The Committee

PAA Committee Members

President PAA

President PAA

Director of Smart Health Training and Services, Adelaide.

JENNIFER GUEST

Jennifer (Jenni) Guest began her formal Pilates Training in 1998. She gained her Diploma of Pilates Practice with Polestar Pilates Education, as well as studying with Dance Medicine Australia and the Pilates International Training Centre.

In 2003, Jenni was invited onto the Polestar Pilates Education Mentoring Scheme, and in 2008 reached Senior Examiner/Educator status. She conducts the Certificate IV, Diploma and Comprehensive Reformer Courses as well as The Women’s Health and Neuro-rehabilitation in Pilates professional development modules.

She is a Director of Smart Health Training and Services, a progressive allied health clinic offering comprehensive clinical services, occupational and corporate health solutions as well as training. Smart Health is the South Australian host site for Polestar Pilates Education.

Jenni graduated from the University of South Australia in 1992 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Physiotherapy and went on to gain a post-graduate certification in Cardiothoracic and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. When she moved into the private health sector, she began to channel her efforts and focus into her favoured areas of dance physiotherapy, women’s health and Pilates.

Jenni works in a clinical setting, and is closely involved with dance and dance sport, focusing on injury management and prevention, lecturing to younger, through to professional dancers, teachers and choreographers. She is a member of The International Association of Dance Medicine and Science and presents at workshops, student summer schools and teacher training conferences as well as travelling with state groups. Jenni has also furthered her practice skills with women’s health continuing education and practical development, and Real Time Ultrasound training, allowing for accurate assessment, training and reassessment of the pelvic floor and transversus abdominis.

Jenni joined the PAA in 2009, initially serving as secretary until her recent appointment as President. Her goals when joining were to facilitate a bridge between Pilates Instructors and the Allied Health Network. She believes in formal education and certification of the Pilates method across all levels, with a special recognition of the Pilates Method in the rehabilitation arena.

In taking on the role as President, Jenni will act as a voice of the committee which acts as a voice of the entire PAA member base. She is here to ensure that everyone is heard.”

Vice President and Education Officer

Vice President and Education Officer

Co-owner of Pilates Insight and senior instructor at Pilates International Pymble studio

SHARAN SIMMONS

Sharan is a Principal level Pilates Instructor, co-owner of Pilates Insight and senior instructor at Pilates International Pymble studio. Sharan holds an Advanced Diploma of the Pilates Method (91490NSW) and has been practising Pilates for over 16 years.

Invited to join the PAA committee in early 2012 to hold position of Education Officer and elected later that year, Sharan has lead many projects to extend services for members and PAA Education Bodies. Sharan has been involved in organising the PAA Conference since 2011, with the event expanding each year. The recent 2015 conference was our largest to date.

Sharan was first introduced to Pilates in the US where she became fascinated with the scope of the Pilates Method. Sharan was drawn to the precision of the Pilates exercises and their power to transform the body. Sharan attained her qualification in Singapore in 2003 with Pilates ITC and Polestar.

Sharan taught in a busy studio in Singapore before starting one of the first Pilates studios in Shanghai when her family moved to China for 2 years. Now firmly entrenched back in Sydney, she continues her Pilates journey through international conferences, ongoing workshops, courses and sessions with renowned local and international Pilates instructors.

Sharan’s goal is to promote PAA’s high education standards within the industry, foster ongoing professional development and build a strong industry of passionate Pilates professionals.

Secretary PAA

Secretary PAA

Owner, Pilates Tasmania

MARY McARTHUR

B.A., Dip Mus., Dip Ed., Adv Dip Pilates Method

Mary is the owner of and instructor at Pilates Tasmania and has recently completed the Advanced Diploma in the Pilates Method (91490NSW) and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment (TAE40110).

After many years of teaching music and then working in the fitness industry, Mary branched out from traditional gym based work to focus on the study and practice of Pilates. Since opening her Pilates Studio in Battery Point, much of her time is taken up teaching and promoting the safe practice of Pilates to her regular clients.

