Our Staff

Clare Shearman, BA(hons), MBA, Grad Dip Spir Dir (Siloam), Grad Dip Supervision, Supervisor: Australasian Association of Supervision

Clare was appointed Director of Heart of Life from January 2022. She graduated from the Siloam Program in 2013 and has been involved in spiritual direction and managed two retreat centres since then. Clare is a professional supervisor, and in a spirit of collaboration between institutions, Clare works with students studying with the University of Divinity’s Professional Supervision Program.

Clare has held leadership roles in the corporate world as well as in large and small not-for-profit organisations. She considers herself extremely blessed to be working for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (at Heart of Life) together with the rest of the Heart of Life team, in service of those who are seeking to nurture their personal spirituality and pastoral skills for the benefit of others. “To undertake this work is a privilege and a great responsibility. I am proud to be the current custodian and leader of this amazing organisation along with the Heart of Life team members who appear below.”


Julie Adam, BA, BTheol, Dip Min, Cert Spir Dir

Julie Adam leads Communal Reflection in the Siloam Program and co-facilitates the Let the Heart Listen program at Heart of Life.

Julie is a Churches of Christ minister who recently retired from formal ministry. She has worked primarily as a Pastoral Carer for Seniors. She continues this work in a voluntary capacity. Julie is a Spiritual Director who did her training at Heart of Life, which was a transformative experience. She loves the contemplative work of listening to our hearts and feels privileged to journey with people in this at Heart of Life. Julie is married with three adult children and spends as much time as she can at her home in Cape Bridgewater which brings her much joy.


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Carole Carmody rsm, MEd, Grad Dip RE, Dip T, Cert SD

Carole Carmody is a supervisor, and co-facilitates the Let the Heart Listen program at Heart of Life.

Carole is Sister of Mercy with a passion for the contemplative approach to spiritual direction, prayer, formative processes and retreats.


Susan Gesell, BArts(Religious Studies), Cert Spir Dir, Cert Ministry Supervision

Susan Gesell is a supervisor at Heart of Life.

Sue is a mature, experienced and competent, Counsellor, Pastoral Care Worker, Spiritual Director, and Personal & Group Supervisor. She is committed to personal growth, holistic health, and a Contemporary Spirituality of the Heart. Sue affirms, ‘Heart Spirituality is a spirituality of loving dialogue and sensitive awareness of the mystery we call God’. This invites her to an authentic, grounded and deeply human way of living.


Theodora Ghaitidis, BTheol, Grad Dip Spir Dir

Theodora Ghaitidis is a tutor in the Siloam Program at Heart of Life.

Theodora is one of Heart of Life’s newest members, joining the team as a tutor in the Siloam Program. She will guide and support the Siloam participants in the capacity of mentor and group facilitator. Having completed Siloam in 2020, she is well equipped to assist new students through the program. Theodora has a Bachelor of Theology and three clinical pastoral care units. Currently she is a participant in Heart of Life’s Emmaus Supervision Program and is committed to completing her Master’s degree to further enhance her theological and pastoral education. As a lay person, she very much values her position at St Vincent’s Private Hospital as a pastoral care practitioner, and is looking forward to expanding her role at Heart of Life in the future.


Leslie Hanger, BMin, Grad Cert Teach Medit, M Spir Dir, Giver of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises

Leslie is a supervisor at Heart of Life.

Leslie is a Spiritual Director. She is passionate about contemplative practices as a pathway for spiritual transformation and for an ever-deepening relationship with God. She is an experienced retreat leader and workshop facilitator.


Peter Hay, DipTeach, BEd, BA, BTheol, Grad Dip Spir Dir, MA Spir Dir, Supervisor: Australasian Association of Supervision

Peter Hay is a supervisor in Heart of Life’s Siloam, Emmaus Supervision, and Spiritual Leaders programs and is also a lecturer.

Peter has been involved in teaching and spiritual formation for many years. His interest and passion for accompanying others on the journey towards discovery of their own inner giftedness and finding deeper meaning in life commenced as a teacher when he was the Head of Faith and Mission at St Kevin’s College 1992 -2006. From there, he was the Director of Edmund Rice Centre, Amberley (2007 -2016), a retreat and spirituality centre conducted by the Christian Brothers. Peter was the Edmund Rice Formation Co-ordinator for the Christian Brothers Oceania Province from 2017-2021.

