PAA Support Staff
Member Relations Officer
MEMBER RELATIONS OFFICER - SHARAN SIMMONS
Ph: 0483 838 292
Hours: Mon – Fri 2.30 – 6.30pm
Sharan comes to the role of Member Relations officer with strong professional experience in the Pilates industry and a unique understanding of member concerns, industry challenges and issues.
Sharan is a Principal level member of PAA and teaches in Pilates studios and allied health settings as she has for over 18 years, as a teacher, mentor, studio manager and studio owner at various points in her career.
Sharan has 10 yrs experience volunteering on the PAA committee, coordinating and contributing to a wide range of projects both organisational and industry based. Sharan was also Conference organiser for the very successful recent events, 2019 PAA conference and 2021 PAA virtual conference.
In this new role she will work to build a stronger, more engaged membership community, provide key member services and support to all membership levels and career progressions. The day to day interaction with members is very rewarding and gives a great insight into the individual, local and national challenges facing members to tailor our support and education. Sharan has a calm and confident manner seeking solutions to member challenges or concerns and finding the way forward.
For relaxation it’s time in the garden or a bushwalk with her dog Domino. She also has a passion for baking not sparked by lockdown. Cardamom, plum and pistachio cake anyone?
SYSTEMS OFFICER - KERRY HAYWOOD
Ph: 0412 581 137
Hours: Mon – Fri 9.00am – 2.30pm
Kerry’s role as Systems Officer focuses on some of the more technical aspects of the organisation, helping the PAA to operate more efficiently and effectively as it grows. Her areas of responsibility include:
- Support of the online membership database: helping members with technical issues, assisting with online membership profiles.
- Website updates and maintenance including Studio/Instructor Search facility and forthcoming workshop listings.
- Bookkeeping, accounts and reporting.
- Newsletter production and email advertising blasts.
Kerry’s background is a unique blend of management and customer service, with a liberal sprinkling of technical skills. Some of her previous roles include Cinema Manager for Odeon (UK) and Operations/Office Manager for corporate HR and the digital graphics training sectors in Sydney.
Her support of members is fueled by a love of problem solving and making things work, her goal is for all association with the PAA to be a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Social Media Assistant
SOCIAL MEDIA ASSISTANT - NATALIE RYAN
Natalie is an Osteopathy student at Southern Cross University, Gold Coast QLD; is currently undertaking her studio Pilates instructor training and is a certified Reformer Pilates instructor with Polestar.
Directly out of high school Natalie spent her time volunteering with various associations in a small town south of Perth such as the Volunteer Resource Centre. Projects there included ‘Supporting our Seniors’, creating health promotion in Leisure Centres, design work for the Airborne Forces Association and more. During this time she completed a Web Design Diploma and a Graphic Design Advanced Diploma knowing that health and fitness direction and promotion was where she wanted to take these qualifications.
In London from 2017 – 2019 she found her passion in allied health by working alongside osteopaths, physiotherapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, dieticians and many more wellness services in administrative positions. She now does casual Mindbody consulting, studies, and teaches Pilates classes.
Natalie brings a very modern outlook on Pilates, having completed teacher training in and out of lockdown with social distancing and various other restrictions. Natalie is here at the PAA to encourage the potential students and to inspire the current students! She would love to be a Pilates student mentor one day.
PAA Committee Members
President and Public Officer
Founder & Owner of Pilates Works, Lower North Shore, Sydney NSW
Robyn is the founder and owner of Pilates Works on the lower North Shore of Sydney. She holds a Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction (91491NSW) and is a second generation Pilates instructor and trainer, having graduated from the Pilates Master Mentor Program conducted by Lolita San Miguel in Florida.
Previous to becoming a Pilates instructor, Robyn worked in the financial services industry as an actuary, gaining broad experience in many areas of business management. Then, with a complete change of direction, she completed a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture.
Always interested in health & fitness, she was reluctant to pursue a career in this area for fear that it would turn something she loved into a chore. But, due to a series of (un)fortunate events, her love of the Pilates method turned into a career.