As well as teaching Pilates, Mary also continues to enjoy her passion for music, is a guest fitness presenter on ABC radio and has been a motivational speaker for several years – presenting at conferences throughout Tasmania, as well as interstate and overseas, on a range of topics such as lifestyle, wellbeing, fitness and stress management. Using slides and anecdotes of personal experiences gained whilst walking in the most remote and primitive areas of the world, Mary entertains audiences of all ages with personal, at times intimate, and always colorful tales of her adventures. She shows how problem solving, team building and confronting physical and emotional obstacles can be met feet first with humor and mental and physical stamina.

Mary was elected onto the PAA committee in 2010. Her goal is to see the PAA continue to flourish in its role as the foremost national governing body of the Pilates Method, as well as to raise the profile of the Pilates profession and its practitioners throughout Australia.

Treasurer PAA

Treasurer PAA

Polestar Pilates Studio Manager, NSW

JEREMY HUNT

Jeremy began his Pilates journey during his training as a ballet dancer in Newcastle in 2005.  He began his formal Pilates training in 2009 completing a Diploma of Pilates Instruction with Polestar Pilates Education.  Jeremy was invited onto the Polestar Pilates Education Team in 2013 and he now educates locally and interstate delivering Certificate IV, Diploma level Polestar Pilates Courses and Continuing Education.

Jeremy taught Pilates in Adelaide for close to a decade in a wide range of clinical and group fitness settings, including physiotherapy private practices, chiropractic clinics, health and fitness centres, ballet schools, private homes and university classes.  In 2016, Jeremy relocated to Sydney and began consulting and managing the Polestar Pilates Studio in the Northern Beaches.  Currently, Jeremy is completing a Classical Pilates course to gain a deeper appreciation and different perspective of the Pilates Method.

Jeremy graduated from the University of South Australia in 2013 with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement and was awarded a Masters of Physiotherapy in 2015.  He works in the private health sector as a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist with major areas of interest being Dance Physiotherapy and Clinical Pilates.  Jeremy is a member of International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, has completed courses in dance physiotherapy and has been invited to teach and lecture at various dance institutions across Australia.

As Treasurer of the PAA Jeremy’s goal is to increase the profile of the Pilates Method within the realm of healthcare and improve the financial systems and processes of the PAA. He is proud to be a member of an organisation that shares his passion and devotion for the Pilates Method.

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Christine Lavelle Pilates, Somersby, NSW

CHRIS LAVELLE

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) and working on the faculty of Silliman University (Philippines) for two years before returning to the University of Western Sydney where she worked as a lecturer and in consultancy/research for several years. 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 injuring herself dancing. 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, at Cynthia’s studio in Leichhardt. 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 (now known as TRUE Pilates 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 a Pilates studio in Balmain. In 2004 she was granted Teacher Trainer status.

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 classes from other instructors. Chris has written numerous unpublished papers on specific aspects of Pilates and runs regular Pilates continuing educational workshops.

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.

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Instructor, Authentic Pilates Studio, Lilyfield, NSW

KRISTY SMITH

Kristy was first introduced to Pilates in early 2010 after the birth of her second child and having been a very sporty person she was keen to get physically fit again. Kristy quickly developed a passion for the classical Pilates method after seeing results in her own body. This inspired her to train and pursue a career as a Pilates Instructor.

Kristy has completed the Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction (91491NSW) and Authentic Pilates Education of Australia Teacher Training program and is recognised as a Professional Pilates Instructor of the Authentic Method.

She regularly participates in Continuing Pilates Education seminars to refine her skills and keep up to date with the latest in the industry, recently attending the Valencia Classical Pilates 2014 Conference in Spain, with Kathi Ross Nash, Peter Fiasca and Brooke Siler.

2014 Completed Authentic Pilates Education of Australia Teacher Training.
2014 Completed Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction (91491NSW).
Member of Pilates Alliance of Australia (PAA).

