Australian Compassion Council

In Australia, the Charter for Compassion is governed by the Australian Compassion Council.

Dr Lynne Reeder is an Adjunct Research Fellow at Federation University Australia, and a Board Director of the public interest think tank, Australia21. She completed her PhD at Monash University, and now undertakes research into the evidence base of empathy and compassion. She is Founder of the Mindful Futures Network, a network of over 700 people who are interested in applying the evidence base of mindfulness, empathy and compassion within Australian organisations; the National Lead of the Australian Compassion Council, and a member of the Compassionate Ballarat Steering Group. 


Mark Crosweller is the Director of Ethical Intelligence, and has 35 years of experience as a senior executive, practitioner and policy maker in the areas of crisis, disaster and emergency management, mitigation and resilience. Between 2012 and 2019, he was the Director General of Emergency Management Australia, the Australian Government’s lead agency for disaster and emergency management. Mark is currently completing a PhD on compassion at the University of Western Australia.

Terry Ayling is a spiritual entrepreneur, consultant, carer and compassion advocate.  He is Facilitator of the ‘Compassionate Cities Gold Coast’ Initiative, Co-ordinator of Gold Coast Health’s Spiritual Care Service and Creative Director of Spirited Communities. A Uniting Church Minister and spiritual carer-chaplain for 25 years, Terry is committed to the creation and animation of spirited and compassionate communities.

Dr Debbie Ling is a lecturer at Monash University. She completed her PhD research on compassion in 2019. Debbie’s research produced empirical evidence that the perception of common humanity leads to an increase in compassion in healthcare workers. Debbie also trialled and evaluated a single session compassion training intervention which has been published and has attracted international attention. Debbie is also a member of the Epworth Monash Rehabilitation Medicine Research Unit, a senior clinician social worker at Epworth HealthCare, an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker in private practice and sits on the Australia21 Mindful Futures Network Advisory Group.

Dr Susan Sumskis is Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Programs at the Nan Tien Institute of Higher Education. Sue is a credentialed mental health nurse who focuses on education in compassion, contemplation and ethics for health care professionals. Sue is researching the impact of a contemplative education on the development of student compassion and is also supervising PhD students who are researching the effects of compassion based higher education on student personal development. Sue delivers compassion based continuing professional education for the purpose of reducing burnout and empathic distress in health professionals and for facilitating self-care.

Louise Murphy is the Principal Nurse Educator (Mental Health Services) for the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District. With over 30 years as a Registered Nurse, Louise has worked in a variety of Senior Leadership positions including a Drug and Alcohol Nurse Practitioner, Educator and University Lecturer. Louise is also a St John Ambulance Volunteer and has a passion for improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities by cultivating compassion and compassionate practices.