Insight Network Teacher Group

The Insight Network Teacher Group is an internationally recognised group of experienced Australian Dharma teachers. All teachers in the Group have fifteen years or more experience in Dharma practice, have a broad understanding of Buddhist perspectives and the ability to see mindfulness and other types of meditation in the context of those perspectives.

In addition to time spent teaching on retreats, each member of the Group has spent regular periods on retreat as a practitioner. These periods generally amount to six months or more in total time spent in silent retreats. All teachers have a commitment to ethics, both broadly and in terms of respectful teacher-student relationships.

While teachers in the Group have diverse teaching styles and different approaches to the Dharma, each teacher has been recognised by peers as having a solid level of understanding.  New teachers are at times invited to be part of the Group by a panel of senior teachers.

All teachers in the Group run retreats on a dana basis.


Bobbi Allan has practiced meditation since 1974 with many teachers in the Insight traditions.  She studied with leading US Buddhist scholar, social activist and deep ecologist, Joanna Macy. Bobbi leads Stillness in Action retreats, which emphasise engaged Buddhist practice. These retreats combine a focus on tranquility, insight and compassion with dynamic processes for reconnection and positive engagement with the world. She also leads “Natural Mind” retreats with her husband, John Allan, using Jason Siff’s ‘Recollective Awareness’ approach to meditation. Bobbi has trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (Jon Kabat-Zinn). She teaches mindfulness in schools, trains teachers to use mindfulness practices for their own wellbeing, and lead the practices in their classrooms.


Subhana Barzaghi is both a Zen Roshi and a teacher in the Insight Meditation tradition. She is a resident teacher of the Sydney Zen Centre and founding teacher of both the Bluegum Sangha in Sydney and the Kuan Yin Meditation Centre in Lismore. Subhana's teaching emphasises liberation here and now through the practice of calm abiding and inquiry. She leads Zen and Insight Meditation retreats in the Northern Rivers, Sydney, Melbourne and in New Zealand.


Alan Bassal
has been studying and practicing meditation and Buddha’s teachings for over 35 years beginning in India in the Vipassana meditation tradition and then developing in Eastern & Western Insight. For over 28 years he worked internationally in the field of management consulting and organisational change and for many years has integrated meditation and psychotherapy in his leadership development work. Alan’s Insight Meditation teaching is eclectic and practical, he encourages people to awaken to each moment and find the fulfilment they seek.

Ellen Davison has practiced in both the Zen and Vipassana traditions for over 30 years with teachers in Japan, India, North America, Hawaii and Australia. Ellen is a Zen teacher in the Diamond Sangha Lineage and teaches both Zen and Insight/Vipassana retreats in Australia. She is a guiding teacher at the Kuan Yin Meditation Centre in Lismore, NSW, and at Bay Insight in Byron Bay. Ellen is a Psychologist and has worked primarily as a counsellor in tertiary education.


Victor von der Heyde
has been practising meditation for thirty five years. He's spent over two years in total in silent retreats and has taken dharma teaching roles since the mid 1990s. He was co-founder of Sydney Insight Meditators and of the Bodhgaya Development Association. He also trained in Gestalt Therapy and worked for years as a counsellor. His main teacher was Rob Burbea from Gaia House in the UK. Victor writes:
These days my passions in teaching - and practice - include  ethics, exploring the various responses to climate breakdown and the ways that we get often stuck with particular concepts of self and world. And stuck with particular meditation practices. My intention is to open up freeing and soulful possibilities for people.


Winton Higgins began meditating and practising the dharma in 1987. He took up teaching meditation in 1995. In 2003, he became a regular teacher at Bluegum Sangha. He is a member of Kookaburra Sangha, in Sydney's Inner West, and also teaches at Golden Wattle and Beaches sanghas, as well as for Sydney Insight Meditators, which he helped found. Winton’s meditation teaching has developed towards non-formulaic insight practice based on the Buddha’s original teachings, while his dharmic orientation inclines towards a secular Buddhism. He fosters interest in the original teachings and their affinity with modern streams of thought and progressive social commitments. A writer and a social-science academic, he and his partner Lena have 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren. His website is here, and much of his dharma writing can be found here.


Jess Huon has been engaged in meditative and embodiment practices since she was seventeen years old. She has trained in traditional Buddhist monastic settings and also within intensive periods of solitary forest practice. This training has taken place in Asia, Australia, Spain, and the USA. Jess holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts and a post grad in the therapeutic arts practice. She is a published author (The Dark Wet, Giramondo Publishing) and when based in Melbourne, writes and co-directs for rollercoaster, a theatre company comprising actors with intellectual disabilities. Whilst deeply informed by but not bound to tradition, her style is grounded in contemporary life. Jess teaches retreats in both India and Australia. She currently teaches regularly with the Melbourne Insight Group.


Mal Huxter is a clinical psychologist in private practice and a Dharma teacher. He is the author of Healing the Heart and Mind with Mindfulness Routledge, 2016. He designs and conducts courses, workshops and silent retreats.  He has been teaching mindfulness and the four heart qualities (loving kindness, compassion, appreciative joy and equanimity) to the general public, clinical populations, therapists and other professionals since 1991. As a psychologist he is a teacher of MSC and CEB and trained in a range of therapies including CFT. As a meditator and meditation teacher he began training in Buddhist meditation practices in 1975, living in Thailand as a Buddhist monk in the forest tradition for two years in the late 1970s. Though mostly within the Theravada he has also practiced within Tibetan Mahayana and Zen traditions.