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Pilates Instructor and Exercise Physiologist

MARIANA TOLJ

Over the course of her career, Mariana has worked in finance and sales before completing a Bachelor in Exercise Science. Now an accredited Exercise Physiologist she has been working within a management team for a large health club, and is primarily responsible for marketing and communication strategies and overseeing group fitness and personal trainers. She is also completing postgraduate studies in Public Health at UNSW.

As an Exercise Physiologist, Mariana has extensive experience in exercise prescription and initially trained with the APMA in 2010 to compliment her skills and incorporate Pilates into client exercise programming.  This not only transformed her client sessions but also her own training, alleviating long standing pain and injuries she had sustained in long distance running. She felt the need for more comprehensive understanding of Pilates as a system and is now retraining in the classical method.

Mariana hopes to contribute to a cohesive Pilates community that is recognised for its professionalism, knowledge and development by its members, movement industries and health professionals.

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Owner & Principal Trainer Hudson Barry Pilates Moorebank & Surry HillS

MELISSA BARRY

Adv Dip Pilates Method, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Adv Dip of Naturopathy (which also includes Diplomas in Remedial Massage, Herbal Medicine, Nutrition & Homoeopathy). PAA Principal Trainer member.

Melissa owns and runs two Sydney based studios (established 2002), has been a member of faculty when the courses were being run through TAFE and is currently a mentor / supervisor for student teachers undertaking courses with Pilates ITC.

Melissa has been teaching Pilates since 2001, opening her first studio in 2002 and taking on a second location in 2012. Melissa has been in the wellness industry for over 20 years and is passionate about Pilates and the role it has to play in people’s wellness, with particular interest in both rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement. Melissa is currently the Naturopath and Pilates trainer for the Sydney Kings NBL team. This is her 6th season with the team.

Melissa’s first exposure to Pilates was via a magazine article (circa 2000) where the description of the Pilates Method resonated instantly with her. At the time though, the studios were only city based and out of her budget. Eventually as fortune had it, she stumbled into a matwork class that gave her another “Ah huh” moment, and from there she continued to ask the instructor questions (each and every week) until she suggested Melissa go and train to teach. Melissa embarked on matwork and reformer certification (Pilates Moves) and then full studio qualifications at Diploma and Advanced Diploma level (Pilates ITC).

Pilates felt like the missing link in her passion and pursuit for wellness. Pilates is, to this day, a key factor in the health of her family and her clients. Melissa hopes to contribute to the continued growth, reputation and strength of the industry as a profession that makes a significant difference to the wellness of the population.

Melissa was voted onto the committee in 2015 with her goals to further educate the public on Pilates and the benefits of such for all people and to work on the alliance that could be strengthened between our industry and the natural therapies industries, both of which sit firmly within the “wellness” industry.

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Founder and instructor at Pilates Insync, Menai, NSW

HELEN STAMATAKOS

Prior to starting Pilates, Helen completed a Bachelor of Education Degree in 1993 at the University of Western Sydney and worked as a High School Teacher for 15 years in the areas of Dance, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education as well as Technological and Applied Studies.

Helen began her formal Pilates training in 2003 with The Pilates Institute of Australasia progressing to a Level 3 instructor. Helen worked as a freelance Pilates instructor and Group Fitness Coordinator at various health clubs for 5 years. In 2008, Helen gave up a promising teaching career to pursue Pilates full time and founded, owns and operates ‘Pilates Insync’ – a dedicated Pilates studio in Menai, NSW.

Helen is a hands on practitioner and approaches her sessions with passion and conviction. She knows first hand the benefits Pilates has brought to her own life after the birth of her children and she gets a great deal of satisfaction helping others achieve a better quality of life. Over the past 12 years Helen has completed many Pilates courses including the Diploma Of Polestar Pilates Studio & Rehabilitation Method Instruction.

