The Founder

The Founder

Scientific Experience

Cynthia Bartolo has always had an enquiring mind. When her daughter experienced digestive issues and significant learning difficulties, she applied her 15 years of experience in the food industry as a scientist to researching the gut and how it impacts mood, behaviour, memory and learning via the Gut-Brain Axis.

After her years as a Food Scientist and Quality Assurance Specialist working for small businesses and large multi-national companies, she gained a position on a research team that gave her valuable insight into the research process. She learnt a great deal about the Enteric (gut) Nervous System and the Gut Microbiome (bacteria) and their impact on the health of not only the gut but the entire body. She has had both personal and professional experience managing chronic constipation and other gut conditions related to children with diverse abilities.

Since then her training has taken her to attain a post-graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition from Deakin University. She is also a certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Practitioner.  Through her Nutrition Coaching, Cynthia aims to guide and support people to make informed choices to improve their gut health and overall wellbeing. 

Cynthia has also undertaken training in Neuroscience and Sensory Processing which inspired her to create the calming experience within The Sacred Nest. She is a qualified provider of both the Safe and Sound Protocol and the ILS Focus Program, which are two ‘bottom-up’ approaches that calm the vagus nerve and integrate the body and brain for improved emotional regulation, communication and learning. She incorporates all of her knowledge when delivering her tailored Support Programs and Therapy Services to clients.   

Stillness Experience

Cynthia has discovered the value of Stillness Meditation combined with Therapeutic Touch from personal experience. She says, 

“As a scientist with an analytical mind and in my role as a mother and carer, the regular practice of these two modalities have given me the ability to calm down and to bring my nervous system back into balance. This has had a positive flow on effect to my children. I have no doubt that my ability to remain resilient and positive in my role as a carer is attributed to my experiences with Therapeutic Touch and Stillness Meditation Therapy.”

Support Experience

Apart from Cynthia’s professional experience which she incorporates in her support work, she has lived experience as a mother and carer of two teenage children with diverse abilities. She loves connecting with a different people and supporting their growth by harnessing the special interests, skills and talents that are unique to them. Through her tailored Support Programs, Cynthia mentors clients to make informed, healthy life choices for improved wellbeing. 

Cynthia meets the requirements set by the NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission for disability support workers and is listed on the NDIS Worker Screening Database . The Sacred Nest is classified as a non-registered provider of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), with services fully claimable bself-managed and plan-managed NDIS clients. 

The Sacred Nest supports the whole person. This is achieved through my varied therapy and support programs designed to harness the senses through which we experience ourselves, our relationships, the environment and the world.  I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience to help you and your family, or the people that you care for, to live healthier and more enriching lives.“

  • Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition, Deakin University, 2019-2020
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Food Science & Technology), RMIT University, 1991 – 1994
  • Certified Gut & Psychology Syndrome(GAPS) Practitioner, Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, 2017 & 2018
  • Quality Assurance Specialist, various Food Industries, 1995 – 2013
  • ‘Healthy Bowels Study’, (MCRI) Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, 2013 – 2015
  • Safe and Sound Protocol Training, Integrated Listening Systems (ILS-Unyte), 2021
  • ILS Focus Program Training, Integrated Listening Systems (ILS-Unyte), 2021
  • Neurophysiology (single unit), University of Melbourne, 2015
  • Neural Engagement Therapy & Training (NETT Foundations), Robina QLD, 2017
  • Stillness Meditation Therapy (SMT) Teacher Training, Pauline McKinnon, SMT Centre, Kew 2018 – 2020
  • Therapeutic Touch Foundations, Intermediate & Mentorship Training, (TTAA) Therapeutic Touch Association of Australasia, 2015 – 2019
  • Standard Mental Health First Aid – Mental Health First Aid Australia (MHFA), 2021


  • Associate Nutritionist with Nutrition Society of Australia (NSA)
  • Full member of Nutrition Australia
  • Full member of CGP Grads (for certified GAPS Practitioners)
  • Full member of The Meditation Association of Australia
  • Full member of (SMT) Stillness Meditation Therapy Australia
  • Full member and QTTPA – (TTAA) Therapeutic Touch Association of Australasia
  • Unregistered NDIS Provider- NDIS Quality & Safeguards Commission
  • Worker Screening Check – NDIS Worker Screening Database (NWSD)