The Movement Is My Medicine forum was an afternoon of inspiration presented by South Australia’s leading thinkers and practitioners of movement, neuroscience, and wellbeing.

The event was a feast for the mind and the senses –  ideas and demonstrations, talks and films, sights and sounds, speeches and performances.


Meet the 2014 Movement Is My Medicine forum speakers…

Gaynor Parfitt

Associate Professor in Exercise and Sport Psychology, University of South Australia

Movement and Motivation

How exercise makes us feel has been shown to influence exercise behaviour.  Gaynor will discuss what happens physically and psychologically when individuals are supported to self-regulated exercise compared to when they are prescribed exercise. 

Associate Professor Gaynor Parfitt is an exercise and sport psychologist, Fellow of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) and Honorary Research Fellow of the Steven Hong Research Institute (Hong Kong).  Gaynor moved to the University of South Australia to take up an Associate Professor post in April 2011, and is co-leader of the Exercise for Health and Human Performance Research Group in the School of Health Sciences. Gaynor’s research interests focus upon the chronic and acute effects of exercise on affective responses and well-being, motivational factors that may influence adoption and maintenance of exercise and methods of exercise intensity regulation to maximise psychological and physical benefits.  Her work on affective responses to acute exercise has contributed to the American College of Sports Medicine’s (2010) revision to their exercise prescription guidelines to now include the measurement of affect.

Michelle Ryan

Artistic Director, Restless Dance Theatre

Movement for All

Michelle is an arts practitioner with over twenty years experience in the areas of film, performance, choreography and administration.

Michelle worked for Queensland Arts Council before joining Meryl Tankard in Canberra and Adelaide (Meryl Tankard’s Australian Dance Theatre). She was a performer with Tankard for 7 ½ years followed by projects in Europe as Tankard’s assistant. Projects included the Andrew Lloyd Webber West End Production, The Beautiful Game and remounting works in Portugal and Sweden.  On returning to Australia, Michelle was a founding member of Splintergroup. She was the Associate Artist and Rehearsal Director for lawn,roadkill and underneath. From 2005 – 2010 Michelle worked at Dancenorth in various capacities including Artistic Manager, Rehearsal Director, Choreographer and Assistant Producer.

In 2009 Michelle created the dance film Nerve Ending that has been screened nationally and internationally and in 2010 created Four Short Films About Juanita. In 2010 Michelle joined National Disability Services Queensland and in 2011 Michelle performed in the Brisbane Festival season of Out of Context for Pina by Les Ballet C de la B in 2011 as the guest artist. She recently performed in Take Up Thy Bed and Walk by Gaelle Mellis and is working in 2013 with Torque Show on the new production Intimacy.

Uncle Moogy

Tal-kin-jeri Dance Group

Dancing the Spirit Back Into People and Country

Uncle Moogy teaches traditional Ngarrindjeri dance and martial arts to the next generation of Ngarrindjeri, as well as sharing traditional practices available to be shared with non-Aboriginal peoples.

Uncle Moogy is known as an Elder with a strong cultural will, ”We have to make sure these things don’t get lost again. That’s what we’re doing here – dancing the healing spirit back into the land and the water and back into ourselves.”

Matt Cassidy

Adelaide Krump Alliance (AKA)

Krump and Movement as Healthy Expression for Men

Matt from Adelaide Krump Alliance (AKA) is a Krumper on a mission. The root word “Krump” came from the lyrics of a song in the 1990s. It is sometimes spelled K.R.U.M.P., which is a backronym for Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise, presenting krumping as a faith-based art form. Matt brings Krump to those who want to express themselves  through movement with STRENGTH!

Alana Gregory and Katrin Kueker

Soul Strong SocietyKalari Australia

The Importance of Traditional Knowledge for Today and Holistic Movement as Body-Oriented Psychotherapy

Alana and Katrin are the co-creators of Soul Strong Society – a  wellbeing initiative created in response to the community and the needs of people. Soul Strong is based in the understanding that human happiness comes from living life in harmony with the natural world, with our communities, and with our inner selves. This holistic outlook is one which is held by many traditional knowledge systems that are often overlooked or looked-down-upon  by  the modern scientific worldview which tends to claim a monopoly on the ‘truth’ about nature, health and reality.

Both Katrin and Alana, have been studying Kalarippayat, the South Indian martial and healing art, since 2010.

They have  spent several months studying under Grandmaster Gurukkal Mohammed C. M. Sherif in Kerala, India, at the Kerala Kalarippayat Academy.

Having experienced the complete transformation of mind and body through the ancient practice and healing art of Kalari, they are passionate about sharing Kalarippayattu with others.

