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Claire Fortune (MAPP, BHlthSc, AdvDipAppSc) is a trainer, facilitator and course designer in positive psychology. She is passionate about empowering people with the tools to flourish in all spheres of life.
Having completed her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) at the University of Melbourne, Claire has deep knowledge and training in the field of positive psychology. Claire is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association, Positive Education Schools Association and the Australian Institute of Management. Claire also holds a Bachelor of Health Science in Complementary Medicine with a particular interest in behavioural neuroscience and the mind body connection.
Claire has worked in the health and education sectors for over 15 years and has worked both overseas and in Australia as a wellbeing consultant, speaker and practitioner. In the Education Sector, She has worked with both State and Independent schools across Victoria, NSW and WA to improve wellbeing outcomes by delivering school health and nutrition programs, workshops on positive education, workshops on relationships and through the her role as a facilitator in the Visible Wellbeing™ program.
Trained by Professor Lea Waters as a Visible Wellbeing™ facilitator, Claire has contributed to resources on Visible Wellbeing™ and The Strengths Exchange, collaborating with Professor Lea Waters and Lara Mossman on games to encourage strengths awareness through play in children.
Claire is an invited expert presenter at the Positive Education Schools Association National conference in Sydney this year, and was invited to contribute to the 2017 World Government Summit’s Global Discussions on Happiness hosted by the UAE in
Mike Fenwick (MA Educational Leadership, Framingham State College, BEd, Auckland University) is a teacher with over 20 years of classroom experience in Primary and Middle Schools. He is currently the Academic Manager, Head of Wellbeing & Positive Education, and an English teacher, at Middle School West Auckland. He has worked across state, private, international and charter education systems.
Prior to returning to New Zealand, Mike taught in schools in South Korea and Hong Kong. With 16 years of international experience, Mike brings a unique understanding of cultural diversity and third culture students. His own heritage as a Cook Island Maori has made Mike passionate about using strengths to build engagement and achievement in Maori and Pasifika students. This passion led him to be a successful recipient of the Pasifika grant through CORE Education, a charitable not-for-profit company focused on providing services to the New Zealand Education sector. This grant is funding Mike to research the impact of his ‘Positive Wellbeing on Pasifika families’ project.
After completing his Masters in Educational leadership, Mike’s passion for positive psychology led him to complete the Positive Psychology in the Classroom course through Coursera. Mike applies the science of positive psychology into his own classrooms and leads whole-school positive psychology approaches through his role as Head of Wellbeing & Positive Education at his current School.
In addition to being trained by Professor Lea Waters as a Visible Wellbeing™ facilitator, Mike was an invited presenter at the Hong Kong Vocational Training Center, speaking on strength-based perspectives and wellbeing in
Sharon Garro is a Registered Psychologist with over 15 years of experience working with children, adolescents and schools. Sharon has completed a degree in Psychology, a Masters in Counselling and a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (University of Melbourne). Sharon has worked across both primary and secondary schools in State, Catholic and Independent sectors. She has held the positions of Head of Wellbeing and Positive Education within schools and has also worked as a educational and consultant psychologist to schools.
Sharon currently runs teacher training in schools and has a private practice where she is highly sought after to share her expertise with students who display differentiated learning needs. Sharon’s experience in the areas of learning and wellbeing, give her a unique insight into the complexities that impact on many students; and helps raise the awareness of these issues with teachers and parents. Her passion is to help all children find their strengths, so they can engage with school and pursue their unique talents and passions.
Sharon is currently the National Convener of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) Positive Psychology Interest Group, contributes to the APS online resource Psychlopaedia, presents professional development via Teacher Learning Network and other sector-based conferences. She is registered with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA), a Member of the Australian Psychological Society, Positive Education Schools Australia and International Positive Psychology Association. She has developed Pastoral Care curriculum for both primary and secondary schools and contributed to the resource development for the Student Wellbeing Profiler designed by
Tracey Chitty (BEd, DipTch, DipPos Psych, MCouns) is a counsellor, educator, university lecturer and co-leader of Positive Education at Discovery College in Hong Kong.
Tracey is passionate about helping people and is deeply curious about what makes them thrive.
Twenty years ago, while still early in her teaching career, Tracey taught a young boy who changed the course of her professional life. Despite addressing all his academic concerns, there was a level of wellbeing that was simply missing from his life. What made it worse was that Tracey couldn’t see a clear way to address this within her classroom practice. She felt limited as a teacher and realised that academic education alone was not enough to ensure wellbeing in students and their families – she started looking for better answers.
Tracey went on to pursue her Masters of Counselling with the vision of making wellbeing accessible to every child and family within a school community. Staying true to her beginnings as an educator, Tracey’s career has spanned all sectors of education: primary, secondary and tertiary, as a teacher, counsellor and lecturer.
Throughout her years as a counsellor and lecturer Tracey’s intrigue has grown from helping people survive to ‘what makes people thrive’. In 2016 Tracey completed a Diploma in Positive Psychology and began leading the implementation of Positive Education at Discovery College.
