OUR TEAM

Dr Arne Rubinstein

CEO

Dr Arne is the CEO and Founder of the Rites of Passage Institute. He has over 30 years experience as a medical doctor, counsellor, mentor, speaker and workshop facilitator. The programs, seminars and camps he’s helped to develop have been attended by more than 350,000 people globally, while some of the largest schools in Australia have implemented the framework effectively. The programs are designed to support boys and girls successfully make a safe, healthy transition into adulthood. His goal is to make Rites of Passage mainstream once again. Dr Arne is the proud father of two wonderful young men and a mentor to many others.

Kamya O’Keeffe

Head of Women’s Programs

Kamya is a senior facilitator of Rites of Passage programs leading the womens & mothers programmes and co-facilitating the Leadership Training with Dr. Arne Rubinstein. Kamya’s work focuses on rites of passages for girls, women, mothers, and elders by creating and guiding handmade transformative circles, journeys and trainings that acknowledge and celebrate the significant cycles and stages of our lives so that we may recognise the gifts we bring to the world and remember what it means to belong- to ourselves, to our kin, and to the unfolding vision of our lives. She is a descendent of resilient courageous Celtic women, the mother of inspiring daughters, and a mentor to women, coaches and leaders.

Karim Kaufman

Program Manager

Karim is deeply passionate about supporting young people to grow and develop into healthy adults. He works with young adults as a youth worker, runs a Boys Groups, facilitates on our Rites of Passage programs and is the Head of our Junior programs including Young Warriors and the Father Daughter weekends.

John Imbrogno

Training Officer

John has been working with young men since he sold his business in Melbourne and moved to Northern NSW. He is a talented story teller, drummer and singer. He was a senior facilitator at The Pathways Foundation and is a Senior Facilitator and Training Officer for our Making of Men program. He works at a local High School.

Mandy Ziegler

EA and Head of Communications & Marketing

Mandy is a young and vibrant Digital Media expert who has focused her Masters degree on digital media in education and well being. Mandy brings a keen eye for detail and an understanding of how to bridge the connection between the current system of education and wellbeing with the up and coming youth culture and concerns, utilising innovative marketing techniques and strategies. She believes wholeheartedly in the value of creating Heathy Rites of Passage for people of all ages, and is inspired to play her part in creating a sustainable offering to have maximum impact.

Melanie Manar

Head of Operations

Mother of three, with a background in child protection agencies, media, and event management, Melanie is your first point of contact with The Rites of Passage Institute. She is a trauma-informed, therapeutic crisis intervention trainer - a passionate advocate for early intervention, working closely with families to ensure children feel supported by the wider community, especially in challenging times. Her deep experience in this field means she brings a clear, calm, stable and resilient energy to the Institute and all the families she works with. Mel will answer your questions and guide you through the necessary end to end steps to participate in one of our life transforming programs.

Paula Conroy

Strategy Consultant

Paula works with the Rites of Passage Institute to deepen the impact of the current programs as well as build the strategic direction of the enterprise. Having worked in a global organisation for 15 years, Paula has great insight into how to scale businesses into new markets, and her extensive team management experience enables her to strategically manage the enterprise to work cohesively and in alignment with core values. Paula discovered a crucial puzzle piece in her journey when she recognised the absence of healthy Rites of Passage in modern day living, and has been a passionate advocate of bringing this into the mainstream ever since.

Narelle Watkins

Head of Transformational Education

Narelle is passionate about delivering programs to support young people to navigate the threshold of adolescence with a sense of curiosity, adventure and humour. She has worked in the education system for many years and in her most recent role as Sexual Health Educator, she worked closely with schools, students and families to support children in the transition from child to young adult. She specialises in creating safe spaces for open dialogue with students around puberty, respectful relationships, identity, consent as well as mental health and wellbeing. As Head of Transformational Education her role is to create a whole school approach to build community, teach key life skills and to create programs that drive positive cultural change and support students mental, emotional, physical, sexual and academic wellbeing.

Sofia Mazquiaran

School Program Coordinator

Sofi is the heart of our schools program, managing all the underlying aspects of the Rites of Passage Transformational offering within schools. From content creation and delivery, to internal systems and ways of working, Sofi brings her sparkle and fine eye for detail to ensure that the schools we work with are cared for, their needs are met and we are delivering a program that surpasses their expectations. Born and raised in Patagonia, Sofi is a qualified and trained lawyer, an avid traveller, and holds deep family values, which she bring to the Institute via her passion and commitment to playing her part to be the change in the world.

ABOUT US

We use an educational model based on The Rite of Passage Framework to help individuals strengthen their sense of self, learn critical life skills, discover their potential and create a healthy vision for the future. We are working to create a world where all people and communities thrive. 

WHAT IS A RITE OF PASSAGE?

A Rites of Passage is a process that transforms you from one stage in life to the next. For thousands of years, Indigenous and Traditional communities recognised the importance of these transitions for the growth, connectedness and health of an individual and community. In modern society we have lost most Rites of Passage and instead we see young people trying to create their own, often with disastrous consequences. The need for programs that help equip young people with the confidence and tools to tackle the adventure and challenges that lie ahead are more critical than ever.