Project Coordinators

Our Project Coordinators make it all happen.

Lisa Siegel

Coordinator, 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.

Amy Denshire

Coordinator, Elemental Nature & 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.

Erin Chapman

Coordinator, 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.

Donna Sowman

Coordinator, Waste Not Bellingen

Donna is an Environmental enthusiast, teacher and mother.
Always looking for ways to become zero waste in her own home, she joined Waste Not Bello to meet like minded people and to help set up projects that will help lead us to a more sustainable future.

Alison Heeley

Coordinator, Waste Not Bellingen

Alison has been a member of environment groups, for the past 25 years, inspired by immersion in nature as a child, and later being part of forest actions such as the East Gippsland/Goolengook forest blockade.
Alison has completed 2 Permaculture Design Certificates, one 15 yrs ago in the Dandenongs in Melbourne, and one with Robyn Francis 6 years ago in Bellingen.
Alison is currently a member of Waste Not Bellingen, and the Sustainability officer within her workplace.
Alison will be travelling overseas this year to volunteer with conservation projects, wwoof, and learn as much as she can about sustainability, ecology, endangered species conservation, and what environmental projects other communities are doing that are making a difference to preserve eco-systems and to mitigate climate change.
Alison will be travelling to Sumatra initially, to learn more about the critically endangered Sumatran Orangutan, the devastating impact Palm Oil plantations are having on the orangutan’s habitat and survival, and to learn more about what can be done to turn the tide to ensure the survival of the Orangutan.