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, inspiring speaker 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. Now in it’s eighth round, our community of youth mentors have supported teens 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 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 girls have with their bodies and prompted Amanda to deepen her understanding of positive body image issues in teen girls.

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. You can read more about this over on her personal website here.


  • 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 Young People’s Mental Health and Technology (Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health)
  • Currently completing an Accidental Counsellor Course 
  • Currently certifying Shine From Within as a B Corp
  • Bachelor of Business Management, University of Queensland
  • Certified Life Coach, Beautiful You Coaching Academy
  • Qualified Twenty8 Health & Lifestyle Educator
  • United Synergies Youth Mentor Training
  • 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

Brylie Hillegers, Admin + Design

Brylie Hillegers is a qualified Graphic Designer, an illustrator and former Shine From Within student.


Brylie is our administration assistant and graphic designer. She has also done design work for many of our beautiful Youth Mentors.

After attending the Shine From Within Personal Development course in her last year of high school, she is now passionate about nourishing food and living a more gentle, positive life. Brylie joined the team to help out straight after her course.  She has helped behind the scenes at many of our workshops and nothing makes her happier than seeing the girls at the end of each course see their worth and potential when they realise just how beautiful they are inside and out!  She has recently moved to New Zealand where she continues to work as our assistant and designer.

Leah Castle, Youth Mentor 'Mentor' + Assistant

 Leah Castle is a former Youth Worker, a qualified Youth Mentor (she trained with us in our first round) and now runs her own business supporting teens on the Sunshine Coast called Sharing Our Unique Lives (S.O.U.L).


She works with us to support our youth mentors through the Youth Mentor Training as well as assisting us wherever possible at our teen and tween courses.

Leah was inspired to do this work with teens after working with some of societies most vulnerable young people and her work with refugees.  “I have seen the lengths that some boys and girls will go to, to find connection and self-worth. It is this that made me realise that we need something more for our young people, something is missing and I believe that is a strong community. This is what has inspired me to create S.O.U.L.”

“I am very passionate about helping girls understand their bodies and the beautiful creations they are. For me it took a cancer scare and infertility to realise the food I was eating, the products I was using were not serving me. But really the biggest thing was my thoughts were not serving me. I was living a life of fear and not love. Once I truly began to love myself it was as if everything began to happen with ease.”

We’re very lucky to have Leah on the Shine From Within team and love watching her business, Sharing Our Unique Lives blossoming as well to support many more teen and tween girls on the Sunshine Coast.  Visit her website here: www.sharingouruniquelives.com.au

Expert teachers in our Youth Mentor Training:

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.

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.

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.

  Cameron Airen


Cameron Airen is a Feminist Mindset Coach, Mentor & Gender Consultant who helps feminists feel more confident, at ease, and create the change they want in their lives and in the world! In addition, they work with solo-entrepreneurs, business owners, leaders and creatives to help them integrate next-level gender and social consciousness into their business and work so they can be a part of a growing movement of positive social change.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Yvette Luciano


Yvette is the best-selling author of Soulpreneurs (Hay House) and doTERRA Blue Diamond Leader of Aroma Angels. She has 15+ years of media and marketing experience in the entertainment industry with some of the world’s largest record companies and artists.  After a health and soul shift in 2010, Yvette immersed herself in health studies and founded Earth HQ and Earth Events in January 2013.

Yvette and her team achieved unprecedented success in the growing world of wellbeing, and produced sold-out tours for 30,000+ attendees for the likes of Pete Evans, Food Matters and Gabby Bernstein, while continuing to represent some of the most influential lightworkers in the wellbeing world.

In her guest teacher interview, Yvette shares her knowledge on marketing, media, large events and following your heart in business.

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!

Alex Selmes


Alex is a former Youth Worker, year 4 teacher, behaviour specialist and she even creates wellbeing programs for schools. Her passion is positive psychology and she shared so many tips with us in this guest teacher interview; from positive reinforcement, to role-play, to creating the right flow in workshops and classes and how to get to the ‘right’ people in schools!

Guest teachers + consultants at our teen programs:

Kylie Eustace, Make Up Director

Kylie is a health-conscious salon owner, professional make up artist and the creator and founder of Kylie’s Professional MakeUp. Kylie’s own super-sensitive skin lead her on a quest for non-irritating and safe skin care and beauty products and eventuated in the creation of Kylie’s Professional Mineral Goddess make up range.


This range of Australian-made, 100% cruelty-free cosmetics has been produced with the purest, medical-grade, natural minerals currently available and are free from irritants which are commonly found in other make up.

