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Mission and Values

Our People

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Our People

Focusing on team work through a collaborative approach, specialist clinical psychologists and medical staff work closely with highly trained and talented youth workers and professionals from the education sector, outdoor and adventure education and other specialist fields.

Rochelle Bennett, Founder

Rochelle is the founding director of Wilderness Treatment Australia Foundation. She has 20 years experience in the Information Technology industry in management and system delivery. Rochelle began her career as an analyst programmer and progressed to project managing medium to large information technology initiatives.

She has strong business management acumen and consults with companies as a senior project manager. Her work experience in the private and public sectors involves the execution of programs through strong governance procedures, stakeholder management and strategic alignment. Rochelle is also a director of Obsidian Data Pty Ltd.

Rochelle was raised in Cape Town, South Africa where she obtained a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in computer science. She immigrated to Australia with her family in 1999.

Rochelle developed a passion for establishing the Wilderness Treatment Australia Foundation in 2007 when her family experienced challenges with their son during adolescence. She now shares her vision to create a series of programs aimed at developing and supporting young people through adolescence with the Wilderness Treatment Australia board of directors.

Her desire to support young people was nurtured from a young age through her involvement in youth-based programs and serving on committees that promoted the well-being of youth and children. She believes that young people should be supported and challenged with core values of honesty, courage, self discipline, trust, work ethic, compassion and self worth to give them the opportunity to succeed and unlock their potential.

Rochelle is a mother of three and works full time. She is committed to the success of the program and her focus is to help families in a capacity that would be effective, lasting, and value-driven.

Mark Gell, Chairman

Mark has over 25 years experience in both the public and private sectors in Australia and internationally. Mark has worked at senior levels of organisations managing strategy, marketing, policy development and stakeholder management teams in government and some of Australia’s top 50 publicly listed corporations. His corporate experience includes senior management positions at Australian National Industries, TNT, Boral, Telstra, OneSteel and Lend Lease. He has also advised international companies such as Thomson CSF, Hawker Siddeley and Lyonnaise des Eaux.

Mark has an Economics degree from the University of Sydney, an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and also holds company director qualifications from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mark is also a director of Metro Housing. Formerly, he has been a director of The Australian Investor Relations Association (Chairman), Major Energy Users Incorporated (Chairman), Corrective Health Services (Chairman Audit and Finance and Planning and Service Committees), The AGSM Alumni Board and Network Consultants.

Eric Lyleson, Psychologist

Eric Lyleson established the Healing Relationships Centre in Dee Why, Sydney in 1988 where he provides counseling and psychotherapy for individuals, families and couples. He is a registered psychologist and a member of the Australian Psychological Society. He holds a Masters degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University in California. Early in his career he provided family therapy in diversion programs for adolescents who were getting in trouble at school or with the legal system. In Australia he has also worked as a counselor at the University of Technology, Sydney and Relationships Australia, as well as, lecturing at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. He is author of the eco-psychology and photographic journal ‘Reflections from Down Under, Getting Lost and Finding Yourself in Nature’ and the soon to be published ‘Essential Wholeness’, an integration of modern psychological approaches and timeless spiritual wisdom.

He has trained in many therapeutic modalities including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Ericksonian Hypnosis and Psychotherapy, Mind-body Approaches to Healing Trauma, Brief Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Family Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Self Relations Therapy, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). His mentors include Stephen Gilligan, Ernest Rossi, David Schnarch, Gianfranco Cecchin to name a few.

Martin Oakley, Secretary
Martin Oakley retired from his position as Principal of a Primary School at the end of 2009. He had been with the Department of Education and Training for 38 years, working in a variety of schools and as a consultant to the ABC, Aboriginal Education and programs for gifted and talented students.


One of his life goals is to continue to make a difference in the lives of young people, promoting ownership of behavior and making positive lifestyle choices. He is a strong advocate of the values which are fundamental to the WTAF program.

Martin has coached and managed junior basketball teams, been a State representative on ABC Federal Advisory Committee and member of the State Consultative Committee for educational broadcasting, an Executive Officer on State Committee for the Education of Gifted and Talented Students, a State representative on the inaugural Aboriginal Education Curriculum Project Team, a Regional Representative on the State Principals’ Reference Group- Assessment and Learning and a Member of the inaugural State Principals’ Professional Learning Committee.

Paul Yeshi Eperjesi, Outdoor Program Director
While completing his Master of Education (Social Ecology), Yeshi conducted a literature review into the many benefits of outdoor programs for his research, ‘Environmental Attitude in Teenagers’.


Yeshi uses an integral approach, drawing on thirty years in Outdoor Education, Transpersonal Psychotherapy, Meditation and Dance Theatre. An early pioneer of corporate outdoor education and youth programs in Australia, he has over a decade of experience in corporate leadership. This includes Managing Director of the highly successful Compass Learning, which specialised in leadership and transformational change through facilitation and coaching.


Yeshi is currently teaching at the Green School and advisor with the Odyssey Institute in Bali. He has recently worked in Australia as an educator/leader with Pathways Foundation, Salvation Army’s Youth Link, Relationships Australia and Korowal High School.

TBD, Youth Workers
Wilderness Treatment Australia is aiming to appoint youth workers during early 2015.