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Australian Certified Instructors 

Ann Hefferan


Ann is a Certified Parenting by Connection Instructor and Instructor Trainer.  Read more ...










Belynda Smith


























































Shelley Clarke


Shelley lives in Adelaide, Australia with her husband and three beautiful children. She holds a bachelors degree in physiotherapy and is a certified CranioSacral Therapist. She has worked in many areas but now specialises in working with children and families.  


Shelley came across Parenting by Connection when searching for a better way to help with the intricacies of raising children. The usual parenting models for ‘teaching behaviour’ just weren’t working and everyone needed some tools to help with difficult behaviours and assist with connection.  It made sense and the tools taught in the six-week starter class are so incredible that family life changed almost immediately. 


She decided to become an instructor to gain a deeper understanding of the tools and to help support the families she works with.  Shelley is passionate about connecting with other parents to share the wonderful tools and strategies she has learnt.  


"We all have the desire to be seen, heard, held, and loved, and it can start with the way we raise our children. My dream is to see more families have access to these tools and deepen their connection with their children."

“I love parenting by connection. The tools really have changed our lives. There is more connection, joy, love, and laughter in our house. It’s amazing” 


Sharon Ryder


Sharon and her family live in Perth, Western Australia. She is the mother of a preschool-aged boy. Sharon is a speech pathologist who works with young children who have a disability and their families. She has been using the Parenting by Connection approach and listening tools since 2013.


Sharon finds the Parenting by Connection approach to be the most respectful and kind way of guiding children that she has encountered.


She first learned about Parenting by Connection after a particularly tough couple of years. Her first child was stillborn and her second child, a healthy baby boy, was born just a year later. Parenting by Connection was life changing for Sharon and her family. She discovered a completely new way of relating to her son through focusing on his emotional needs, as well as learning to consider and attend to her own emotional needs.


Sharon is keen to share the Parenting by Connection tools with other families of young children and welcomes the chance to work with families of children who have a disability.












































Belynda is mother to two active boys aged seven and four, and is married. She lives in Perth, Western Australia, and home educates her children. She has been a full-time stay-at-home mum for a long time and, prior to this, was an English teacher, bookseller and Librarian.


Belynda first came to Hand in Hand Parenting after years of being a ‘gentle’ parent who followed attachment parenting advice. Parenting by Connection provided her with the support she needed to learn to set limits lovingly, and to bring her own needs into the equation. Her growth and learning thanks to Hand in Hand Parenting by Connection approach and Community Transformations (A provider of the approach in Australia) has seen her become a passionate advocate for building parent support, particularly in the form of Listening Partnerships; these form the cornerstone of her own support network.


Belynda has a lot to offer parents who struggle with aggressive behaviour and/or sibling rivalry, having a great deal of experience with both.  She really understands how hard it is to reach for your angry child, and knows from experience how challenging it can be to overcome negative inherited patterns at these times. Belynda can help you get the support you need to connect well with your child.  She knows how challenging sibling rivalry and physical fighting can be. Belynda has successfully used play, connection building and the key Parenting by Connection tools to help her children have the best relationship they can.


Belynda has years of experience with sleep issues and is profoundly empathetic about how sleeplessness impacts your ability to parent well. She has faced the challenges of moving her children from co sleeping to sleeping in their own beds, as well as side issues such as weaning and helping them go to sleep alone. She fully supports families who love to co-sleep, and understands that when this works for everyone it is a beautiful setup. Belynda also knows how hard sleep issues can be on parents and understands why kids find sleep elusive at times. She can help you support your children to release the tensions that make sleep such a challenge for families.


Belynda knows how it feels to be overwhelmed and to feel helpless and despairing, and has come back from these feelings thanks to building a network of support, especially Listening Partnerships, to lead her family with confidence and love.  She can help you through these difficult feelings too.

Belynda also has experience with friends and family not understanding her parenting choices, and can help you find a graceful and loving way through differences with those around you.

To find out more about the classes and other support Belynda can offer you, please send her an email at

Claire Rosina


After much struggle and exhaustion with parenting her three young boys, Claire finally found a parenting paradigm that made sense to her head and her heart. Claire had been researching, reading, listening and learning to an array of parenting information, on a quest to help her family. Although she had found some meaningful information from different parenting experts, it wasn't until taking the Parenting by Connection Starter Class that Claire finally felt she could stop searching,


Through the use of Listening Time during the Starter Class, and in her Listening Partnerships, Claire experienced support in her parenting that she had never had before. Everything started to make sense, and she could see, and feel the tools working!


Claire is passionate about spreading the information that is transforming her family, and iexcited to help others who are looking for support with their parenting.


"I had been trying so hard to change my parenting, but was finding it overwhelming, as I had no support. No one around me was parenting this way! felt very isolated and had so many questions and emotions to think through. The Parenting by Connection Starter Class offered easy to understand tools and really important information, all explained well in the booklets and through the use of great anecdotes. But, for me, the most crucial element that sets Parenting by Connection apart from other parenting educators and their programs, is the adult-to-adult listening tools - Listening Partnerships and Support Groups.


I want to help support parents on their Parenting by Connection journey, because I

know first hand what a difference that support can make when you are trying to parent with more connection and when you move from a traditional parenting style."


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