Becoming a Fuller Quaker
to Mar 28

Becoming a Fuller Quaker

Led by David Johnson

Deepen and reinvigorate your Quaker spirituality no matter what your length of Quaker experience. Explore the original Quaker understanding of living more fully a testimony to the Light Within and its meaning in terms of worship & ministry, equality, rejecting violence, plain speaking, clearness and business.

David Johnson is an internationally experienced workshop facilitator, has written several books on prayer and biblical interpretation from a Quaker perspective, and gave the 2005 Backhouse lecture on “Peace is a Struggle”.

Cost: Six day course $850 (concession $675) includes all meals and accommodation


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Collaborative Leadership (intergenerational)
to Apr 18

Collaborative Leadership (intergenerational)

  • Silver Wattle Quaker Centre (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Led by Gina Price and Jenny Turton

When groups and organisations are clear on purpose and together in decision making, they surprise themselves at what they can do and how good it feels to do it. For learners of any age including children.

Suitable for non-Quaker participants.

Gina & Jenny have a long history of nurturing Quaker children and Junior Young Friends. Gina has done training in sociocracy/dynamic governance with the Sydney Coastal EcoVillage and at the Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development, Parliament House, Canberra.

Cost: Two day course $210 (concession $180) includes all meals and accommodation


Note that this event immediately precedes the Easter Family Gathering 19-22 April 2019. Contact us if you want to register for both events.

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Nurturing our Elders
to May 16

Nurturing our Elders

Led by Sheila Keane

This course is designed to help deepen the work of Quaker elders and others who support active ministry and spiritual growth in their meetings. It will cover some essential information about the roles and skills of elders, as well as immersion in the state of being that is the source of all eldering ministry.

Topics include:

  • Clarifying the roles of eldering, pastoral care and oversight

  • Deep listening and Spiritual discernment

  • Naming and nurturing gifts in others

  • Exploring ways to nurture the Life of the Meeting

  • Dealing with conflict

  • Right holding of meeting for worship

  • Supporting active ministry: openings, leadings, and way closing

We hope that meetings will feel able to assist their elders to attend as a way of enriching the life of their meeting.

Sheila Keane has led many courses at Silver Wattle and with Quakers across Australia. She completed the 2-year School of the Spirit program “On Being a Spiritual Nurturer” in 1996.

Download the detailed course flier here

Cost: Six day course $850 (concession $675) includes all meals and accommodation


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Silent Retreat
to May 23

Silent Retreat

Led by Janet Duke

Quakers believe that "there is that of God in everyone". From the very early days of Friends one of the ways that this has been experienced is expressed by the terminology of Inward Teacher. During this silent retreat all those present will be invited to deepen their individual experience of listening to and relating with their Inward Teacher. The silence of a silent retreat opens the opportunity for this. We will gather together twice a day for Meeting for Worship. The opportunity to live together at Silver Wattle, experiencing the hospitality of both place and kitchen, will free us to come to the place of being rather than doing. Janet will be available to speak with as the Spirit leads you. Some may choose to speak daily others as desire arises.

This retreat is open to any Quaker or non-Quaker who feels led to enter for a period of listening deeply to their Inward Teacher.

Janet Duke-Warner has served Victorian Regional Meeting in the care of the children, overseer, Assistant Clerk, Acting Clerk and Regional Meeting Clerk. As a practicing Obstetrician and Gynaecologist she married David Warner, an Anglican Priest, and had a very busy life with a large step-family, running a Vicarage and a large practice. In 2003 she yearned for a deepening of her spiritual life, re-entered spiritual direction and commenced her ecumenical formation as a spiritual director at WellSpring in Melbourne.

Janet has also completed a variety of academic studies including a Master of Arts (Spiritual Direction), a Graduate Diploma in Supervision (Spiritual Direction) and is currently a PhD candidate of the University of Divinity working on a thesis entitled "Where do words come from?"

Cost: Six day course $850 (concession $675) includes all meals and accommodation


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to Sep 5

Universal Spiritual Teachings: Asian faiths

How can the three great Asian spiritual traditions, of Hinduism, Buddhism and Taosim, fit with our experience as Quakers and/or Christians?  How might their profound practices and beliefs enrich our own practices?

