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Mental Health Facilitator - Newcastle

Waves of Wellness

Waves of Wellness Foundation is currently hiring the following role:

  • Location: Newcastle, NSW
  • Position: WOW Facilitator
  • Employment type: Casual, 2 mornings/week – Immediate commencement
  • Experience required: Allied Health Clinician – Mental Health
  • Surfing ability required: Yes
  • Rate: $32-$38/hour


Waves of Wellness (WOW) Foundation is a for-purpose mental health charity committed to changing the face of mental health. We strive to change lives through innovative mental health and wellbeing programs based on our three pillars of wellness, social inclusion, connection to nature, and engagement in meaningful activity. Our mission is to create and implement innovative mental health wellness programs that break down the barriers and stigma that prevent people from being well.

The WOW Surfing Experience (WOWSE) is an 8-week evidence-based learn-to-surf program for people experiencing mental health issues. It facilitates functional recovery, while promoting social inclusion, engagement and enhanced quality of life. The primary focus of the program is to introduce surfing to participants as a way to improve physical health, mental health and wellbeing in a neutral, non-intrusive environment. The program uses the ocean and surfing as a conduit to explore, stimulate and facilitate positive health outcomes.

The program is facilitated by mental health clinicians who are also trained in learn-to-surf instructing. Each week, the program addresses a different mental health theme allowing participants to learn new skills and strategies through lived experience, storytelling, and connection with like-minded individuals. Clinical expertise facilitates functional recovery and meaningful connection. A therapeutic graded approach is essential to promote recovery in a supported environment rather than overwhelming participants. Through involvement in this program, participants gain the opportunity to learn how to use surfing as a coping strategy for their mental health.


As a WOW Lead Facilitator, you will provide on the ground support, supervision and facilitation of surfing wellbeing programs at designated program sites. This role will work across a range of WOW therapeutic programs, including youth trauma, PTSD, NDIS, and wellness/prevention programs. The ideal candidate will have experience in group facilitation and community mental health work. Initially 2 mornings per week on a casual program-by-program basis, successful applicants have the opportunity to grow with the organisation and days of work offered.


WOWSE lead facilitators divide their time amongst the following program elements:

  • Recruitment of participants
  • Program promotion
  • Facilitation of group discussions
  • Supervision of WOWSE volunteers
  • Supervision and support of co-facilitator
  • Administrative duties related to day-to-day running of the program
  • Represent WOWSE to existing and new stakeholders


Essential Criteria:

  • Relevant allied health qualification in Occupational Therapy, Social Work, Psychology, or mental health Nursing, or related fields
  • Maintaining relevant allied health professional registration
  • Experience working with people who are dealing with mental health issues
  • Knowledge of mental health recovery, strength-based programming, and various aspects of wellness
  • Understanding of Trauma-Informed Care framework
  • Knowledge of mental health group facilitation and the management of group dynamics
  • Demonstrated understanding of duty of care responsibilities, confidentiality, risk assessments, and client consent
  • Ability to work in partnership with program participants, volunteers, families, carers and other social and community networks
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team as well as work independently with high-level communication and organisational skills
  • Ability to create a fun, positive, non-judgemental, safe space within a group setting with elements of self-disclosure to promote non-invasive openness
  • Knowledge on how mental health can impact skill mastery and behaviours within a group context
  • Understanding how positive relationships, de-stigmatisation of mental health, and physical activity can influence recovery
  • Demonstrated ability to role model positive behaviour as a facilitator
  • Ability to work in beach environment that may include varying weather conditions
  • Ability to identify risks and hazards on the beach and in the ocean
  • Confidence in the ocean with various surf conditions
  • Intermediate level of surfing ability
  • Willingness to obtain ASI Level 1 surfing instructor qualification
  • Willingness to undergo Child Protection check and Police check
  • Current unrestricted Australian driver’s license
  • Ability to support and promote the mission and values of the Waves of Wellness Foundation
  • Willingness to travel locally and interstate

Desirable Criteria:

  • Leadership experience in a community mental health setting
  • Knowledge of community networks and resources in applicable communities
  • Experience with youth dealing with trauma, people experiencing PTSD, people who are receiving NDIS support, individuals who experience mental health challenges, people who experience homeless, people from CaLD backgrounds and people from Indigenous communities
  • Lived experience with mental health challenges and confidence in sharing your personal journey
  • Passion for surfing, the ocean, and the outdoors
  • Surf lifesaving, surfing, or swimming experience
  • Experience with volunteer management

How to apply

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