The Executive Committee


The day-to-day Governance of the ANSD lies with the Executive Committee which comprises three Office Holders (for three-year terms) and not less than five Ordinary Members (for one-year terms) representing the Regions in which ANSD conducts its affairs – basically, the states of Australia.

The three Office-Holder positions are:

  1. President
  2. Administrative Secretary
  3. Treasurer

The Executive Committee currently has 7 Ordinary Members, representing the ACT, Brisbane/Qld, Sydney/NSW, SA/NT, Tasmania, Victoria and WA.  These members are nominated by members of the regions they represent.

At the next AGM in 2023, elections will be held for the three Office Holder positions as well as the Ordinary Members.  Nominations will soon be sought for the three Office Holder positions and members are encouraged to read the Role Descriptions provided here and prayerfully consider if this is a contribution they might be able to make to the ANSD.

ANSD Role Descriptions 2023


The Executive Committee

ANSD’s executive committee usually meet  every 2nd Thursday of each month.  Any queries or comments please email Beth.

President: Beth Roberton

Former Director of Dayspring, Beth’s current role is as Co-ordinator of Dayspring’s spiritual direction professional training programBeth was a high school teacher for many years, both in Australia and overseas, prior to working in ministry. She combined her science teaching and love of theology from an early age and spent many years engaged firstly in evangelical and then contemplative approaches to faith. She and her husband now run a retreat in the Perth Hills focused on offering quiet space for deepening spiritual life.  Beth has qualifications in teaching, theology and ministry training. Her doctoral work focused on the benefit of spiritual direction to women who have come from conservative religious contexts.  She was a member of the Inaugural Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction until 2010.

Email Beth

National Secretary: Rosa Covino

Rosa’s innate passion for spiritual accompaniment initially emerged when she moved from high school teaching to a form of youth ministry: retreats, personal accompaniment, mentoring and vocational formation work, all of which revealed the human innate need and desire for the Silence of the contemplative. She was privileged to witness it in young adults and to continue accompanying a number of them in their journey and formation today. Mature adults of varying faiths and backgrounds are also a part of her ministry now: spiritual accompaniment, pastoral supervision, retreats, spiritual exercises. As from October Rosa will (again) be involved in the training of spiritual directors through the St Francis’ training center in Brisbane. She enjoys reading, meeting people from different cultures, and immersing herself in the silence and beauty of nature. Next year Rosa will be able to offer day retreats from her home where she has created a sacred meeting space. Her training includes the 6 months course at Beuno’s (Wales), ACU Canberra (Masters), Honours in spirituality, Bachelor of Theology, Postgraduate Cert in pastoral supervision.)

Email Rosa

National Treasurer, Membership Listing and Statutory Secretary: Liz Palmer

After becoming involved with the Spiritual Direction community through the ANSD, Liz did her formation with the Listen into Life program at Kincumber. She has also completed the  “Art of Supervision” training with Lucy Abbott Tucker and an intensive course in Supervision of Spiritual Directors with Sr Mary Flynn in 2018. She is also involved in a formation program for prospective spiritual directors, the Listen into Life program at Kincumber. She has been a practising spiritual director and retreat leader since 2004. She is passionate about the process of journeying with people as they discover God at work in their lives.  In 2002 and 2006 she undertook the 800km pilgrimage across Northern Spain to Santiago de Compostella with her husband. They are planning to walk to there again in 2019, this time along the Portuguese route from Lisbon. She enjoys spending time with her four grandchildren. She has been involved in organising three of the ANSD annual conferences since the late 1990s. As treasurer she seeks to facilitate the smooth running of the organisation and the conferences and also to encourage an increase in the membership and profile of the ANSD.

Email Liz

Regional Representative for South Australia/ Northern Territory : Rachael Litchfield

Rachael has been involved in cross-cultural mission work in Thailand, Cambodia and Australia for much of the last 30 years serving in physiotherapy, community health, leadership and pastoral care roles. The many complexities and stresses of this  ministry led her to seek out deeper spiritual formation and sustenance through engagement in spiritual direction, contemplative practices, silent retreats, and intentional guided sabbatical. Rachael completed a graduate diploma of spiritual direction at Tabor, Adelaide. She continues part time as a team supported mission worker with Interserve focusing on spiritual direction and retreats for the mission workers in this international organisation. Since early 2020 she has been providing online retreats for busy workers serving in a variety of countries and co-ordinating an international network of trained spiritual directors within Interserve to offer spiritual accompaniment during an incredibly difficult season.