It fits in well with Shine From Within’s values and we use Kylie’s products exclusively for all of our courses. You can find Kylie’s products in our online store, here.  

Kylie is often too busy to join us for the courses but has trained Amanda extensively on her methods so that she can take the class confidently!

Nat Lynn, Photographer

Nat Lynn has worked in the fashion industry for over a decade.  She began as a model with one of Australia’s leading agencies and has had a successful career working throughout Australia and internationally for 12 years.


Nat spent 4 years as a stylist and has been a fashion and advertising photographer for the past 8 years, working with some of the best in the business.  She is also the owner and Managing Director of MILQUE PHOTOGRAPHY, a fashion inspired wedding photography business.

Shine’s Personal Development Course students each do a photoshoot and Nat’s team of highly skilled photographers ensure that each and every student’s light shines through in these images.   It’s such a beautiful experience to see how Nat and her photographers gently guide each student to feel comfortable in front of the camera.

** Please note we now have a team of photographers that we switch between depending on availability.  Others who we LOVE to work with include Bayleigh Vedelago, Moriah Overell (also one of our first students!) and Renee Bell.

Kim Morrison, Natural Skin Care

Kim Morrison set a world record as the youngest female to run 100miles in less than 24 hours. Cliff Young was her mentor throughout and still to this day lives by his ethos that success is 90% mental and 10% physical. She has used her running story as a direct metaphor for life – riding the highs, hitting the walls, pushing through the pain barriers, crossing the line and never, ever giving up!


She believes combining your inner power and passion, applying your commitment and having truckloads of self-belief is what distinguishes you as an achiever.  It’s about visualising your dream and going for it – regardless of the feedback you receive or the challenges you face. Over the past 11 years Kim has co-written 5 international best-selling books with her bestie – Fleur Whelligan – their most successful and popular one ‘Like Chocolate For Women’.

They co-founded Twenty8 Aromatherapy in 2009 – with the aim to provide affordable yet luxurious, ethical and chemical-free skincare and aromatherapy products that are easily accessible to everyone. We use this range exclusively in all of our courses and sell the range here.

“I am so excited to be a part of this incredible initiative and to work alongside the amazing Amanda Rootsey and I look forward to presenting the natural skincare and self care component. This is an extraordinary opportunity for young women to really get what they are about and to investigate positive self-esteem, self-care and self-worth. I recommend this course to ALL women wanting to be their absolute best version of themselves, its about finding that inner spark and shining the light for all,”  Kim Morrison.

Check out the beautiful range of Twenty8 Aromatherapy skincare here.

Zoe Champion, Style Director

Zoe Champion is a freelance Creative Consultant and Style Director. She has skills, experience and expertise that stretch from coastline to coastline, across oceans and spans the depth of over a decade. She specialises in working with graduate, emerging and established fashion designers to build brand continuity, collection consistency, demographic connection and market integrity.


Zoe lived and worked in London for five years, supported the flagship Stella McCartney Public Relations department during Paris Fashion Week, and also assisted a couture editorial team in Spain.

Since her return, she has acted as Style Director for the Sunshine Coast Fashion Festival, been a creative mentor for Australian Indigenous Fashion Week, and was also invited to lecture on the Master of Styling at the University of Technology, Sydney as apart of the Australian Indigenous Fashion Week Design Program.

Zoe has always felt a strong affiliation with young women and is excited to educate them on the importance of celebrating ones true shape, ones true identity, and ones true style.

Adele McConnell, Author + Intuitive Food Teacher

Adele McConnell is a published author, founder of Vegiehead.com, The Vegie Head Academy, co-founder of Make Some Real Dough, and digital author of 10 books, programs and courses. She’s demonstrated her fun, upbeat and approachable style of cooking to thousands of people all over Australia at some of the country’s largest expos and in private cooking workshops.


Adele focuses on Intuitive Cooking and Eating, and her sell out workshops on her National Tour in 2014 were a breath of fresh air in the cooking industry. Adele has a background in Nursing and Beauty Therapy; and has used her knowledge of the skin to help thousands of women and men all over the world with her live online events; where you’ll see Adele giving herself a facial, talking about acne and clear skin, and how to use mineral makeup the correct way.

