Board, Staff & Advisors

Meet the team behind the organisation


Board Members

Danielle Gordon – President

Danielle brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role. As well as a passion for yoga, Danielle has a background in law and governance. These skills are extremely valuable for guiding Yoga Australia through the unchartered waters of COVID-19 and beyond, developing new ways to be sustainable, inclusive and supporting members in meaningful ways.

For Danielle, this appointment presents an opportunity to give back to a yoga community that has guided and supported her on her path. Her goal is to support the Yoga Australia board to serve members, grow the yoga community and promote the practice of yoga with integrity.

Nikola Ellis – Vice President

Nikola is a certified yoga therapist, psychotherapist and online educator who has been immersed in yoga for over 25 years. Trained in the tradition of Sri Krishnamacharya, with post-graduate training in counselling and public health, Nikola fuses traditional yogic wisdom with modern science. She founded Adore Yoga in Sydney in 2002 where she and her team develop evidence based yoga and meditation for special needs populations in clinical settings, including cancer, addiction recovery, eating disorders and trauma recovery. Nikola trains both yoga teachers and health professionals to use the tools of yoga and meditation in health care settings. She developed Australia’s first accredited 650hr Yoga Therapist training, the country’s most advanced recognised qualification in yoga.

Rita Davis – Treasurer

Rita has a finance background with a Bachelor of Business and has been a Certified Practicing Accountant with CPA Australia for 25 years. Rita is an Associate of the Australian Institute of
Company Directors with a passion for good governance, transparency, strong culture and respect. Rita has experience in the private and public sector and has been spent the last 18 years in various state and federal government departments and agencies.  Rita is at the start of her yoga journey and is looking forward to bringing her financial expertise to Yoga Australia.

Rebel Tucker – Secretary

Rebel is a qualified naturopath of over 25 years and a yoga teacher of 7 years. She has been practicing yoga for over 35 years, since her mum introduced her at the age of 12. She is a level 2 member with Yoga Australia and is currently extending her studies in yoga to become a yoga therapist. Passionate about research and ongoing education in the field of natural health and yoga, she particularly finds the philosophy and meditation practices of yoga to be the most supportive in her own life and for her students. Rebel believes that ongoing professional development is fundamental for yoga teachers and that belonging to a membership group that encourages learning and supports yoga teachers with the business side of things is incredibly helpful. She comes to the Board of Yoga Australia as Secretary and hopes to support Yoga Australia in continuing to grow the community of teachers and therapists and further develop the resources and support available to members.

Lisa Allwell – Ordinary Board Member

I’m a health professional who unexpectedly fell in love with yoga. I held senior public health roles in mental health, cancer, stroke and chronic illness, but traded up a focus on evidence, research and evaluation to teach yoga. Now, I encourage my students to run the yoga experiment in their own body and mind, with a sample size of one, and richly reap the rewards of their own personal research program. 

I have been teaching for over 10 years in a variety of yoga settings including studios, gyms and corporate spaces. In 2017 I co-founded Seed Yoga + Wellness, which has grown into a thriving community exploring accessible and inclusive yoga. I lead vibrant retreats and yoga trainings both locally and internationally. Life throws us all kinds of challenges. While we can’t control the complications that present themselves, we can control how we deal with and react to these situations. Yoga has given me the tools to cope infinitely better. And – as an added bonus – I’m not quite as clumsy as I used to be (in fact, sometimes I have the occasional moment of grace).

Jill Taylor – Ordinary Board Member

Jill has been involved in sports administration for over 20 years, including 9 years as the National Coaching Development Manager at Athletics Australia.  Along with a passion for Yoga, Jill brings to Yoga Australia  extensive knowledge and experience in the development and delivery of coach education, stakeholder management, the development and delivery of Sporting Schools programs and has recently been part of a working group consulting to  World Athletics regarding the development of  inclusive community programs.

Shahzma Patel – Ordinary Board Member

Shahzma teaches yoga and meditation to both children and adults. She has been practising meditation most of her life and starting teaching yoga formally in 2020. Shahzma works in Banking and uses yoga and meditation to deal with her own stress. She is passionate about helping the vulnerable in society and has enjoyed working in the Social Impact side of banking, mainly Sustainability and Social Responsibility. Shahzma’s areas of special interest chronic pain/injuries and children’s yoga as well as sustainability and social responsibility.