Based on her years of experience as a Pilates instructor and her formal qualifications as a school teacher Helen’s goal is to bring a fresh approach to educating the general community, including other allied health professionals, in the benefits of the Pilates Method.

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Founder & CEO Breathe Education, VIC

RAPHAEL BENDER

After a background in martial arts and fitness, Raphael trained in STOTT PILATES in 2005 and was immediately hooked. Since then he has trained extensively with mentors in Canada and the USA, and was a STOTT PILATES instructor trainer from 2008-2012. He has also completed the APMA Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation) from Charles Sturt University.

Whilst Raphael deeply respects and values all high-quality approaches to teaching Pilates, his particular interest and passion is applying current movement and pain science to the practice of Pilates.

In 2012 he left STOTT PILATES and developed his own nationally recognised, science-based courses in Pilates, including Australia’s first nationally recognised clinical Pilates course. In 2016 he sold his interest in the studio he had founded in 2006 to focus solely on training instructors.

As a member of the PAA committee, Raphael wants to contribute to strengthening and streamlining the membership process. He is also eager to strengthen Australian Pilates by building alliances with peak Health and Fitness industry bodies in Australia, and with other Pilates organisations worldwide.

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Ordinary Councilor PAA

Co-owner of Pilates Tasmania and owner Bodhi Method Pilates and Wellness Studio, TAS.

ELLA WONG

Ella has been practicing Pilates since 2004 and ever since, has had the highest respect and passion for its philosophy, functionality and results.

Having completed a Diploma of Professional Pilates Instruction (91491NSW), Ella has transitioned from the corporate world to establish a career working as a Pilates instructor at Pilates Tasmania, as well as developing a home based Pilates studio business, Bodhi Method, in Hobart, Tasmania.

With a postgraduate degree in Marketing, and a bachelor degree in Journalism from the University of Tasmania, and over eight years of sound practical and professional experience in marketing, media, advertising agencies and public relations sectors, both nationally and internationally in Shanghai China, Ella sees holding a position on the PAA general committee as an ideal opportunity to apply her skills to assist in promoting and marketing the services of the PAA to the Pilates industry, health professionals, and the general public.

Furthermore, Ella is passionate about enhancing the image, knowledge and understanding of the Pilates Method in the broader community and ensuring that the integrity of instructors and high level quality training is maintained for all practitioners.

Member Relations and Public Officer PAA

Member Relations and Public Officer PAA

Member Relations and Public Officer for the PAA

CAROLYN ANTONY

Carolyn Antony is the Member Relations and Public Officer for the PAA. Her previous professional careers include:

  • State Sales Manager in NSW & ACT for Hotel Serviced Apartment Group; Director at Peter Rand Group Leading Conference Brokers and Consultants (UK); Regional Sales Manager with Ladbroke Hotels/Hilton Hotels and Advertising Manager Oxford Review Publications.
  • Apart from her considerable administration skills, Carolyn also has a sound background in sales and marketing.
  • Carolyn’s love of travel led to her developing and producing the ‘Talking of Sydney’ Tours – audio guided walking tours of Sydney.
  • She has written a light-hearted book based on her travel diaries compiled during an eighteen-month world trip visiting twelve countries.
  • Carolyn also has experience in free-sheet advertising, in product demonstration, in perfumery, in the hotel and tourism industry – including a period spent working in Spain – and as a dolphin trainer!

Carolyn has worked for the PAA since 2006. Her goal for the PAA is to ensure that Member Relations supports the PAA’s growing professional Pilates industry membership and its talented and hard-working committee members.


Systems Officer

Systems Officer

Systems Officer for the PAA

KERRY HAYWOOD

Kerry’s role as System Support 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.
  • Health fund liaison and reporting including requisition of Provider Numbers for members.
  • Website updates and maintenance including Studio/Instructor Search facility and forthcoming workshop listings.
  • 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 fuelled 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.

PAA Conference 2015

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*Earlybird prices end midnight 30/04/2015