Our team

We watched our parents, grandparents and friends struggle with the big life changes brought about by retirement. While we tried to help them through this transition, ultimately we didn’t really know how. For us this was the start of trying to understand what makes people feel happy and fulfilled when they stop full time paid work. We found that this is a really common problem, but one which nobody is really trying to solve. So we decided to try to do something about it.

Natalie Yan-Chatonsky

Natalie Yan-Chatonsky, Founder & CEO

I am on a mission to help people create vibrant, fulfilling lives after full time paid work. I bring experience in design and innovation, a broad network and the creative energy to make things happen.

I love working on new possibilities to make the world a better place - ideally with a diverse group of companions who also want to embark on new adventures.

You can read more about my professional life on LinkedIn.

Our advisors


Gavin Nelson

Gavin is one of those rare people who brings a genuine warmth and wholeheartedness to everything he does. He has been using his 30 plus years of experience in business development, corporate sales and training design and facilitation to help Full Time Lives commercialise and professionalise its products and services.

As well as his professional experience Gavin has a long history of volunteer work for a range of different organisations, from community AFL teams to women’s initiatives and Vision Australia. When not working or volunteering you can often find Gavin spending time with his family, willing the Sydney Swans home to another premiership or dodging cars as he cycles around Sydney.

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Derek Waddell

Derek is a life-long educator. He spent more than 30 years working in education in the UK, Kuwait, Jamaica and Australia. He first worked as a school teacher before moving to TAFE where he worked for many years in TAFE’s Outreach Programme and later supervising TAFE NSW's Mature Worker Program. Derek also lectured at UTS, in its Community and Adult Education programmes.

Since leaving full-time work he has completed overseas projects for Australian Business Volunteers as well as travelling to Africa, Europe and Asia. He also manages to fit in the odd game of golf and tennis and loves playing the guitar and singing silly songs with his grandchildren.

MA History (Trinity University), M.Ed (University of Technology, Sydney)