Committees 2021

Grievance Committee

  • Danielle Gordon – President, Chair
  • Janet Rodger – CEO
  • Kym McDonald
  • Gabrielle Boswell – Teaching & Standards Principal

Governance & Policy Committee

  • Merridy Woodroffe – Chair
  • Danielle Gordon – (Board Representative)
  • Jill Taylor – (Board Representative)
  • Rita Davis – (Board Representative)
  • Eilis Hurley

Working Groups 2021

Teacher Training Standards and Education

  • Kylie Hennessy – Chair
  • Jill Taylor (Board Representative)
  • Gabrielle Boswell (Staff Rep)
  • Estefi Maiztegui
  • Leigh Wood
  • Loraine Rushton (Children’s Yoga)
  • Nic Russell (Children’s Yoga)
  • Regina Cruichank (Children’s Yoga)
  • Alison Verbruggen (Mentoring)
  • Belinda Burke (Mentoring)
  • Cherise Vallet (Mentoring)
  • Kate Pell (Mentoring)

Yoga Therapy Standards and Education

  • Liz Morgan – Chair
  • Nikola Ellis (Board Representative)
  • Rebel Tucker (Research)
  • Kendra Boone
  • Liz Bennett
  • Natja Wunsch

Yoga as a Business

  • Samantha Doyle – Chair
  • Lisa Allwell (Board Representative)
  • Delamay Devi
  • Judes Yang
  • Karen Bishton
  • Tanya Clark

Social Responsibility and Sustainability

  • Ramone Bisset – Chair
  • Shahzma Patel (Board Representative)
  • Kaylene Wombat
  • Narendra Nathan
  • Sarah Nuttridge
  • Vivian Castillo
  • Cate Peterson (RAP)
  • Gemma Lloyd (RAP)
  • Scarlett Barnett (RAP)
  • Patricia Barnett (RAP)
  • Shahzma Patel (RAP)
  • Janet Rodger (RAP)

Community Representatives

QLD – Camille Jeboult

With 25 years of teaching experience, Yoga Australia Level 3 Senior yoga teacher Camille Jeboult imbues her classes and professional-growth-for-yoga-teacher programs with intelligence, warm-heartedness and professionalism. Camille has a Master’s degree in Communication through which she refined her skills in mediation, dialogue facilitation writing and digital media production.

ACT – Kellie Toohey

NSW Woolongong – Merryn Lee Perez

Byron Bay – Flo Fenton

VIC – Agnieszka Maminska – Gray

Agnieszka is a fully qualified Hatha yoga and meditation teacher. She’s studied at the International Gita School of Yoga. Gita Yoga is integrating classic Hatha postures, breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation. Agnieszka has completed the Diploma of Teaching Meditation and Gold Diploma of Teaching Hatha Yoga (over 900hrs training), as well as other short courses. She began her classes in her own home while she worked as an accountant in the city. Supported by a loving husband, they both have two beautiful daughters together, Isabella and Amelia.

WA – Heather Robbins

I have loved and practised yoga for almost 20 years. I love how accessible yoga is, and can be practised anywhere, anytime. But what I treasure most about yoga is the ability to connect to the flow of my breath with or without movement, and calm my mind within just a few minutes. This is what lies at the core my yoga practice and my teaching today. When I realised that yoga was becoming a life calling for me, I began my teacher training and spent the next nine years studying under some of the most experienced and respected yoga teachers in Western Australia. I developed a strong foundation in various styles of yoga, including Iyengar Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Hatha Yoga. Today, I teach predominantly Hatha Yoga, using a therapeutic approach that meets you at your level of ability.  I am also very passionate about furthering the development of Western Australian yoga teachers. In this volunteer role I help facilitate professional development training for all Western Australian yoga teachers.

TAS – Sophie Keegan

TAS – Deborah Ann

Office Team

Let us introduce you to the team that provides the best of support for members, yoga schools, teacher trainees and the general public while ensuring the ‘best-practice’ management of the day to day operations of the Organisation.

Janet Rodger (Hopkins) – CEO

Janet is an experienced CEO and senior leader in the Not for Profit sector, much of it focused on mental health and well-being. Janet has been CEO of Lantern Mental Health and General Manager for SANE and Mindful Employer. A qualified accountant, she is also an experienced Management Consultant, working across the country on various projects, large and small.