In recent years, Peter has explored a deep interest in ecology and spirituality. He enjoys walking and being in the natural world and being awakened to the deeper mystery revealed through the interconnectedness of all living beings. Peter feels he has found a home in his spiritual direction and pastoral supervision work. Being able to witness the transformative learning and growth of others is a precious gift.


Jeff Hood, BSc(Psych), BPA, MA, M Tesol, DTS, GDSD, Dip Min, Grad Dip Couns, Dip Ed

Jeff Hood is a supervisor and lecturer at Heart of Life.

Jeff worked as a Psychologist for over 40 years, often in private practice. He began his working life at Marillac House, a disability service conducted by the Daughters of Charity. His roles have included State Training Manager for the St Vincent de Paul Society in NSW, inaugural Co-ordinator of Bereavement Services at Sacred Heart Hospice in Darlinghurst, and Senior Counsellor at La Trobe University Counselling Service. He taught at the Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement and after becoming a Gestalt Psychotherapist, spent many years training psychotherapists. Jeff has also taught extensively at various Universities, teaching trainee psychologists and counsellors, medical students, and for many years, taught Theatre and Performance at Monash University, having graduated in Drama and Theatre Studies from Monash. He also taught at the National Pastoral Institute. He has been involved extensively in supervising psychologists and psychotherapists, bereavement counsellors and students in formation. Jeff spent four years as a seminarian, mostly at St Francis Xavier Seminary in Adelaide. He is a Spiritual Director and Pastoral Supervisor, having completed the Siloam spiritual direction formation program at Heart of Life. Jeff is also a registered teacher and is qualified as a teacher of TESOL. He is currently undertaking a Master of Theological Studies degree at Yarra Theological Union. He regards teaching and supervising at Heart of Life as the highlight of his working life, much more a vocation than a job!



Rita Malavisi, BEd, Grad Dip Rel Ed, Grad Dip Spir Dir, Inst Rel Formation Prog, MA(Pastoral Studies)

Rita Malavisi is a supervisor and co-leader of the Spiritual Leaders Program at Heart of Life.

Rita is a Sister of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, Vic/Tas Region. She has 30 years’ experience as an educator in Catholic Schools, both primary and secondary, now with a passion for staff formation in spirituality and adult faith formation. Her ancestry is Italian and Arabic, so that brought her to work closely with those seeking asylum in this country, being able to give concrete examples to Catholic Social Teaching.

Rita graduated from the Siloam Program in 2013, and is also working as the National Chair of the Conference of Spiritual Directors Australia. She serves on her Congregation’s Immersion and Discernment of Call formation group.

Rita believes that God is present and active in every moment of life, seeking to listen for the presence of God in the sacredness of life.


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Peter Malone msc, BA(Hons), STL, DTheol (Honoris Causa)

Peter Malone msc is a lecturer at Heart of Life.

Peter was a member of the staff of YTU from 1972-1998. He taught Introduction to Old Testament, The Mystery of Christ, Introduction to Theology, Australian Theology, Media. He was editor of Compass Theology Review, 1972-1998. After serving as the president of the Catholic Film Offices of the Pacific (1989-1998), he was elected as President of OCIC (The International Catholic Organisation for Cinema) (1998-2001). When OCIC merged with UNDA (the International Catholic Organisation for Radio and Television) to form SIGNIS (The World Catholic Association for Communication), he was elected the first president (2001-2005). He has published articles and books on Theology, Spirituality and Cinema (and has reviewed films since 1968). Member of ACTA, Australian Catholic Theological Association.


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Marlene McGrath

Marlene McGrath is a supervisor at Heart of Life.

Marlene has 10 years of involvement as a Pastoral Associate in a Melbourne parish. This brought her to a belief that the struggles and joys in the lives of people culminated in a ‘spiritual’ question. Thus began her connection with Heart of Life. She joined the Siloam program, became a spiritual director and currently works with the same process as a Supervisor. Marlene believes that faith and life intersect through myriad experiences in the mish-mash of life – the place where the Spirit continually invites, consoles, dwells, hides and challenges us to an active response from the heart.


Dr Lynn Moresi, DMin, MMin, GradDipSD, BBibStud, CertIVTAE, CertIVCelebrancy

Dr. Lynn Moresi is a lecturer at Heart of Life.

