Meet The MWFO Team
Stephen Archer – Managing Director and Lead Trainer
Stephen Archer is Managing Director and lead trainer and supervisor for Mindfulness Works For Organisations. He is passionate about helping people to learn mindfulness and discover its benefit. Stephen is an engaging speaker and trainer providing practical and original perspectives on practicing mindfulness in the digital age.
Stephen has been involved with mindfulness for 40 years and began practicing while he was finishing a degree in Eastern studies in the UK. At the age of 23 Stephen was formally trained in mindfulness as an ordained Buddhist monk in the Thai forest tradition. His training included working closely with different teachers and completing lengthy retreats to strengthen his practice. Thirteen years later he emerged from the monkhood with the intention to offer his skills and learnings to the public.
During the last 25 years Stephen has run workplace mindfulness trainings for organisations including Westpac, Kiwibank, Air New Zealand and NZ Police, delivered courses in healthcare and prisons, and assisted the Mental Health Foundation of NZ to develop their approach to mindfulness. He has worked at the Leadership Development Centre in Wellington running year-long mindful leadership programmes, and is also a trustee of Te Moata, a retreat centre and nature sanctuary in the Coromandel, www.temoata.org where he has led over forty public 7-day residential mindfulness intensives since 1996.
Karl Baker – Director and Business Development Manager
Karl Baker is a director of MWFO and business development manager. He ensures that the vision and goals of your organisation are supported by the mindfulness training that MWFO offers.
Karl is the founder of Mindfulness Works, the largest mindfulness training organisation in New Zealand and Australia with a team of over 60 trainers. He created Australasia’s most popular in-person mindfulness course, which has had over 30,000 people complete it.
Karl is a highly experienced entrepreneur and business person, previously having established and franchised out a mortgage broking company which was sold to a publicly listed company and a business coaching company.
Karl brings the unique understanding of what it takes to build an effective team engaged in establishing a highly successful business, underpinned with mindfulness, emotional intelligence and a culture of support, innovation and personal leadership.
Karl understands the challenges and practicalities of business, the power of engaged leadership and the critical importance of mindfulness as a embedded competency in an organisation.
Dr Bechara Saab – Neuroscientist and Mindfulness Works For Organisations Facilitator and Mentor
Dr. Bechara Saab is a consultant neuroscientist for Mindfulness Works For Organisations and advises on best practice guidelines for programme content and latest developments in the field. He has also helped create and scientifically interrogate the popular mindfulness app Am Mindfulness . Dr. Saab is an expert in the use of mindfulness within medicine, particularly in regards to the highly significant role that mindfulness can play in fostering curiosity and enhancing stress resilience.
Dr. Saab is former Principal Investigator of Neuroscience at the Zurich Psychiatric Hospital, where his lab examined the neural mechanisms underlying the relationship between curiosity, stress and mental health. In 2009, he published a landmark paper that revealed the first known molecular link between intelligence and curiosity. In 2019, he published another seminal paper describing his lab’s work combining neuronal photoactivation and fMRI in order to produce a whole-brain map of functional serotonergic connectivity. This novel map of the brain allowed his team to reveal how acute stress and SSRIs affect brain function via the serotonergic system.
Dr. Saab has more than 35 peer-reviewed publications and over 1000 citations, including references to his work in medical school textbooks around the world. He is a frequent keynote speaker and has travelled to more than 20 countries to deliver lectures on neuroscience and mindfulness. Dr. Saab is currently the Chief Scientist of Mobio Interactive, an emerging digital therapeutics company. His research therefore now also includes human trials and the use of AI and mobile apps to enhance brain function and treat illness.
Anne is a qualified corporate mindfulness educator/facilitator and is also trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She has been actively teaching mindfulness in the community and business for 4 years, specialising in emotional resiliency and stress management. Anne now dedicates herself fulltime to continuing education and training of business professionals in well-being using mindfulness.
Anne turned to mindfulness to support her own mental health and to cope with the rigours of business. Anne was so taken with the benefits of mindfulness with her own wellbeing, she took a great leap of faith and changed her life’s direction. She is keen to share her profound learnings and experience with others who may be treading a similar path of self-doubt, lack of worth and untapped talent and who want to live life with more happiness and less stress.
Anne is an accomplished business leader with a unique blending of management and mindfulness skills. She led the Adelaide and Perth Starcom teams for 15 years, achieving $90million billings peak with a team of 50 people across the disciplines of media and production.
She holds a Diploma of Management, a Diploma of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing and is a registered Hatha Yoga Teacher.
Apsara is a mindfulness educator who graduated from Beijing Normal University with a degree in Franchise Management. After some years of corporate experience, she studied in the field of moving mindfulness meditation and expressive arts therapy. She has extensive experience facilitating group trainings, and her approach integrates Western and Eastern techniques, spontaneous movement and somatic balancing interpretation, in order to assist people to live in a more mindful, conscious way.
Apsara is qualified to deliver the Mindfulness as a Professional Competency (MPC) programme to organisations and is also a Business Development Manager for Mobio Interactive, responsible for introducing Am Mindfulness to China.
