Staff and Program Coordinators:

  • Ann Lock: Director of WellSpring
  • George Warren: Personal Spiritual Direction Coordinator
  • Margaret Donald: Retreats Coordinator
  • Monique Lisbon: Administrator/Office Coordinator
  • Peter Bentley: Coordinator of Formation Studies
  • Rosanne Arnott: Spiritual Direction Formation Team Contact Person
  • Tim McCowan: Coordinator of Reconciliation Program
  • Newton Daddow: Coordinator of Building Bridges Program

WellSpring Board:


Mark Bailey (Chair)

I am married to Gail and we have three children. I teach part-time at Swinburne Senior Secondary College, currently teaching VCE Theatre Studies and VCE History. As a teacher, I served as President of both Drama Victoria and Drama Australia, and for NAAE (National Advocates for Arts Education).

I grew up as a Catholic and became a Baptist in my mid-teens. Much of my adolescent faith journey was the process of rediscovering the significance and importance of aspects of my Catholic heritage. Over time this aspect of my journey lead me to develop a commitment to monastic spirituality and a daily pattern of prayer, contemplation and reflection. I am committed to the centrality of Jesus, the scripture and the place of prayer in forming and shaping my journey with God and with my faith community. I have a strong commitment to issues of peace and justice and to our faithful engagement in the world as peace-makers.

Liz Johnson

I am married to Michael, and we have two gorgeous daughters Rebecca and Caitlin. I grew up in a Christian family and we attended an Anglican Church. I have been a member of Ashburton Baptist Church since 1995. I have participated in a number of groups and taken on positions of leadership.

I am a trained teacher of Japanese and English as a Second Language (ESL), and have taught for many years in different school settings. I currently work with year 12 students. My association with WellSpring was firstly through exhibiting my art work. I am a practising artist and love the opportunity to share my art with the Ashburton Baptist and WellSpring communities. Over the last few years I have enjoyed participating in WellSpring workshops, retreats and spiritual direction. 

I look forward to my role as the Ashburton Baptist Church member on the board.

Maria McCormack

Maria McCormack has been a WellSpring member for 20 years. She graduated in 2002 as a WellSpring Spiritual Director.

Maria is from the Catholic tradition of the Christian Church and is drawn deeply to all that points us to unity in our human family, and to all that leads us into relationship with all creation.

Her spirituality is about ‘coming home’ to experience life with joy, gratitude and compassion; to finding the Sacred in self, in other, in all.

Maria with her husband Peter have raised a family of four children, and are now celebrating the lives of their two precious grandchildren.

Maria is a member of the Spiritual Direction Formation Team and is a member of the Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction (AECSD).


Ben Norman (Treasurer)

My name is Ben Norman, and together with my beautiful wife Davina, I have two adventurous little kids, named Jonah and Ava.

I grew up in the southwest of Victoria and moved to Melbourne in my early 20s, partly due to being involved in the Christian music industry. This included touring around Australia and overseas with a band I formed with my brother-in-law. Our band was also fortunate enough to support some wonderful Christian artists around Australia and overseas.

Because of this, I was able to experience the wonderful patchwork of being invited into hundreds of different churches and schools, from varying backgrounds. As we are all different individually, it was a privilege to see the many unique personalities that make up the human race in different places of worship.

Professionally, my current position is the Senior Advisor, Business Strategy for Monash University. This involves future planning in scoping, business and strategic planning for future positions for the University as a whole. I’ve also undertaken some previous exciting roles, in the fields of banking, accounting and human resources. I’m a qualified public accountant, along with a Bachelor in Management (majored in marketing) and a Masters in Planning.

Personally, I see great joy in people working together for the greater good. It may be the small things in life, to the life changing events we may experience. I value the importance of respect, regardless of anyone’s background and who they are.

Embracing differences is vital; it creates diversity and reflects the Spirit of God as individuals.


Alex Safran

My association with WellSpring started some 12 years ago following the sudden death of my wife. Some Christian friends suggested that I come to WellSpring and here I experienced the healing power of spirituality.

My parents were Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. My father, a blue collar toolmaker, used his engineering knowledge to help introduce German technology into the aeroplane engines that were being built in Melbourne during World War 2.

I was one of the students who benefitted from the Victorian Education Department’s program to pay for their university education on condition that they teach for three years. After teaching humanities in high schools for five years I obtained a position in the trustee industry. This led to my studying accounting at night and eventually obtaining the positions of Company Accountant with Perpetual Trustees Victoria and then Company Secretary with Equity Trustees – a total of 30 years in the trustee industry.

I would like to think that my contribution to WellSpring is not only a knowledge of accounting and finance but also a practical sense of ecumenicalism from my Jewish heritage in a Christian environment.


Philippa Thomson (Secretary)

I enjoyed WellSpring well before I came to Ashburton Baptist Church. I was amazed after attending a quiet day that I could not only survive a day without talking, but actually enjoyed it. WellSpring was also the place we chose for an initial meeting between two parishes, where I played a major part in working through the process of combining them.

Later WellSpring became a place for healing for me after some great sadness. I greatly valued receiving spiritual direction throughout this time. Since then I have become hooked on various courses and seminars held at WellSpring. Now I am in my final year of studying to become a spiritual director myself. I am pleased to give back to WellSpring through volunteering in the office and serving as Secretary on the Board.

I bring years of experience working both working and volunteering for not-for-profit organisations: Nursing Mothers’ Association of Australia, Australian Lactation Consultations Association and Cancer Council Victoria. I have also been a part of many committees and I am pleased to bring these skills to my current roles at WellSpring.

It is a privilege to work with the staff and volunteers at WellSpring to further the aims of deepening in God and living out love.


Tess Veenker

I am a Missionary Sister of the Sacred Heart and have been in this Congregation for over 40 years. In my early years of religious life I was a primary school teacher. Then after some time of teaching I was asked to become involved in Formation within our Congregation. In order to prepare more fully for this call I completed the Siloam Course at Heart of Life where I was invited to remain as a staff member. It was at Heart of Life that I met Jill Manton who invited me to work with her in the early beginnings of WellSpring.

After many years of working with Jill in the Formation Course I was asked to take on the leadership of our Province here in Australia which eventually led to another administrative call of leadership internationally.

I very much believe in the ecumenical aspect of WellSpring and the importance of its existence in our world today. I bring to the Board my many and varied experiences and also my deep heartfelt love and belief in the continued development of WellSpring.

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