Hello everyone! As your new Australian Breathwork Association (ABA) President, I wanted to reach out and introduce myself.
My name is John Stamoulos and I live in Adelaide. My first encounters with Breathwork occurred over 25 years ago when, in my early twenties, I discovered its profound healing power on a personal level. Ever since, I have had the amazing good fortune to travel throughout Australia and worldwide working with groups and individuals alike to promote the wisdom and power of this life-altering process.
In the past three years, as a member of the planning committee of ABA, I have had the distinct privilege to work with many deeply dedicated leaders in the organization whose efforts have kept ABA at the forefront of the growing Breathwork movement in Australia. It has been a rewarding experience and I am honoured to now step into the role of President to continue the legacy of others’ efforts and to further advance the growth of Breathwork’s message of love, transformation and healing.
I look forward to working with everyone in ABA and welcome your support, input, and conversations to help us all maintain and expand the supportive initiatives that the previous executives have generated.
The team welcomes this year, Joshua Wrest who will joining Margaret Schoonveldt, Liisa Halme, Jennylee Taylor and myself.
With deep appreciation especially to Cindy Aulby for her tireless efforts at ABA and in sincere gratitude for your continued support.
By outgoing President Cindy Aulby, Breathwork Trainer, Hobart
It’s been another big year for our little Association!
The Association has continued to work on the priority areas determined at the 2019 Inspiration meeting. We will hear more details of these tasks in the reports coming up from our wonderful subcommittees. But here is a brief outline of the priority areas we agreed to focus on, and what we’ve been up to:
Working to raise awareness and credibility of Breathwork, particularly through research and data collection.
We have begun with a focus on gathering experiential information from practitioners and clients, collaborating both with the International Breathwork Foundation research team, and with Australian Michelle Crawford, who has developed a model and a series of questions to determine whether desired outcomes are achieved.
Running the organisation – clarifying organisational processes, continuing to build the website.
The processes for new and renewing membership are now online – forms can be filled in, documents uploaded, and even Paypal is finally working online!!
Mailchimp newsletters are regularly flowing to approximately 300 members and friends, our policy and procedure documents are complete and filed very accessibly online, and we have completed training standards and endorsement processes and used them to endorse practitioner and group facilitator trainings, including one international training.
Community and collaboration – promoting our members, providing the Breathe Australia Conference, marketing and connecting.
Many member videos and articles are being showcased on the ABA Facebook page and YouTube channel. One area of focus has been reaching out to the very large yoga community and differentiating conscious connected breathwork from pranayama; this meeting agenda suggests we include a new membership category for students to attract ABA membership right from the beginning of practitioner training; we’ve worked on finding sustainable ways to provide the annual Breathe Australia Conference, and we have created a new public event called the ABA Big Breathe.
The ABA worked with Robyn Fernance who kindly committed her time to bring the Breathwork Family Tree up to date. Robyn is mapping the lineage from all current and past members back to the original trainers by sifting through past records. Part of this is recognising and honouring all of the Breathwork Schools, colleges and individual trainers regardless of whether they are currently connected to the ABA. Tracking the Breathwork Lineage is an important part of the ABA vision as the keeper of the ABA records in Australia. As an association it is important to be respectful of the past and all the members, committee members, trainers, elders and supporters and their contribution to building the foundations of what we have today
Education for members and for the public
The new member mentoring sessions are in place and being very well received, our website and social media platforms are regularly offering articles and information about Breathwork; our Facebook page has over 900 likes and followers.
Being the Peak Body for Breathwork in Australia
The ABA has taken massive leaps over the last few years to increase the professional standing of Breathwork and of our professional members. In the changing Australian Qualifications Framework arena, it has become far less possible for Breathwork Trainings to be government accredited, so the ABA has stepped into the role of being the peak body for Breathwork in Australia. We have developed minimum training standards for practitioners and group facilitators in consultation with the ABA’s Trainer members and aligned with the Global Professional Breathwork Alliance. We’ve used those standards to endorse the training programs which meet those standards.
Personally I’ve been working with the Training Standards subcommittee, the Training Endorsement Subcommittee and The Green Book Subcommittee, diligently encouraging and supporting our trainers to have their trainings endorsed, and gathering, clarifying, writing and formatting the association’s policies and procedures – and overseeing the work of the Committee and Subcommittees.
As most of you know, I’m stepping down from the committee at this meeting, so I’ve committed to leaving the foundations strong and making it as simple as possible for others to step into the helm. We now have a highly functioning organisational structure, with clear policies and procedures – it’s a strong container, a bright light and a firm presence standing in the essence of Breathwork.
My three years as President have been very rich and fulfilling, and at times a great laugh – the committee welcomed me with the grand title of Madam Poobah, which changed quickly to Madam Boombah, and have recently grown in esteem with the official title of Right-Pain-In-The-Bum (I think my attention to detail can be a bit annoying!!) I’ve loved the role, and I’ve particularly appreciated the strength and support of the executive committee.
My sincere thanks go to the ABA committee, to the subcommittees, to our members and to all who have been involved. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with you all.
I send my heartful blessings for a healthy thriving ABA ♥
ABA Members enjoyed an informative and inspiring mentoring session with Ann Harrison this month on the morning of the AGM. Ann said "she thoroughly enjoyed the Breathwork conversations" about "Flavours of Breathwork" and was inspired by the group that interacted during the mentoring. Ann went on to say "Breathwork is in great hands moving forward" after listening to the passion and questions from the participants.
We were joined ONLINE by a range of member Breathwork Practitioners from a cross section of Breathwork schools and various locations throughout Australia. Based on member questions and organic conversations we delved into other topics such and strategies to support breathers in sessions and the ethics of caring.
ABA Member Mentoring is such a powerful addition to member support and continuous learning as we build our practice in Breathwork and attracts CPE points in accordance with the ABA Guidelines for continuous professional development.
The ABA Committee are pleased to be able to offer this service.
If you have a burning topic you would love for a Mentoring Session to cover or you are a trainer or elder in our community who would love to participate as a Mentor, please contact Jennylee at email@example.com
We were joined online this year for our AGM and thank you to all who attended or sent their apologies. It's a different feel having this type of meeting over the airwaves rather than face to face and we made the most of it by encouraging AGM "parties" at various central hubs.
Joshua Wrest and the Canberra gang (Amber Nomchong and Lisa Petheram) gathered and could be seen munching on dip and celery. Jennylee Taylor hosted a group in Newcastle (Robyn Fernance and some student guests), and Alakh was happily set up in the Northern Rivers area also snacking throughout the proceedings.
Congratulations to your newly elected committee for 2020:
President – John Stamoulos
Secretary – Jennylee Taylor
Treasurer – Margaret Schooneveldt
Membership – Margaret Schooneveldt
Committee Member – Liisa Halme
Committee Member – Joshua Wrest
We particularly welcome John Stamoulos into his new role of President and Joshua Wrest as the newest committee member!
SAVE THE DATES 2020:
2 February 2020
Birth Memory inside a Breathwork Session
23 May 2020
Paddington Town Hall, Sydney
Breathe Australia Conference
5-8 November 2020
Govinda Valley Retreat, Otford, Sydney
2019 Committee and subcommittees met very regularly over the past year and here are some of the reported highlights for the 2019 year:
The ABA committee