Workshops & Presentations Ananda Mela 2018

Much more to come. CLICK HERE to receive program updates.

Professor Sohail Inayatullah

Professor Sohail Inayatullah, political scientist, received his doctorate from the University of Hawaii in 1990.

He is Professor at several universities and a leading academic in the field of Futures Studies.

In 2015, he was awarded the first UNESCO Chair in this field.

He currently resides in Mooloolaba, Australia.


Divided into two parts:

Saturday 6th – 10am

Creating Our Future – Bring your vision to create our desired future Using metaphor and mantra we bring our future alive.

Sunday 7th – 10:45am

Visioning Gaia – Together we ground the vision with tools for realizing this desired future.

Emma Brindal – Deep Ecologist

Emma Brindell is the founder of WiseEarth Education, which works to nurture and build respect for our planet. She believes that understanding the intercEmma Brindellonnectedness of all life through experience is key to bringing about a thriving and sustainable world. She has drawn inspiration from the principles and practices of Deep Ecology, Bioregionalism and Place-Based Education. Emma is also a graduate of the School of Shamanic Womancraft and loves holding women’s circles and workshops, which she believes are an important part of healing ourselves and our relationship with Mother Earth.

Workshop: Deep Ecology: Discovering Ourselves as Part of Nature

Dada Jitendrananda – Yoga Monk


Dada Jitendrananda has been a yoga monk for over 30 years. He has worked in the Far East and Europe before coming to the South Pacific. He currently manages the Ananda Palli center in Stanthorpe.

Workshop – The Heart Circle

Superconductivity is the ability of a medium to offer little or no resistance to the passage of electricity. Its equivalent in consciousness is bliss. The workshop uses chanting to evoke the bliss field of consciousness and experience the power of this resource for mental and emotional wellbeing.

Didi Ananda Shamita – Yoga Nun

Didi Ananda Shamita’ has been a yoga nun for 31 years, during which she has taught the philosophy and practices of meditation and yoga; and coordinated social service activities in more than 15 countries. She is currently based in Brisbane.

Workshop: Yoga – A Revolution in Social Thought – Part 1

This is a two part workshop.

In part one Didi outlines the some of the foundations of yogic thought. She goes on explain its implications for personal development.

Some of the basic tenets of Yoga philosophy are:

  • Every human being, an individuated form of infinite consciousness, yearns for infinite happiness
  • We are all interconnected to one another, to all animals, all plants and everything else via this singular consciousness
  • As individuated beings, our lives are governed by certain universal laws.

One of these laws is the law of samskaras, i.e. the law of cause and effect. A deeper understanding of this law of cause and effect would drastically change the way we conduct our lives. We explore the law of action and reaction, how it applies in the physical and mental world, as well as its ramifications .

We will have a short discussion followed by role play to develop an appreciation of the concept of cause and effect applied in the physical, emotional and mental realms of human development.

Dada Paramatmananda’s workshop follows on from this by applying these principles into social transformation.

Dada Paramatmananda – Yoga Monk

Dada Paramatmananda has been a yoga monk for 29 years. He has worked in many countries in South Asia, South East Asia, Europe and is currently based in Melbourne, Australia, where he runs classes and workshops, teaching the art and practice of meditation and yoga.

Dada uses his engineering background to delve deeply into the esoteric and mystical science behind Yoga to show us yogic secrets hidden in plain sight and how we can apply this knowledge in our life.

Workshop: Yoga – A Revolution in Social Thought – Part 2

In part 2, we apply the foundation setup by Didi’s workshop to explore futures in the social context.

As individuals we generally create our reality by unconsciously projecting our past into the future; as a society we do the same as well. Are we doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past or can we choose a different future?

So if we decide to, how do we create the type of society we want ? In this workshop we will look at the application of the above core yogic principles and from these we develop perspectives in the socio-economic, political and justice arenas of human social development.

Yoyo Tuki – Rapa Nui Musician

Rapa Nui is the birthplace and homeland of musician Yoyo Tuki, an acclaimed musical figure throughout Polynesia, Chile and Australia. Rapa Nui (Easter Island) lies 3700 km off the coast of Chile and 4000 km southeast from Tahiti. The official language is Spanish as the island is part of Chile, though the islanders also speak Rapa Nui – a Polynesian dialect similar to Tahitian and New Zealand Maori.

Yoyo credits his grandfather, Mana Roa (Great Wisdom), a respected elder, for nurturing his deep respect for his land and traditions. Mana Roa was regarded as a keeper of ancient wisdom and was also one of the islands greatest carvers.

Sung in Rapa Nui, Spanish or English, the message in Yoyo’s music is universal. He draws on life experiences, the sometimes tragic history of his people, awareness for the environment, spiritual reflection, stories passed down from his elders and of love and celebration. He plays music for the pure joy of expression and understands this as the underlying success of his career. Yoyo’s captivating voice, eclectic guitar style, clever arrangements and innovative world sound is unlike anything created before. He combines moods & flavours from traditional Rapa Nui to Reggae, Afro, Folk, Latin, New Age and more, with an impressive line-up of emotive ballads to upbeat dance tunes.


