Owner and guide
I am a survivor of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, anxiety and anger imbalances. I believe I pulled through this experience to be able to share the escape route with others.
I was an Infantry Soldier in the Royal Australian Regiment. I served from 2005 until my discharge in 2012.
In my time serving as an Infantry soldier with the 1st Battalion, my Company deployed to assist the UN as peace keepers in East Timor. During my time in East Timor, I was exposed to thousands of people who had been uprooted from their homes, residing in temporary refugee camps under deplorable conditions. Many men, women and children had received severe injuries and almost all had suffered traumatic events from the invasion and occupation of Indonesian forces.
As an individual, I experienced severe acts of violence directed towards myself and fellow soldiers. I witnessed the peak of barbarity that one human can bestow upon another.
We became responsible to console men, women and small children who were victims of violence and trauma.
Upon arrival back to Australia I struggled to reintegrate into society. I began to show signs of depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This was left unrecognised and untreated.
In 2009-10, I then deployed as a team leader to Afghanistan. This was a full combat role.
On one particular patrol in the Mirabad Valley, I instructed three of my soldiers into a position to clear a route to our next patrol checkpoint. From less than 20 metres I witnessed them be blown up by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detonated on command by Taliban soldiers. Up until my healing point I have always felt responsible for the mental and physical injuries that they sustained. This experience, and I’m sure others as well, was the root cause in my stress sensors overloading, resulting in my adrenals being on constant hyper alert – meaning that the fight or flight mode in my system was stuck in fight mode for close to 9 years.
I discharged from the armed forces and cut ties on every level.
Returning to civilian life was very difficult. My uncle assisted by providing employment as a trainer on a mine site in the Pilbara Region. My roster was three weeks on and 6 days off.
This roster would come at the cost of disconnection from my partner Nikola, my newborn son and 14 month old son.
In the course of my job up north, I endured multiple physical and mental breakdowns. My depression and PTSD grew and festered in the isolation. I became more anxious and anger and frustration rose. Isolation was worsening my condition.
I had developed a thick fog which attempted to protect the essence of my conscious and subconscious being. Although I tried with all that was left of my might, the fog disabled me to make sound life and business decisions. I was still continually suffering complete mental breakdowns and Nikola was still solely responsible for caring for me, my sons and now a Café that provided the only income for our financial survival.
We were both incredibly exhausted and this was taking its toll on our two young sons, Sebastian and Oliver.
On ANZAC day, 2016, I gave a talk on my wartime experience to approximately 1500 people. I talked about mental health and the struggles of our modern day soldiers. This unlocked deep seeded feelings in myself and as a result I suffered a severe breakdown and was unable to work or function with people for 6 months.
I was given an ultimatum. If I was not going to recognise my conditions, help myself and begin to heal, I would have to leave.
A conventional pharmaceutical approach was not an option for me. I refused drugs. I wanted an option of attacking the root cause of my many issues rather than just treating the symptoms. I was guided on a path of alternative medicine. After my first two appointments with a keneisiologist I was given a glimpse of how terrible my condition had become and the affect it was having on my family and business.
I began an intensive journey of healing using multiple methods of practice including acupuncture, kinesiology, sound therapy, myopractic therapy, shamanic healing, osteopathic therapy and guided meditative healing.
I have had major breakthroughs and have been able to see life with clarity and sense.
The result of my healing and my continuing mental and physical maintenance resulted in the dissolve of my PTSD, depression, mental fog, anxiety and hopelessness.
I have never felt clearer in my mind throughout my entire adult life as I do now in this present moment.
It is my intention to share my healing journey. I am ever grateful that I have made the connections to create Southern Fire Wellness. With collaboration with other healers, we have condensed years worth of healing into our main Trauma Release Camp.
Mark Steinward is the founder of One Tribe Healing which runs an accredited shamanic school across Australia. He does a variety of deep transformational healing workshops as well as didgeridoo based sound healing.
Mark has been teaching shamanic healing for 14 years and has been training in the healing arts since he was a small child.
Mark has always been attracted to deep transformational healing that works enjoying tackling the topics that many people are not comfortable with such as sexual abuse healing, deep trauma, childhood pain and so on.
Mark had to overcome his own childhood trauma which sparked a lifetime of healing with many opportunities to train with traditional elders as well as powerful gurus from India. Mark's passion and purpose is to pass on the healing gifts he has learnt from his own journey to help facilitate healing that works
Chairperson Undalup Association
Kaya Nala Maat Kaya Noonduk (Hello Our Family Welcomes You) to Wadandi Boodja (Saltwater People’s Country) We all come together on Boodja (Country), whist on Wadandi Boodja we ask that you respect the area and walk softly on the country whist take the time to listen to the Boodja (Country) as she Wongi Birak (Talks of the Season).We can all benefit from the powerful sense of belonging that is offered by the cultural sounds, rhythm, spirit, art and the people.
This empowers us all to continue the ancient tradition of reciprocity. (Reproducing a positive action with another positive action).
Showing respect and acknowledgement to our Aboriginal people, working together, we can learn and educate ourselves about the connection that we all have with Mother Earth - knowing its value keeps us together.
The Wadandi people are the traditional owners of this part of the South West Western Australia.
The Wadandi people are (Saltwater People) and they live by the six seasonal changes in harmony with their environment. The significant coastal areas are important to the Wadandi people and their connection to land and sea through songs, stories, spirituality and Cultural lore.
“The Undalup Association is at the forefront of reconciliation. It does not exclude anyone but like our committee we use everyone’s, individuality and expertise to contribute by using their abilities and strengths in their selected fields. All our activity’s not only give our old people, our Elders the strength and determination to show respect and encourage leadership, but generates pride in all ages, all sections of our community, gives them feelings of self-worth, a sense of wellbeing, to be able to share their cultural knowledge with family, school friends, business people, departmental agencies and visitors leads to confidence and gives a head start to self- determination.
Our vision is to share this knowledge with the general community.”
Wayne “Wonitji” Webb – Pibulmun/Wadandi Elder & Traditional Custodian, Undalup Association Board Member.
Trauma Yoga Specialist
Jen is originally from London, and after travelling and teaching yoga internationally, she is now continuing her journey, here, in Margaret River.
Coming from a background of personal trauma, leading her into specialising in Yoga for Trauma. Trauma Sensitive Yoga is an evidence based practice designed for Complex Trauma and PTSD. It is also immensely beneficial for stress, anxiety, overwhelm, depression and fatigue.
Jen has been empowering individuals through workshops, programmes, private sessions and also training fellow yoga teachers to become more trauma informed.
Jen holds a safe and nurturing space for participants to turn inward as they release and unblock trauma(s).
The integration of trauma, reconnection to the self and embodiment are trickled throughout her classes, practice & life. Jen works intuitively to the individual / group each time.