Andrew Swart

An adult attaching an ear clip linked to a laptop to a community member
Andrew shows a community member how to ‘biohack’ using an ear clip to measure heart-rate coherence.
Andrew Swart (M.A. Psychology of Education, Univ. London; Higher Education Diploma; Diploma in the Education of Profoundly Deaf Children).


Andrew is an additional staff member at Riverstone Village, and also assists with staff training. He is a Riverstone Village founder member and grandfather of two self-educating children.

Andrew was head of the Counseling and Careers unit at Wits University for over a decade and now chairs the ethics committee of the Coaching and Mentoring Association of South Africa. He has a special interest in Career Development and was president of the Society for Student Counseling in Southern Africa.

He is also a credentialed Master Coach and HeartMath(TM) practitioner, using cutting-edge biofeedback technologies to coach clients in resilience and emotional self-management. He is experienced in Trauma debriefing and Traumatic Stress Psychotherapy. He is also a Clinical and Eriksonian hypnotherapist.

He has previously taught at primary school level (all subjects including Arithmetic, Geography, Latin, and Arts and Crafts) and also secondary level (English, History, and Career Guidance.)

He did not teach conventionally, however – on the one hand this led to conflict with administration, on the other, to inspirational experiences for a number of students. One of his grade fives (who later went on to be Head of the Origins Centre) mentions him in his autobiography – since Andrew is the teacher who sparked his interest in evolution, rock art and archaeology.

Andrew has also worked as the principal of a children’s home. He has produced, stage managed, set painted, and ham acted in several plays. He has helped set up two school libraries as well as a small museum of historical and prehistoric artifacts.

During his childhood on a farm in the Waterberge, he and his siblings were free to learn from the experience of unsupervised but informed exploration of the bushveld. They learned through play in the wild, learning to track, hunt, fish, make fires and do bush cooking, making functional boats for the dam and various other outdoors pursuits. He also learned farming including ploughing and planting. As a result he is a great nature-walk companion and also a capable ‘maker’ with experience ranging from welding and woodwork to treehouse and dam construction. He enjoys gardening, art and music. He reads widely in the fields of self-directed living, and the psychophysiology of resilience and development.