Dougie Dudgeon: Founder & Content

DougieDougie is the founder of The Online Recovery Academy.

Dudgeon’s breadth and diversity of career experience reveals he is somewhat of a ‘renaissance man’ with a high degree of competence and creativity in his roles as publisher, music producer, and documentary producer.

His successful career in the music business had humble beginnings in a retail store in Scotland (1981). Dudgeon later went on to set up, run and develop media companies on three different continents: Australia, his native UK, and various parts of the US.

Dudgeon’s work in the ‘record business’ (his preferred description what is now termed ‘the music industry’) led to his involvement with diverse set of musical styles, artists and Independent Record labels. Noteworthy examples include The Stranglers, The Buzzcocks, Steve Earle, Joe Ely, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, Porcupine Tree, Ozric Tentacles, WASP, Cradle of Filth, The Pretty Things, Fish and many more.

In addition, Dudgeon independently produced ‘Man Of The World – The Peter Green Story.’ This documentary feature film told the story of one of blues rock’s living legends, Peter Green, founder of Fleetwood Mac. Green was described by B.B. King as ‘the greatest white blues guitarist EVER’ and the documentary bears witness to this extraordinary talent.

Dudgeon’s addiction inevitably cast too big a shadow to ignore. His long-term alcohol and drug abuse led him to residential treatment in South Africa. Thereafter, he studied and trained as an Addictions Counsellor via The South African College Of Applied Psychology. Dudgeon started work in various Rehab Centres in Cape Town, whilst simultaneously developing an NPO (While You Were Sleeping), and initiating and managing the now annual South African Recovery Film Festival.

Now describing himself, as a person in ‘long-term recovery,’ Dudgeon is challenging the shame and stigma surrounding addiction and sharing the benefits of choosing a ‘recovery lifestyle.’ Dudgeon’s passion for developing ‘recovery culture’ is infectious and has challenged and transformed individuals in Cape Town and beyond. ORA is the latest addition to his colourful journey. Dudgeon hopes ORA will extend recovery culture beyond the confines of addiction-related healing and into the mind-set of all who have faced life’s challenges

Mandy Johnson: Mindfulness Guru


Mandy is a Mindfulness-Based Coach & Facilitator and is in long-term recovery from Co-dependency. Mandy has an undergraduate degree from in Industrial Psychology and Sociology (University of Cape Town). She completed her Graduate Diploma in Counselling (Coaching) through SACAP (South African College in Applied Psychology).

In addition, Mandy is a registered Coach with COMENSA (Coaches and Mentors of South Africa). She is registered with HeartMath South Africa as a HeartMath Coach, specializing in Biofeedback for Self-regulation using Heart Rate Variability. Her Coaching program is called Mindful Resilience, which focuses on present moment coherence. Mandy is the founder of Introspect Coaching which offers various Mindfulness-Based Interventions geared towards transformation and insight. Mandy facilitates Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention and Family Programs with Toni Shaked (Clinical Social Worker). She co-facilitates Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and is a Director of the Institute for Mindfulness (IMISA). She has completed her certification in Mindfulness Based Interventions at Stellenbosch University through the Faculty of Medicine in 2015 and various training modules through Mindfulness Africa.

Mandy is a partner at the Mindful Company, which is dedicated to delivering integral and ethically based mindfulness principles into corporates and organisations. The training explores focused awareness and sustained attention, to enhance individual and group resilience and cognitive flexibility. Her trainings are custom made, grounded in science and delivered with heart.

James Tayler: Moving Media Guy

JamesJames is ORA’s Director of Online Video Content. He began his working life as a print journalist and lifestyle editor and has worked in the television industry since 1997. James is considered to be a true all-rounder; he writes, produces, directs, shoots and edits, bringing creativity and signature flair to every project he is involved with.
He has worked with some of the best local content producers in Southern Africa. In developing his own company Switch Films, James has produced and directed two well received ‘indie’ feature films from Uganda with the Yes! That’s Us collective.

His third film The Boda Boda Thieves was selected to screen in competition at the African Film festival of Cordoba, The Seattle International Film Festival and The Berlin Film Festival 2015. Besides his own documentary projects, James currently edits a Muslim lifestyle documentary series called An Nur for Xcon films and recently directed inserts for both seasons of the SABC 1 docu-reality series Play Your Part.

James freelances as editor, online editor and visual effects editor, contributing to corporate video campaigns. He also happens to be committed to his recovery from addiction. James goes about his recovery routines in an unassuming and quiet way, despite being often exposed to precarious filming conditions and hectic deadlines.

Astrid Warren: Copy Ed Design Girl


Astrid completed her degree in Fine Art, although chronic drug addiction somewhat interfered with…. well, everything. She was unable to fulfil her potential as a full time visual artist or as… well, anything. Years of recidivism and several treatments later, she found meaning in recovery and started working in residential treatment facilities. Astrid has been an Addictions Counsellor for the past 9 years, predominantly at the coalface that is primary care. She went on to obtain a second degree in Psychology (with Honours) while working full time.

Constant contact with narratives of clients in various stages of change provided inspiration for vivid images. The gifts of recovery included a gradual increase in confidence, and motivated her to creatively express themes that arise in the therapeutic context.

Astrid entered and won a competition that allowed her to participate in a group exhibition at the Lovell Gallery (Woodstock) in 2012, which reintroduced her to the visual arts world after an extended hiatus. Since then, she has had a pop-up exhibition in 2014 and has had several commissions. AstridPaints shows her paintings, but she has also worked as a digital designer and illustrator.

She loves hearing people’s stories and experiences, in particular narratives of women in recovery- her art predominantly depicts women from all walks of life. In addition, she has worked on two independent, self-funded research projects (qualitative research for thematic analysis). Her current project Yellow Lines & Red Umbrellas, is still underway and depicts the experiences of sex workers in Cape Town.

Astrid also has four cats.