Her dream is to see the Pilates industry as a professional, cohesive and supportive community that brings the joys and benefits of Pilates to as many people as possible.
Christine Lavelle Pilates, Somersby NSW
Bachelor of Applied Science – UWS, Australia
Certified Pilates Instructor (Romana’s Pilates Level IV)
Principal Trainer – Pilates Alliance of Australasia
Certified DNS Exercise Practitioner – Rehabilitation Prague School
Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment
Chris began her Pilates Instructor training with Cynthia Lochard in Sydney, Australia in 1996. She has been a certified Pilates Instructor since 1998 (Pilates Inc., Romana’s Pilates). By historical lineage, she is classified as a 2nd generation Pilates Instructor, having completed her training seminars and examinations with Pilates Elder, Romana Kryzanowska. Chris taught alongside Romana in her training centre in New York during 1998/1999 and continued to study with her until she retired.
Chris has managed and taught in her own Pilates studio from 1999 to date. She was awarded teacher trainer status with Romana’s Pilates in 2004. Chris commenced studying Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation (DNS) with The Rehabilitation Prague School in 2014 and became a certified DNS exercise instructor in 2016.
Prior to taking up Pilates Chris had an academic career in Systems Science, graduating with Honours and the University Medal from The University of Western Sydney (Hawkesbury). She worked on the faculty of Silliman University (Philippines) for two years and then returned to the University of Western Sydney where she worked as a lecturer and in consultancy/research for several years. Although seemingly unrelated to Pilates, the paradigms of systems science and experiential learning that defined Chris’s academic career, set her in pursuit of a balanced and conscious approach to her own evolution.
After leaving academia, Chris studied human movement and began performing with amateur dance group “Bricolage”, under the tutelage of modern Dancer, Annetta Luce. She also studied with Mind Body Centering practitioner, Alice Cummins. In 1995, she was recommended to Cynthia Lochard’s Pilates studio after an dancing injury. Chris attended Cynthia’s studio three times a week for private classes and was very excited about this strange new movement vocabulary and the strength that quickly developed in her hyper-mobile body! Chris continued her classes for over a year before beginning an apprenticeship training programme with Cynthia.
In 1996 Chris participated in the first Australian workshop run by Pilates elder Romana Krysanowska. After a two year apprenticeship with Cynthia (which included seminars with Romana and Sari Mejia Santos in Australia), she travelled to New York and spent over 7 months working alongside Romana and Sari in Drago’s gymnasium, New York. During this time she also worked at Brooke Siler’s studio “Re-Ab” and at a Physical Therapy studio, teaching Pilates as an adjunct to their rehabilitation programs. Chris returned to Australia in 1999 and opened her own Pilates Studio.
Throughout her Pilates career, Chris has continued to explore Joseph Pilates deeper ideals of a balanced body/mind/spirit. She maintains a strong belief that instructors need to nurture this delicate balance with independent research, disciplined personal practice and an ongoing commitment to continuing education. Chris has written numerous unpublished papers on specific aspects of Pilates and runs regular continuing education workshops for Pilates instructors.
Chris comes to the PAA committee with a desire to:
1) Enhance the learning and research capabilities of instructors through continuing education, and
2) Encourage awareness and strong client based relationships between Pilates instructors and Allied Health practitioners.
Director Wellcentred Pilates, North Sydney NSW
Meredith began Pilates 30 years ago with Lesley Ackland in London while working in the finance industry by day and studying ballet and contemporary dance the rest of the time, a balance she maintained after returning to Sydney in 1996 then onto New York in 2000.
On returning to Sydney in 2004, she commenced a non executive career. The corporate board roles included Audit and Risk Committees at Perpetual Limited, Pendal Group Limited and GenRe Australasia. She chaired the Remuneration Committee of both Pendal and GenRe and was also the non-executive Chairman of Balmain Funds Management. In the non-profit world, she chaired Synergy & TaikOz and Critical Path and was the Treasurer of Glaucoma Australia.
