Ezelle Theunissen started her professional career as a community psychologist, working with educators and learners in 48 rural schools in remote parts of the Border Region, South Africa. Before that she worked as a holistic health practitioner, copy writer and editor, and counselling skills trainer. Today she practices as a coach, coach supervisor, mentor and learning facilitator in supporting individuals, teams and organisations align their values, strengths and unique lived experiences towards making a meaningful difference in the world. Social and environmental justice are close to her heart and she favours whole systems approaches like participatory rural appraisal, narrative theory, appreciative inquiry and community building.
In 2007/8 she acted variously as coach mentor and coach supervision mentor on ICF accredited coach and coach supervision training programs. Since joining the Center for AI faculty in 2009, she has mentored numerous AIFT and AICT learners towards their certification. In 2012 Ezelle, together with Karen Pratt and Luke Younge, masterminded a unique appreciative coaching model which has been taught internationally. She continues to use and evolve this model in her private practice. In recent years, she has mentored a diverse number of professionals in how to apply AI to their specific needs, be it developing customised tools, processes, programs, retreats, knowledge management projects or whole campaigns.
Over the last two decades, Ezelle has gained considerable experience working in varied environments – from rural, small town and peri-urban communities to big brand global foundations. She feels equally motivated collaborating within private, non-government and public sectors and particularly enjoys working with other English-second-language speakers throughout the world. Her spoken languages are Afrikaans, German, English and Dutch, and she’s currently studying Portuguese.
Ezelle is committed to ongoing voluntary community development projects and is a founding member of Rokpa Bardo, Western Cape – a non-profit organisation creating awareness and providing support for the dying person. Her particular portfolio advocates for sustainable funerary practices at local and regional levels. She holds a Masters degree in Psychology from the University currently known as Rhodes, a Higher Education Diploma from the University of Cape Town, and certificates in Coaching Skills and Coach Supervision Skills from Coaching Development (UK). She is a certified Appreciative Inquiry facilitator and facilitator trainer, coach and coach trainer, and mentor, as well as a Mindfulness facilitator and facilitator trainer. She is a member of COMENSA (Coaches and Mentors of SA), and an accredited NQF level 6 assessor with the Education, Training & Development Authority in South Africa.
Ezelle is an unmarried, child-free, zero-waste vegan who gets excited about composting. She grew up in a diverse low income area in Cape Town, and still calls this city her home. When she’s not listening and dancing to African music, she’s gardening or cooking. To live simply and elegantly in harmony with nature is her greatest wish.