Janet has been practicing Yoga for many years and has a strong interest in mindfulness-based stress reduction and meditation. A self-confessed early adopter, she is very comfortable around technology and digital media, and her roles have frequently drawn on her wide range of administrative and management skills and experience. Janet is delighted to be the new CEO of Yoga Australia and is looking forward to working with the team to support and grow the Yoga Australia community. Janet is in the office Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Jackie Rogers – Membership Manager

Jackie is no novice to membership management and customer service with over ten years

experience in the role; she’s responsible for the smooth day-to-day running of the Yoga Australia Membership Department. Her responsibilities encompass many aspects of our business including memberships, billing and customer service. Her incredible organisational skills keep our team running smoothly.

In her spare time, Jackie enjoys spending time with her family and is passionate about her health and fitness. Jackie’ s calm and happy demeanour sets the perfect undertone to our humming office. Jackie works Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Hayley Uberti – Membership Admin

Hayley has newly joined the team as our Membership Coordinator after many years of experience with customer service through a variety of admin, hospitality positions and running her own yoga studio business in Bath, UK whilst living there in 2016/2017. As a former professional dancer with two decades of dance training and teaching, Hayley transitioned into the yoga community six years ago after her career came to a halt from injury. Hayley is now a passionate yoga teacher and forever student, if you can’t find her in the studio she will be outdoors taking in the sunshine or cooking up a vegan storm at home. Hayley works Monday, Thursday and Friday

Wendy Lim – Member Support, Communications & Systems Improvement

Wendy is a passionate Yoga Teacher and creator of PT for the Mind, who in a past life was a Chemical Engineer. She personally loves the mental benefits that yoga brings and considers herself a lifelong student of yoga. Her current fascination is guiding people through inner exploration in Restorative Yoga. Her experience organising and managing projects and her interest in yoga are assets she brings to the Events team. Wendy is a big foodie, loves cooking and spending time growing anything edible (herbs, veggies, fruits, etc). She has three happy free ranging chickens who bring her lots of daily joy.

Gabrielle Boswell – Teaching and Standards Principal

Gabrielle has been teaching yoga since 2002 and her greatest passion is sharing the joy and benefits of yoga with others. She is C-IAYT yoga therapist and registered senior teacher with Yoga Australia. Gabrielle brings her experience as a yoga training provider and studio owner to her role as Training and Standards principal. She loves walking in nature and cuddling up with her two rescue dogs, a whippet and a grey.

Geoffrey Nicholas – Finance Officer

Geoffrey is an experienced finance professional with a passion for growing businesses. With a background in IT and business acquisitions he leverages technology to help improve business processes. He is looking forward to contributing to the ongoing growth and success of Yoga Australia.

In his spare time Geoffrey enjoys spending time with his family and border collie on their hobby farm, and spending time in the garden.

Erin Tucci- Communications and Events Coordinator

Erin has recently joined Yoga Australia as Events & Communications Coordinator. Her passion for self-care and wellness is what inspired her to leave her job in tourism and venture out into the Wellbeing Industry. She is a qualified Nutritional Advisor & Wellness Coach, Event Planner and Level 2 Reiki Healer. 

Erin is excited to work for a member-based organisation to establish deeper relationships and make a difference to the wider community. Her organisational skills help her to effectively plan events nation-wide, at the same time ensuring Yoga Australia’s Purpose, Vision and Mission are upheld. 

Energetic, optimistic, bubbly, creative and motivated are words which best describe Erin’s personality. She leads a very active lifestyle, enjoys traveling (even if it’s just a day trip), socialising and preparing delicious food. Her favourite holiday destinations include Hawaii, Japan, NZ, Hawaii, Bali and Italy, however looking forward to exploring closer to home in the future. 

3 months in and she has already made some great connections with members and partners and looks forward to making many more!

Council of Advisors

The Yoga Australia Council of Advisors (YACA) is an honorary group of respected leaders in the field of Yoga and related professions. We are grateful for our Advisors’ independent, authoritative opinions on critical matters related to the operations of our Association and the teaching of Yoga in Australia. Appointment to the Council of Advisors is regarded by the association as an expression of honour and respect.

  • Di Lucas
  • Julianne Wantrup
  • Suzanne Fletcher
  • Leigh Blashki
  • Paul Ellison
  • Janet Lowndes
  • Jean Byrne
  • Tamara Ogilvie
  • Deb Roberts
  • Merryn Lee Perez
  • Leanne Davis
  • Robyn Lewis
  • Shyamala Benakovic

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