Assistant Instructors 

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Peter Belic

Peter has over 50 years’ experience in many forms of Martial Arts, and has exceled as both practitioner and instructor.  Among his many achievements are a black belt in Karate Kick Boxing and Wu Sho Karate Do and a brown belt in Kyokushinki and Okinawan Goju Ru.

Peter has been practising Tai Chi since 2009, training with the Tai Chi Centre since 2014, and began his role as Class Leader in 2019. His lifetime of martial understanding not only enhances his own Tai Chi practice but ensures a skilled and knowledgeable Class Leader for the Tai Chi Centre. 

Dog training is Peter's other life long passion and he has been competitively obedience trialling since the early 1980s with great success. He has held the position of Chief Instructor of the Newcastle and Hunter Region German Shepherd Dog Club and has instructed at many other dog clubs over the years. In 2010, Peter turned his passion for dog training and his expertise in adult education into his primary profession when he launched his highly successful business K9 Perfection.

Peters two grandchildren are following his path into the martial arts and he has not been able to resist introducing them to the fundamentals of Tai Chi to enhance their practise.

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Sandy O'Neill

Retiring from a long-standing career as a corporate trainer, and, her subsequent relocation from Sydney to Newcastle in 2015 provided Sandy with the opportunity to pursue her interest in Tai Chi. Sandy discovered The Tai Chi Centre and has been a committed student since that date.

She confesses that her previous background as a corporate trainer has resulted in her being quite discriminating in regard to the teaching skills of others, and recognises Amanda as top of her game in this area. Sandy greatly admires her deep understanding of the art form combined with her awareness of people’s learning needs.

Sandy has trained diligently under the care and guidance of Amanda and notes that the training received by all Tai Chi Centre Class Leaders is generous, disciplined, sometimes incredibly difficult but always bestowed with patience and good humour.

When not playing tai chi, Sandy embraces her other passion directing a 30-women barbershop chorus, another activity that uses her considerable “up front” skills.

Kerrie Batten

Kerrie has been practising Tai Chi Chuan for over 25 years.

Kerrie was introduced to Tai Chi by her mother when, a very forward-thinking doctor suggested she take up the art to help with her asthma. To a young girl the movements and their names were fascinating; she and her sisters would try to imitate the postures whenever her mother practised. However, it was Kerrie’s move to Malaysia for work that really ignited her passion for Tai Chi. Each morning, Kerrie walked to the local village to join the local villagers for morning exercises. 

Moving to Newcastle, Kerrie joined the Australian Academy of Tai Chi and eventually undertook their training program  to become an assistant and teacher  for 8years. 

Wishing to improve her skills and further her knowledge, Kerrie joined the Tai Chi Centre in 2018. She brings her teaching skills, her understanding of the process and journey that learning involves, and her desire to help all students reach their goals.

Kerrie is a keen bush walker and boater, and her love of  off grid camping  sees her regularly venturing into remote areas of Australia.  She derives great pleasure  from designing and sewing her own clothes and loves a quiet afternoon on the verandah watching the sun set over the lake.

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Tony Yen

Tony joined the Tai Chi Centre  in 2017.

Although now retired, Tony's working life was spent in the corporate world throughout Australia and New Zealand often mentoring and coaching teams of over 30 individuals. Tony has a Diploma in Management and is a qualified Trainer & Assessor which has very much enhanced his role as Class Leader that he commenced  in 2021.

Tony attributes his success as Class Leader to the training he has received at the Tai Chi Centre and has greatly appreciated the importance of having a passionate, knowledgeable and supportive Laoshi like Amanda as his coach. 

Tony possesses enthusiasm  and  dedication to Tai Chi and his easy-going nature is a wonderful asset when helping new students begin their Tai Chi journey. 

On a personal level Tony is amazed at how much Tai Chi has improved his mental well-being, balance and overall health which allows him to enjoy his sporting pursuits of tennis, golf and skiing. Tony also notes his improved lung function is a great benefit for singing (sort of) the odd David Bowie number!

Future plans include more travel within Australia, more Tai Chi and more opportunities to make a small difference.

Administration

Sue Beasley

A career as Office Manager, spanning over two decades, within a fast-paced environment was just perfect for a busy, fast paced person. Retirement meant a change of pace for Sue,  the ability to engage the mind, and keep her body healthy, became increasingly important to her.

During a quiet lunch at a local café she chanced upon an information flyer which piqued her interest and led her to The Tai Chi Centre in 2014.

The years since her first class have seen Sue grow from a person wanting to learn a new skill as quickly as possible, to a relaxed, calm person confident in the journey and of her progress. Sue attends a number of classes per week and one day would like to enter a Tai Chi competition “just for fun”.

Sue has been married for 51 years, she is the proud mother of three wonderful adult children and one of her greatest joys is to spend time with her five grandchildren – all boys!

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Louise O'Brien

A  busy mother of three, Louise has spent much of her time juggling the demands of very active children resulting in little time to focus on her own health and wellbeing. Intense physical exercises such as football and Zumba kept Louise active and worked her external muscles for many years however, caring for herself “inside and out” became of great importance to her.

Louise came to The Tai Chi Centre as a new student in August 2019 with the goal of achieving not only good health for her body but to calm her racing mind. She attends classes on a daily basis and all workshops throughout the year.  Her dedication to training  has developed her tai chi skills to such an extent as to not only compete, but to achieve a bronze medal in the 2022 TCAA Tai Chi Competitions. Louise is focusing on furthering her training to become a Class Leader with the intention of helping others.

Louise is a qualified accountant (CPA) and brings a wealth of knowledge and strong administration skills to her “hat of many feathers” role at The Tai Chi Centre.

Louise is also the treasurer of a local animal rescue group and is passionate about being a foster “mum” rescuing, caring for and rehoming cats and kittens.

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