Adele joins the Shine From Within team when she’s available (she lives in Melbourne but we’re lucky to have her up here sometimes!) as part of our Nourish classes during the courses, demonstrating how to make healthy cooking fun and easy! http://vegiehead.com   http://adelemcconnell.com

Ashley Jubinville, Kitchen Coach

Ashley is an inspiration in the kitchen; a qualified Health & Lifestyle Educator; a dedicated quiet yogini and meditator; and an advocate for vibrant health naturally.  Her background is in structural engineering and now channels all those learnings in organisation, efficiency, and problem-solving into helping people establish a solid foundation for health in the home.


She won’t stop until she has positively transformed, and personally touched the lives of 1,000,000 people.

“Never underestimate the power in that next single step.”

Ashley does not restrict herself (or anyone else) to any particular diet other than “healthIER”, step-by-step, day-by-day, gradually making changes that last, and only so fast as to still enjoy and delight in the process.

“It is about integrating these gradual changes into your current lifestyle so that they become the new ‘normal’ “.

Her natural ability to combine flavours and create easy, wholesome meals with whatever’s available has inspired many already to be able to do this themselves.

Ashley is based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. She and her team travel Australia-wide for Pantry & Kitchen flips, speaking engagements, and short-courses. Find her at http://thekitchencoach.com.au

Kelly Carthy, Health + Fitness Professional

Kelly is an experienced health and fitness professional who is a passionate believer in inspiring and empowering women of all ages to lead a healthy and balanced life.


She uses simple and effective strategies to help women find new ways to be more active and mindful in daily living and loves to see her clients achieve beyond what they once thought possible.

Kelly’s proven 20 years of educating other trainers and a wide range of clients, means that she comes from a strong position of knowledge and experience, to understand what is needed to maximise someone’s potential.

Kelly has recently founded Luxe Fitness Escapes.  A personalised luxury lifestyle escape providing an exclusive opportunity to prioritise wellbeing whilst enjoying the best lifestyle and fine dining experiences Noosa has to offer.  Kelly will be teaming up with Shine from Within to offer a unique Mother & Daughter Escape in Noosa later this year.

Kat Harding, Yoga

Kat Harding was first introduced to yoga when she asked for a yoga DVD at the age of 16. As fate would have it Kat floated between yoga studios and teachers until at the age of 24 she experienced the uplifting feeling and desire that comes with finding your teacher, your style and your place on the yoga mat.


Shortly after this experience, she returned to England and found a teacher who introduced her to the Eight Limbs of Yoga and Astanga yoga, enticing her to want to know everything she could about why yoga made you feel so good.

It was this want for knowledge and a passion for healthy living that lured Kat into the realms of teaching and sharing her yoga practice with the world Kat is a qualified Yoga and Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga Instructor, who lives on the Sunshine Coast and is also the co-author of the Get Active, Nourish & Be Grateful EBook.

She believes in doing everything in moderation and that the most important lesson she hadn’t learnt in her teens was to follow your intuition, to listen to your body and to work hard for things that you are passionate about. Kat wants young girls to remember that it’s important to be exactly who you were meant to be and that when you are you will be able to find happiness and love for yourself and those around you in everything that you do.

You can find beautiful Kat here:  http://kathardingyoga.com

Everescents, Organic Hair Care + Stylists

Coolum-based EverEscents is an Australian-made, professional quality organic hair care company.  Here at Shine From Within we’ve never come across a hair care range that is natural, organic AND actually works well!  Once you try EverEscents, you’ll never go back.


The family company have been so supportive of Shine From Within, and the students are lucky to learn all about the importance of taking care of their hair naturally.

You can read an interview we did with the General Manager here and you can check out their online store here.

Isabella Lynden, Youth + Community Engagement Manager

Isabella Lynden is a remarkable young woman.  She was the 2015 School Captain at Sunshine Beach State School, is now at Uni and is passionate about healthy eating and helping young girls achieve the best they possibly can.


She truly is a voice for the teenage generation and her enthusiasm, creativity and work ethic is an asset to the Shine team.

Issy ensures that what we teach and how we connect with young people is conducted in a way that best serves their needs.  She also assists with social media strategies and management, connecting with the community and taking care of our juicy gift bags.

We feel extremely blessed to have her on the team! You can reach Issy on: isabella@shinefromwithin.com.au

Advisory Board

Here at Shine From Within we are dedicated to ensuring our students receive the most up-to-date and useful knowledge in our courses.  To assist with this, we’ve invited some leaders from various industries to make up our new Advisory Board.  The Advisory Board members are supporters of Shine From Within and offer advice and support on various topics.  Meet our very first Advisory Board members by clicking the button below.

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

Shine from Within welcomes 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