Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.  World Health Organisation.

At ASWA, our philosophy is that wellness should be within everyone’s reach. Our vision is that organisations CAN be supportive places for individuals to work and thrive.  We know from our 25+ years of experience that organisational key performance indicators CAN be achieved without compromising wellbeing.

It is this philosophy and knowledge that drives every decision behind our innovative programs. It is the motivating force for our passionate program advisors and mentors, and the inspiration behind our collaborations and partnerships with training and industry organisations, governments and community associations.

Wellness is about being at our best. As individuals, that means having consistent energy levels, the mental clarity and inner calm, to do the things that are important to us so that we can flourish and thrive. When individuals collectively thrive in a workplace then organisations are also more likely to thrive.

We know the cost of a lack of wellness and so ASWA was created to provide proactive training solutions to empower individuals and organisations to integrate wellness into their lives and workplaces.

Our strategy was developed to achieve these three core objectives:

  1. Empower and educate individuals on WHAT the principles of wellness are and provide practical tools for living their best life, both personally and professionally;
  2. Activate and educate managers and leaders who have a prominent role in establishing and managing processes and procedures that support employee health and wellbeing in the workplace on HOW to effectively integrate the principles of wellness into their workplace;
  3. Enable organisations to integrate effective and engaging strategies that support the health and wellbeing of their people and aligns with the organisation’s values, goals, objectives and diversity.

Our professional and personal development programs help individuals and organisations to be healthier and higher-performing, with optimum wellness, vitality and sustainability.

Our Founder

Angela Derks is the Founder and CEO of the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy and the course and curriculum developer for the Australian nationally recognised 10299NAT Diploma of Wellness.

Originally from Papua New Guinea, she moved to Australia when she was 12 and graduated with University Degrees in Health Science and Commerce, as well as a plethora of post-graduate qualifications in her passions of leadership, business management and human performance. In 1998, at the age of 28, Angela designed, developed and operated one of Australia’s first integrated health and wellbeing facilities, winning national industry awards for Innovation.

Angela has lead strategic wellness initiatives and training programs in award-winning companies such as Six Senses Spas, Soneva Resorts, Ritz-Carlton, Madinat Jumeirah, Palazzo Versace, Kempinksi, Westin, Qantas First Lounges, Christina O yacht, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat and Aurora Spa.

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Angela Derks ND, MBA, BHSc, BCom

Wellness Advisory Board

Our Wellness Advisory Board Members contribute to maintaining the quality and integrity of our training programs and advisory services. With their extensive industry experience, guidance and support, each of our Advisors are industry professionals within their fields of expertise.

The powerhouse of passion and decades of experience that is encompassed within these entrepreneurs, sports champions, senior analysts and industry professionals, combined with our incredible mentors, ensure that the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy continues to deliver leading-edge training and advisory services for organisational leaders.

Peter Goodchap Wellness Technical Analysis

Peter Goodchap

Supply Chain and Manufacturing Analyst

Peter Goodchap is a Supply Chain and Manufacturing professional with 20 plus years’ expertise of SAP applications and integration with business processes within supply chain and manufacturing environments. His experience has taken him across the Asia-Pacific region with organisations including Dulux, NCI and Norco Pauls.

Peter brings his technical and viability analysis, as well as his project management experience of initiatives that boost productivity, efficiency and cost reduction, to the Advisory Board of the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy.

Peter is an advocate of wellbeing as a strong foundation for individual and team performance. A passionate player and coach of cricket, he has been a volunteer Committee member for over 20 years and is a Board Member for Cricket Gold Coast. His passion for cricket has taken him to Thailand and India in his role as Development Officer and Coach for the Cricket Association of Thailand. He also spent time with the Australian Women’s Cricket team in India, performing technical analysis and assisting the coaching staff during a quadrangular series, which Australia won.

Peter prioritises quality time with his wife and two young children and enjoys supporting them in leading their best lives.

Sara Carrigan OAM

Olympic Cycling Champion, Owner/Director of Sara Carrigan Cycling, Accredited Cycling Coach, Bachelor of Business.

Sara Carrigan has been an Australian Professional Cyclist who has enjoyed the sport of cycling for more than 25 years. Some of Sara’s plethora of successes include winning the Gold Medal & being crowned Olympic Games Champion in the 130 km Road Race at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games medallist, two-time National Champion and World Cup winner and even having a street named in her honour– Sara Carrigan Court.

