Bringing meetings to life. Doing work that matters. Connecting people and ideas.

November 13th, 2011

Welcome to my world of facilitation and leadership, where I work with groups, and organisations to explore  creativity and innovation, change and leadership by disrupting patterns of thinking and acting.  I believe in exploring serious issues playfully, even when the going gets tough – which seems to happen a lot these days. I’m never satisfied with what I know or can do so am always looking for ideas, inspiration and insight from diverse sources. You’ll get an idea of my style of working by reading my blog, and I’m happy to talk.

Viv McWaters

I live in Australia, quite near Bells Beach – yes, THE famous surfing beach – pretty much a long way from anywhere (although not so far from Melbourne). I once wanted to be an astronomical photographer but settled for agricultural journalist, which caused quite  hoo-ha as women weren’t supposed to go to agricultural college. Rules weren’t going to stop me (I had the rules changed). Now there’s a clue about how I still approach life. I worked as a journalist, and publicist, wandered into community education, training and strategy development. One thing led to another and now I work with groups doing leadership and other development programs, play with process, deliver some interactive training and mentoring and generally love what I do. I’m fortunate to have worked, so far, in 30 countries and with some fabulous collaborators.

Improvisation is a constant source of inspiration, as is nature, play and the surprising things that people say and do. I’m also inspired by the arts generally, love to be near water (oceans, rivers, lakes) and diving on reefs, am in awe of the stars, love downhill skiing and long rambling conversations. I’ve actively embraced social media and have met some fabulous people on-line.

I offer facilitation, mentoring, training and ideas. I am excited and enthusiastic about what I do.

About Training

I believe it’s as important for participants to learn from each other, as well as from the trainer. I design training that is based around your experience and deliver it in a way that you will learn new skills that you can apply immediately.

Most of my training is delivered with highly talented and experienced colleagues. Together we provide a formidable training combo that simple works… for you, and for us.

All of my training is tailored for your particular needs.


There’s no short cut to learning sound facilitation skills. That’s why I have a dedicated facilitation training business. For more information on public and in-house training courses, visit

Open Space Technology

This seemingly simple approach to facilitating meetings has many traps for new players. In this training we learn the ‘nuts and bolts’ of facilitating Open Space Technology as well as understanding how and why it works and the philosophy that underpins it.

Insanely Great Slideshow Presentations

There’s more than just developing a killer Powerpoint presentation – although we’ll show you how to do that too! How to involve your audience, keep them engaged and deliver your message effectively.

Leadership, team-building, innovation, dealing with complexity

Sometimes you’re just not sure what’s needed – you simply know that you want something that will really make a difference. Talk to me. If I can’t help you I’ll give you the name of someone else who probably can.

Contact Me

Beyond the Edge Pty Ltd
PO Box 665 Torquay Vic Australia 3228

Phone +614 1713 5406


And a bit more personal stuff

If I’m shopping you’ll find me hanging about the artist supplies (even though I’m not an artist), a stationery store, or a bookshop, or the Mac store, a travel agent – I think you get the picture.

Favourite Movies

Blade Runner, Johnnie Darko, Chocolat, Run Lola Run, Babette’s Feast, Metropolis (the original), Day the Earth Stood Still (also the original), Finding Nemo and Singin’ In the Rain.

Favourite Books

Bird by Bird, Artemis Fowl, Cloudstreet, Breathe, Eucalyptus

Places I still want to visit (or visit again) – in no particular order

Morocco, Luang Prabang – Laos, Tierra del Fuego, Lord Howe Island, New Zealand, Uganda, Zanzibar, Hawaii, Canadian Rockies, Yosemite, Nepal, Antarctica, China, Mongolia, Finland, Alaska, Iceland, Galapogos Islands, Cape York, Uluru and the West Macdonalds, the Kimberley coast  – Australia.

Things I want to do one day

Walk the Bibbulum Track in WA (1000 km from Perth to Albany), swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef, travel on the Ghan railway, sailing in the Whitsundays, learn to surf, ski in Europe, live and work in another country.

13 Comments so far

  1. Anne Pattillo on June 4, 2007 5:26 pm

    Great blog – it feels like an inviting way to start a conversatiion without the mess of flipchart and pens. dealth by powerpoint is often something I see my clients struggle with. I think it is often avoidance of conversation as well.

  2. Lain Burgos-Lovece on July 16, 2007 2:33 pm

    Came through from the “Anecdote” site. I like your blog and will probably return every so often.

  3. Viv McWaters on July 16, 2007 10:27 pm

    Welcome Lain – hope you do return and find something useful here from time to time.



  4. mike allen on August 17, 2007 8:43 am

    Hi Viv,
    I followed a link from one of your AFN postings and I am glad I did!
    lovely website,useful content and a calm feel to navigating the site.Well done.

  5. Jonas Roth on December 4, 2007 7:24 am

    Hi Viv!
    Just run my first impro facilitation workshop with my Swedish network of facilitators. It was grate and all thanks to you and your session in Kuala Lumpur this summer. Thanks!
    Love Jonas (and I love your blog)

  6. Sanjib on January 14, 2008 11:05 pm

    Great to learn of your interest and work in facilitation. I have been an accredited group facilitator since 1991, working in India, USA (NTL), and Thailand.

    I am particularly keen to do my Personal Growth Laboratory in other cultural settings.

    Would be keen to know and learn more…..


  7. Emily Jenke on June 14, 2008 8:30 pm

    Hi Viv,
    Hope Bells is well and the surf huge as it always is this time of year! Just dropped by to say hello!!!


  8. Mandy Dearden on February 5, 2009 5:23 pm

    Hi Viv
    Just checked out your facilitating with confidence course – wow! looks very cool. Cant make it to these dates, will you be running another one later in the year? Maybe in WA? 🙂
    Mandy – Perth WA

  9. Colleen on April 14, 2009 6:20 am

    Looks like a good site. Just learning how to use blogs and feeds. I am interested in cultural facilitation. I am from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and will graduate with a degree in communications in June 2009.

  10. David on July 22, 2010 3:34 pm

    Reaching….HI. I am looking for a Jenny McWaters from Australia…SA….she was a teacher back in mid 80s…any relationship….any knowledge??
    Appreciate any help…direction.

  11. Viv McWaters on July 31, 2010 5:21 pm

    I think there was a Jenny married to my husband’s cousin. They divorced many years ago and I have no idea what happened to her or where she might now be. Sorry. There are two McWaters families in Australia – and one is SA based. I suspect it’s the *other* McWaters that you are looking for.

  12. Julia on December 24, 2014 10:36 am

    Hi Viv,

    I would like to subscribe to your blog but can’t find anywhere on your website to sign up.

    Could you please let me know how I do it.



  13. Viv McWaters on January 5, 2015 12:55 pm

    Hi Julia

    Good point. Now that the silly season is over, I’m on to it!

    Cheers, Viv

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