Our Team

Amanda Rootsey, Founder + Director

Amanda Rootsey (she/her) is a Hay House author (Shine From Within; a teen’s guide to life), qualified life coach and youth mentor, cancer-survivor, former international model, business coach/consultant and gentle guide.  She has been teaching and presenting to teens since she was a teen herself and has supported thousands of youth since launching her holistic training school, Shine From Within, on the Sunshine Coast QLD Australia in 2012. A little more gentle than many other youth speakers and facilitators, one Vice Principal said, ‘Her dignified, gentle manner – coupled with her passion for empowering young girls – was greatly admired by teachers and students alike,” Deb Thomson Kimberley College, Brisbane QLD.

In 2016, Amanda launched an online Youth Mentor Training program to support passionate people feeling called to support the youth in their own community with unique workshops of their own.  It brings together over 15 experts from around the world in psychology, coaching, event management, business and, of course, youth. The award-winning training has support 300+ youth mentors to support the teens in their area across Africa, Europe, Canada, USA, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Amanda has appeared on The Today Show (Channel 9) and Today Tonight (Channel 7), been mentioned as a ‘game-changer’ in The Collective magazine and has been a regular columnist for Nature & Health Magazine.  She’s spoken to audiences big and small all around Australia, and often volunteers her time for not-for-profit organisations and other youth-mentoring programs.

It was a 2-year battle with cancer that really inspired Amanda to bring together a team of experts and inspiring guest teachers to create her unique training school.   Her time as an international model in her early 20’s also opened up her eyes to the tortuous relationship that many young people have with their bodies and prompted Amanda to deepen her understanding of positive body image issues in teens.

Nothing gives her greater pleasure than to see her students realise how beautiful they are inside and out, take responsibility for their own health and happiness, be caring and supportive citizens of the world and truly shine bright.

 With a background in teaching teen personal development courses spanning 10 years, life coaching and youth mentoring qualifications, a passion for natural health and a best-selling book for teens, Amanda is leading the charge in a new wave of teen education.

On a personal note, Amanda lives with her partner, David Rafter and their ‘fur baby,’ Trudi and has been a vegan for over 10 years.  As well as running Shine From Within, she’s also passionate about gentle living and gentle business. 


  • Best Program of the Year for the Youth Mentor Training (BYCA International Coaching Awards) 2017
  • Best Book/Podcast of the Year for Shine From Within; a teen’s guide to life (BYCA International Coaching Awards) 2019
  • Currently completing a Certificate in Child Protection: Children’s Rights in Theory and Practice, Harvard University
  • Currently completing a Certificate in Young People’s Mental Health and Technology (Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health)
  • Currently completing an Accidental Counsellor Course 
  • Shine From Within has been certified as a B-Corp (read our commitment to social justice, animals and the environment here)
  • Bachelor of Business Management, University of Queensland
  • Certified Life Coach, Beautiful You Coaching Academy
  • Qualified Twenty8 Health & Lifestyle Educator
  • United Synergies Youth Mentor Training
  • Unpack Your Privilege training with Sharyn Holmes
  • Whiteness at Work training with Desiree Adaway
  • Cultural Awareness and Truth Telling training with The Wellbeing Connexion
  • Butterfly Foundation BodyThink Workshop and Eating Disorder Prevention Training
  • Skin Care Course, Endeavour College of Natural Health
  • Super Nutrition Course, Endeavour College of Natural Health
  • Member, Australian Youth Mentoring Network
  • Board Member, Fashion Revolution Day Australia
  • Approved Blue Card Holder
  • Nominated Small Business Achievement Awards

Adefolashade Fadeyi, Youth Mentor 'mentor'

Adefolashade Fadeyi is a personal development expert for teens and the founder of Brighter Girls, Lagos Nigeria. She is a Certified Girl Empowerment Coach, Trained Youth Mentor and a Curriculum Developer with over 15 years of experience working with teen girls. Fola brings her enthusiasm and wisdom to some of our coaching calls in the Youth Mentor Training and facilitates a number of classes in our Online Academy. Fola is a graduate of our Youth Mentor Training program.


Natasha Gray, Online Business Manager

Natasha Gray is our organisation maven! She is a project manager in the business, Master of many trades and Shine From Within probably couldn’t run without her. Tash is based in the UK.


