Our Story

Bren mar


I am the world’s worst yogurt squeezer. I’ll tell you the story why.

Whilst I was setting up Beautiful Minds, a journey that gave my life meaning and has helped me to help millions of children nationwide, I was working in a yogurt factory to pay the bills.

Let me set the scene for you.

I was juggling shifts at the stinky factory and they were back-breaking. Throwing on a hair net at 3 am and spending hours squeezing yogurt into tubes by myself in an icy room, before quickly changing and scooting tired and sore to work on my new business.

They were brutal days, but the down payment on the dream.

I’d had a vision of changing children’s lives and in particular, focusing on mental health, which was criminally neglected at the time. If I hung in long enough, I could save enough money to put on my first Beautiful Minds workshops for kids.

Our first workshop had four children in it. I was thrilled! Word spread about the work I was doing. The phone didn’t stop. Straight away I was having an impact on a local community level and those were the happiest days I’ve known.

For the first two years after I started Beautiful Minds, I worked in that factory 5 days a week, from 3 am. As the business grew, I hung up my hair net and dedicated my life to working with young people and their families.

The gift, truly, is in the giving.


Growing up with a single Mum and no father in small-town New Zealand was not easy at all. When I was a toddler, my Mum made a decision to go to university to become a nurse to create a better life for me. While holding down a full-time job and paying off a mortgage. It would have broken most people. Not her.

We made it work together. She died in 2012. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer on a normal, sunshiny day. She would be gone three weeks later.

I had some choices to make. I was working in the mines. And spent the next few months working, and looking out over the desert in a mournful daze. I needed love and support, and found it with a caring co-worker. She lived next door, and checked on my well-being daily. She inspired me enough to start rebuilding myself.

Brick-by-brick. I knew then I needed to create a vision strong enough to pull me out of the rubble.

I ended up quitting after six months and took the greatest gamble of my life. I started taking some creative writing classes and managed to get into a well-known university. A few years later, I was working in Hollywood.

My dream since I was a little boy.

Despite the fun and unique experiences, I felt like something inside me had been dislocated. I never felt quite right during this period. And never felt like the old me ever again. I felt frozen and confused and the most simple things would trip me up.

Through friends, I was introduced to some of the world’s leading neuroscientists and trauma therapists. A group of us would meet for transformational experiences around the United States. Getting to the core of who we were. Getting us to understand our physiology, and feel a sense of safety in our bodies again. Using the most advanced science to address my PTSD and trauma. Getting ourselves out of our heads and pushing us to the limits of what was possible. Just being together, and feeling a sense of belonging.

They helped me see beauty in the world again.

Then I met Marina. She became my best friend and my life partner. She had this fun, little company called Beautiful Minds. They held events and workshops for kids and their parents.

People were dancing, smiling, and most of all connecting. An idea popped into my head. What if you took this incredible company and added some of the things from my world and my experience to it? We ran it by Hollywood producer friends, the neuroscientists, and trauma experts. They jumped aboard straight away.

Then the bushfires hit, followed by the Pandemic.

We rolled up our sleeves and met the immense challenge with joy.

– Marina Passalaris, Founder & CEO & Brendon A.J Rademakers Co-CEO


Click here to read about Marina’s story in The Daily Mail

Click here to read about Marina and our girls workshops in The Washington Post