The Executive Committee
National President: Robyn Fitzgerald
|Robyn lives in northern NSW on land walked on and cared for by the Widjabal people of the Bundjalung nation whose unbroken spiritual connection the lands she respects and acknowledges. Robyn is a spiritual director and retreat giver in private practice. She enjoys nurturing contemplative life through conversation and silence. Prior to working in spiritual direction she worked as a researcher in children’s rights and well being, with a special interest in exploring conversation in family law settings. She is married to Mike and they have three adult children Em, Cait and Paddy. Robyn is the ANSD Regional Representative for the Northern Rivers region of NSW.
National Secretary: Liz Anne Smith
|Liz Anne Smith is a spiritual director and supervisor and runs her practice from her home office in Canberra. Her formation was at the Institute of Spiritual Leadership in Chicago. She completed a Master of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University. Liz Anne is involved in two formation programs for spiritual directors; Soul Journey Companions program which runs in Canberra and Listen into Life program at Kincumber. She enjoys companioning people from various Christian denominations and none. She leads several spiritual sharing groups in her home, some for meditation and some for spiritual nourishment and community. She guides retreats for these groups as well. Liz Anne is a member and the secretary of the Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction. In her spare time Liz Anne enjoys learning Spanish and hopes to travel to Spain sometime.
Email Liz Anne
National Treasurer: 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.
National Exec team: Kathy Cave
|Kathy was born in the region of South Africa where Ndebele and Sotho people have lived for generations. She came to this great land called Australia about 20 years ago and now resides where Gadigal people of the Eora Nation once breathed freely.Since 2018 she has been actively involved with ANSD. She is part of the team member that birthed Coolamon, the Journal which seeks to be a vessel that carries and shares wisdom, inspiration and fosters connection among the ANSD community. She joined ANSD’s Executive Committee in January 2020.Currently she works as a Spiritual Director and retreat leader. She is learning more abut interfaith spiritual directions. She is married to Peter. They both enjoy bike riding and photography.
Statutory Secretary: Liz Palmer
|Liz Palmer, our national treasurer, currently fulfills this role.|
Regional Representative for South Australia/ Northern Territory : Di Shearer
|Di Shearer is a spiritual director in the Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsular with two decades of experience. She holds a Doctor of Ministry (ACD, 2014) and an MA (Theology) Spirituality and Pastoral Care (ACU, 2008). She worked in theological education with the Overseas Missionary Fellowship in Malaysia during the 1970s. She taught and researched in areas relating to intercultural personhood from 1982-2004, completing a Ph D (Griffith, 2004) in this field. Di’s affiliation and ministry are interdenominational and interfaith. Her passion is for the unitive wisdom which ancient and contemporary mystical traditions bring to us.
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
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 began formation in spiritual direction in 2018 through the Listening into Life program in Kincumber 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 experience in Christian community through St Joseph’s House of Prayer, L’Arche and Benedictus Contemplative Church. She has an ecumenical experience of church and feels aligned to the universal path of wisdom and unity.
Regional Representative for Sydney: Sally Jones
|Sally is a trained mentor, spiritual director and supervisor (in training) who runs her own Sydney-based mentoring, spiritual direction and pastoral supervision practice. She has completed a Graduate Diploma in Spiritual Direction through Tabor Adelaide. Sally is also a trainer of mentors and spiritual directors with MEQ Sydney (in conjunction with The John Mark Extension) and Barnabas Ministries (Listen into Life and Soul Companions). She has been an adjunct faculty member with ACOM (2014-2017) and SMBC (2018-). Sally spent eight years working with International Teams Australia, a Christian missions agency working with the marginalised, five of which were with the Sydney Refugee Team working with refugees and asylum seekers in the community. She is also a trained Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer, with a special interest in the link between physicality and spirituality and holistic health and well-being.
Regional Representative for Tasmania: Denise Stephenson
Regional Representative for Western Australia: Beth Roberton
|Former Director of Dayspring, Beth’s current role is as Co-ordinator of Dayspring’s spiritual direction professional training program. Beth 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.
Regional Representative for Melbourne Region: Pamela Richardson
| Pamela recently completed a part time, 4 year, 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!