Hi, I’m Joel Pilgrim. I’m a passionate thought leader and innovator in the mental health space. As Founder and CEO of mental health charity, the Waves of Wellness (WOW) Foundation, my team and I are pioneering surf therapy intervention in mental health. I’m a mental health Occupational Therapist, specialising in early psychosis and rehabilitation, where my passion for innovating in the mental health space was born. I’m an experienced public speaker, presenting both nationally and internationally as an influencer in the mental health and wellbeing space. I’m a big advocate for the healing ability of the outdoors, with 20+ years of surfing experience.
I was a NSW finalist for Young Australian of the Year 2018, recognised for my dedication to mental health promotion, and I’m a 2018 Westpac Social Change Fellow. I’m a founding member of the International Surf Therapy Organization (ISTO), a conjoint university lecturer and I’ve written a children’s book, Stand Up Stand Out, to help people from a young age think about mental health differently. I’m currently completing my Masters of Research in the school of psychiatry, at the University of New South Wales, exploring the impacts of surf therapy on mental health and wellbeing.
Skills & Expertise
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Person-led innovation
- Occupational Therapist
- Public speaking
- Social entrepreneurship
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- Westpac Social Change Fellowship
- Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship
- Westpac Research Fellowship
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