Bullengarook mother-of-four Julie Madden found her passion and purpose in hypnotherapy. Now 15 years on, she is helping others do the same. She speaks to Serena Seyfort about getting into the field.

What’s your connection with the Macedon Ranges?

We moved to Bullengarook 37 years ago when my husband built our house here.

What did you do before you got into hypnotherapy?

I worked in marketing and PR at Mowbray College in Melton for over six years. I also worked with student committees. I met many inspiring young people. I am still in contact with some of them.

What made you become a hypnotherapist?

I had work related stress disorder. A friend recommended hypnotherapy to stop my stress response. One session disappeared all that suffering and I decide that I wanted to be able to help others.

I trained as a hypnotherapist and ego state therapist.

Now, 15 years later, as well as helping people I train and supervise therapists.

What are you passionate about?

There are many things! In my work I am passionate about helping people change. In particular I love helping people discover their life purpose and helping remove obstacles to them being successful.

I am passionate about the value of Montessori education for preserving self-esteem and building confidence in young children.

I also teach Parent Effectiveness Training which is based on assertive communication. Assertive parents grow assertive, resilient, respectful, responsible children and through them there is more chance for peace in the world.

What hats do you wear in the community?

In the past I was heavily involved in establishing Macedon Ranges Montessori Pre-School and spent many years on the Board of Gisborne Montessori School. I have run women’s discussions groups and post-natal depression support groups. Up until recently I was heavily involved with my professional body and training therapists.

What’s your favourite place to spend your time in the area?

I enjoy the local community markets, especially Gisborne. It is nice to meet friends for a cuppa and cake or to go to my favourite Chinese restaurant in Gisborne. I also enjoy seeing the wide variety of colour when the different trees are in their autumn foliage.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

That I have made two school libraries. I am a bookaholic and believe it is important for children to be encouraged to read. With so much technology available to young people it is important to teach them how to research and check information rather than accepting everything they read online without questioning it.

What is the best thing about the Macedon Ranges?

After living in the area for so long it is hard to say. The view from Mount Macedon, wildflowers in the Wombat State Forest, hearing koalas calling in the bush, markets, art shows and galleries – there so many interesting, out of the way places to visit. But I guess catching up with old friends has to top the list.