As one of Australia’s most dedicated and passionate advocates of the sport of cycling, Sara brings to the Advisory Board of the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy her lived experience and expertise of an elite athlete with a healthy performance mindset, owner and manager of an inspirational small business and a dedicated wife and mother of two adorable small children. Sara is mindful of the nutrition she provides for her children and is continually strengthening her own understanding and knowledge of physical and mental wellbeing.

Sara’s driving purpose is to pass on her years of knowledge to guide others on how cycling can support their own wellbeing so after 10years of elite competition, she founded ‘Sara Carrigan Cycling’ providing coaching clinics to recreational riders in a fun, supportive and safe environment.

Sara’s role as coach involves sharing her insights with all ages and experiences, from small children to adults, newbies and racers, on what they can enjoy on a bike. What Sara loves most is “how the simple act of ‘learning to ride’ turns into so much more … freedom, adventure, endorphins, relationships and happiness! It has presented many with an opportunity to overcome fears, to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, to meet like-minded people, to feel empowered to make positive lifestyle choices, and to feel bold, strong and full of energy. Ultimately, self-confidence and enduring relationships have been the result with a motivation for life that is far greater than the ‘bike ride’. Health and well-being is a consequence of having fun. I love that on a bicycle I can explore territory that I would have not otherwise seen, many beautiful spots are usually blind to the passing motorist but cherished by the rider.”

Taryn Collins

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, Certificate IV Fitness

Taryn Collins has over 15 years’ experience in busy hospital settings and in private practice where she works with clients to facilitate independence and wellbeing whilst working to overcome injury and illness – sustained both in and out of the workplace to help facilitate return of function – whether that be in the workplace, as a parent, student or grandparent or even a child needing to get back to play-based tasks.

Taryn brings her expertise and lived experiences to the Advisory Board of the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy. As a busy mother of two young children Taryn understands the daily struggle of maintaining the roles of Mother, household organiser and working professional.  Her journey into motherhood was not the standard journey with Taryn being diagnosed with severe post-natal depression and anxiety resulting in frequent hospitalisations.  Taryn’s lived experience has deepened her empathy of a patient’s experience and enabled her to understand that recovery encompasses physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.  She volunteers as a PANDA community champion as well as works casually as a consumer and carer representative for Mothers with peri-natal illness at a leading private hospital in Brisbane.

Taryn embraces physical activity and is also a qualified personal trainer.  She realises that keeping oneself healthy through quality nutrition, physical activity as well as mindfulness and meditation practices is not only for her benefit but for the benefit of her family.  ‘One must fit their own oxygen mask first before assisting others’, this is true in the sense of embracing and maintaining one’s own wellbeing before trying to care for everyone else around you.   This mantra has helped to guide Taryn’s journey as a working allied health professional, wife, mother and friend.

J Paul Snow

Hospitality Designs and Solutions Specialist

J Paul Snow is an internationally experienced Executive Chef, Food and Beverage Manager, Resort Manager and General Manager with some of the world’s most iconic brands including Hyatt, The Landmark and Six Senses. His professional expertise has taken him across Asia-Pacific and beyond, including New Zealand, Australia, to Singapore, Mauritius, Dubai, South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Jakarta Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Mauritius, Vietnam and Bali Indonesia. 

J Paul’s career begin in the New Zealand Army as an Apprentice Chef at the age of 16 where he gained his City and Guilds London 706/1 and 706/2 over the period of his five-year apprenticeship. At age 24, he began pursuing an International Hospitality Career and after decades of hospitality experience across the globe, he has made Bangkok Thailand his base for the past 15 years and is the CEO of Hospitality Designs and Solutions

J Paul brings his passion for Hospitality in all its forms, including supporting the transformation of hotels and hospitality into a healthier career choice, to the Advisory Board of the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy.

“Health and fitness in all its forms remains of prime importance to me and I embrace the philosophy of health is wealth in everything I pursue in my professional and private life. Now at 66 years young, I remain active and attend the gym every other day – it is vital that we keep moving and ensure that mentally and spiritually we stay well-tuned. I am CONVINCED that healthy Teams are more productive Teams,” says J Paul.

Di Pedersen

Juris Doctor, Master of Education, Graduate Diploma in Music Education, Bachelor of Education, Diploma of Education.

Di has been a primary school educator for more than 3 decades and has been in roles of School Principal for 26 of those years. Di brings her passion and expertise in education and for enriching the lives of children, especially those with complex needs, to the Advisory Board of the Australasian Sustainable Wellness Academy.

Di believes in giving back to the profession and as such has mentored many preservice teachers during her time in the classroom. When she’s not in the classroom Di enjoys cooking, reading, card making and spending time with her family.