Presenters

Here is the list of experts who will be presenting at the Conference and Festival and running Workshops and Trainings workshops.

Merv Neal

CEO Laughter Yoga Australia and Director of Holistic Services Group

Merv has owned and operated his own businesses for more than 51 years. Following a work related life threatening health issue in 2002, Merv found out first hand that “Laughter is the Best Medicine”. Check out You Tube The Laughing Man for his full story.
Merv is a Laughter Yoga Master Trainer, Researcher, Medically Published Author, Author of the book The Business of Laughter, and runs the Southbank Laughter Club.

Merv will be hosting:
  • 22nd and 23rd Oct – Laughter Conference and Joy Festival
  • 24th Oct – Workshop: Developing Productive Workplaces by Managing Stress
  • 24th Oct – Workshop: Developing the Productive Workplace by Managing Stress using Laughter
  • 25th to 29th October: Laughter Leader Training, Business Training, Advanced Training, Teacher Training

David Cronin

Fun Doctor, Wellness Fasillytator, Playwright and Author, former Clown Doctor, Laughter Yoga Teacher and Leader


David’s background is in physical theatre and teaching theatre workshops. He has lived in various European and Asian countries before moving to Australia where he was Clown Doctor for more than sixteen years. He has been the principal Clown Trainer for the Christmas Pageant for over twenty years, and is the State Coordinator and Trainer for Laughter Yoga Clubs SA.
In this session we will open the door and explore the secret riches deep inside the pyramid that is you. You will receive simple yet powerful tips and strategies, be the star of your own story, find the motivation to move, and Breathe right, Play right, and Laugh right.

David will be presenting:

  • 22nd Oct – Breathe Play Laugh.

Erica Sloan

Associate Professor, Cancer Researcher, Monash University


Erica took up yoga the week she started her PhD in cancer biology. The result was a personal understanding of how the mind and body connect. This inspired her to move to Los Angeles to study psychoneuroimmunology and discover how stress affects the health of patients with HIV. From there she returned to Melbourne to study how stress affects cancer patients and what we can do about that to improve the lives of people with chronic disease.
In this session Erica will talk with Merv about how her work in the lab and with cancer patients, and how her experience with yoga have shaped the scientific questions her team explores. Oh and we may even uncover her experience and thoughts about Laughter Yoga?

Erica will be presenting:

  • 22nd Oct – No Stress: A Conversation about a Different Approach to Treat Cancer Patients, as well as their Cancer.

Professor Paul Bennett

Registered Nurse, Professional Lead, University of South Australia

Paul is a kidney dialysis nurse who has introduced laughter, Zumba, and resistance exercise into the kidney dialysis space, in both Australia and the USA.
Paul will be presenting the “unhappiness of dialysis” and how laughter can be used to improve the lives of people with kidney disease.

Paul will be presenting:

  • 22nd Oct – Conference: Kidney Laughter. You’ve got to be Kidneying Me!

Annie Harvey

Wellbeing Educator and CEO of The Still Effect

With a background in corporate marketing, primary school teaching, and a franchisee, Annie is now a speaker and facilitator, weaving all of her experience into her 5 step process for preventing burnout and empathy fatigue. Annie has been a Laughter Yoga leader and mindfulness trainer for 6 years and is passionate about putting some fun and simplicity back into the serious and complex topic of mental health. She is also the author of The Little Book of STILL, and spoke at TEDx Adelaide in 2017.
In this session Annie will tell us the story of how she delivered a 6 month laughter resilience program to a childcare centre in South Australia in 2020-all during COVID- with amazing results for both kids and their educators. Her program and resources are now being rolled out across the State.

Annie will be presenting:

  • 22nd Oct – Kid’s Laughter. Delivering Early Age Laughter Programs.

Lea Singer

Certified Laughter Yoga Leader

Lea’s life changed in 2017 when she found this type of yoga. She leads sessions at Aged Cafe facilities, Senior’s Clubs, Yoga Studios, Student Accommodations, Yoga Retreats and Festivals.
This workshop will focus on working with core energy centres (Chakras) and emotions related to each one. You will experience the main emotions, both positive and negative, and learn why expressing them in then correct way is important to your wellbeing both physical and emotional. You will learn simple techniques that are easy to use in everyday life. This workshop includes elements of dancing, Haka, Tai Chi, Qiging, Energy Healing, Vocal Exercises, Active and Sensory Meditations.

Lea will be presenting:
  • 23rd Oct – Joy Festival: A Laughter and Emotions Session. Engage, Energize and Heal your Core Energy Centres.

Sharon Stewart

Bowen Therapist, Breatharian. Certified Laughter Yoga Leader and Teacher, and founder of Sharon’s Happydemic

Sharon is retired from many years of Nursing and has worked mainly in the areas of Acute, Surgical, Trauma, ICU and Aged Care. She has seen the best and worst in people and has been on both sides of the fence having experienced a brain tumour and the many residual side effects. Always the class clown and known as the “happy witty nurse”, she found Laughter Yoga and begun spreading the joy. The laughter has enabled her to find out more about breath work healing, connecting the emotions body mind and spirit. She has completed a certificate in Breatharian Healing ands is undertaking further studies.
In this session Sharon will be taking you through a session of Breath Healing of the mind, emotions, physical body and energy body.

Sharon will be presenting:
  • 23rd Oct – Joy Festival: 50 Shades of Breath. There’s more than one way to do it.

Sylvia Liu

Director and Founder of Fusion Culture Group

Sylvia has studied and lived in Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the USA, working in Finance, Real Estate, Investment, Training and Mental health. She is the recipient of Uniting’s With Heart Excellence Award 2021, Laughter Ambassador 2021, Finalist for Emerging Leader Award 2021, and Local Achievements Award by NSW Family and Community Services 2014.
In this session participants will learn the simple routines with the why and what explained through movement and laughter, then everyone will do it to music. This works our brain, body and spirit in a fun beneficial and intellectual way.

Sylvia will be presenting:
  • 23rd Oct – Joy Festival: Call of the Wild Laughter. A Vigorous Stretch and Laughter Workout.

Abhi Rajguru

Founder of Conscious Kollective

Abhi is a modern day monk with a joyful approach to spirituality. He comes from a very spiritual family in India, and after climbing the corporate ladder joyfully, his journey took him back to Buddhist Monasteries and Ashrams in Asia for twelve months. He brings the depths of Yoga and Buddhism and makes it actionable for modern humans. Through his Social Enterprise, he is on a mission to connect and empower conscious humans globally, and empower them for collective impact, so we can create a happy world from the inside out.  
This session is focussed on Kindfulness- a heartful practice rooted in Buddhist teachings. It brings ease to the body, to the mind, and to the world, which allows healing for both the individual and the world from the inside out.

Abhi will be presenting:
  • 23rd Oct – Joy Festival: Transcending to Enlightenment. A Memorable Meditation Session.