She completed her APMA qualification at Spring Pilates in 2006 (bridging to the Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy in 2021) and spent the next 6 years at Modern Pilates. She started teaching at Wellcentred Pilates in North Sydney in 2012, keeping up her various board positions until she took over the ownership of the studio in June 2018. Since then, it’s 100% Pilates.
A wholehearted supporter of the aims of the PAA, Meredith looks forward to contributing to the ongoing challenge of firmly establishing Pilates as a respected therapeutic movement modality. Meredith believes her background in business management and corporate governance in with-profit and non-profit organisations will assist the committee to give members confidence in the integrity of the organisation.
Pilates Instructor, Movement Collective Studio, Sydney NSW
Karen has been practicing Pilates since 2011 and gained her Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction in 2017. In the past she worked as a computer analyst/programmer and then in administration and disability support.
Karen believes the strategic directions set out by the PAA are all important and is eager to promote the Pilates Method within the community generally and to specific populations and health professionals. She is keen to work with the PAA to support further learning, evaluation and research into the effectiveness of the Pilates Method and is particularly interested in creating media resources suitable for members and studios to use.
Over the years Karen has joined and contributed to various university, school (as a parent), church and club committees. Together with experience in managing a small office and reception work this has strengthened her organisational and communication skills and ability to work under pressure.
Ordinary Councillor (casual)
Owner and Director, Activate Physio. Pilates, Annandale NSW, MG Pilates, Erskineville NSW
Susie’s love of dance and her preference for an active career with caring service for people led her to graduate as a physiotherapist in 1987. She discovered Pilates in the early 1990’s whilst recovering from a dance related foot injury and decided to train as a Pilates Instructor in 1996, completing a studio apprenticeship with Helen Tardent in addition to clinical Pilates courses. Susie worked in Sydney and London as a Pilates instructor, doing physio work separately in other private practices. Since 2007 she has continued working with a mix of physio and Pilates studio exercise teaching in her Sydney studio and physio practice.
Susie enjoys education teaching, running regular anatomy and injury prevention lectures to Pilates teachers and dance degree course students. She is currently resident physio for dancers at McDonald college, Sydney. She is a founding committee member of the special Dance Network, in the Sports Australia group of the Australian Physiotherapy Association, a past committee member of the Australian Pilates Method Association and a member of the Int. Assoc. for Dance Medicine and Science. Her passion is for healing modalities, dance, performance enhancement and injury prevention.
Susie was invited to join the PAA committee after working with PAA committee members to broker the arrangement for APMA members to come across to PAA in 2023. She brings many years of experience in the Pilates and allied health industries, acknowledging that some modifications may be needed for injury prevention for clients with specific conditions and injuries. Use of therapeutic forms of Pilates is Susie’s ‘reality’ for healing and graded care in her everyday working life. However, she has a strong desire to bring these industry communities together in a common voice for respect for the full body of work and principles of Jo Pilates and each other’s talents, whilst lobbying for the need for comprehensive Pilates training and continuing education and ongoing research.
Owner and Director, Pilates 44 Studio, Bathurst NSW
Simmone owns Pilates 44 Studio, the first fully equipped Pilates Studio in her hometown of Bathurst NSW. For her the Pilates journey was to manage ongoing pain due to a serious horse riding accident & to manage chronic diagnosed panic disorder. Her initial certified training was with Allan Menezes PIA), a 3rd generation Pilates instructor, who trained with Alan Herdman in the UK (Carola Trier & Robert Fitzgerald > Joseph Pilates). She holds a Diploma in Comprehensive Pilates Instructionthrough International educator, Polestar Education Australia & is currently completing her tertiary education for a Bachelor of Exercise Sciencethrough Charles Sturt University. Simmone mentors with Polestar Education Australia and holds Professional Level 1 membership with the PAA.