Aruna Pant, Youth Mentor 'mentor'

Aruna Pant is the founder of Golden Heart Mentorship program in Kathmandu, Nepal. She is a professionally trained social development specialist with 18+ years of experience promoting community management and livelihood opportunities with various national, international, and regional organizations. Aruna brings her wealth of knowledge and passion for supporting youth to some of our coaching calls in the Youth Mentor Training and facilitates a number of classes in our Online Academy. Aruna is a graduate of our Youth Mentor Training program.


Leah Castle, Youth Mentor 'Mentor' + Assistant Trainer

Leah Castle is a former Youth Worker, a qualified Youth Mentor (she trained with us in our first round) and now supports our mentors through each round of training, while travelling Australia with her family in a caravan! Along the way she stops and runs teen programs for different communities. 


Our Youth Advisory Board:

Our Youth Advisory Board is made of teens who have been part of the Online Academy since the early stages and who want to take an active role in the way it evolves. We meet once a month to review, reflect, brainstorm and plan out what classes they’d like over the coming months. There are quite a few more members than we’ve listed below but here is a little snippet :). We’re so thrilled to have them!


I’m Joelle Dürst, I’m 13 years old and from Zürich, Switzerland. I love reading, watching Netflix, playing video games and baking. I’m a bit shy and love to laugh. 🙂


Ruby is 17 from Melbourne, she has a passion for self development and always loves to explore and grow in every opportunity. She also has an immense passion for social justice, and loves to raise awareness of important issues. In her spare time you can find Ruby on the yoga mat, doing Pilates or enjoying the outdoors. 


Kat Scott is 17, from Victoria Australia. She loves music, spending time in nature and maths.

Expert teachers in our Youth Mentor Training:

Grenita Brooks

FOUNDER, International Mentoring Society

Grenita’s experience in the mentoring profession has prompted an urgency to create an umbrella of organizations that will serve youth from every walk of life at any age and stage of development.

Grenita’s passion for underprivileged and underserved youth has lead her to an Associates of Art’s degree with a focus on Early Childhood Development, a Bachelor of Science in Social Work, a Children’s Services Certification, and is nationally credentialed in nonprofit management. Additionally, she has a master’s degree in clinical social work from the University of Central Florida.

Grenita has a background in Child welfare and Case management and she’s currently employed with Brevard Public School’s where she is a school-based social worker at McNair Magnet Middle School; the middle school she attended as a teenager.

Grenita shared her experience of starting a non-profit in the youth sector, what she thinks all youth mentors MUST have and how she is growing her organization.

Mikhara Ramsing


Mikhara Ramsing is a social entrepreneur from Brisbane, Australia. She runs two social enterprises in the human rights space: Miks Chai, which sells ethically sourced, environmentally sustainable delicious chai to create connection through storytelling; and Ethnic LGBT+, a national website providing a safe place for members of the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) LGBTIQA+ community to share their stories.

She believes stories save lives and has travelled around Australia in a self-built tiny home connecting with rural youth. She has been nominated as the Young Australian of the Year QLD 2019, AFR Top 100 Women of Influence and was awarded a Westpac Social Change Fellowship enabling her to attend Harvard University and to work with LGBTIQA+ communities around the world.

In her guest teacher interview, Mikhara shares generously about sourcing funding, getting into schools, supporting youth in rural areas, collaborating with organisations, supporting LGBTQIA+ youth and more! 

Christina Leggett


Christina is a Psychologist and co-founder of Little Window.  She’s passionate about the worth we place upon ourselves, self-care, nurturing from within, Neuropsychotherapy, and an holistic approach to mental wellness.

Christina has worked in diverse settings such as in a mental health unit facilitating quality of life programs, a senior counsellor at a national counselling service working with children and young people and a family therapist working with children using expressive therapies.

Christina has been interviewed by New York Times, NBC television and Women’s Health Magazine for her research on relationships and technology.

Thania Siaw


Thania is a compassionate, creative, gentle and intentional holistic Psychologist, and the co-founder of Little Window.  For over ten years she has worked with adults, adolescents, children and families in a variety of settings and roles including a child/adolescent and family therapist, group therapy program developer and facilitator, adult mental health psychologist, counselling and clinical supervisor, case manager, child psychologist, and lecturer at a leading training provider in counselling and community services.

Thania has published research in the area of stress, nightmares and personality, and has been interviewed on radio and television about cyber-bullying and coping with grief.

Thania and Christina share so much insight into the adolescent brain, how to soothe young people when they’re feeling anxious, common issues they see in their practice, how disconnection can show up in young people and triggers to watch out for that may indicate the need for additional support.

