Meet the Team
The Sheez Like the Wind team brings together a group of highly skilled Equine Assisted Learning professionals, bonded by close friendships and a plethora of knowledge and experience.
Founder & CEO / Principal Program Facilitator
Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Harvard University / Certified Equine Interaction Practitioner in Education (CEIP-ED)/Certified Clinical HeartMath Practitioner/ Gestalt Therapy (Dip)
Trauma Informed Practise (Cert)
Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (Cert)
Certified Professional Life Coach
Integrative Wellness Practitioner
Master Practitioner in Tibetan Usui Reiki
Eleni is a certified Equine Interaction Practitioner in Education, certified Clinical HeartMath Practitioner, Professional Life Coach and Practitioner in Integrative Wellness, specialising in supporting children, youth, families and individuals. Eleni imparts a plethora of knowledge and experience in managing and designing innovative experiential programs for young people, individuals and groups, spanning over 25 years in the USA, Europe, Africa and Australia. With an Honours Degree from Harvard University, a Diploma in Gestalt Therapy and graduate work in the Social Sciences, Eleni brings extensive specialised training and experience in Trauma Informed Practice, Therapeutic Crisis Intervention, Brief Solution-Focused Therapy, as well as a number of other holistic modalities, addressing complex life issues such as anxiety, depression, suicidality and self-harm, Post Traumatic Stress, substance misuse, eating disorders, low self-esteem, school disengagement, relationship and family breakdown, grief and loss, communication barriers, and complex behaviours in children and teenagers.
Eleni has devised and facilitated motivational alternative learning programs through countless educational institutions and community organisations worldwide, and has been a lecturer and facilitator in various colleges and universities across the globe. Eleni’s expertise in program design harmonises with individual and group objectives to achieve the ultimate educational and personal outcomes. Being a horse owner for several decades, Eleni has worked with well-known international equine trainers and mentors, who have imparted their wisdom and intimate knowledge of horse behaviours, thus fostering the development of the innovative Sheez Like the Wind workshop models. In addition, Eleni is a Master in Usui Reiki, and incorporates energy healing, mindfulness, holistic healing and self-awareness into her daily life, as well as her work with horses and people. For her community endeavours highlighting prominent mental health issues affecting youth, individuals and families, Eleni was recognised at Blackmores Mercie Whellan Women and Wellbeing Awards as a Finalist among the Most Inspiring Women of 2019 for her inspirational life journey, demonstrating the courage and determination to overcome her own adversity and to inspire others, as well as the 2019 Women with Altitude Awards as a Finalist in the Pay it Forward / Unsung Hero category, and in the 2020 Animal Therapies Ltd Awards for Equine Assisted Learning. Eleni is thrilled to offer her unique experiential programs in Equine Assisted Learning and Wellbeing to an ever-evolving international community, spanning across several continents, through a global network of people and organisations supporting the social enterprise ventures of Sheez Like the Wind Equine Experiences!
Senior Program Facilitator
Equine Assisted Learning Practitioner (Cert – EPI )
BSc/BA (Psych) 3rd yr, Australian College of Applied Psychology
Registered Counsellor (Dip), Australian Counselling Association
Elle is passionate in combining her knowledge and practice in counselling and psychology with her lifetime experiences with horses. Elle started riding at the age of 5, and has remained working with horses until the present day. Her love and bond with horses has been a natural draw towards Equine Assisted Therapy, a beautiful pairing with her passion to assist and support young people in their own personal growth, development and empowerment. Elle has developed an extensive understanding of working with children and adolescents, empowering them to develop awareness, confidence, self-esteem and new ways of being in a relationship, within a therapeutic context. Elle has worked for several years as an Equine Assisted Learning practitioner, and brings her proficiency with horses and children to the Sheez Like the Wind team.
Elle and Eleni met in 1996, and developed a strong friendship over endless hours in the saddle, riding horses together through the beautiful bushland of Sydney’s north shore, while contemplating life’s beauties and challenges. Elle’s warm and gentle approach contributes to Sheez Like the Wind’s therapeutic services in a wholistic way, and the strong personal connection between Eleni and Elle creates a beautifully balanced approach in both individual and group programs. With the expansion of the Sheez Like the Wind programs, this dynamic duo have come together in a professional capacity, co-facilitating Equine Assisted Learning programs with transformational results.
Research Manager / Senior Program Facilitator
BA (Hons), Education, Univ of Bath, UK
PhD, Psychology & Education, Univ of Bath, UK
Dr Ben Rockett is a research psychologist with a keen interest in animal assisted interventions. Since 2008, Ben has been researching the role animals play in therapeutic and restorative processes, specialising in interventions that support children and families.
Using an attachment lens, Ben has published in academic journals including Attachment & Human Development and Society & Animals. His applied research has seen him working with out of home care services, trauma therapy programs, and school-based social-emotional wellbeing programs.
