Discovery Programme Faculty

The Discovery Programme


Vija Docherty (Programme Leader)

Vija is an artist, illustrator and educational consultant. She has more than 22 years’ experience in various roles in Waldorf education including kindergarten, class teaching and co-principal roles. She now works part-time at Tablehurst Biodynamic Farm, co-teaches on Sacred Art of Geometry courses at the SAOG Studios in Emerson College and abroad. She lives and loves with her three children and husband Daniel in an idyllic setting on the Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, UK.


Philip Kilner (Programme Leader)

Philip is medical doctor and researcher, now retired from a career in research and diagnostic imaging in cardiology. After qualifying in medicine, he studied sculpture, geometry and flow with John Wilkes at Emerson College. It was through these studies that questions about flow through the living heart led him back into medical research, initially in relation to reconstructive heart surgery and then, for 28 years, by means of magnetic resonance imaging of the heart. Since retiring from his post as a Consultant at Royal Brompton Hospital in London, Philip has returned to spend time at Emerson College, near his home in Forest Row.


Francesca Profeti
(Introduction to the College in week 1)

Previously a student at Emerson College, Francesca returned three years ago to take over as House Manager, ensuring the smooth running of the College household. She oversees a team, which is responsible for maintaining a high standard of cleanliness and attractiveness across each of the College buildings in a sustainable and ecological way. Francesca is often the first point of contact when residents have a concern or issue regarding their meals or accommodation. She is also involved in the development of the College’s volunteer programme.




Steve Briault
(Group singing in week 1 onwards, and mornings in weeks 11 and 12)

Steve is Director of Development at Emerson College where he also coordinates the Living and Learning Community.  He is an organisation consultant  with 25 years’  experience.  He taught at the Centre for Social Development at Emerson College in the 1980s and has been connected with the College since then. 


Paul Matthews
(Mornings in week 1, and afternoons in weeks 2, 10 and 11)

Paul, poet, teacher and gymnast has taught for many years at Emerson College. His books,Words in Place and Sing Me the Creation(Hawthorn Press) contain numerous exercises to nurture the creative process and bring language alive between people. The Ground that Love Seeks and Slippery Characters (Five Seasons Press) are gatherings of his poetry. See


Kirsten Hartvig
(Mornings in week 2 and afternoons, week 9)

Kirsten is a registered naturopath, medical herbalist, nutritionist, vegan, and the author of 14 books on natural health. She is in private practice in Forest Row, teaches materia medica on the Heartwood Herbal Medicine online professional course, runs the YouTube Channel 'Herb Hunters', and is in the process of setting up a Herbal Medicine Study Centre at Emerson College, comprising an ever-expanding teaching herb garden and library.


Daniel Docherty
(Afternoons in weeks 3 and 7)

Daniel, who will lead afternoon session in sacred geometry, received his MA in Sacred and Traditional Arts in 2004 under the guidance of Keith Critchlow and Paul Marchant (Prince's School of Traditional Arts - London). He has
undertaken extensive research into how the arts/ sciences of the ancient quadrivium (Number, Geometry, Music and Cosmology) inform and underpin the world's manifold cultural traditions. Daniel is co-founder and senior tutor at Sacred Art of Geometry (SAOG Studios, Emerson College,
UK) as well as regularly teaching and lecturing internationally.


Antoinette Reynolds
(Mornings of week 5)

Antoinette came across Steiner education as a pupil in the Netherlands in the 1950s. When her parents moved to the UK in 1960, there was no Steiner school nearby, but those first years left such vivid memories that she was determined to become a class teacher one day. She trained at Michael Hall, where her children were at school, and has taken two classes through from 1-8. She has taught History of Art in the Upper School and Religion and French in the Lower School. As a teacher, she developed a wide range of interests which, now retired, she continues to nurture. Travel is a favourite, especially on foot!

Hannah Roberts (Afternoons in week 5)

Hannah has been a Waldorf kindergarten teacher for 14 years. In that time she has pioneered a nature-based Waldorf setting (Robin’s Nest, Emerson College), where she and her colleagues focus on providing holistic education, and inner and outer nourishment, for young children and their families.


