Our mission

To create opportunities for all ages to be seen and heard without judgement and connect with compassion to self, others, and nature while becoming more aware of the interconnectedness of the collective on our journey toward self mastery.

To share trauma-informed counselling, mentorship, and adventure therapy experiences with young people and their families in nature, through connection and with compassion, collectively.

Our guiding principles include:


We are all connected.  What we do to another, we do to ourselves.


To feel compassion for all living things and encourage non violence towards self, others, and nature through our thoughts, words, and actions.


We can only be responsible for our way of being.  Collectively, we can gently shake the world with the intention of benefiting all and harming none.


  • Positive regard for all people

  • Respect for differences in culture, gender, age, and identity

  • Strong family and community connections

  • Transparency, informed consent, and confidentiality

  • Voluntary participation

  • Selection for ‘readiness’ to participate

  • Attention to individual and group needs and hopes

  • Supportive physical, psychological, and social environments

  • Tailored adventure experiences

  • Provision of options and choices

  • Respect for cultural custodianship of country

  • Increasing self awareness and reflexive practice

  • Safety and no harm to self, others or natural environments

Reference: Australian Association for Bush Adventure Therapy Inc.


“Could a greater miracle take place, than for us to look through each others' eyes for an instant?”

henry david thoreau


Our story


To create opportunities for all ages to be seen and heard without judgement and connect with compassion to self, others, and nature while becoming more aware of the interconnectedness of the collective on our journey toward self mastery. We can only be responsible for our way of being and adapting or adjusting individually to align our thoughts, words, and actions; yet we don’t need to do the work alone.


Research suggests that one of the best predictors of a child's wellbeing is a parent’s self-understanding. When parents do well, children do well. When we shine, they can shine.

Two years ago The Collective Journey platform was established to share counselling, mentorship, and adventure therapy experiences for young people in Hong Kong, and more broadly, to create a virtual village connecting parents and others supporting the wellbeing of the collective.

"In a gentle way, you can shake the world”

Mahatma Gandhi

This path followed 20 years in professional and financial services for our Founder Melissa Shadforth across Australia, the United States, and Hong Kong where she observed the influence of our disconnected ways of being and unresolved childhood and adolescent trauma on the personal, professional, organisational, and societal level. While working in sustainable finance and responsible investment, she realised that if the concept of living with more compassion and intention was a challenge for educated leaders and decision makers to digest and commit to, there was a disconnect upstream. Melissa then chose to invest her time and energy in serving young people and their families in response to the complex challenges of our time.


It’s a marathon, not a sprint, therefore the work will continue and grow with the collective for years to come as we collaborate to bring the transformation required to break down old patterns that are no longer working today. Together we can alter the course through our connection with each other and this earth so that she can sustain life for generations to come as we find unity in the diversity of the collective.

Sometimes as parents we aren’t doing or feeling well and we’re not shining, and that’s OK. This can also be the case for children and other vulnerable individuals in the collective. The support of mentors or counsellors can help us navigate these times, explore a more integrated way of being through the security of the therapeutic relationship, and to ultimately become our own advisor.

“Once upon a time, Ulysses granted responsibility to his trusted friend Mentor for providing guidance to his son Telemachus in his absence.”

Mentorship is a conscious and trusted relationship that brings mentees together with compassionate mentors who actively listen, inspire, offer guidance, motivate, and support; all without judgement, or attachment to the outcome.

Creating conscious connections for mentors, to see the world through the eyes of those they live or work with, can bring compassion to challenging relationships, and some of the greatest self reflection we will individually and collectively experience.

Receiving mentoring, through meaningful connections and with compassion, can build inner strength and resilience, and most importantly, bring light to an otherwise dark day.

The traditional African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” is just as relevant today.  With the pressure and pace of modern life, and the perceived material and achievement driven definition of success, it's easy to disconnect from our village.  We slip into survival mode while feeling we need to be everything to everyone, which serves no one.

Children and adolescents who are free to explore, take risks, make mistakes, master skills, and follow their heart are on their way to discovering their inner strength and contentment with self.  They learn through making connections.  They develop compassion.  They make good choices more often.  They learn to take responsibility for their own physical, social, emotional, spiritual and sexual wellbeing in preparation for adulthood.

Children thrive with this freedom when a village surrounds them.  As parents and carers, we're not wired to carry this responsibility alone.  It is a collective journey.  Each mentor in the village has their perspective to share, skills to teach and way of being to model.

As parents and carers, we benefit from mentorship too.  We can set ourselves up for success by curating our advisory board for one of the most challenging roles we will face.  Some of us enter the role kicking and screaming, others meticulously plan the journey; neither approach guarantees success or failure as a parent or carer.  What defines success or failure anyway?  We all do the best we can with the knowledge we have.

If I am not a parent, why do I care about mentorship of children and adolescents?

As mentees transition to adulthood, the influence of the mentor stays with them.  If we mentor compassionately and consciously, this act can have a significant impact on humanity and support the shift in our collective way of being that is needed today.

Imagine children and adolescents with an understanding of, and compassion for, their internal world and interconnection with others.  Future generations with the mature perspective, skills, and motivation required to work together toward social change for a more humane and sustainable way of being.

Beyond mentorship, we can support the collective through integrative counselling and adventure therapy.

The therapeutic relationship is core to creating a safe space for present moment awareness, reflection, and exploration of a more integrated way of being. While cultivating trust, confidence and encouraging curiosity as the interactive process unfolds, we can support others to connect with their inner wisdom, develop insight, and cultivate compassion, connection, regulation, resilience, and inner trust to respond to life rather than react – and ultimately become their own advisor.

Through the process of counselling, we connect with purpose and the collective intention of reflecting on and accepting or resolving a lesson through our way of being with a professional counsellor willing to connect with compassion and support our journey. This can include reflecting on a specific challenge, life transition, health concern, or other imbalance through the process of solution identification, application, accomplishment, and growth. Further, the integration of psychotherapy modalities can support the development of insight across our way of being. This can help us adapt and adjust to align with our true self and break unhelpful cycles to allow new patterns of relating to emerge through the security of the therapeutic relationship. Essentially, to find a more peaceful state of equilibrium from within.

Welcome to The Collective Journey.



How can we help?