Rachael is also a supervisor in the Tabor GDSD program and has a private spiritual direction practice.  She has recently completed a doctor of ministry dissertation titled “A Spirituality for Transition Grief”. She loves this work of prayerful accompaniment,  presence and creative retreats believing we all need support and encouragement to slow down, listen attentively, and connect deeply to our inner selves and the Spirit of God in order to grow towards a wholistic and healthy spirituality that has restorative impact beyond ourselves.

Email Rachael

For more information about the South Australia/ Northern Territory Region go HERE

Regional Representative for Brisbane & Queensland :  Jo-anne Brown

Jo-anne is a spiritual director and supervisor, who loves leading retreats and enabling others to discover more of their unique selves and to deepen their relationship with God. She loves working with dreams and using creative expression to open up pathways to faith and contemplative being. Jo is currently a supervisor and teacher with the St Francis Formation Programme for Spiritual Direction in Brisbane, facilitates dream groups and has been a Salvation Army Officer, involved in full-time ministry in Australia and in Germany, for 30 years

Email Jo-anne

For more information about the Brisbane & Queensland Region go HERE

Regional Representative for Canberra and  Region :  Annie Patterson

Born and raised on Yugerra land (Brisbane), Annie has lived in the Goulburn-South Coast-Canberra region since 1996, finding home in Canberra on the sacred land of the Ngunawal and Ngambri people.  Annie has participated in spiritual direction conversations since 1999 and graduated in 2022 from the Listen into Life spiritual direction formation program offered by Barnabas Ministries. 


With a background in journalism, Annie is author of a spiritual biography “Waterhole of Hope”. Annie seeks the path of “contemplation and action” and brings more than 25 years experience in a range of social service and intentional community settings. She has an ecumenical experience of church and feels aligned to the universal way of wisdom and unity.

Email Annie

For more information about Canberra and Region go HERE

Regional Representative for Sydney:  Liz Faulkner


For more information about Sydney Region go HERE

Regional Representative for Tasmania: Denise Stephenson

Denise has been a Spiritual Director since 2000, completing her formation through the Wellspring Centre (Vic). She is also a Retreat facilitator and recently retired from her position as Pastor for Spiritual Formation at LifeWay Baptist Church in Devonport, Tasmania. She is passionate about inviting people into the contemplative and leads workshops and retreats particularly aimed at those unfamiliar with contemplative practice. Denise enjoys the contemplative practice of walking, particularly in the wild places of lutruwita (Tasmania), and sailing “Pilgrim”, a 10m gaff-rigged yacht she and her husband built in their backyard. Born and bred on the North West Coast of Tasmania, Denise is currently moving to the small community of Cygnet in the south of the state, to explore new walking and sailing opportunities.

Email Denise

Regional Representative for Western Australia: Cathie Lambert

Cathie lives on Wardandi land in the town of Margaret River, Western Australia. Originally trained as a secondary school science teacher, she went on to candidate for ordained ministry in the Uniting Church. Cathie completed her Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction with Dayspring in 2012 and now enjoys offering spiritual direction and supervision. She loves creating contemplative spaces for people in the form of retreats, workshops and quiet days as well as now being part of the teaching team for Dayspring’s spiritual direction program. Cathie is currently completing her PhD exploring how contemporary women on the edge of the church respond to the lives and writings of the beguine mystics from the thirteenth century.

Email Cathie

For more information about Western Australia Region go HERE

Regional Representative for Victoria Region: Pamela Richardson

Pamela recently completed her, life giving spiritual direction course with the Living Well Centre in Victoria. She  believes that the connections ANSD has and intends to develop will contribute to the continuation of soul nurturing people in Australia and beyond our shores. She is delighted and humbled to be a part of it!

Email Pamela

For more information about Victoria Region go HERE