Lynn is also a Lecturer in Practical Theology based at the University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia. She is also a Spiritual Director, Professional Pastoral Supervisor, Enneagram Trainer and popular itinerate speaker who travels regularly to teach and minister in bible colleges, seminaries and churches, both here in Australia and overseas. Lynn’s doctoral thesis considered ways in which Christians could be equipped to navigate the challenging faith formation stages of doubt and spiritual darkness. With over 40 years experience in pastoral ministry, Lynn has a passion is to see people engage with their faith in an authentic and congruent way whereby they are free to be themselves and empower others to do likewise. Lynn has a down-to-earth, humorous communication style that engages and challenges her listeners. She is married with two adult children.


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Robyn Reynolds olsh, BA(Hons), MA, PhD

Robyn Reynolds olsh is a lecturer at Heart of Life.

Robyn has spent many years working and living with indigenous Australians in remote communities of the Northern Territory. After 10 years as lecturer and Dean of Catholic students at Darwin’s Nungalinya College, Robyn worked at Yarra Theological Union. She has also spent time in South Africa conducting workshops in Cross-Cultural Studies, Contextual Theology and Missionary Spirituality. She teaches in the area of Missiology, Spirituality, and Religious Education; of special interest is her unit “Social Teaching and Indigenous Peoples.” (Robyn’s doctoral thesis was entitled Catholic sacrament engaging with Wadeye Ritual).


Jo Sullivan, Grad Cert. Bereavement Counselling & Intervention. Grad Dip Professional Supervision. Supervisor: Australasian Association of Supervision, Member Transforming Practices Inc.

Jo Sullivan is a supervisor and co-leader of the Emmaus Supervision Program at Heart of Life.

Jo is delighted to be a part of the formation team for the Emmaus Supervision Program at Heart of Life. Jo is also a professional supervisor in private practice and believes reflection on practice is an essential part of lifelong learning. Previously, Jo worked for 10 years (2011-2021) as a pastoral care practitioner at St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney, being part of the hospital multi-disciplinary team, supporting patients and families in their health journeys, life transitions, crises and end of life care.

From both personal and professional experience, Jo has an awareness of life’s realities and complexities, human vulnerability, change and loss, and draws on these experiences as a resource to uphold and support the human spirit – to promote life in all its fullness.

Jo has qualifications in grief and bereavement counselling, in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and is currently a CPE supervisor and educator in formation.

Jo loves walking by the ocean in the early mornings and being in the countryside when time permits. Jo’s four children and five grandchildren remind her of what is important in life.


Wayne Stanhope OCarm, Grad Dip Ed Studies(Pastoral Guidance), Dip Human Growth & Dev, Spiritual & Leadership Formation Program

Wayne Stanhope is a supervisor at Heart of Life.

Wayne has been involved in the ministry of spirituality and human/pastoral formation over many years. He has held a variety of positions of pastoral leadership both within the Carmelite Order and the Church, here in Australia and internationally. He is currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Pastoral Supervision through ACU.

Wayne’s Carmelite spirituality has informed his life and ministry over the years and continues to do so. This is expressed succinctly in the Order’s constitutions: “Carmelites … are to accompany those who genuinely desire to experience the transcendent in their lives or who wish to share their experience of God.” Heart of Life in its spirit and history resonates with this desire to accompany people as we each find meaning in the midst of life, where God waits for us to know and to awaken to God’s Presence.

To be part of a contemplative environment, inclusive of so many unique individuals, is a graced moment, and an exciting challenge!


Lis Teggelove rsm

Lis has been involved at Heart of Life since the last century!… and she loves her work. Every day brings a new opportunity for being surprised and delighted by the unique workings of grace in the heart of each person. The natural environment, together with the simple prayerful atmosphere within the buildings, work together to create a contemplative ambience, wherein everyone is welcomed and respected.


Joan Wright Howie, BA, BTheol, Grad Cert Supervision, MA Spiritual Direction

Joan Wright Howie is a supervisor and co-leader of the Emmaus Supervision Program at Heart of Life.

Joan is keen to foster interior freedom through her work as a Uniting Church minister and working as Head of Faith & Development at World Vision Australia. She is a spiritual director, professional supervisor and retreat leader with a passion for spiritual formation. She is an energetic, passionate contemplative who enjoys practising the presence of God in the midst of adventure. She is married to David and they share a house with their three young adult children. She has a dog called Kai who takes her for walks, a garden full of flowers and vegetables, and her happy place is swimming in the ocean.