Josh Shipp


Josh, aka “The Teen Whisperer” is a former at-risk foster kid turned teen advocate.  Hailing from the U.S. he’s the best-selling author of ‘The Teen’s Guide to World Domination,’ has spoken at Harvard, Stanford and MIT Universities and is a recognized teen expert for media outlets such as MTV, CNN, FOX, The New York Times and Good Morning America (oh and he’s been on Oprah).

His documentary TV series TEEN TROUBLE (A&E) followed his ground-breaking work with teens.  He’s worked with groups of parents, educators & mental health professionals plus has spoken to more than TWO Million teens live.

His ultimate goal is to help as many young people as possible. He trains other speakers through ‘Youth Speaker University’ and his online mentoring program for teens ‘A Year of Awesomeness’ has a world-wide reach.

  Cameron Airen


Cameron Airen is a Feminist Mindset Coach, Mentor & Gender Consultant, and the co-founder of the Feminist Coach Academy, who helps feminists feel more confident, at ease, and create the change they want in their lives and in the world! 

Cameron has a Masters degree in Anthropology & Social Change from the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco and a B.A. in Women & Gender Studies from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL. She has 14+ years of experience studying feminism, gender, sexuality and social change.

In their guest teacher class, Cameron shared important tips on how we can ensure our work with youth is inclusive.

Kim Smith

FOUNDER, Standing Strong

Kim Smith is the founder of Standing Strong Total Wellness Club for Girls, a unique membership program specially designed to help girls improve their confidence, self-esteem, self-belief, body-image, health and wellbeing. Based in West Perth, Standing Strong focuses on inspiring and assisting girls to develop the skills essential for living happy, healthy and inspired lives and offers ongoing connection and support to both girls and parents.

With a team of psychologists, counsellors, life coaches and health and fitness experts, the programs at Standing Strong are based around the philosophy of building connection and belonging between people. The aim is to help create bonds so girls and parents feel comfortable to open up, trust and not feel that they are facing the world alone.

Julie Parker

CEO, Beautiful You Coaching Academy

Hailed by ELLE Magazine as a ‘self-help guru,’ Julie Parker is the CEO and Founder of The Beautiful You Coaching Academy where she passionately trains and supports heart-centred people to bring their talents into the world as life coaches.

Prior to Julie’s extraordinary success as a coach and coach trainer, she spent almost 10 years as a social worker and counsellor with youth at risk and then moved into not-for-profit organisations, eventually becoming CEO of The Butterfly Foundation, who support Australians with eating disorders.

 In her 2 guest teacher interviews (1 just wasn’t enough!), Julie shares powerful coaching and engagement techniques to empower young people, how to create a safe space to support them, what to do if you think someone is thinking about suicide, ‘levelling up’ in your business and so much more.

Dr. Arne Rubinstein

CEO, The Making of Men

Dr Arne Rubinstein is an expert on adolescent development, with 30 years experience as a medical doctor, counsellor, mentor, speaker and workshop facilitator.  His programs and seminars have been been attended by over 25,000 people globally and are designed to support boys to successfully make a safe, healthy transition to young men, with a particular focus on creating coming of age Rites of Passage.

In 2008, he was nominated for Australian of the Year for his groundbreaking work with youth.

In his guest teacher interview, Arne shares about how to facilitate rites of passage for young people, the power of stories in connecting and teaching, the differences between holding space for males and females, how to build a socially-responsible business and lots more.

 Matt Kershaw

former CEO, yLead

His first experience in 2002 of a yLead youth conference sparked a journey of transformation from a young introvert, terrified of public speaking… to a confident young leader with a desire to enrich the lives of others. In 2005, after a major health scare, Matt travelled to Tanzania and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was here that he decided it was time to conquer an even bigger mountain, leaving his university degree to join yLead full time.  Since 2006, Matt has developed from a junior team member to one of the organisation’s key facilitators and CEO.

In his guest teacher interview, Matt shares about yLead’s school programs, conferences and overseas expeditions for teens.  He generously shares lots about how to please the client (often schools), while delivering content in an engaging way for the teens.  He also shares about how leadership training in schools is changing and the topics that schools are often looking for.

