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 Program Team
Our programs are run by an experienced team of mental health professionals, counsellors, youth workers and mentors. Each of them is passionate about supporting at-risk youth to thrive, bringing a wealth of skills in psychology, social work, youth work, therapeutic care, and outdoor education. The level of expertise, responsiveness, compassion and wisdom of our team is at the heart of Human Nature’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.
Cyrano Middleton, Activ8 Program Assistant
Lia Hibner, Adventure Therapist & Clinical Psychologist
Jen Parke, Elev8 Program Lead
Our Volunteer Team
As a small team working to have a big impact, we rely on our committed team of volunteers to check everything off our to-do lists. Our skilled team of volunteers generously donate their time, expertise and deep commitment to our mission to make sure we deliver on our promise to young people.
A massive thanks to all our volunteers past and present!
Eliza Graves-Browne, Grant & Copywriter Specialist
Our Ambassador, Mandy Nolan
Mandy is a proud Northern Rivers NSW resident and is an accomplished Comedian, Author, Journalist, MC, Key Note Speaker, Humour Therapist and Comedy Instructor.
Human Nature Adventure Therapy Ltd is governed by a highly skilled Board of volunteer Directors. Hailing from the Northern Rivers NSW region, Sydney, Newcastle and the A.C.T., they provide governance, leadership and financial expertise to strengthen and steer the organisation.
Managing Director, Beachfront Consulting
Founder & Program Manager, Human Nature Adventure Therapy
Director New Accounts, Indigo Slate
Brenda Wraight, People & Culture Committee Chair
BK Wraight Consulting
Co-founder & Director, Apollo Live
John Akehurst, Compliance, Risk & Audit Chair
Non Executive Director, Origin Energy
Kathie Melocco, Engagement Committee Chair
CEO, World of Work (WOW)
Peter Clark, Clinical Governance Committee Chair
Social Worker & Senior Youth Mental Health Clinician
Sandi Middleton Consulting
Management Consultant, Program & Project Delivery