Her teaching has been described as very intuitive & logical. She works alongside local allied health professionals to bring a holistic approach to clients. These collaborations led to the development of a specific & popular Perimenopause Women’s Health Workshop, that is run with local nutritionist – Miriam Rose Natural Health.
Simmone joins the PAA committee to share her experience from a regional perspective, to be a part of small changes that over the years become bigger changes & to give back to the Pilates community from which she is continually growing as a teacher.
Terry Simpson Studios, Carisma Dance and Fitness, CY Fitness and Pilates and Goodlife Health Clubs, Adelaide SA
DANIELA DI FABIO
Daniela has worked in both the dance and fitness industries for over 20 years as a performer, choreographer and teacher in Australia, Asia and Europe. After graduating from university, she became a member of the Company for Performing Artists, Thailand, before returning to Sydney where she worked for the Australian Institute of Sport (Active After School Care Program), teaching dance to children with mental and physical disabilities. She also worked at Fitness First gyms and choreographed for DirtyFeet and various independent and commercial events before returning to Melbourne to complete further study whilst continuing to dance professionally.
In 2006, she moved to Italy to teach classical ballet, contemporary dance and conditioning classes. In 2009, she founded and directed her own dance and fitness school in the Trentino Alto-Adige region. After returning to Adelaide in 2014, Daniela facilitated a conditioning program for the Adelaide United Youth Team. She currently teaches ballet, Pilates and yoga in Adelaide.
Community and volunteer work are a significant part of Daniela’s life; she hosts a weekly health and wellness program on Radio Italiana 531 (an Italian community radio station), and is Vice-Chairperson of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), South Australian Regional Advisory Panel.
In addition to her dance degrees – Bachelor of Dance, Post Graduate Diploma and Masters of Choreography from Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) – Daniela is a certified yoga teacher (YTT 200-hours), Pilates instructor (Mat and Studio and Rehabilitation, Polestar Education) and Personal Trainer (Certificate III & IV in Fitness). She is currently completing the final module of the Diploma in Pilates (Polestar Education).
It is Daniela’s intention to bring to the Pilates Australasia Alliance an eclectic knowledge of the field of human movement and first-hand experience as a self-employed professional in a range of ‘fitness’ industries with the view to positively impact the continuing development of the Pilates industry.
Mentor and Teacher Trainer, Authentic Pilates Studio, Melbourne VIC
Growing up in the suburbs of Québec City, Canada, Eve was an avid skier and dancer. She first learned to teach movement as a ski instructor, intensely observing bodies moving down a hill and identifying what would improve their abilities and technique.
Eve mainly danced two styles Simonson (jazz) and Graham (modern). It was her Jazz teacher that first introduced her to Pilates, by using Mat repertoire in warm-ups, including the Hundred. Much later that she realised Martha Graham had been a student of Joseph Pilates, explaining why some Pilates repertoire reminds her of Graham’s work.
Eve moved to Melbourne in 2007 and worked in hospitality and events. Wanting a career change, she enrolled and completed the comprehensive training with Peak Pilates at the suggestion of one her Pilates instructors. A few years after completing the Peak comprehensive, she was selected with other applicants worldwide to attend Peak Pilates’ training camp in Venice Beach, CA, and become one of their international Master Instructors.
Eve genuinely believes that Pilates is a lifetime of learning opportunities. She bridged with Authentic Pilates Education International, which provided her with a deeper understanding of the method. Once fully qualified with APEI, she became the principal mentor and teacher trainer level 2 for the APEI’s Melbourne (Victoria) apprentices.
Movement has always been part of Eve’s life and something that brings her happiness. She is constantly thriving to learn more and deepen her knowledge. She completed levels 1 & 2 of DNS Exercise training with Martina Jezkova (MPT) and Chris Lavelle in 2020 and is very much looking forward to completing level 3 and fully qualifying as a DNS practitioner. Continually looking at avenues of learning and developing a keen eye, Eve participates in as many workshops as possible to help her better understand the anatomy and physiology of movement.
