A blog about an authentic, contextual approach to Positive Education

August 18, 2019

‘In today’s rush we all think too much – seek too much – want too much – and forget about the joy of just being.’ Eckhart Tolle

A few years ago, I would walk out of work, head down, shoulders lowered, eyes glued onto the face of the mobile phone in my hands still checking emails. I had physically left the office, but emotionally and mentally I was still there. This happened daily and would continue when I walked through the door of my home. This was my habit until one day a colleague walked out with me and commented on the trees that had blossomed along the footpath. This was a rude awakening. I did not even know that there were trees along the path, let alone noticed the white blossom flowers that had bloomed, nor had I looked up and p...

November 17, 2016

‘A day with Alfie Kohn’ (15/11/16) has left me reflecting on the purpose of education. John Dewey states, ‘The purpose of education has always been to everyone, in essence, the same – to give the young the things they need in order to develop in an orderly, sequential way into members of society.’ But, how exactly are we giving our children and young people the things they need in the 21st century? How are we enabling them to become powerful learners? How are we providing the skills and dispositions to function and flourish…to feel good and do well?

In some traditional classrooms there is still a focus on chalk and talk, and although this is considered preparation for the tertiary world of lectures, how are we preparing our children and...

November 13, 2016

Children, after all, are not just adults-in-the-making. They are people whose current needs and rights and experiences must be taken seriously.’ Alfie Kohn 

Article 12 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of a Child sets out that children have the right to an opinion which is listened to and acted seriously. Not only should we be listening to our children and young people but we need to trust and value their opinions and act on them.

Quaglia and Corso (2016) state that students should not only be expected to share their voice and be heard, but they should be expected to take responsibility for putting their voice into action to help others. Empowering students to use their voice and turn it into action is what authentic s...

October 23, 2016

'Hope is our children's window for a better tomorrow.'

Through drip-feeding we created a common language from Birth through to Year12; from bucket filling, character strengths to love bombing and the power of yet. But, this wasn’t enough.  

Our students seemed happy, were graduating from the Children’s University, were generally attending and behaving but our data reflected that a large percentage of our students had low hope (Hope Scale - Snyder, Harris, et al 1991). In a community with the closure of Holden, and generational unemployment how could we instill hope in our kids? Helping students become more hopeful is rewarding for the students, teachers, leaders and other key stakeholders. We needed to focus our attention on building cap...

September 18, 2016

'Through passion, drive, coaching, a sense of entitlement and hope for all.'

How does a chicken cross the road? 

Aristotle would have answered this common question with the statement, 'to actualise its potential.'

In implementing Positive Education throughout Mark Oliphant B-12 College, a low socioeconomic school of approximately 1600 students in Adelaide's Northern suburbs, there were a number of common questions asked by staff;

How will we implement Positive Education in a B-12 school?

Why do we need another program in our already bulging curriculum?

What outcomes will it have on our students? 

And, regularly the question and argument of, is this 'wellbeing for the wealthy' as we aren't like the private schools across the nation who are in...

August 19, 2016

A small outback town at the junction of the Oodnadatta and Birdsville Tracks, and an inspirational mentor opened my eyes to the power of a contextual approach in education, the role of the teacher and an enriched understanding of wellbeing. Although, little did I know as a first year teacher in the Marree Aboriginal School this would spur an interest in what I now know as Positive Psychology.

Entering the vast outback town, as a city slicker was a daunting experience however, on collection of house keys at the Marree Hotel (the last two story building as you head North onto the barren South Australian plains) a familiar face and a calming figure sat. A man who taught with a sense of purpose, who had a rich understanding of the...

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Director for Inclusion

Henley High School


As an effective educational leader and a facilitator of learning, I base my actions on a well-informed set of values; have a high degree of self-efficacy and a deep sense of commitment and responsibility. I have a clear personal vision for optimising learning and promoting flourishing individuals and the courage and determination to achieve that vision. My leadership is motivated by my top character strengths of fairness, gratitude and honesty and a commitment to improving educational outcomes through wellbeing for learning. I am passionate about high expectations for all learners, positive education and authentic student voice. 'Demography is not destiny' and through Positive Education and a focus on strengths all children and young people will have high hope and aspire to achieve their dreams. 


August 18, 2019

November 17, 2016

November 13, 2016

August 19, 2016

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