Chris Wallin is a qualified corporate mindfulness educator/facilitator who has followed instruction and practiced in traditional and secular settings for over 25 years. During this time, he also held corporate positions in Europe, USA and Australia, proving to himself that anyone facing diverse and challenging situations is better served by regular mindfulness practices. His enthusiasm for showing people how to live and work in this way has led him to train absolute beginners and longtime practitioners, on a range of useful techniques for both sittings and in-the-moment centring.
With a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration, Chris has worked on industrial installations, as a corporate manager and as an executive director with worldwide responsibilities. He loves connecting with people of diverse roles and backgrounds, and learning from the human journey through life. His curiosity about the nature of awareness and neuroscience research is a constant inspiration to further develop his understanding of the inner space. Chris also draws on his personal journey, from his unexpected discovery of mindfulness in his teenage years, to the moments of shifts in consciousness into greater performance, resilience and connection.
Gavin is a qualified corporate mindfulness educator/facilitator. He has extensive knowledge, understanding and training in mindfulness both formally and through working with mindfulness teachers and supervisors for over 15 years in Australia, Thailand, South Africa and America.
Gavin has been a Chartered Accountant since 2001 and has a broad range of experience in various industries. He has held numerous roles at a manager and senior manager level in corporates such as Macquarie Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers as well as in medium size accounting practices. He has personally applied mindfulness in the workplace and experienced its many benefits. He thus has practical experience of how mindfulness can be used in the workplace for building resilience to stress, more effective focused attention and emotional regulation.
Gavin has a passion for sharing his insights and the benefits of mindfulness with others through workplace training. He has facilitated mindfulness training in a variety of different sectors including financial services, advertising, management consulting and state government.
Gavin is also a mindfulness-based coach and psychotherapist who works with clients to increase their level of self-awareness and to gain more clarity and confidence with various life issues. His work is influenced by neuroscience, focusing, mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). He has also been a telephone counsellor with LifeLine Australia.
Gavin is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Masters in Counselling and Applied Psychotherapy, Diploma of Financial Planning, Bachelor of Business Science (Honours) and has passed all the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) examinations.
Helene is a qualified corporate mindfulness educator/facilitator and is also trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She is currently completing her Masters in Health and Social Wellbeing, focusing on mindfulness research and its application in contemporary professional settings. Her current focus is on providing advice to organisations on mindfulness-based tools and strategies for corporate and leadership wellbeing, resilience and emotional awareness to support sustainable business performance and employee engagement and resilience. These programs are based on her own career challenges and insights, experiential practice and contemporary research evidence.
She currently consults to organisations in corporate and personal governance to enhance personal and organisational life and performance. Her current interests include the use of transformational educational programs for a kinder and wiser world including the use of mindfulness-based tools for enhanced ethical decision making and behaviour for improved corporate social responsibility.
Helene is also an experienced senior executive and non-executive director (NED) with the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District Board, the National Parks Association and previously a NFP in the disability sector. She brings insight and experience from over 25 years of work with organisations undergoing major organisational development and transformation. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and has extensive executive management experience in governance and assurance, corporate services, business planning and performance and public policy including health, human services and workplace health and safety.
Helene also holds a Bachelor of Applied Science
Jon is a qualified corporate mindfulness educator/facilitator and has also trained with Dr. Russ Harris on mindfulness-based ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy). He began practicing mindfulness in 2006. Since 2013, he has coached and trained hundreds of individuals and teams, supporting leaders and executives develop greater self-awareness, wellbeing, high performance and resilience. Jon’s core skills include working with leaders and teams in fast paced environments through group facilitation and one-to-one coaching.
He has successfully developed and implemented a wide range of mindfulness and corporate wellness programs for some of the leading organisations including BHP, Credit Union Australia, Sanofi, Suncorp, QSuper, Queensland Health, Queensland Police Service and Toyota Australia.
John is also a mindset & performance coach and psychotherapist. He holds a master degree in economics and graduate qualifications in applied psychotherapy and counselling. He is currently doing further study on neuroscience with Dr. Joe Dispenza.
Karen is a qualified corporate mindfulness educator/facilitator. She is also trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and studied at the Oxford University Mindfulness Centre, where she is also a certified facilitator of their Practical Mindfulness: Peace in a Frantic World course. Karen guest lectures on both Mindfulness and emotional intelligence at the University of Notre Dame.
Karen has worked with a broad range of firms to grow their mindfulness capabilities, ranging from corporate to tertiary, to medical and manufacturing. Her clients include the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australian Medical Students Association, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Capral Aluminium and the City Councils of South Perth and Stirling.
Karen’s strengths include her practical approach, tailoring training to the culture and specific needs of each company and facilitating in an engaging and common-sense way.
Karen’s passion and the way she authentically shares how Mindfulness turned her life around from being a “stressed out perfectionist on corporate autopilot,” to de-stressing and increasing her performance in living her values in her work and personal life, is incredibly powerful in inspiring others and enhances her leadership in this field.
