to Sep 5

Universal Spiritual Teachings: Asian faiths

How well do these profound practices and beliefs - Hinduism, Buddhism and Taosim - fit with, and confirm, our own religious/spiritual experiences?

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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Listening to the Landscape: Earth's stories at Silver Wattle
to Nov 24

Listening to the Landscape: Earth's stories at Silver Wattle

Led by Anne Felton and Peri Coleman

This course is for people wanting to connect more deeply with the land that sustains us. Meet the soils, rocks, and landscape features around Silver Wattle, including Weereewa (Lake George). Hear the spirit and substance of what rocks tell us about how they were formed, and what has happened to them before and after they appeared at the land surface. Learn how plants are uniquely adapted to different parts of the landscape. Visit a mother tree, Elder trees and rare plants and find out why they are so special. Discover and appreciate the Rock-Soil-Water interrelationships that sustain all plants and animals, including us.

This course is suitable for all ages, young and old. Adaptations will be made for those who have difficulty with mobility.

Locals who are not Quakers are encouraged to attend to get to know their own landscape.


More detailed information here

Anne has had a long professional career in geology and Peri is an internationally renowned botanist and restorer of salt marsh environments. Both are long time Quakers. Their backgrounds enable them not only to interpret earth history from a western science viewpoint, but also to connect with the wonder of creation.

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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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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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7:00 PM19:00

WEBINAR - Collaborative Leadership through Sociocracy: the Harvest Bounty project

Harvest Bounty

Creating a Culture of Collaboration

This webinar is an introduction to Sociocracy and a taster for the two day course 16-18 April on Collaborative Leadership using Sociocracy (details here).

The one-hour webinar includes online viewing of Sociocracy in action and a conversation with the film maker, Gina Price. There are two opportunities for participation:

Tuesday 12 Mar, 7:00-8:00pm (NSW) / 4pm (WA)

Sunday 17 Mar, 5:00-6:00pm (NSW) / 2pm (WA)

See 2 minute live sample here

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The webinar will be held on the platform Zoom. A link will be distributed by email to everyone registered before the event. Technical support is available.

Cost $15 - Register here

Priced in support of good work, fair pay and right livelihoods.

No fee if registering for the Silver Wattle course Collaborative Leadership using Sociocracy

About Gina

Gina Price values people working in harmony, accessing group wisdom, listening for leadership & taking responsibility. She has been practicing Sociocracy for over 10 years. She is inspired by long polar nights enlivened by the dancing lights of the aurora.

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