Natural offshoots of Tracey’s work have been providing professional development to educators and organisations, developing parent workshops on areas of wellbeing and ongoing consultation work with parents and schools in Hong Kong and
Su Fenwick is a registered teacher and school counsellor (BA, counselling) with 40 years of experience across primary and secondary schools in the state, private and international sectors in New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Su currently works as a counsellor and team leader in an International School where she is a member of school’s Positive Education Steering Committee. As part of the leadership team, Su has supported the roll-out of positive education across the school from training staff to embedding practices and cultural change across a five-year journey.
As well as working within her current school, Su consults with and supports other schools in developing Positive Education. In her role as a consultant over the past 15 years Su has assisted schools to establish counselling services and programmes within schools and has run workshops and group facilitation on positive education to schools and counsellor associations. Concurrent to her work in schools, Su continues to work in private practice where she infuses a strength-based approach into her work with children, adolescents and adults.
Having been the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Mount Roskill Primary, for 8 years, Su has a high-level understanding of the organisational and leadership elements required to create successful schools. In her counselling role at school, Su works closely with children and parents in tailoring support. Su has a unique blend of professional and personal experience that is highly regarded by all. She is an empathetic leader who inspires change and hope.
Sarah is a registered Clinical Psychologist with specialist expertise in the area of child and adolescent mental health, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma and well-being, having completed her PhD in the area of school based prevention and resilience at the University of Queensland.
Since completing the Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Psychology in 2007, Sarah has continued to engage in professional development including specialist training in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Neuroscience (Neurosequential model of trauma) and Mentalisation based training, in addition to her continued interest in Positive Psychology.
Sarah has more than 12 years of clinical and practical experience working with children, youth and parents across multiple sectors including; the Department of Corrections, Education, Specialist Mental Health and private practice within Australia and New Zealand. Sarah is passionate about making a difference for young people through innovative, effective, empirically based approaches to well-being.
Sue Thomas (B.Ed. Hons) has more than 32 years teaching experience in Secondary schools in state, private and international sectors in Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia and the United Kingdom. During the past 15 years in Hong Kong, Sue has been Vice Principal in two international schools and co-leader of Positive Education at Discovery College.
Sue was instrumental in the creation of the Wellbeing Programme in Secondary which was developed by utilizing the philosophies of the International Baccalaureate, Restorative Practices, CASEL-SEL, PERMA and Positive Psychology practices. This work then helped direct Discovery College to become the first Visible Wellbeing School in Asia.
Sue has just embarked on the exciting journey of beginning her new company to share her knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of Positive Education and the practicalities of implementing this in schools, organisations and with-in the home.
Sue is a learner-centred educator, strengths based thinker, active listener, clear communicator, capacity builder and delivers the character strengths of positivity, honesty, fairness, and kindness.
Sue believes strongly that, in the words of the Rita Pierson, ‘Every child deserves a champion: an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be.’ This sentiment has underpinned the work she has conducted with students, parents and staff over her years in Education and fits perfectly with the messages running throughout ‘Strength Switch’. "
After completing a Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Education, Michael began his career as an Outdoor Education instructor, working with both Primary and Secondary students. In 2003 he completed his Diploma of Education and began teaching in 2004. Early in his teaching career Michael found himself drawn to working more with students who were finding school difficult for a variety of reasons.
In 2009, Michael completed an Adolescent Health and Welfare degree through Melbourne University and spent the next several years leading a school wellbeing team, helping and working with students and parents who were experiencing difficulties. He followed this with a Masters of School Leadership, also through Melbourne University, where he was introduced to the study of positive psychology.
Michael has spent the last seven years implementing positive psychology strategies into the classroom of the schools he has worked at and has developed a keen interest in the role neuroplasticity, mindfulness and growth mindset play in child and adolescent development.
One of Michael’s real passions in life is helping young people better understand how their brains works and how they can maximise their abilities. Michael lives with his wife and two primary aged children and has implemented positive psychology strategies into every aspect of his family’s life. He is a strong advocate for strength based parenting because he has seen how effective it is in his own children and those whose families he has worked with.
Annabelle Knight (DipTeach, GDipEd, MAPP, MACE) is an educator with 30 years’ experience in pedagogy and wellbeing in Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary contexts. Over her career she has held leadership roles such as Director of Early Learning and Head of Junior School. She is currently Associate Head (Innovation and Learning) at St Michael’s Grammar School.
She is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association, the Australian College of Educators and is on the Committee of the Victorian Chapter of Positive Education Schools Association. Annabelle is a recipient of The Sacs Consulting Award for Leadership in the not for Profit Sector and has been nominated for a National Excellence in Teaching Award (NEiTA).
Annabelle is also a coach and consultant empowering individuals and teams to greater wellbeing and higher performance through positive leadership. She completed her Master of Applied Positive Psychology in 2015 and uses action-research to support and apply evidence-based techniques and approaches to enable students, staff and parents to flourish.
Annabelle has presented her work at International and National conferences including the World Thinking Skills Conference, the World Positive Education Accelerator, the International Symposium for Coaching and Positive Psychology in Education, the Positive Education Schools Association, the Australian Heads of Independent Schools Association and the Australian Council of Educational Leadership’s Wellbeing Conference.