Karen’s corporate experience includes senior positions in organisational development, training, human resources and career development. As Project Manager for Curtin University’s Strengthening our Culture project, Karen worked closely with the Vice Chancellor and senior executive, incorporating Mindfulness throughout. As State Manager of an HR company, she facilitated career development programs for women for executive and board positions. Karen also made recommendations to the SA state government for board appointments and was a subcommittee member of the Western Australian Women’s Advisory Council to the Premier.
Lydia is a qualified corporate mindfulness educator/facilitator and is also trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). She supports leaders to create healthy thriving workplaces, developing an organisational mindset for enhanced performance, innovation and resilience through mindfulness education grounded in neuroscience and research.
She is also a qualified educator with experience in adult training, education and facilitation. Lydia has delivered a range of workshops and courses to a broad audience, including private and public sectors, health care, local government, education and small business. Her delivery is practical, innovative and interactive, applying methodologies from the UK Good Practice Guidelines for excellence in Adult Training, ACT and positive psychology, with mindfulness delivered as applied emotional intelligence.
Her extensive corporate career includes management roles in Corporate Training, The Applied Arts and Tourism in Europe and Australia. She has managed operational efficiencies, product development and delivery, understanding what it takes to drive an organisation forward.
Michelle is a qualified corporate mindfulness educator/facilitator, having trained with the Australian Centre for Mindfulness and Meditation, the Gawler Foundation and Monash University. Her corporate background includes working in the finance sector and events industry.
She has managed events for high profile speakers such as Brene Brown, Malala Yousafzai, Simon Sinek, Jim Collins, and just prior to COVID, the Obamas, so she understands high pressure roles, work related stress and the impact it can have on our health and relationships. Michelle credits her mindfulness practise for the high level of productivity, organisation and communication skills required for these roles, as well as the ability to remain focussed and calm throughout.
She enjoys bringing the practical applications of mindfulness to the workplace, to demonstrate the profound mental, emotional and physical benefits it can have in our day to day life.
Pasha is a qualified corporate mindfulness educator/facilitator. She works with various well-known mindfulness training organisations including Mindfulness Works Australia, Smiling Mind and Mind with Heart. She is a qualified Mindful Self-Compassion teacher (UCSD) and mindfulness meditation teacher (BSY).
Pasha started training in mindfulness thirteen years ago. Since then, she has racked up over 10,000 hours of practice, including a year of personal retreat and two years assisting others in their retreats. She has nine years’ experience teaching mindfulness and has led over fifty mindfulness and compassion-based programmes in schools and organisations including the Dept. of Education, BHP, Queensland Police and Wesfarmers.
Neil is a qualified corporate mindfulness educator/facilitator who has also trained with Dr. Russ Harris in mindfulness-based ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) and Dr. Joe Dispenza in the neuroscience behind mindfulness and meditation. He is an experienced mindfulness educator with numerous clients such as; Australian National University, ACT government well-being initiatives, National Health and Medical Research Council, Cross fit elite gym, Questacon, CIT Indigenous, Wellways Health, Aged Care and Maddocks Law. Neil also founded Inner Synergy and works with individuals and groups to build personal resilience and stress management skills with advanced coherence techniques using biofeedback technologies as an internationally certified HeartMath Coach.
Neil has a corporate background so understands corporate challenges, structures and cultures. He has worked with both private and public sectors.
Neil has practiced mindfulness for over 20 years, making it an integral part of his life. He loves learning and growing and helping people develop skills in an exploding information age – a time where skills in self-awareness, self-regulation, stress management and resilience are paramount. Neil also holds qualifications in Coaching, Workplace Training, Business Improvement and Systems Management.
Teagan is a qualified corporate mindfulness educator/facilitator. Since 2015 she has delivered training to over 2000 students. She has been teaching Meditation for over 16 years. In NZ, she has delivered mindfulness programs to companies including; Natures Nest Childcare Centre, BNZ Bank, St Johns, Parkinsons NZ, The Generalist PR, IAG Insurance, Recreate NZ & Downer Construction.
Teagan understands the challenges faced by today’s corporations and organisations. Her extensive background in business includes roles in IT Project Management, IT Training, Change Management and Policy Writing.
For 12 years, Teagan was the Director of Wise Living Australia, a company that provided comprehensive mindfulness workplace training for Australian organisations and companies including Sensis, Telstra, Slater and Gordon Solicitors, Clayton Utz, Autoliv Automotive, Dandenong City Council, The Victorian Arts Centre & Sign On Employment.
She holds a qualification in Workplace Health & Wellness Leadership and is a qualified Workplace Trainer and Assessor.
Tomas Jajesnica is a qualified mindfulness teacher, instructor and corporate based trainer. He has a particular interest in motivation and habit creation, helping make change sustainable and beneficial for the mid-long term.
Tomas has a degree in Human Resource Management which has helped to better understand the dynamics of human capital in the professional environment. His facilitation style is positive, practical and achievable; backed by evidence based methods. Over the last 10 years, Tomas has facilitated 2,000+ workplace sessions to over 50,000 participants in organisations both large and small. This includes over 1,000 sessions to National Australia Bank (NAB) alone.
Tomas has been practicing mindfulness techniques since 2000. For his own personal and professional development, he has spent over 10,000 hours practicing these methods including many 10 day silent retreats around the world. A cheerful and jovial human.