Dr Narelle Lemon.

Creative thinker and problem solver. Doer. Collaborator. Green tea addict. Lover of boots. Self-care advocate.


I love to inspire everyone to place self-care at the heart of what they do. Informed by positive psychology, education and mindfulness I want to inspire you so you can thrive and flourish.


I’m Narelle, the Creative Director of Explore & Create Co. I’m passionate about self-care. Why? Because I know what it is like to feel totally and utterly exhausted that you withdraw, wish you could sleep all day, hidden under the comfort of a doona, and feel like you have no options. I’ve been burnt out. And although I didn’t know it at the time, when it hit me, I realised I didn’t have the resources to pull myself out of the slump. I went searching, read, studied and began to develop a toolbox of resources for myself. As I have shared my story with others, I have realised my situation is not uncommon to for many of us. 

We need help with self-care. We know we need to show our self more care, but we are stuck with what to do, how to do it, what options we might have, and how to shift from exhaustion to thriving. 

This is when Explore and Create Co. was born.

I want to help you build your resources, so you can flourish and thrive. Building on mindfulness, positive psychology, and education, I research, develop innovative programs, and support individuals and collectives to begin to shift ideas of the hustle. Integral to this is making self-care a priority. 

I have a diverse background. I have worked across strengths based coaching, education, event management, learning and development, leadership, and project management, as well as a creative as a classically trained musician and visual artist. I’ve worked in and with schools and higher education in arts education, cultural engagement, partnership development, and research.

I have degrees in music, education, leadership, and research practices. I'm currently studying a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology, and as a result wellness and flourishing inform how I see the world and work with others. One of my strengths is the love of thinking outside the box, and my belief inspiring others to continue to learn in order to flourish.

I love working with others and bringing people together to achieve this. I like to highlight voice and stories from others as we all learn from each other. This is evident in the research and writing projects that I have carried out in arts, creativity, and social media for learning. I have published across a variety of formats including the blog interview series about creativity, mindfulness, and finding zen in life Explore and Create Stories the the books Representations of Working in Arts EducationBeing "In and Out": Providing Voice to Early Career Women in Academia, and Revolutionizing Arts Education in K-12 Classrooms through Technological Integration.  You can read more about my research here. I am currently writing a book that focuses on mindful ways to approach performance anxiety, and a co-writing project that looks at mindfulness in higher education.

I have worked in Australia and internationally, with the Creative Women’s Circle, Be Remarkable Wellness, StartUp Creative, The Pink Elephant Project, Art Education Australia, Art Education Victoria, Victorian Racing Club, La Trobe University, RMIT University, The University of Melbourne, Victorian Department of Education, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, University of Edinburgh, University of Derby, Melbourne Museum, National Gallery of Victoria, Immigration Museum, STEAMpop, and more.


  • Writer

  • Researcher

  • Consultation

  • Strengths based coaching (registered Strengths Profiler coach)

  • Facilitator of workshops

  • Presenter

  • Blog and interview series development

  • Collaborations

  • Curriculum and program developer



Narelle is brilliant! You don’t have to spend too much time with her to work that out. She overflows with new ideas. She is articulate and compassionate and clever. She stays focused. What you may not notice at first glance, though, is that she is always learning. As she works, she learns. She adapts. She improves both herself and the space around her. I would work with Narelle again anytime, anywhere. You should, too.
— Jonathan O’Donnell, Research Whisperer, Whisper Con, RMIT University
I enjoyed the hand on, visual aspects and getting into the art and learning how instead of the theory. The community feel of the classroom and the building of the community activities in the morning/afternoon.
— Workshop Participant
Narelle was great, really enthusiastic about what we were doing and participatory with the class as well. Very interesting, hands on, felt free to speak my mind and felt that I am able to add my input and express my opinion.
— Workshop Participant
I first worked with Narelle who was commissioned to act as a researcher on an innovative project that I was leading. The project, Public Art Teaching Excellence, was a partnership between the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Kaldor Public Art Projects, Art Education Victoria and TeamBoard Australia.

Using the concept of public art as the focus for student engagement and learning, the project incorporated key components of the e5 Instructional Model, The Arts domain of the Victorian Essential Learning Standards and digital technology, in particular interactive whiteboards. The project provided an extended professional learning opportunity for teachers to engage in substantive conversations about what constitutes high quality instruction in the visual arts.

As a researcher over the 2-year project, Narelle lead sessions, structured observations and reflection and recorded the learning journeys of the participants. In this way participating project teachers were scaffolded to build their knowledge and understanding of the key components of the project. Narelle formed strong connections with the project teachers, demonstrating her passion for the teaching of visual arts. She frequently followed up with individual teachers, demonstrating a high level of responsiveness to their needs by her differentiated support. She adopted a collegiate style and has maintained relationships with partners and participants in an ongoing way.

During this period, Narelle also demonstrated significant leadership as President of Art Education Victoria, leading the development of a significant suite of professional development opportunities for arts educators.
— Sue Buckley, Department Education and Training Victoria