Our Organisational Team
Andy Hamilton, Director, Program Manager and Board Member
Andy Hamilton is a psychologist with over 18 years’ experience working in the mental health, drug and alcohol and justice fields. He has been head clinician and program manager of the Recre8 Bush Adventure Therapy Program for the past eight years, which he now operates as director Human Nature Adventure Therapy. He is passionate about facilitating transformation in young people and feels that collaborative partnerships and multi-disciplinary approaches offer enormous opportunity for expanding the depth and breadth of great therapeutic work. In the past he has worked in mental health to support people with severe psychiatric disability, those in crisis experiencing homelessness and juvenile offenders. He helped pioneer the Recre8 Program whilst he was a Youth Drug Outreach Psychologist at INTRA, The Buttery’s drug and alcohol outreach program.
Deb Samuels, Community Engagement Manager
Deb is a non-profit professional with more than two decades of experience in community building, business development, and fundraising, always with the central theme of finding innovative and empowering ways to support at-risk youth to thrive. Before joining the HNAT team, her professional and youth advocacy journey took her to the United States where she served as the CEO of a non-profit called Crossroads, also sitting on the boards of several other youth-focused non-profits. On returning to Australia in early 2018, Deb immediately started looking for her next opportunity to make a difference and spent time volunteering and gaining experience in the Indigenous youth mentoring and Foster Care sectors. When she learned about HNAT and the critical work we are doing to support the most at-risk youth in Northern NSW, she jumped at the opportunity to give back to her home community in such a meaningful and impactful way.
Rain or shine, Deb can often be found exploring the beautiful Northern NSW coastline – nature is definitely her happy place!
Josie Kelly, Office & Operations Manager
Josie brings twenty years of skills, knowledge and experience of working within the not-for-profit sector in Australia. Having worked across environmental, humanitarian and community service organisations, Josie is passionate about the health and well-being of young people, our communities and our environment. She has operated across a number of areas including fundraising, administration, customer service, management and governance. Josie leapt at the opportunity to support the critical work of Human Nature Adventure Therapy and is delighted to be able to work within her own community. Qualifications held include a Diploma of Business Administration, Diploma of Disability Services and registration as a NSW Justice of the Peace. Josie is also a member of the General Assembly of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. When not in the office, Josie can be found with her family and border collie on the beautiful Northern New South Wales beaches.
Our Recre8 Program Team
Our Recre8 Program is run by a passionate and experienced team of mental health professionals, counsellors, youth workers and mentors.
A typical Recre8 program team will include at least one registered psychologist, senior adolescent youth counsellor, an experienced Senior OutdoorInstructor and certified skippers where required. We also involve a range of mentors and volunteers with skills and experience in therapeutic care, outdoor education and working with youth-at-risk. The level of expertise, responsiveness and wisdom of our Program Team is at the heart of Recre8’s success.
Cherie Levy, Registered Psychologist
Cherie is a Registered Psychologist who joined our Recre8 Program Team at the beginning of 2017. She has supported us on our last six Recre8 programs. With over 10 years experience working with those in marginalised groups, she has practiced in a variety of settings, supporting individuals experiencing homelessness, trauma and post-traumatic stress, significant substance dependence, chronic pain and domestic violence. Working with youth since 2004, her work focuses on empowerment and recognising one’s own inner strength and power. Cherie holds a deep respect for nature-based work and believes in the healing power of nature to recalibrate people back to their whole, full selves. In one of her other professional capacities, she facilitates experiences for people to spend time alone in nature as a way to reconnect to their inner self. She also operates in private practice, based out of Brunswick Heads.
Human Nature Adventure Therapy Ltd is governed by a highly skilled Board of five Directors. Hailing from Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and the Northern Rivers they provide governance, leadership and financial expertise to strengthen and steer the organisation.
Anita Nath, Board Member
Anita is a highly motivated, results-focused professional with 10 years’ marketing and communications experience across international brands in the retail, financial and consumer services sectors. As a board member, her specialty input is in marketing and communications, fundraising, and business. For over ten years, Anita has sat on the executive teams of large organisations and start-ups, and advised businesses on how to continually grow. She is now redirecting this unique skillset into growing a cause she believes in.
John Akehurst, Board Member
John has a wealth of leadership, mentoring and governance experience. He is currently Chairman of the National Centre for Asbestos Related Diseases and of The Fortitude Foundation, which looks to build self-esteem and self-reliance particularly amongst disadvantaged women. He is also currently a non-executive director of Origin Energy Limited. John was formerly a director of Youth Focus – a West Australian not-for-profit working to prevent youth suicide – and of the UWA Business School. Graduating in Engineering Sciences from Oxford University, England, he pursued a career in oil and gas exploration and production. This included 20 years with the Royal Dutch/Shell Group and 7 years as CEO of Woodside Petroleum. He was a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia for a decade where he chaired the Board Audit Committee. Now based between the Byron Shire and Perth, he is committed to developing Human Nature Adventure Therapy to its full potential. John is married with 5 beautiful children.
Mark Mathieson, Board Member
Mark is a registered psychologist who has worked across numerous domains in the mental health field. He has worked with youth over the past four years in Australia’s largest school, on cultural change, including work with Arne Rubinstein and Simon Crisp (Wilderness Adventure Therapy) and in the corporate sector for many years on change and strategic HR. He served in the Australian Army (reserves) for nearly 20 years and continues to serve in a senior position as a Major in command of a sub-unit. He is passionate about using place and nature as significant components in transformational change processes and is completing his PhD on transforming the mental health profession. He is passionate about working with youth in transition and the communities around them. He is keen to take on a strategic and operational role to give back to communities and start-up organisations after 30+ years in the corporate sector.
Scott Beachley, Board Member, Chair
Scott has lived and worked in Paris, London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney, sometimes more than once, after growing up in Adelaide, Melbourne and the USA. Over the course of a nomadic 25 year corporate career as a lawyer, he’s negotiated deals, advised executive decision making in 100+ countries, often where there are new laws or no laws. He’s led global legal government relations, regulatory affairs, compliance, privacy, security and ethics teams for huge well-known brands that sell stuff.
Determined to keep learning, experience new things, have fun and do something useful when he grows up, Scott stepped off the corporate path, studied yoga, started coaching, set up a consulting practice and now helps startups and for-purpose organisations to achieve their ambitions.
A coastal creature, he’s often spotted playing in the ocean or wandering barefoot nearby. Rarely still, he can be found gazing out to sea or into a book, maybe even writing one.