As the practice of meditation continues to expand and find wider acceptance, a changing of executive roles at Meditation Australia (MA), the national peak body representing meditation teachers and promoting the growth of meditation, heralds a dynamic new era for meditation in Australia.

Following the resignation of The Gawler Foundation’s Paul Bedson to pursue international teaching engagements, David Packman, a former global corporate communications senior executive and director of wellness business, The Fifth Direction, has been appointed MA President.

“It is with great excitement that I take on this role at a time of unprecedented growth in the meditation industry,” Packman said. “I thank Paul for all his hard work in moving MA forward and setting the foundation for the future.”

Packman’s personal experience, wide network and understanding of both the corporate world and integrative health offer him a unique opportunity to work with national and international clients as a qualified mindset coach and meditation guide.

With his strong communications background and senior leadership experience, he will be an invaluable asset to MA’s executive team.

Further changes at MA see Stephen Penman (Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine) move to an Ordinary Member Board position, with Paul Majewski (Meditation Solutions) taking up the role of Vice President. Lisa Forde (Australian Centre of Holistic Studies) has accepted the position of Treasurer with Janet Etty-Leal (Meditation Capsules) retaining her role as Secretary.

Dr Graham Williams (Lifeflow Meditation Centre), Matthew Young (Melbourne Meditation Centre) and Urologist Dr Ranjit Rao fill the remaining Board positions.

Dr Craig Hassed (Monash University) continues his support for MA as Patron, alongside Pauline McKinnon (Stillness Meditation Centre) as Founding Patron.

Formerly the curator of Australia’s first meditation conference, Meditate08, and its three subsequent annual events, incoming Vice President Majewski will head the MA Events Committee, working closely with MA Executive Joanna Joustra to produce the re-visioned Australian Meditation Conference 2018.

Throughout 2017, Joustra, a former executive with the Australian Solar Council, has worked towards strengthening the value proposition of MA membership, which has brought rapid organisational growth.

Next year, MA will be actively working to further strengthen alliances and forge new partnerships with like-minded international meditation schools and organisations, while continuing to host its Meditation Pods – free professional development events for meditation teachers in Melbourne and Sydney – with the goal of introducing them to other cities across the country. Focus will also be given to extending support into rural areas through podcasts and meditation roadshows.

“The new executive team led by myself, Paul and Joanna is dedicated to the MA vision of developing, promoting and supporting the teaching and practice of meditation,” Packman added. “MA aims to play an active role in growing a local, national and global movement that recognises meditation as an integral part of life.”