Ricardo Vargas

Ricardo Vargas Jeet Kune Do

The Art of Fighting Without Fighting – How Martial Arts Training Makes You a Peacemaker

Ricardo is a second generation student in Jeet Kune Do, the martial art and philosophy of the legendary Bruce Lee, one of the most extraordinary martial artists of our time. He was personally trained and certified as professional JKD instructor by two of his original students the late Sifu Jerry Poteet and Grandmaster Richard S Bustillo.  He was also certified in Golden Dragon Self-defense System by its founder Grandmaster Sebastian Nazario. ​

Jeet Kune Do is more than just a martial art style or a training method for body combat. The aim of combat sports is to defeat the opponent, whereas the aim of JKD is more to do with self-development and improvement. JKD is about belief in the individual, belief in yourself and your ability to overcome any obstacle, no matter how big or small.

Travis Ranson

Point A 

Exercise Culture Versus Movement Culture

Travis aka TJ,  has been working dog and bone to create a space and place for young people, old people, any people to MOVE. The result is Point A – a community hub where you can learn to juggle, jump, flip, sit, roll, and just generally inhabit and appreciate your body.

An advocate for movement cultures that aren’t centred on competitive sport, Travis volunteers his time and energy to encourage young people to embrace constructive, healthy choices. His help is sought by governments and schools and he was recently nominated for Young South Australian of the Year. Travis openly shares his philosophy of empowerment, discipline, nutrition, creativity and inclusiveness, and is a positive example of healthy, active living.

Georgie Davidson

Mindful Movement

Mindfulness and Movement: Living in the Body, Stepping Out of Unhelpful Thought Patterns, Positive Brain Change and Cellular Repair, and Opening to New Possibilities. 

Mindful Movement Physiotherapy Director, Georgie Davidson is a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, yoga teacher and facilitator of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses in South Australia. She is the Director of the Mindful Movement Physiotherapy Clinic at Lobethal and teaches mindfulness at various locations throughout SA. For 25 years she has been teaching movement, with her personal practice guiding her to explore creative ways to blend a contemporary knowledge of human movement with yoga and mindfulness to help people flourish in their lives. . She is working with Flinders University to provide a program for paramedic students, has presented lectures and workshops on mindfulness and pain at conferences, to physiotherapists and to community groups.  Georgie is also involved with a research project investigating the benefits of yoga for war veterans with PTSD.

Joshua Hoare


Young People, Creativity and Movement

Josh is the Artistic Director at the SA Circus centre, home to Cirkidz. Cirkidz runs a circus school, performance program and several circus as social outreach projects.



Ashleigh Smith

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia

How Exercise Influences the Capacity of the Human Brain for Neuroplasticity and Cognition Across the Entire Human Lifespan

Dr Ashleigh Smith is an early career neurophysiologist (equivalent to 6 months post PhD conferral), in the Exercise for Health and Human Performance research group, located within the Sansom Institute for Health Research at the University of South Australia. Ashleigh is interested in understanding how the brain re-organises the strength of its connections throughout life (known as neuroplasticity). Enhanced neuroplasticity is particularly important for motor and neurocognitive learning as well as recovery from insults such as stroke or brain injury. Specifically Ashleigh is investigating the mechanisms underpinning the link between physical activity, enhanced neuroplasticity and cognitive function in both young and older adults. Since 2007, Ashleigh has 26 publications (71 citations since 2009, H-index 5) including 9 original research publications (5 first author) in international peer reviewed journals, 3 reviews (1 invited) and 14 conference proceedings (including 1 invited symposium). Most notably in 2010 Ashleigh was awarded the internationally competitive Young Investigator Award at the International Congress of Clinical Neurophysiology held in Kobe, Japan.

Master George H Lee

Discover Tai Chi

Master George H Lee began studying martial arts at the age of 13 under a prominent Kung Fu master in Brunei.  Later, in 1969, he joined the Brunei Karate Association before moving to Adelaide in 1970 to further his education.  He continued his martial arts career under several masters both here and overseas.

In 1971 Master Lee began teaching martial arts, including Kung Fu, Karate, Kempo Silat and various weaponry.  Following his father’s advice, he began studying QiGong and Tai Chi in 1986.  With his extensive martial art skills he was able to advance rapidly and become proficient in the Internal Arts.

From the late 1980’s onwards, Master Lee became interested in the healing powers of chi, extending his studies into the fields of Chinese acupressure massage, oriental and western herbal therapies, reiki and spiritual healing.

Throughout his teaching career, many students have benefited from Master Lee’s extensive knowledge and experience in martial arts, Tai Chi, Chi Kung and natural healing.  He has lectured in the theory and practical concepts of Chi Kung and Tai Chi to students of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture at the Adelaide Training College of Complementary Medicine.  Master Lee regularly conducts workshops, seminars and lectures to various community groups.  He is an accomplished natural healer, treating many people with all kinds of ailments in his private clinic.

Master Lee continues to extend and refine his knowledge for the benefit and enjoyment of his many students.