Wellness Movement
You may well ask...
Why Wellness Movement?
Wellness Movement was founded by Ange Palmer and Penny Olsen in August 2017.
Its been a dream, a vision that I have had for a long time. They say good things take time and patience is needed. So many experiences led to this place – rainforests, sailing, parenting, mountains, turtles, environmental campaigning, yoga study, climate change and plants. Penny and I are both plant people and we seem to come back to biological terms when we talk about our business. Essentially we have an 'ecosystem philosophy' – there are many realms and layers to what we are doing and it spirals and weaves with an unknown destination or form...
Ange
Wellness Movement Co-Founder & Co-Director
Wellness Movement is the perfect physical space for us but its so much more than that. Its a meeting place, a melting pot. There is us, the co-directors, teachers and practitioners, the public, and volunteers who support us in reception and with other tasks. We all come through the door and immediately theres a common goal. We've really separated ourselves from nature and as a result there is a biological tax to our 'convenient lifestyles'. We move less, walk on ashphalt, eat food that is far from its source and often highly processed, wear clothes which restrict our movement...so many things..and fundamentally this is where the chronic health problems are coming from. They are diseases of behaviour. And because of the way we live many of us feel isolated. So Wellness Movement is very much about community, creating support, listening to the needs of everyone involved and seeing how we can make it work for all of us.

But perhaps what is more important is what happens outside of here. Its like we offer a supplement, inspiring people to make some changes and deeply support them in this. if we can make peoples lives better then they can contribute to their families and community more fully, so community is stronger too. Resilience..thats what we need
Penny
Wellness Movement Co-Founder & Co-Director
I trained as a Herbalist, but it was already in my blood since childhood. In 2016 I started the Nelson Herbal Dispensary so as to have a more public interface as a way to build my practice with a community focus. I have a strong community ethos. It was in a little shop on the outskirts of town but it soon became clear it was too small. Plus I knew I wanted to work with patients beyond this - with yoga, in the wilderness, group work – this is what holistic healing is all about. I knew the historic Anstices building was empty so I hounded the landlord for a while. I couldn't let it go...
Ange
Wellness Movement Co-Founder & Co-Director
I started out as a physiotherapist, side stepped to public health, studied permaculture, taught organic horticulture, built my house by hand with my partner and then found Restorative Exercise. It fitted my vision for what was needed – empowering people to take charge of their own health through movement in everyday life – rather than an exercise program. Your body is an ecosystem and it is also part of an ecosystem. Its simple stuff – back to basics, back to our roots as human beings.
Penny
Wellness Movement Co-Founder & Co-Director
Penny and I were destined to cross tracks. She told me she was looking for a space so I took her and showed her the building. She instantly got the vision. A week later we were talking partnership and sparking off each other. I couldn't have done it without her. Penny is a hard worker and we're both driven to live our beliefs. We're living on a pittance but we're incredibly fulfilled by this project. Our partnership has fueled us and given us both strength. And we've had a lot of fun along the way. We usually go barefoot at work and there is not much structure to our working week. We have to keep adapting to the next idea or task that presents itself. There is never a dull day....
Ange
Wellness Movement Co-Founder & Co-Director
Penny say something snazzy here please
Penny
Wellness Movement Co-Founder & Co-Director
I want to offer locally grown herbs so I aim to actively source plants grown in our own bio region. This is part of the holistic philosophy – use the medicine that grows around you. I believe it is our responsibility as herbalists to cultivate a resilient, sustainable supply chain so that into the future we can rely on these local plant medicines. We need to keep the lore of herbal medicine alive by sharing knowledge. I hope to be able to focus on collecting the plants in the wild more in the future. Wellness Movement is about ecological citizenship.
Ange
Wellness Movement Co-Founder & Co-Director
We want to foster a community of proactive people and provide a portal to many options for individuals. And we want to be innovative, to deliver this service in a new way. You could say we're doing it for love. There is certainly an economic opportunity here but if we were chasing money we wouldn't be feeding our creative and compassionate selves in the same way. We see it as a 'community service business model' and this model itself provides a rich seeding ground for fertility to bloom. I think we will see accelerated or enhanced growth, like a ripple effect...Educating others is a big part of it for me.
Penny
Wellness Movement Co-Founder & Co-Director
She probably wouldn't tell you this but Penny is a compost queen. It delights her so much and I love that about her. I get it. Its the ultimate in regeneration, recycling, earthiness. Collect waste, feed the soil, grow bugs...its her happy place. We both need these things to make it sustainable for us, its part of the philosophy. We need to feed our souls, and our worms, to be happy. But Penny does it on an industrial scale!
Ange
Wellness Movement Co-Founder & Co-Director
Wellness Movement is about health of people, health of planet, and health of process. Whats good for the earth is good for people. There is an overarching permaculture ethic suggesting – "earth care, people care, fair share". This is where we are coming from. And that the whole is greater than the sum of parts. Its about collaboration. And we want to reach out into the community as part of that – corporate and NGO partnerships....there are lots of ideas, and we sure can't do it all ourselves.
Penny
Wellness Movement Co-Founder & Co-Director
What can happen when 15 or 20 individuals pool their energy and ideas in order to offer support to people who need a boost? Can we foster a strong, thriving force in these practitioners which then translates into a unique, potent healing for individuals? It seems we can. Its incredibly exciting – to hold a space where a new, unknown dynamic can emerge via a natural evolution because of the synergy of these experienced health professionals. Its definitely experimental, unknown. Its required a lot of trust and a leap of faith. I have no idea where its leading us...and I'm comfortable with that.

The Earth is mourning. Who is listening? Less is more. We're in this together.
Ange
Wellness Movement Co-Founder & Co-Director
We want to offer a place that people can trust, where its safe and comfortable to come to. A greenhouse incubating ideas around health and wellness, and a healthy social infrastructure. Its got to be aligned with, or based on, natural principles otherwise its not going to work for us. Ange and I have both recognised we can't work within a system which suffocates us...it has to be expansive, looking forward, exploring solutions. Thats the movement, and the wellness...
Penny
Wellness Movement Co-Founder & Co-Director
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