Purpose, Pride & Passion.

Friday 11th February 2022 - Sunday 13th February 2022

Hawkesbury Valley NSW

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The ADC Annual Retreat 2022

Hosted by the talented and engaging Toni Pearen, the ADC’s annual retreat is all about bringing together like minded people, to share information, network, get educated, have fun and get some down time away from our daily lives. 


This year’s retreat will be held at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Hawkesbury Valley, 

located in the foothills of the Blue Mountains and just 5 minutes from the historic town of Windsor.


Over 2 and a half days, Friday 11th February – Sunday 13th February, emceed by the fabulous Toni Pearen, there will be an array of amazing speakers, covering 

educational, informative and inspirational topics spanning all areas in which Doulas find themselves working in.


Unlike the many conferences that have all been virtual for so long,  we are offering a relaxed and inclusive experience, in a fabulous location. 


This promises to be a dynamic retreat.


Open to anyone working in or interested in offering support to individuals and their families, through any of life’s major transitions.


Come along with some friends and/or colleagues and make it a special event. 


Book early for the early bird special and so you don’t miss out altogether as we have limited places. 

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"The ADC team and I could not be more excited to have gathered such incredible speakers and presenters for this years Retreat. It is the first ADC Retreat in a couple of years and after the rough edges of 2020 and 2021 we believe there will be nothing better than coming together with like minded people and community." - Renee Adair, Founder of the Australian Doula College.

Toni Pearen

Actress, Singer and Presenter.

Toni has worked in television, film, theatre and was a recording artist, releasing top ten singles 'In Your Room" and "I Want You". She also released the critically acclaimed " Intimate" album.

She started her long career on our TV screens as Toni Windsor in "E-Street". She then moved on to play the lead role in the film "All Men Are Liars". After spending 5 years living and working in the States as a singer/songwriter, she returned home to become the host of Ch.9 hit show, Funniest Home Videos. Since then she's been a contestant on Dancing With the Stars, got married, had 2 babies and been a stay-at- home mum whilst running her screen acting school “ The Talent Co” on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Recently, she showed us her true power by her 2020 appearance on Ch 10’s “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here”.

Dr. Elaine Jefford

Midwifery author, academic, and researcher at Southern Cross University, Australia

Dr Elaine's research focus is within the field of midwifery decision-making and abdicating one’s professional accountability, the impacts of this in relation to risk, safety and quality of care provision. A program of research has led to strong collaborations in national and international research, service development work and practitioner training initiatives.  Other research interests include continence and perinatal mental well-being.  She has also been involved in national and international midwifery curriculum development. 


Sarah Tooke

Midwife, Nurse, Childbirth Educator and Mum!

I am passionate about supporting the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents so I also work as a Gidget Midwife. In this role I have provided training to other hospitals to assist them to also implement the Gidget Emotional Wellbeing Program. I am currently the Co-Chief investigator and site coordinator for a large-scale research project to evaluate this program, which will result in published journal articles. I also regularly represent Gidget Foundation Australia at Baby Expos in Sydney and Brisbane.

Rebekah Jensen

Founder of

Soulful Mammas Singing

I created a doula service Soulful Mummas supporting, honouring and empowering beautiful, birthing women and their families in my community. It is my belief that pregnancy, childbirth and the “4th trimester” gives a woman and her family the opportunity to have a creative, intuitive and enriched experience in life. Soulful Mummas is dedicated to providing a model of non-judgemental, nurturing care for the birthing woman and her partner. Whether birthing in the home, birthing centre or delivery suite my role is to respectfully work alongside her care providers to enhance a safe and happy journey to parenthood. 

Dr. Therese Perdedjian

Chiropractor, Birth Educator and Doula

Dr. Therese is a chiropractor, doula and child birth educator. She is also the founder of Conscious Health Practitioners and Soulful Practitioners in Business podcast where she facilitates businesses mentorship. 


Dr Therese loves the healing arts, ancient wisdom and scientific knowledge and combines it in her teachings. She believes that the mind, body and environment are connected and simultaneously interacting. Dr. Therese teaches how emotional patterns act as barriers and tension in the body and how to overcome the emotional barriers. 


Dr. Therese founded Conscious Health Practitioners and Soulful Practitioners in Business podcast because she saw a gap in the market for intuitive practitioners who either did not the business game or making a profit.

Renee Adair

Founder of the Australian

Doula College.

Renee Adair is the founder and director of the Australian Doula College, the Groundwork Program and the ADC’s charity-arm Doula Heart Network. She first began working with women and babies in 1994 as a massage and Aromatherapist and Reiki Practitioner and in 1998 after the birth of her two children began studying and working as a Doula and Childbirth and Early Parenting Educator.



Dr Sarah Ireland

Molly Wardaguga Research Centre, Charles Darwin University

Dr Sarah Ireland is medical anthropologist, nurse and midwife at the Molly Wardaguga Research Centre, Charles Darwin University.  She has first class honours and a PhD in medical anthropology. Sarah has a keen interest in nurturing the capacity and practice of Australian First Nations doulas; and is passionate about returning the control of childbirth services back to First Nations communities.