Will James Will attended his first Insight Meditation Retreat in the late 1970s with Christopher Titmuss, this meeting kindled a deep interest in meditation and a great love for the Dharma teachings and practices. Will is the guiding teacher at the Tallowwood Sangha in Bellingen N.S.W, he regularly leads retreats in Bellingen, Byron Bay and annually in Bali. Will has taught at the Dharma Gatherings in Australia and India, taught the Australian Dharma Facilitators Program and teaches Dharma Study and Inquiry.Will's teaching lays great emphasis on seeing into the ‘dependent arising' and empty nature of all phenomena. This seeing makes possible a deep understanding that frees the mind and opens the heart.


Patrick Kearney is an independent dharma teacher in the lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw. He has trained extensively in the Mahasi approach to insight meditation, where his principal teachers were Panditarama Sayadaw and John Hale. He has also trained in the Diamond Sangha lineage of Zen Buddhism, his principal teachers being Robert Aitken Roshi and Paul Maloney Roshi. Patrick has a particular interest in the original teachings of the Buddha, before Theravada or Mahayana were thought of. He studies Pali, the language of the earliest surviving Indian recension of the Buddha's teachings, and seeks to bring his understanding of the early texts to the practice of dharma in the contemporary world.

Anna Markey was introduced to Buddhist practice in India in 1983.  She took teachings from a variety of Tibetan teachers and attended retreats with insight teacher, Christopher Titmuss, the same year.  She has been studying the Buddhadharma and practising insight meditation ever since.  Anna also practised for a number of years with a Zen group in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and in the Burmese Mahasi method of practice with Patrick Kearney. Since 2007 she has been studying with Jason Siff. She is interested in the early teachings of the Buddha and in using a gentle, receptive approach to meditation to see into our experience in order to bring about change and liberation in our daily lives.


NeLi Martin practised meditation in the UK for years, predominantly at Gaia House, before starting to teach in the Western Insight tradition in 2005. She was mentored in the early period by Catherine McGee and draws on the secular Buddhist perspective developed by Stephen and Martine Batchelor. Her teaching focuses on cultivating awareness in body, mind and heart; exploring embodied freedom. Neli has practising yoga since 1992 and has taught yoga since 1998. She also teaches other movement meditation via dance and leads silent forest walks (yatras). Neli is a registered psychologist with a private practice in Brisbane and Noosa.


Radha Nicholson teaches the cultivation of wisdom and compassion through insight. Her teachings focus on inquiry and the non-dual nature of reality. Radha first met Christopher Titmuss in India in 1975 where she participated in extended retreats. She is a guiding teacher for Bay Insight in Byron Bay. Radha teaches retreats in Australia and regularly teaches with Christopher in Sarnath, India, at the annual Dharma Gathering. She is a Registered Psychologist and member of the Australian Psychological Society with a private practice in Bangalow, in Northern NSW. Radha is the mother of four children and also has grandchildren.


Carol Perry has more than 40 years meditation experience in the Insight tradition.  She is a senior teacher with Melbourne Insight Meditation. In 1972 Carol co-founded a rural community where she continues to live. Carol is a long time social activist on ecological issues and is passionate about supporting cohesive and harmonious community in all its forms.  She has a mindfulness-based (Hakomi) psychotherapy practice in Lismore NSW and globally by Skype. She teaches a dharma-based workshop called Communicating Mindfully.



Gawaine Powell Davies has been interested in Buddhism as a philosophy for more than fifty years and has practised it  for the past twenty. He has learnt formally from many Australian and overseas teachers including Jason Siff, Stephen and Martine Batchelor, Gregory Kramer, Patrick Kearney, Christopher Ash, Winton Higgins, Jenny Taylor, Subhana Barghazi and Victor von der Heyde, and informally from numerous dharma buddies along the way.  He see dharma practice as a path of relaxing and finally relinquishing our sense of self, leading us to a world less dominated by our desires and fears, with space for curiousity, love  and compassion. He is interested in what the dharma can contribute to the contemporary world and in particular to rethinking social and environmental issues.

Jenny Taylor has been a dharma practitioner for 30 years, studying with a range of teachers, initially in the Thai forest tradition and the Mahasi tradition. She began teaching 10 years ago and participates in teacher training retreats with Jason Siff. She lives in Alice Springs, works as a visual artist and teaches art in remote communities. She has a particular interest in the affinity between unstructured meditative experience and the practice of creative arts.

  Lizzie Turnbull has been engaged in Buddhist practice since 1985, beginning in the Tibetan tradition and later in Zen and Insight. The approach Lizzie takes to teaching meditation is open and non-sectarian, encouraging embodied awareness, a compassionate and loving heart and creative inquiry into the possibilities of freedom. She has long been interested in the integration of the Buddha Dharma with the social sciences and psychotherapy. She is a somatic psychotherapist in private practice in Byron Shire, Northern NSW.

Sexton Bourke was one of the teachers in this Group before his death in May 2011. An obituary for Sexton is here and there is a 6 minute video of Sexton talking to other teachers about meditation. home