Brett Porter was born and grew up on the Gold Coast (Kombumerri country), Queensland, Australia. He spent his teenage years crewing on Volunteer Coast Guard cabin cruisers, bushwalking and bodysurfing.
In 1980 Brett began his work career as a National Park Ranger after graduating from the first class of the first wilderness management course offered at the University of Queensland, Gatton campus. Brett served as a national park ranger for 25 years in the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service (QNPWS) at several locations from Cape York Peninsula to Girraween National Park on the Queensland-New South Wales border.
At the age of 22, he was the youngest District Ranger to be appointed in the QNPWS. Innovation and systems development were of particular interest and in 1982 he introduced the Service’s first work and cost evaluation system for national parks. In 1986 he took up duties as a research ranger in Warwick and worked on macropod (kangaroo) management and helicopter capture of red deer in the Esk Valley.
In 1988 he accepted an offer to observe wildland and recreation management practices in the USA (including Hawaii and Alaska) where he lived for 10 months after which he spent a month in both Norway and the United Kingdom for the same purpose.
After more than a decade of field and research postings and a year of overseas travel, his postings as District Ranger to Brisbane and then the Gold Coast allowed him to give more attention to his special interest areas of workplace interpersonal communications, people management, critical incident management, conflict resolution, solution focus and systems development. In 1992 he initiated the Service’s first standardized issue of firefighting clothing and equipment and pioneered a number of new programs for the Department including setting up critical incident stress debriefing, bush fire fighting systems and fire briefing and debriefing programs. In 1993 Brett commenced his training in People Skills, Solution Focused Brief Therapy, Conflict Resolution and Workplace Health and Safety. Brett used this training to initiate, among other systems, the QNPWS’s first; Firefighting Procedures, Critical Incident Support, Fire Event Debriefing and Physical Injury Education and Prevention program.
In 1995 Brett was appointed chairperson of the reference group that developed the Department’s code of conduct and ethical performance measures. In 1997 he initiated a project with a manufacturer of protective fire fighting clothing to design and produce the first separate jacket and pants design for bush fire-fighters in Australia that greatly improved safety, performance and comfort over the traditional one-piece overalls.
In 2001 Brett introduced the first Supervision and Communication training system for national park ranger teams called ‘Team Time’. The uniqueness and intensity of supervision issues in national parks and the damage the Service was suffering due to the absence of a supervision training system necessitated a new approach to such training. In an initial one day session, rangers identified what they wanted to be different in their work environment and lives; what choices for change they had; what techniques they could use to make those changes and most importantly, what they were prepared to change to get the differences they wanted.
Using many elements of this supervision training program, Brett now works with businesses that recognize communication as critical to their work and well-being and that are motivated to improve performance through better supervision and staff management.
In 2005 Brett resigned from the Service to help develop the SlimMinds® shape-change (weight loss) system with psychologists Dr Peta Stapleton and Terri Sheldon and to build his own therapy business. Brett has a special interest in working with overweight clients and conducts shape-change groups for overweight people based on the SlimMinds Program which incorporates Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). He specilises in habit change and weight management, especially for those who feel their willpower is worn out. He works with people of all ages including teenagers and young adults who are discovering their big life changes and challenges. Clients consult him individually and in couples’s relationships.
In 2008 Brett was the therapist for the research study on the effectiveness of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) with food cravings that was conducted through Griffith University School of Medicine Logan Campus in Queensland Australia in conjunction with the Lakeside Rooms, www.lakesiderooms.com.au
Since his first Vipassana meditation course over 22 years ago, Brett has been practicing and teaching ‘mindfulness’ meditation and integrates the principles and concepts into his therapy. Brett is a Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy (TLT) and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and he has served as board member of the Eating Disorders Association of Queensland.