Traditional Polynesian Rapa Nui song

Traditional Rapa Nui Polynesian Hoko (Haka) dance

Feraliza – Singer / Songwriter

Feraliza is like a fresh burst of life sprouting straight from the roots of the folk movement.

Take a young woman with a raging fire in her belly and a history of passionate environmental activism, add a powerful and mesmerizing voice, a guitar style all of her own, and a lyrical genius inspired by the colourful experiences of a drifter, a freedom fighter, a student life, and you have Feraliza.


Shunya is a singer-songwriter with a grounding in the spiritual.

His performance contains reflective songs, solo piano and guitar pieces and mantras for you to sing with.

Tony Rice – Kite Maker

Tony has been a Practicing artist for more than 30 years and a Kite Maker for 20. He began his art career in Adelaide at the South Australian School of Art in the 1970s. As a Potter and a Kite maker Tony found inspiration in the traditions of Japan. Working with kites came about as a direct response to the limitations of exhibiting his work in galleries. Wrestling with Limitations of Space, he found in the kite a liberating vehicle for his painting and sculpture. He now exhibits in the great gallery that is the sky, amidst wind, clouds, birds, sun, rain, and deep blue space.
He is a member of The Australian Kite Flyers Society and has become a major influence among Australian Kite Artists for his use of traditional Asian kite making techniques and materials.

In recent years Tony has found a new medium and a new concern in the plastic waste washed up from the sea. Replicating Dolphins and Turtles, he reminds us of the life that is being destroyed by these pollutants.

Workshop: Make and Fly Your Own Kite

The Graniteers

The Graniteers are a group of Granite Belters who love to play and share the bright gentle sound of the Ukulele. Their repertoire shows the versatility of the instrument that has found a place in popular music as well as its most permanent home, the Pacific Islands.

The Graniteers meet weekly and are always happy to welcome new members with no previous experience.

Wiruungga Dunggiirr – First Nations Activist

Wiruungga has dedicated his life to educating non-indigenous and indigenous people about First Nations’ culture through story-telling, dance, music and other arts and crafts. Wiruungga has a special commitment to the well being of Aboriginals in remote communities, making an annual supply trip in his colourful bus. He is also a qualified Permaculturist and works for better health and well being in Aboriginal communities though establishing small scale agricultural projects.

Workshop: The Tree of Knowledge

We are born from a seed, as we grow, we gain knowledge and as we age we acquire wisdom. The dance of life, growing from a seed to wisdom

Harley Van Valen – Movie Maker

Meet One Drum movie maker Harley Van Valen at this screening of his movie One Drum, a film about a road trip from New York City to Rio De Janeiro in a 1978 VW Kombie named Betty. In September 2007, Steve, Betty and Harley left New York City on an adventure of a life time, travelling through Central and South America for the carnival in Rio De Janeiro in February 2009.

The adventure was to be about experiencing new cultures and living the way they wanted to.

Along the way they interviewed people about ‘what’s important in life’ searching for answers within.

Alison Gaffney

Alison Gaffney had been dancing Nia for 5 years and has 4 Levels of training

I love connecting to music and moving for greater health and well being not just in the body but in the mind, the emotions and the spirit are also lifted by dancing. My passion developed when I was the full time carer of my Grandmother in Brisbane in 2011. Nia became an hour to be fully in the celebration of being alive connecting to sensation. Meditation in movement became a learned skill that gave me a spiritual awakening that helped me be in my life with grace and passion.

As soon as I knew I was moving back to Stanthorpe I knew I needed to train to teach this practice to bring it to those who might also like to move for greater pleasure, awareness and joy through the movement of dance.

Dylan Graves – Permaculture in Everyday Life

Dylan is a Permaculture educator and committed sharer of Permaculture in action through articles, video, blog, presentations, social media, etc. He is motivated to back the Permaculture movement in any way possible.

Passionate about the Permaculture Ethics and Principles and localising Permaculture whenever possible, he is the founder and organiser of Stanthorpe Permaculture Group since 2014.

Dylan’s workshop is an introduction to applying Permaculture ethics and principles in everyday life.


What they say about the Mela

I’ve been coming for 11 years, always a refreshing start to the new year.

The mela is a 1 week tension-free retreat, another world.

A great way to get in touch with my spirit.

I enjoyed meeting up with old acquaintances, don’t have to worry or think too much, its like hanging out with family (one I don’t have at home).

The mela provides a rare loving space for children to be with adults together in workshops, work and play and this is really appreciated.

You have inspired me to become a better person.

What they say about the Mela

I enjoyed meeting up with old acquaintances, don’t have to worry or think too much, its like hanging out with family (one I don’t have at home).

The mela provides a rare loving space for children to be with adults together in workshops, work and play and this is really appreciated.

You have inspired me to become a better person.

I’ve been coming for 11 years, always a refreshing start to the new year.

The mela is a 1 week tension-free retreat, another world.

A great way to get in touch with my spirit.

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