About us

Kintsugi Heroes share their real-life stories about overcoming adversity to provide hope and inspiration to people who may be experiencing or at risk of experiencing similar challenges.

About Kintsugi

The word “Kintsugi” literally means “golden joinery” and refers to the ancient Japanese artform of repairing broken and cracked ceramics with a special tree sap lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver or platinum. Thus, a beautiful and unique work of art emerges with the cracks and breaks now part of its beauty. The philosophy of Kintsugi honours life experiences whether good or bad. By highlighting the repair of cracks or breaks in a ceramic piece, the events of the past become part of its beauty. There is no attempt to conceal the damage, the repair literally illuminates each scar.

The stories of the Kintsugi Heroes celebrate the scars we gather over time; the breaks, knocks and wrinkles which should not be hidden as they create our own unique beauty. When we heal and overcome these wounds, we provide inspiration and encouragement to others and show them that they can also overcome their challenges and become whole.  Kintsugi Heroes introduces well-established and proven techniques and methodologies in our storytelling to prevent, ease, cure or manage mental health conditions. 

Our stories cover a wide range of adversity topics with a particular focus on those related to depression, anxiety disorder and PTSD.  Our stories also include mental illness, physical illness, addiction, abuse, crime, dysfunctional family, career or business failure, grief and loss, financial hardship, relationship breakdown and more.

Our Kintsugi Heroes have a wide variety of backgrounds across genders, cultures, languages and ages.
The hero stories are available through audio and video podcasts and also available in E-books and printed books.

The Initial Idea

In August 1993 Ian Westmoreland had an idea for a book where people who had experienced adversity would share part of their life story to provide hope and inspiration to others. At the time Ian lacked the confidence, time and money to progress the project so he wrote to community leaders suggesting they progress the idea. One of the leaders, the highly regarded entrepreneur Dick Smith, took the time to send a handwritten note back to Ian saying he thought this was an excellent idea and that he (Ian) should do it!
Finally in 2022, 29 years later, Ian felt in a position to progress the project and so Kintsugi Heroes was launched.

OUR Team


Ian spent 42 years working in the Australian and New Zealand telecommunications and energy industries mainly as an IT project manager. On 10 September 2013 he experienced a life changing moment so profound, it would lead him to give up paid work in May 2014 and commence a full-time volunteer career.

It was during his work as a volunteer for not-for-profit youth programs such as the Raise Foundation, Kidshope and COACH, Ian noticed a gap for comparable services for mature adults.

However, it wasn’t until his own moment of challenge that he realised just how urgently these services were needed,  especially for men, a demographic that has historically struggled with vulnerability and asking for support.

In response he developed the Mentoring Men program in June 2018 and  it was officially launched as a registered charity by Julian Leeser, Federal Member for Berowra in November 2018. In just 3 years, Mentoring Men grew to become an Australia-wide, free mentoring service to support men.

With the Mentoring Men organisation now independently up and running, in December 2022 Ian launched another “passion project” called Kintsugi Heroes. Complementing his previous volunteer work, Kintsugi Heroes aims to show how those major moments of challenge we face can change the course of our life, making it even more beautiful and fulfilling than ever before.

Kintsugi Heroes is a weekly podcast of inspirational interviews with people who have discovered beauty, despite the incredible adversities they have faced. It’s a no-holds-barred approach that does not sugar-coat the difficult road to a life of fulfilment and hope.

Ian’s story has been covered on national TV, referred to in both Federal and NSW Parliaments, and included in the best selling Moments in Time book as well as numerous podcasts, newspapers and radio shows.

Ian and the charity organisations he established have won numerous awards including:

– NSW Volunteer of the Year award 2016 – Raise Foundation

– NSW Volunteer of the Year award 2020 – Individual and Mentoring Men state finalist

– AMHF Men’s Health award 2020 – NSW Men’s Health award

Ian has been married to Helen for 41 years and they have 4 children and 12 grandchildren


Patty has a lifelong passion for language and writing. She has a Masters in English and US Language and Literature, Diploma in Counselling and Cert IV in Training and Assessment. The most recent of several careers was in Small Business Development and Support and Event Management as the CEO of a small but vibrant Chamber of Commerce in Western Australia.

