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Ann Joel and Michele Vos Castle

Adapters: Third Perth Festival of Healing to Promote Alternative Treatments for Wellbeing on May 26

Wellbeing experts, Ann Joel and Michele Vos Castle, will hold the third Perth Festival of Healing this weekend in which psychic and spiritual healers, sound and colour therapists and energy healers of various disciplines take centre stage.

A free-to-enter festival, it will showcase various alternative methods of addressing illness. For those attending, the event will be an introduction to new ways to treat bothersome ailments and bring comfort in the face of terminal disease.

It is the third festival that Michele Vos Castle (of Complete Feng Shui), a Feng Shui Master and past owner of a wellness centre, has organised with Ann Joel, an international healing medium. Thousands of people flocked to their popular first two offerings held last year.

Independently, the two women had reached one conclusion – small business owners in Perth’s alternative healing industry lacked funds or expertise to market their skills.

Without a showcase, the public were ignorant of available treatments, known as modalities. And so, the idea of a festival of healing was borne, to help businesses and educate the public.

“Over 2000 people came through the door at our first festival in City West Function Centre in March last year,” Ms Vos Castle said.

Some weeks later, she was in conversation with a woman who recalled the 'amazing' festival, unaware that Ms Vos Castle was an instigator. The episode showed the festival was a winner.

It was no surprise when the second festival repeated success of the first, leading to this third event.

Ms Vos Castle recognised the need for a festival when running her wellness centre. Adept at networking, she has been a strong advocate for small business and organised small healing fairs before launch of the festival.

Most festivalgoers want to address personal misfortunes, ailments and illnesses of varying degrees of seriousness. Others seek knowledge about achieving peace and happiness. Both groups are exposed only to Western Australian healers and products.

For Ann Joel, who organises the festival with Ms Vos Castle, the event gives meaning to her remarkable journey of self-discovery that took her around the world.

Domiciled in Perth from 14, the young woman was forging a career in public relations when, in 1978, she was in a car crash that left her in a neck brace with a paralysed left arm.

She continues: “When the doctor said after a year that they could do no more for me, and I was still in a neck brace, I was taken to a spiritual healer in Perth who I saw every week for two years.”

When improvements arrived slowly, she quickly rebooted her PR career, rising to Myer divisional manager and an executive in Dallas Dempster’s Burswood casino project and other high-profile posts.

She built a PR firm with nine staff but burnt out by 1993 and moved to Sydney, seeking greater tolerance of spiritual healing. There she met an indigenous healer who profoundly affected her.

Soon she opened a spiritual energy clinic and in New York she was ordained an interfaith minister. She worked in China, the US, Canada and the UK.

Three years ago, she relocated to Perth to be with family and built a nationwide clientele as a non-religious spiritual healer. The festival is a pet project. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do since returning to Perth.”

This year’s event offers more space than before and it is tipped to be the biggest festival yet.

The Perth Festival of Healing will be at the Cannington Exhibition Centre and Showgrounds on the corner of Albany Highway and Station Street, Cannington on Sunday 26 May 2019.

This article is one of many which have featured in 'Adapters', a series exclusively for Perth Media clients, profiling news of innovative small businesses, startups and not-for-profits in WA Business News.

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