Our Tutors

Sarah Connell- Kids Mindfulness/yoga

Sarah, who has been nicknamed Miss Giggles at some studios, started practicing yoga in 2016 after moving back to the Macedon Ranges, where she quickly found time on the mat and yoga practices brought her much peace and joy. In 2021, having worked in the health industry for 14 years, Sarah completed the 200hr Teacher Training: Beginning Level though the Integral Yoga Academy, as she felt there is much to gain from regularly practicing such a holistic offering. Now affiliated with Yoga Australia, Sarah feels honoured to share space and passion, teaching both children and adults the joys of yoga.


Helen Simmonds- Tai Chi

Practising Taichi and qigong calms my mind, reduces pain and strengthens my body. I started instructor training in 2014 with Australia’s most highly qualified taichi teacher, Professor Lily Sun of Wulong Tai Chi Kung Fu, as a way to increase my taichi and qigong proficiency and learn advanced techniques at a professional level. Instructing has been a natural progression that allows me to share the benefits of taichi and qigong with friends, colleagues and community. 

 Chitra Stern- Meditation & Yoga

Chitra – is certified to teach Integral Yoga at beginners, intermediate and advanced levels and also to teach pre- and post-natal Yoga and Yoga for Stress Management. She has been teaching Yoga since 1989 in Australia and the USA, across a wide range of settings, including group and individual classes for both adults and children, and Yoga retreats, Yoga for pregnancy and birthing, corporate groups and Yoga teacher training programs. Chitra has been a primary teacher trainer for Integral Yoga Basic Teacher Training since 2000, teaching on programs in Australia and the USA. Chitra has also run in-house training sessions for Integral Yoga teachers in Australia and India, staffed Integral Yoga Hatha Intermediate Teacher Training and was a primary teacher trainer for the Diploma of Health—Yoga offered by the Centre for Adult Education in Melbourne.

Chitra’s main focus in her teaching is to encourage students to find the practice that truly supports them, and to offer the space in which participants can go deep within, allowing the body and breath to be the pathway to experiencing deep inner wisdom and joy.

 Colleen Weste- Sewing/Eco dying/ Art quilts

Coleen has had a fascination for many years for dyeing cloth to create unique wearable art and wall quilts in silk. She is skilled in handpainting silk, shibori resist dyeing, felting, layering and machine stitching.
She is author of the book Silk Painting (Penguin) and Shibori/Silk Painting for Art to Wear and Silk Art Quilts and has a Grad Dip in Textile Design from RMIT.
She has attended master classes in Shibori including a study tour of Japan and the World Shibori Symposiums in France and in Melbourne where she curated the shibori exhibition of works from all over the world.
A founding member of the Botanical Gardens Natural Dye Group and a member of ATASDA, she tutored at RMIT and Swinburne University Costume & Design and gave workshops at the NGV and throughout Australia & New Zealand. Colleen had her own retail outlet in Melbourne and now paints from her studio in the bush. She has exhibited in solo and group shows including Paris at the World Shibori Symposium and Australian/NZ Shibori shows around Aust and New Zealand.
In 2006 she opened The Gallery Mt Macedon, an arts collective of twenty six Macedon Ranges artists. Her work is featured at the gallery and open studios programmes.

Evie Dora- Brush and Bubbles

Evie is an Australian self-taught artist living, working and creating on Wurundjeri land. Evie has created artistic pieces for over 25 years, dabbling in exhibitions, public art works, greenware, early childhood resource development, painting commissions and community activation projects. Evie has used her artistic skills as an outlet for emotional states, especially during the pandemic outbreak when she was residing in Melbourne.

Evie uses acrylic paint as her medium of choice, enjoying the speed in which work can be produced. Her style has been described as expressionism, comic book and naïve. Evie is extending her self-taught skills to facilitating art parties and workshops in the Macedon Ranges. She has also introduced her style to the community through interactive art events at the Kyneton makers market earlier this year. Evie is excited about being part of the Macedon Ranges and contributing to community activation through art and creative events.




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