She now enjoys working on business writing and editing for ethical businesses, focusing on creating IP from audio such as webinars and podcasts.

She is delighted and honoured to be a member of the Kintsugi Team.


Matthew has a career spanning IT Support in schools, Secondary Teaching, technology training and learning design. The focus of any role he undertakes is the support of others and achieving outcomes for each person he teaches, whether that be content creation, uplifting tech capability or delivering for projects. His current role as Professional Learning Facilitator in Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action involves all of the above and Matt has become a valued confidant to his colleagues.


With as many strings to his bow, he is also a podcasting entrepreneur offering his video- and audio-editing services (Blissery.FM) to businesses and individuals who have a message they want to be heard. Matt is the editor & producer of the Kintsugi Heroes podcast, in addition to occasionally hosting the show. Matthew is helping us to amplify the Kintsugi message and share the stories of our Heroes across the world through our podcast.


With what little spare time he has Matthew is also a tech hobbyist, casual philosopher and creates several personal podcasts including “From My Home To Yours” with his wife, giving tips to travellers looking to make their new home in Ireland (launching soon!).

Matt Bliss
Christopher Ireland


Christopher Ireland is an internationally recognised photographer and artist. Led heavily by social conscience, Christopher uses photography and film making to shine a light on issues he feels need more social awareness.


A decade of working with multinational clients, advertising agencies and design studios has given Christopher a strong creative business acumen and a keen awareness for driving impact through creative campaigns and story sharing.


Christopher Founded Platina Editions, an online art store that spreads the gift of art. He is also founder of All Things Considered, a 10 year collection of stories and photographs of social hosing residents at Greenway, Kirribilli.


Vinay is an experienced learning and development professional with a genuine passion for co-designing and facilitating outcome focused initiatives that meet contemporary practice. He provides succinct and clear expert advice to stakeholders on a range of wellbeing, change management or health and safety matters. He is also a strategic thinker who believes in fostering strong collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders whilst managing procurement and overseeing maintenance of service standards in the delivery of learning and development programs.

Vinay proactively draws upon a range of information sources to translate creative ideas into workplace improvements whilst reflecting on ways to improve services. His goal is to always create a psychologically safe climate that encourages and supports openness and provides sound explanation for implementing organisational change management strategies. Vinay’s mission is ensuring learning experiences across platforms bring clarity and foster growth.

Vinay Nair
Amira MacCue


After finding herself an uneducated mother to a daughter with a lifelong disability at 35 and a huge debt behind her from a failed attempt at business, she choose to rectify that issue and begin studying and working in a range of fields. Amira’s professional expertise spans an array of fields, each reflecting a chapter of her quest to be an example of what is possible despite the late start and limitations.
Her areas of study are in disability and home care, health and fitness coaching, personal cashflow, bookkeeping, accounting, project and business management which is not merely a list of qualifications but a mosaic of skills honed while managing the demands of being a full-time carer.

With a childhood that was shadowed by the grievous losses of loved ones to mental health issues and suicide. She has developed a deep empathy for people and dedicated her life to helping alleviate the suffering of others using her personal experience and health and financial skills . Her newsletter Happy, Healthy, Wealthy and Free was born from this dedication and which you can find here https://bit.ly/hhwfNews


Bernardo Winck is a Motion Designer and Video Editor. Born in Brazil, he has a passion for observing life, transforming stories, scripts and illustrations into captivating and engaging content. Bernardo is always open to new ideas, especially if it means collaborating with others! His main hobby is riding a bicycle and being outdoors.

Bernardo Winck


There are several people who have contributed to getting Kintsugi Heroes launched, who aren’t part of the team. These are people who have volunteered their time, energy, and resources because they believe in our mission and love what we are doing.

We often get asked if we need help, and we always say ‘yes please’ so that we keep the flow of giving and receiving energy going in a forward momentum. Whilst we are a small team, the number of supporters and volunteers is growing, and we are always grateful for whatever people are able to give.