Ben’s passion for working alongside animals far precedes his formal research activities, and stems from a strong affinity with animals throughout his childhood. Ben finds peace when engaged in a shared connection with animals, and he puts that down to growing up with service dogs and learning to communicate through energetic interactions.
His draw to animals paved the way for his formalised work with animals and humans, and animal-assisted interventions quickly became a focus. Having worked with many young people through his local RDA centre, he became, and remains, particularly interested in the power of Equine-Assisted Therapy and Education. Ben and his research team support organisations around the world, with research capacity in Australia, Europe, and North America.
Senior Program Counsellor
Bachelor in Counselling, Australian College of Applied Psychology
Registered Counsellor – Australian Counselling Association
Certificate in Gestalt Therapy, The Relational Institute Sydney
Registered SMART Facilitator (Self Management And Recovery Training)
Sven, our newest team member embarked on a radical career change in 2015 and has since worked in both private settings and non-government Community Services. Sven has supported young people and adults with grief & loss, stress, depression and anxiety, trauma, suicidality, substance abuse, addictions, Post Traumatic Stress and relationship issues. Sven’s areas of specialisation are Psychotherapy, Counselling, Coaching, Psycho-Educational Interventions, Individual Therapy, Group Therapy, Inner Child Work, Healthy Relationships and Men’s Mental Health.
Sven’s empathetic approach is holistic, mindful and focuses on the Now, inspired by Buddhist philosophy. As a passionate surfer, lover of music, creativity and the outdoors, Sven believes that connecting with nature and other living creatures is vital to our wellbeing. When Sven visited the Sheez Like the Wind barn, one of the horses “chose” to connect with Sven’s kind and compassionate energy by walking towards him with curiosity. Within minutes they formed an undeniable bond and they both explored this new relationship in a playful yet powerful way. Sven saw the potential therapeutical benefits and holistic wellbeing that could be achieved for humans through connecting with horses and through the programs at Sheez Like the Wind Equine Experiences, and is very excited to be part of the team.
Event Coordinator / Program Assistant
Cert II / Community Services
Charlotte has been around horses since she was 6 years old, always gravitating towards everything horse-related from a young age. Charlotte developed her horse riding skills at Malabar riding school where she spent a lot of time in and out of the saddle, often assisting other riders and schooling problematic horses. She developed her showjumping and dressage abilities at Budapest Riding School in Sydney’s Centennial Park. Charlotte offers her heart and soul in everything she does, and has been involved in many riding programs where she has supported children with a variety of needs through equine assisted activities. Growing up with horses helped Charlotte develop self-confidence, gave her a healthy social outlet, and assisted her in developing a strong sense of belonging and identity, also allowing her to address significant personal issues, such as her own anxiety.
Charlotte met Eleni in 2011 in an alternative education program which Eleni was facilitating, involving innovative learning activities for young people. At that time, Eleni and Charlotte vowed that one day they would work together in some capacity with horses and people. Eleni has continued to mentor Charlotte over the past 8 years, and together, they are fulfilling their vision of helping people through very unique equine experiences at Sheez Like the Wind.
Bachelor of Actuarial Studies & Applied Finance
3rd year Macquarie University
Courtney is a riding school instructor from South Sydney who has been involved with horses for the past ten years. Courtney recently travelled to outback Australia to learn how to train unhandled brumbies into riding horses using fear-free methods, training a brumby herself in the process, within a week. She has two horses of her own, Lily, the desert brumby, and her older Arabian mare, Honey. She is currently studying a double degree in Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies to hopefully fund her horse addiction in the long run! Courtney’s skills in horsemanship, her vibrant personality, and her strong knowledge in the finance sector are very valuable assets in Sheez Like the Wind’s programs and fundraising efforts, for the numerous community programs and events that we are making accessible to vulnerable and disadvantaged participants.
Courtney has known Eleni for the past several years, having met through a mutual love of horses, and she was inspired by Eleni’s passion. Having completed the Sheez “Winds of Change” facilitator training, Courtney has developed a strong interest in Eleni’s work regarding mental health, particularly that which incorporates animals, and hopes to work further in this field.
Bachelor of Nursing (Advanced Studies) / Univ of Sydney
Lizz has always had a love of horses and never missed an opportunity for a trail ride growing up. Now Lizz continues to ride, spending her spare time around horses, expanding her horsemanship skills. Lizz first met Eleni through the Angels in the Wind program and has since been involved in a number of Sheez Like the Wind programs. Through seeing the transformational experience and impact of the Sheez programs, Lizz developed a passion for Equine Assisted Learning. Being a Paediatric Nurse, Lizz is very passionate about working with children and youth, as well as Trauma Informed Care. Lizz brings this specilaised experience and knowledge to the Sheez Like the Wind team, paired with her infectious smile and bubbly personality.