Heather Yelland

DIRECTOR, Green SuperCamp

Heather is the Director of the Green SuperCamp Australia programme, creating personal leadership, academic acceleration and environmental awareness education for young people aged 10 to 18 years.  Green SuperCamp has had 780 students through it’s doors over the last few years.  She has formal training in Psychology, Business, Family and Systems Theory, and Arts and has been a ‘people and business’ specialist for over 25 years.

In this guest teacher interview, Heather shares some of the latest research on young people today, how to truly connect with them and give them permission to express themselves in all their glory, how to create ‘communities of care’ for young people, why your age (young or old) doesn’t matter when it comes to working with youth and lots more.

Stephanie Taylor


STEPHANIE Taylor was 17 years old when four words changed her life, “Help Make Girls Smile.”  The Gold Coast philanthropist was sitting in a leadership conference when the words came to her, shaping the decade to follow.  Now 27, Steph has co-founded a school-based program ‘Radiance’, is a trained Public Health Nutritionist and School Chaplain. She is passionate about helping girls live out their fullness and see themselves in the healthy light of who they were created to be.

Her Radiance Girls program is now endorsed by Queensland’s leading chaplaincy body, SU QLD and is spreading nationwide into the hands of chaplains and youth workers.

In this interview, Steph kindly shares the nuts and bolts of how she created her curriculum, how she gets it into schools and facilitates it and all about the retreat she just ran for year 12 girls.

Johanna Parker


Johanna is a life coach, speaker and counsellor through her beautiful business, Heart Sparks.  She supports women and adolescents to confidently embrace their uniqueness and live incredible, purposeful lives.
Johanna spent 7 years in social work, counselling service coordination and leadership within the not-for-profit and government sectors.  Now she spends her days being invited to speak in schools, at leadership camps, coaching and counselling her clients to create and sustain a life they love.

In Jo’s 2 guest teacher interviews (1 just wasn’t enough!), Jo shares about how she crafts her custom programs for youth organisations and schools, her tips for building rapport with students, how to build relationships in your local community, how to find your story and feel comfortable putting yourself out there and so much more.

Michael Maidens


Michael Maidens empowers people with a unique, systematic approach to create a thriving business to support creating an amazing lifestyle. He brings a unique combination of performance psychology learnt as a former full time athlete, systematic approach from writing business software for 10 years, together with his most recent focus of reaching and impacting an audience online. He’s come up with the strategy for some of the biggest online launches in the world, naming Food Matters and Hay House as some of his top clients. Most importantly, he shares a way of marketing that’s authentic and deeply rooted in service.

We were so lucky to have Michael join us at one of our Youth Mentor retreats and we captured the magic in this bonus expert class!

Jane Bennett

FOUNDER, A Celebration Day for Girls

Jane is a researcher, writer, counsellor and educator who is passionate about natural fertility, menstrual wellbeing and holistic contraception.  Her books and programs offer girls and women the means to understand and have a positive and empowered relationship with their bodies, their fertility and their cycles so that they are able to make informed choices and have these choices respected.

Jane is the founder of A Celebration Day for Girls, a workshop for girls aged 10-12 and their Mothers or carers, which she now trains facilitators to deliver all over the world.

In her guest teacher interview, Jane shares the importance of facilitating discussions around menarche with girls, simple and practical ways for parents to prepare their daughters for this transition and all about her programs for teen and tween girls, including how she gets the parents involved in the workshops.

Sharyn Holmes


Sharyn Holmes (she/they) is the CEO of Formidable Voices, an events and social movement created in 2019 to elevate and create speaking opportunities for Black Indigenous and People of Colour across coaching, spirituality, wellness, social justice, creative and entrepreneurship.

Sharyn is also an award-winning leadership and inclusion coach, consultant, speaker, artist and writer. Their work dives deep into social justice, spirituality and personal sovereignty. Sharyn is passionate about anti-oppression, anti-racism, creating inclusive spaces, conscious business strategy, creativity and self-expression and works as a consultant to small businesses in these areas.

She created and has taught the online anti-racist and anti-oppression course, Unpack Your Privilege® since 2018, the program Be An Inclusive Coach and launched the Inclusive Leaders Collective membership community for leaders, coaches, creatives and trailblazers.

We acknowledge and pay respects to the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we run our workshops and business.

We welcome students of all social, cultural, community and family backgrounds, and of all identities, and all abilities. Shine from Within is LGBTQIA+ friendly. Read our complete commitment to our social and environmental impact here.

Shine From Within® and Shine On The Inside® are registered trademarks of Amanda Rootsey T/A Shine From Within ABN 79216354231