Ileana Botero:
(Mornings, Week 6: Biography Workshop)

Born in Colombia, Ileana now lives in a community in Sussex. She came to England almost forty years ago on a quest, which had already taken her to far away places. Curiosity about a friend's attitude to life led her to
Anthroposophy. After three years at Emerson College in the 80's (Cooking, Education, Speech and Drama) she worked at Nutley Hall, a community for adults with special needs. At 50 she trained as a Biographical Counsellor, followed this with a postgraduate course in Psychotherapy and now works as a counsellor with individuals and groups.


Mary-Anne Paterson (Afternoons in week 6)

Mary-Anne is an artist and art therapist dedicated to helping others in their journey of personal development so as to discover their ‘inner artist’ and speak with their true and unique voice. She believes that, by exploring the Arts in practice ‘together’ and with ‘the other’, we have the possibility to attain a self-knowledge, inner strength, well-being, a sense of hope and purpose.


Deborah Ravetz
(Mornings of week 8)

With her husband Tom, Deborah will lead the week of Nov 11-15th, ‘In Search of the Deep Self’. She is an artist, author, life coach and speaker. She studied English Literature and Philosophy at York University and Fine Art and Print Making at Leith School of Art, Edinburgh, Grays School of Art in Aberdeen and Social Sculpture at Oxford Brookes University. Since completing her degree in Social Sculpture, she has worked on the project The Search for the Deep Self: http://


Tom Ravetz
(Mornings of week 8)

Tom is a priest, author, speaker. He completed his training for the priesthood of the Christian Community in Stuttgart and studied theology at the University of Aberdeen. He has been involved in training priests in Germany, and works in the UK and Ireland. He has written and spoken on a wide variety of theological and spiritual topics. He is a member of the board of Trustees of Emerson College.


Peter Brown (Mornings of Week 9)

Peter has farmed biodynamically since he was 21, first on a farm near Cape Town in South Africa for 15 years, then in Germany for 3 years before moving to Tablehurst Farm in Sussex in 1994. In 1996 Tablehurst became one of the first CSA’s in the country, a mixed biodynamic farm of over 600 acres with a farm shop, which includes 3 apprentices and 3 adults with learning disabilities as part of the team. As Director (20014-2017), among

his other achievements, Peter devoted much of his energy into successfully launching the Seed Co-operative: He continues to serve the BDA as a trustee and is the Biodynamic Association’s Agricultural Adviser.


Peter Owen-Jones
(Week 10)

With Prof. David Peters (below), Peter co-leads a week at the end of November: ‘Rediscovering the Sacred’. He is an Anglican priest in Firle, at the foot of the South Downs in Sussex, and an author and television presenter. In his BBC documentary ‘How to Live a Simple Life’ (2009), he tried to live without money in the footsteps of Saint Francis of Assisi. In 2006 he presented a documentary on the Apocryphal Gospels, which have been omitted from the New Testament and, in 2017, one on life in the South Downs. One of Peter’s abiding concerns is appreciative reconnection with our immediate environment and our social setting.


David Peters
(Week 10)

With Peter Owen-Jones, David will co-lead a week at the end of November: ‘Rediscovering the Sacred’. He is Professor Emeritus of Integrated Healthcare in the School of Life Sciences at the University of Westminster in London. He has co-authored or edited five books about integrated healthcare. He was formerly chairman of the British Holistic Medical Association, whose Journal of Holistic Healthcare he edits. With Peter Owen-Jones, he

shares enthusiasm for Joanna Macy’s approach to reconnection, with our inner selves and bodily health, and our fellow humans and the diversity of our environment.


Charlene Collison
(Mornings in week 11)

Charlene leads systems change and futures projects at Forum for the Future, an international sustainability NGO where she is Associate Director for sustainable value chains. She directs multi-stakeholder initiatives addressing complex environmental, social and economic problems in sectors including cotton, tea and other agricultural commodities. Projects and clients have included the UK Government Office for Science’s Horizon Scanning Centre; a joint project with the Ministry of Defence and the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement. As well as an MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility (Distinction 2013), Charlene has a BA in International Relations and a Diploma in Organisational Change and Development.