bachelor of Education, and squeezing in CEL camps and workshops whenever he can.

He is passionate about living the good life in balance with Earth’s systems and is inspired by the nature-connection approach of CEL.

Benn grew up in Wollongong, NSW, and studied Environmental Science at Wollongong University. A year living and teaching in rural Cambodia helped him to see the value of positive, practical approaches and inspired him to complete a Permaculture Design Certificate in 2003. This lead into working with young people in Permaculture gardens, which in turn, lead to a variety of experiences in youth & community work, school gardens, mentoring and personal development.

Working with CEL has encouraged Benn to see the links between Permaculture and the self. He enjoys collaborating with CEL mentors to enrich his Permaculture approaches by incorporating nature-connection, deep ecology and place-based practices.

When he is not working with CEL, Benn can be found playing with his young family in a Permaculture Playground in the beautiful wilds of Thora.

Tyler Parkes

Mentor

Tyler is 23 years old, and started his journey along the trackless path of outdoor education upon leaving high school. His “gap year” turned into five, in which he ventured to 28 countries across 6 continents. One place in particular really captivated him – a place called Summit (in British Columbia, Canada), which is perched at the foot of a glacier in the Squamish Valley. Summit Outdoor Education Centre is a leading provider of Outdoor Education in Canada, and Tyler has spent part of each year for the last five years working there, in a variety of roles including Director of Activities. He has given instruction in outdoor activities, primitive skills, sensory awareness, and deep ecology to nearly 20,000 kids from all over the world.

Bellingen EYE and the Centre for Ecological Learning is incredibly lucky that Tyler came to Bellingen to live, and Tyler has now been a key Camp Mentor for the last few years. He is very excited to help develop and teach new Outdoor/Ecological Education models in this area and in Australia. He believes that Outdoor Education is not so much about finding new landscapes but in finding new eyes for the world around us. He is most at home when he is outside and he is happiest when he can share some of his passion for the outdoors with other people. When he is not at camps he can be found surfing, climbing, or playing music.

Tanya Fox

Facilitator, Deep Ecology

Tanya Fox is a group facilitator, counsellor, bodywork practitioner and nature lover. She has facilitated groups in a diverse range of disciplines, including deep ecology, creative expression, trauma work, grief and loss, language training and bodywork. Currently, she works with Centre for Ecological Learning facilitating Despair and Empowerment workshops, Feel The Magic charity organisation leading young people through grief support and education, and at Elemental Nature Connection Retreats facilitating interpersonal and nature connection activities.

Drawing on qualifications in biological sciences, manual therapies and counselling, her work is aimed at developing and strengthening natural connections to our holistic selves, culture and wilderness, through deepening awareness, respect and play.

Erin Chapman

Facilitator, Beetle Buddies

Erin is a mother of three, a teacher, an advocate for children and a passionate nature playworker! With seven years experience in the field of early childhood Erin brings her knowledge of child development, play, curriculum design and early nature connection activities to CEL. 

Erin prides herself on her natural ability to relate to children, she is a passionate advocate for children’s rights to play in nature and an experienced outdoor educator. 2017 saw Erin embark on a new nature play path, she left the industry of child care to develop a new enterprise on the Coffs Coast – Nature Play Academy.

Nature Play Academy’s unique approach is focused on child directed play, our workshops provide children with a variety of opportunities to make discoveries, lead an experience in nature and build resilience. Our creative play programs empower confidence and connection in nature. Through the success of Nature Play Academy Erin has come to join CEL and implements the Beetle Buddies program, an early childhood nature play workshop operating during school terms.

Amy Denshire

Facilitator, Food4LYF

Amy has completed a Bachelor of Industrial Designer and Education (Secondary), and has begun a Masters in Community Development. She completed her Permaculture Design Certificate with Geoff Lawton at the Permaculture Research Institute and now lives on a budding permaculture farm in Valla. Amy has worked in sustainability education with OzGreen, as a Primary Tutor at the Guubuny Aboriginal Community Resource Centre, and volunteered with Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME). A mother of two, Amy loves working for CEL to help facilitate positive change in the world. She coordinates the Coffs Coast Regional Science Hub and the Food4LYF project at Bellingen High School.

Jane Noack

Mentor

Jane grew up in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia, on the fringes of remnant bushland of a local National Park. Through relative freedom and space to explore the bush she developed a strong sense of connection, comfort and joy in being with the land.

Jane studied Applied Science in Environmental Management at Uni of SA between 2001-2005, and later a Bachelor of Education with Flinders University 2007-08. She moved with her daughter to the Bellinger Valley at the beginning of 2009, loving the small and vibrant community in an incredible natural setting. Jane keeps very busy including teaching organic gardening at a local school, working as a Discovery Ranger with National Parks, and working as a Waterwise Educator for Cascade Environmental Education Centre.

Jane’s involvement as an EYE mentor has allowed her to develop her passion for sharing her love of the complex and beautiful web of life we are all part of. She is thrilled to be part of the Bellingen EYE mentor group to give these opportunities for youth to develop.

Olivia Bernadini

Mentor

Olivia was born in Italy, where she lived until she was 18. She then moved to the UK, where she studied Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics. During her early 20’s, Olivia became involved in social and environmental activism, which led her to living up a tree for over a year. Olivia also spent extended periods of time living in Indigenous communities around the world . These experiences awakened Olivia’s passion and commitment for working as a change agent.

Olivia moved to Australia in 2000. She completed a Master of Social Ecology at the University of Western Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Counselling at the University of New England. Olivia is also a Yoga teacher and has trained in movement awareness techniques and Insight meditation.

Former Projects:
– Food4LYF
– Bellingen EYE