Bashi Kumar-Hazard

Australian competition and consumer rights lawyer, and the Director of Human Rights in Childbirth

In Australia, Bashi has represented

families in coronial inquests and hospital midwives pursued by the healthcare regulator.

Internationally, she has prepared Amicus briefs and UN human rights submissions

on mistreatment in childbirth and women’s reproductive rights. Bashi is currently

working on a doctorate in Competition Law at the University of Sydney, examining

anti-competitive practices in the provision of maternity healthcare in Australia.

Maha Al Musa

Creator of EmbodyBirthTM

Maha Al Musa is the founder and creator of EmbodyBirthTM (Maha’s signature childbirth education and preparation program for mothers-to-be and birth professionals who care for them since 1997), author of Dance of the Womb: The Essential Guide to Belly Dance for Pregnancy and Birth book, creator of the follow on BellydanceBirth® Practice Video Series (Dance of the Womb: A Gentle Guide to Belly Dance for Pregnancy and Birth), international speaker, natural birth and extended breastfeeding advocate, and a mother to 3 beautiful children, all born as nature intended.

Susan Goldie

CCNB - The Groundswell Project

Susan moved from legal practice to the community sector 25 years ago.  She has held senior roles in a range of community organisations spanning mental health, cancer, community services and poverty alleviation, social enterprise and end of life.  With a passion for systems change and capacity development, Susan aims to create opportunities for growth and transformation in every setting.  Her current role is as National Lead, End of Life Strategy for CCNB  Limited which has merged with iconic end of life advocate The Groundswell Project Australia.   One of many Groundswell projects, the Dying to Know Day campaign leads Australia in values-driven conversations and better choices at end of life.  Susan is also a Board Member of Tender Funerals Australia, a groundbreaking community organisation building a national social franchise network of community owned, not for profit mortuaries and affordable funeral planners.     

Tina FiveAsh

Creator of The Death Letter Project

Tina FiveAsh is an award-winning photographer, death and dying researcher, and creator of The Death Letter Project—an online socially engaged research project exploring contemporary perspectives of death in Australia. Engaged in the art of re-centering contemplation and conversation on death and dying into the everyday, fifty Australians from diverse backgrounds were invited to write a letter, responding to: “what is death; and what happens when we die?”



Steven Kennedy

Founder of Birthing Dads

Steven founded the PREPARE Foundation and Birthing Dads to facilitate cultural shifts towards optimising childbirth outcomes by revolutionising the way men transition to fatherhood and to raise awareness of the positive impact that supportive dads can have in perinatal health if they themselves are supported.  



Rachael Smith

Project Officer – Regional, Rural and Remote Abortion Access Program

Children by Choice

Leading the Regional, Rural and Remote Abortion Access Program (RRRAAP), Rachael is supporting the work of Children by Choice to improve abortion access equity across Queensland, and is proud to have developed Australia’s first abortion doula training program in partnership with the Australian Doula College. Rachael has a background in International Development and Public Health, and formerly managed a remote health project in Papua New Guinea. In her spare time she works in a pro bono Project Coordinator position with Rocketship Pacific, an international non-profit organisation dedicated to improving health in Pacific Island Countries through stronger primary care. She was also a remedial massage therapist and kahuna bodyworker in a former life. Rachael’s pronouns are she/her/hers.

Victoria Spence

Founder and Director of

Life Rites

Victoria Spence is the founder and director of Life Rites. A new model of holistic, integrated care, that expands what families can expect from their end of life, after death, funeral and bereavement care.

Victoria  is an established funeral director, celebrant, end of life doula and counsellor. 

She holds a Masters in Death, Dying and Palliate Care from the University of Sydney (2008), a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Performance and Community Development from the UNSW (1995), A Graduate Diploma in Civil Celebrancy ( 2005) and its a qualified Bereavement Counsellor. (2009)  

As we are still living with the uncertainty of lockdowns due to Covid we want to reassure you that if your area/postcode is put into a lockdown you will receive a full refund (less deposit) for the ADC Retreat providing at least 24 plus hours’ notice is given in writing to the College.

The ADC Purpose, Pride and Passion Retreat will run over 2 ½ days emceed by the fabulous Toni Pearen and featuring an amazing array of guest speakers.


Full registration includes:


  • Accommodation in a twin share Ensuite room (Friday & Saturday) with breakfast included.


  • Full Day Delegate Packages (Friday & Saturday), including morning and afternoon teas, lunches, and dinners. Friday night’s dinner will be a relaxed, fun, BBQ by the resorts Lake (vegetarian options available) and the Retreat dinner on Saturday evening includes a selection of beverages alcoholic and non. 


  • Half Day Delegate Package (Sunday) including morning tea and lunch.