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.

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

More detailed information here

REGISTER HERE or contact us if you have any questions

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.

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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.

Cost:  Four day course $585 single room or $465 (shared room/ concession). The price includes all meals and accommodation.


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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Silver Wattle Water Dreaming: Aboriginal Spiritual Ceremony
to Dec 8

Silver Wattle Water Dreaming: Aboriginal Spiritual Ceremony

Led by Ceane Towers and Shane Mortimer

The simplest things are often the things that are forgotten and left behind in this busy world we live in; often we are forgetting our own Identity. It’s time to remember where we Belong.

People who attend this spiritual retreat Ceremony will experience being one with self, each other and the land around them. The work shop will focus on Self, Family/Community and Country Healing that will be achieved through connection with oneness and deep Listening Skills.

We will take the time to slow down to bush time away from our busy every day lives and link in with the oneness within and around us through quiet reflective times as well as sharing some of our stories. We will connect with our free creative spirit and express our well intent to our futures whilst learning and utilising Aboriginal Practices.

This course is part of Silver Wattle’s annual Indigenous Spirituality series.

Cost: Three day course $420 (single room) / $340 (twin share/concession) includes all meals and accommodation

More information here

CONTACT US to register or if you have any questions


Ceane Towers is an Aboriginal woman with roots from the Wiradjuri, Gamilaraay, and Darug region in her mother’s tongue. Her father is an Australian from European heritage. She has studied, performed and taught Aboriginal dance for over 25 years and is an artist and a healer.

Ceane has a Bachelor of Education in Indigenous Education; and Masters Degree in Indigenous Social Policy. She has studied Narrative Therapy Counselling and encourages you to tell your own stories. She says, “Just because a million people think one way and one thinks the other way, does not necessarily mean the one is wrong”. She is a believer of reading between the lines.

Ngambri Mingku aka Shane Mortimer is a Namadji Nation Ngambri man, and Allodial Title holder of the land also known as Canberra. He is passionate about his ancestral connections to Ngambri country since the beginning of time.

Shane (Mingku) has a Bachelor of Counselling and has worked to support many vulnerable people from all walks of life. In 2016 he created an international legal precedent when he was awarded an interlocutory injunction to stop the transfer of land title in the ACT based on his assertion of Allodial Title. In 2019 he gave the “Welcome to Country” and a 30 minute opening address to the National Council of Churches, challenging them to see that Australia and the Crown, in granting land to “The Church” knowingly & consciously granted land with defective title.

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End of Year Retreat:  Reviewing the Old, Dreaming the New
to Jan 4

End of Year Retreat: Reviewing the Old, Dreaming the New

Led by Sue & David Woods

This “End of Year Retreat” provides a space for you to reflect on the year that has been and the year that is to come. The retreat will take a contemplative approach embracing communal worship and meditations on scripture and poetry. Each day links with the elemental themes of Land, Water, Incarnation, Fire, and Air. There will be daily walks on the property to ground us in the earth's wisdom and in our own bodies. There will also be ample use of silence, allowing as much time as possible for connection with the land, personal reflection, journaling and rest.

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

More detailed information here


Sue and David Woods manage Campfire in the Heart Retreat and Conference Centre in Alice Springs. They are experienced retreat facilitators having led numerous Wide Skies and Open Hearts retreats at Campfire in the Heart over the past 10 years. Sue founded the St Josephs House of Prayer community in Goulburn which later shifted to Silver Wattle in 2005 until Quakers purchased the property in 2009. Sue attends Quaker meetings that are held at Campfire in the Heart every Sunday and they have hosted a number of Quaker Retreats there with Drew Lawson and others.

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Living the Big Questions: A Young Adult Quaker Space
to Jan 18

Living the Big Questions: A Young Adult Quaker Space

Led by Tracy Bourne, Andrew Bray, and Sally Kingsland

Who am I? What is my life for? How can I make the world a better place?