Eve has a strong hospitality and event planning background and brings a wealth of organisational skills to the PAA. She is keen to begin planning the next PAA Conference, in whatever form it may take. Eve is also eager to assist the PAA in developing a more inclusive member base that provides recognition for all Pilates instructors in Australia with comprehensive studio qualifications.
Entrepreneur and Host of The Podcast Diaries
Bruce has always loved sport and movement, and his interests led him to a Sports Science degree (RMIT Melbourne) during which time he discovered Pilates in 1996. He first trained in Pilates in the UK in 1999, working with the Body Control Pilates UK (BCP-UK) group for 3 years in central London. In 2003 he was invited to manage the first BCP-UK studio in Scotland, where he worked with members of UK rock band Radiohead and members of the cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Bruce has studied with classical Pilates trainers Siri Dharma, Los Angeles and Michael Miller, Colorado. From 2002, he studied with world-renowned movement and imagery expert Eric Franklin, becoming the pioneer Franklin Method® Educator in Australia in the early 2000s.
Bruce was the co-founder of Balance & Control Pilates Studio in Melbourne in 2004, growing the business to three studios across Melbourne and a team of 20 dedicated Pilates and Physiotherapy practitioners. He also served as consultant Strength Coach to the Australian Ballet School from 2005-2011, as well as training a range of elite level athletes from AFL, Sailing, Athletics, Soccer, Netball, Ballet and Music.
Bruce played state-level Australian Rules football in both Victoria and WA. He has trekked Peru’s Inca Trail to Macchu Pichu, sailed a yacht across the Atlantic Ocean, and ran the 2002 London Marathon.
Bruce is a PAA Principal Trainer and is keen to help improve the economic return for Pilates teachers and has a special interest in creating a united force for Pilates in Australia.
Owner and operator of Newlife Studio Pilates Dunsborough WA
Andree is the owner and operator of Newlife Studio Pilates located in Dunsborough, 3 hrs southwest of Perth WA. She holds a PilatesITC Diploma in Professional Pilates Instruction and is a level 3 member of the PAA.
Andree’s philosophy is centred on the principle of “Looking after your body” as you only have one body!! Having successfully been in business for over 27 years, starting in body movement working as a Personal trainer and Aerobics instructor and then studying professional Pilates, has paved the way towards her passion in helping people with postural ailments and the importance of a fully functioning body.
Andree is excited at the opportunity of joining the PAA committee. With her years of experience in small business and understanding of the importance of education and management she hopes to share advice and assistance to the organisation and fellow members.
The benefits of professional Pilates are widely acknowledged and Andree is aware of the impacts of poor mental and physical health to the economy. Therefore Andree’s main objective on the committee would be to have the Pilates industry regulated and recognised as a professional health provider, with a more prominent role within our communities.
Ordinary Councillor (casual)
Owner and operator of Wollongong Pilates Studio, Wollongong NSW
Donna began working in the Pilates space in 1995 and undertook her initial training with Vass and Shaw in Sydney. She completed the Grad Cert Pilates Method in the inaugural intake of 2001 at UTS and following graduation was invited to serve as a faculty member at UTS, a position she held for 5 years. In 2008, she graduated as an Exercise Physiologist from the University of Wollongong.
In 2002 she was elected to the board of the Australian Pilates Method Association and served a successful term as President (2003-2008). She later returned in the roles of Vice President, Advisory Consultant and Acting CEO for the Education and Training arm. She has continued to serve the industry in various board and consultancy roles, now joining the PAA committee.
Donna owns and operates Wollongong Pilates Studio (1995 to date) where she practices as a rehabilitation provider and Pilates Practitioner. She continues to mentor many young Pilates and EP students and graduates as well as other complementary and allied health professionals.
In 2022, Donna was awarded Allied Health Professional of the Year by the Australian Patients Association of which she is very proud.
Donna comes to the PAA committee with an interest in sharing her experience across many industry issues and promoting a therapeutic model of the work that would be recognised by the public, private health funds, NDIS, and Workers’ Insurance.