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Meet the Bellarine Coffee Roasters and WHOLE Bean Project Family

Bellarine Coffee Roasters and The WHOLE Bean Project have been founded by Dr Chris Groot and Darren Cullinane.  Chris and Darren are Bellarine Peninsula residents who have a love of roasting, brewing and drinking specialty coffee.  They are also passionate about important social issues including mental health, and vulnerable groups affected by stigma and discrimination.


Dr Chris Groot

Chris is an academic psychologist at the University of Melbourne, where he directs the Stigma and Telehealth research lab in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences.  Chris has a PhD in the cognitive neuropsychiatry of auditory-verbal hallucinations in schizophrenia, and his current work focusses on understanding and reducing stigma and discrimination about severe and complex mental illness.  Chris collaborates with numerous national mental health organisations on research, service design and stigma reduction initiatives. You might have even heard about one of the projects he has led in collaboration with SANE Australia - the National Stigma Report Card.  He also has a background in the clinical governance, research and evaluation of large scale, national 'telehealth' mental health services.  You can see Chris discussing stigma, discrimination, and some of his work here and here.  


Darren Cullinane


Darren also has expertise in stigma and discrimination.  He is completing a PhD in creative writing with a focus on internalised homophobia at Deakin University, and holds Bachelor and Honours degrees in creative and professional writing. Darren additionally has expertise in the public service, and in project and operations management in the retail and hospitality industries.

Charlie the Roastery Lab


If you stop by Bellarine Coffee Roasters, you might just meet Charlie, our mocha coloured mascot.  We think he will develop his own espresso blend in time and no doubt, it will have some rich chocolatey notes.  Keep an eye out for Charlie on our social media channels - he'll say hello from time to time and keep you up to date with all of the exciting developments!

Our Lived Experience Team


Watch this space.  We’ll introduce you to our lived experience team soon!

Join the family!

Join the Bellarine Coffee Roasters and WHOLE Bean Project family and follow our journey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  We are proudly working to deliver special projects in the Bellarine Peninsula community and beyond, so we hope that you’ll travel with us as we grow and join the conversation.

Heart shape made from coffee beans on wo

What type of company is Bellarine Coffee Roasters?


Bellarine Coffee Roasters Pty Ltd is a proudly for-purpose, for-profit company.  Like some of the biggest mental health initiatives in Australia, it’s our thesis that this business model is best to support growth and meaningful impact on important social issues sustainably over time.  What’s more, by modelling a successful for-purpose approach, we hope to encourage other businesses to follow and explore how they can contribute to important social causes too.