We invite young adults to join us for a week-long workshop in community to dig deeper into the big questions of life. Together we will deepen our understanding of ourselves in relationship with God/Spirit, make space to listen to our deepest callings and discern the ways that we may be led to act.

Participants will be offered the possibility of continuing the workshop journey through monthly spiritual direction, group meetings on Zoom and other possibilities depending on the interests of the group.

To ensure the workshop is a good fit for you, acceptance into the workshop will be based on a written letter and interview with the course leaders prior to registration. Please contact the course leaders if you have any questions, or if you are interested but not sure.

CONTACT US if you would like more information


Tracy Bourne, a member since 2003, supports and learns from children and younger Friends in her meeting. As the 2014 Backhouse Lecturer, she spoke of ways we can include children and young people more fully in our meetings. Her deepest spiritual experiences have included shared all-age meetings at Silver Wattle Quaker Centre, where she was Director from 2015-16. Tracy is a singer, singing teacher, actor and theatre maker with an interest in work that responds to the environment or to social justice issues.

Andrew Bray has been a Quaker since 2003. His time spent with the younger members of the meeting has always provided deep spiritual nourishment. His life's witness is in fighting for action on climate change to deliver a beautiful planet for the generations that come after us.

Sally Kingsland joined Quakers as a Young Friend in Australia and later moved with her partner and two young children to California on a leading to deepen in her Quaker faith and practice. She was an active participant with Young Adult Friends in the USA as well as serving on the Junior Young Friends, and other, committees for Pacific Yearly Meeting. Sally has now returned to Australia and serves as a spiritual companion.

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Friendly Business – Clerks, Committee Conveners & Others
to Mar 29

Friendly Business – Clerks, Committee Conveners & Others

Led by Sheila Keane & Julian Robertson

This course is for anyone who is interested in learning more about the Quaker tradition of Meeting for Worship for Business. If you want to learn more about how clerking a Meeting for Worship for Business is different from chairing a meeting in a secular context, this course is for you.

The course is designed to include those with greater and lesser degrees of experience in the Quaker business process and is well suited to committee conveners as well as past, present and future clerks.

There will be formal learning sessions on: 1) Discerning the sense of the meeting; 2) Clerking facilitation skills (including online meetings); 3) Responsibilities of the members of the meeting; and 4) Strategies to address difficulties; as well as opportunities to share our own personal experience. Learning sessions will include simulations and opportunities to practice what you are learning. The course will also provide for lots of free time to relax, share worship & meals, and be inspired by one another.

CONTACT US if you would like more information

Julian Robertson and Sheila Keane were co-leaders of the 2017 clerking course and are both longstanding members of the Religious Society of Friends with experience of clerking and eldering roles in a number of settings. Julian has served as clerk of Regional and Yearly Meetings as well as clerk of the Silver Wattle Board of Directors. Sheila brings long experience in leading workshops, is clerk of her local meeting and has served as convener of a number of online committees including the Silver Wattle Program & Learning Committee and the NSW RM Governance Committee.

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Know thyself – Writing from the heart
to May 14

Know thyself – Writing from the heart

Led by Kerry O’Regan

You will be invited to reflect on and write about small but significant events in your life that have led you to become the person you are today. Much of the time will be spent actually writing, and there will be discussion and guidance as to the forms this writing may take, with a range of possibilities being considered. There will also be suggestions given regarding the focus of each writing task and an opportunity for seeking supportive responses from others in the course. You will be guided gently through a process which will focus your reflection and consider where you might go from here with your writing from the heart.

CONTACT US if you would like more information

Kerry O’Regan has worked for many years helping people write - university students struggling with the mysteries of academic writing and people in palliative care wanting to write their stories as they approach their death. She has also engaged in her own personal writing from the heart and knows only too well how that process can be joyful, painful, confronting, liberating, and, ultimately, healing.

To learn more about Kerry, see this article in The Australian Friend

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