 We will read passages from the Upanishads and  practice Hindu absorptive meditation, experience Hindu chanting, and maintain a simple yoga routine. 

 We will study passages from the Buddha, and great teachers past and present, and engage in a daily practice of the three core aspects of Buddhist meditation: “calming,” “insight” and “lovingkindness.” 

 In order to experience the subtle way the Taoists saw the natural world we will practice simple Tai Chi daily and spend time in nature. We will become familiar with writings from Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, and see how Zen Buddhism is essentially a syncretism of Buddhism with Taoism. Zen is the main way that Taoism has been brought into our modern world.

Cost:  Six day course $850 (single) or $675 (shared room/ concession). The price includes all meals and accommodation.

Download more detailed course information here.


Arthur Wells is an elder in Christchurch Meeting in New Zealand and a Zen Buddhist teacher.  He retired eight years ago from counselling and leading stopping violence programmes for men, in order to focus on teaching meditation.  He has led countless meditation retreats including some for Quakers interested in Buddhism. He has degrees in English, Religious Studies and Social Work, and taught literature and Religious Studies in universities for many years.

Helen Gould has immersed herself in Quaker writings and practice with a strong interest in interfaith relations. She practices tai chi and yoga, and has a great interest in Aboriginal spirituality, Buddhist meditation and participation in Jewish religious life. Since the early 2000s she has led many Experiment with Light sessions (a re-interpretation of early Quaker practice) in Australia, Korea and Norway. She holds degrees in philosophy and law and gave the 2009 Backhouse Lecture, entitled “The Quaking Meeting: transforming ourselves, our Meetings and the more-than-human world”.

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Celtic Spirituality
to Oct 6

Celtic Spirituality

Led by Nila Chambers

In the Celtic world, wells were seen as sacred places, thresholds between the deeper unknown and the outer world. They were special places where divinity flowed forth from hidden depths. The Celts knew that to have knowledge we must drink from the sacred well which lies within us. It links us to the divine heart of Spirit, and is the source of intuitive knowing.

In this retreat, we will work with Celtic imagery, text, music, and verse as a springboard to get more in touch with our heart’s knowing; our intuition. Ritual, meditation, artwork, and structured exercises will help participants to get out of the rational mind and seek the knowledge that only the heart can reveal.

Nila Chambers (BA(Hons Psychology), Dip Ed, MA (Religion Studies)

Nila is a lifelong meditator and spiritual seeker and is passionate about helping others to discover the intuitive wellsprings within. She now facilitates retreats, workshops and groups and has taught in tertiary, secondary and primary school settings. She helped to found Ghilgai Steiner School in Melbourne the Steiner school in Cairns.

Nila is currently working on her first book about the spiritual experiences of ordinary people. She has worked consciously with intuition for some time now and has many confirmations that our lives are enriched and deepened when we learn to recognize and follow the voice of the Divine.

Cost: Three day course $420 (single room) / $280 (twin share/concession) includes all meals and accommodation

Register here or contact us if you have any questions

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to Jan 3

Year-End Retreat: Awareness, Attentiveness and Acceptance

Download detailed course flier here

Led by David and Trish Johnson

We are being given another year, hopefully, of living in the Light. Whatever happened in 2018, let our hearts be opened so each of us may better understand and undertake what God is asking of us in 2019. The course will explore Quaker writings, the Bible and your Inner Guide for ‘walking in the Light’ with times for learning, sharing experience, personal prayer & reflection, and a range of exercises to open up spiritual space. The retreat will include an afternoon and overnight period of silence midway through, and is open for anyone from mid-teens onwards in age.

David Johnson is a convinced Friend of Conservative nature. David delivered the 2005 Backhouse Lecture to Australia Yearly Meeting on Peace is a Struggle, and wrote A Quaker Prayer Life (2013), and Jesus, Christ and Servant: Meditations on the Gospel According to John (2017).

Trish Johnson has been in private practice as a psychologist and trainer for over 30 years. Trish embraces mindfulness and neuropsychology in her clinical practice. She has served as Convener of the Committee of Elders at Silver Wattle. David and Trish were Co-Directors of Silver Wattle 2013-2014.

Cost: The cost for this 6-day course includes all meals and accommodation

Standard Registration $699

Single Room (as available) $759

Concession $659

Register for the course here

Contact us for more information

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