Susanne North is a Family Educator in a Catholic Primary School in Sydney (Eastern Suburbs). A key part of her role is empowering parents to be their best possible self; engage parents with the school and wider community; create meaningful connections between parent and child; support vulnerable families; engage parent with social justice causes and help them to apply Positive Psychology in all aspects of family life. Susanne is passionate about Positive Psychology and strongly believes that understanding one’s unique strengths can lead to a more positive, flourishing and purposeful life. Being an avid reader and researcher on all aspects of well-being, Susanne has a profound knowledge of contemporary psychology.
Susanne trained and worked in Early Childhood for Waldorf Schools. She is also a Meditation and Mindfulness Coach, teaching children and adults how to live a more mindful and reflective life.
As a Simplicity Parenting Coach, Susanne regularly gives presentations to parents and has also published various articles on Simplicity Parenting for print and digital media across Australia.
Early Childhood and Creative Play are Susanne’s passion and as a result has consulted various primary schools on introducing Creative Play in the playground.
As a Companion for the “Seasons for Growth” program, Susanne facilitates regularly bereavement groups for primary school children who are suffering from trauma and grief.
Susanne is of German heritage. She is married to an Australian and has three thriving teenage children. Susanne loves introducing her German traditions to Australian families as she truly believes in the richness of celebrating rituals.
Aileen Lyons is a professional coach and certified Strengths Profiler and has also had a successful career as a teacher, director and principal in Irish schools. She has a unique blend of experience, skills and competencies and an extensive knowledge of the challenges and opportunities parents face as the primary educators of their children. She passionately believes that every man, woman and child should have the opportunity to flourish and thrive.
Aileen works with individuals and groups, helping them to reconnect with their values, acknowledge their skills, talents and achievements. She supports people to identify and use their strengths and resources to creatively meet challenges and achieve goals. With parents she particularly enjoys supporting them to identify and use their strengths as resources in enhancing their parenting. In today’s challenging world parents are more concerned than ever with building their children’s self-esteem, resilience and optimism and Aileen loves empowering them to take action leading to positive outcomes in their family life.
Living with her husband and golden retriever in Southern Ireland, lifelong learning is one of her greatest passions. She believes the philosophy of The Strength Switch is really progressive and is excited to share it. Aileen blends a collaborative strengths-based style of coaching with her unique experience of years working with children and young people coping with life’s challenges. Using her own strengths of compassion, unconditionality and esteem-building, complimented with a good dollop of humour, she creates a fun and thoughtful learning environment for clients.
Michelle is a very passionate person, who shows great dedication and commitment in all that she does. She has over 10 years of teaching experience working as a secondary teacher within the Catholic Education system, and has received a Masters in Holistic Human Development, and a Graduate Diploma in Education. Michelle delivers a holistic and nurturing approach in all her workshops, making it her priority to educate, support and make certain that each person meets their own needs as individuals.
Michelle will recognise, value and build on the individuality of a person through using all aspects of ethics, compassion, listening, grounding, integrity and centeredness, understanding, active listening and support. Through her workshops, participant gain knowledge and insight through interactive sessions that unpack and scaffold insightful and valuable practises.
Nilesh is 41 years old and a graduate from Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, Pune. He is a certified Strengths Coach from Gallup, USA, Master Trainer from Association of Training and Development, USA and a certified Six Sigma Green Belt.
Nilesh has 18 years of experience overall; 15 years in the corporate sector in a variety of training roles and the last 3 years of his life have been dedicated to the field of education.
Currently he operates as a Director of Operations for Valley View High School, a family run school started by his parents in 1996 to ensure quality education reaches the masses at affordable fees. In addition to working in the school, Nilesh operates as a consultant for schools in Pune to design and deliver student and teacher training programs and partner with school owners on process optimisation initiatives.
In his free time, Nilesh loves to read books, listen to music and ride his bike. He loves to travel and network with people across age groups and nationalities.
Hiromi is the chair of the Japan Positive Education Association where she has been working with teachers and parents to develop children’s emotional resilience. Hiromi has a daughter who inspires her more every day.
Hiromi is looking forward to creating a strength-based community with you.
Laura Allison (BSc, BPsych, MPsych, ProfCertEd(PosEd) is a registered psychologist currently employed as the Coordinator of the Psychology Team for Catholic Education in Western Australia. Laura has worked across the Government, Catholic and Independent sectors and has been the Director of Wellbeing in two schools most recently at PLC Perth where she implemented a whole school approach to wellbeing and led the project for the Lighthouse Wellbeing Centre.
Laura has particular expertise relating to mental illness prevention and wellbeing promotion in education and was honoured to be the recipient of the 2015 WA School Psychologist of the Year Award. Laura is also the chair of the PESA WA Chapter Committee, sits on a number of steering and advisory committees and is a facilitator for Visible Wellbeing.
Laura is a PhD candidate with the University of Melbourne under the supervision of Professor Lea Waters and Dr Peggy Kern. Her research is interested in the relationship between teacher practice and student wellbeing, particularly how to make classroom ecological wellbeing an observable phenomenon and the impact of introducing wellbeing practices within the classroom.
Hanna Redpath Kidd
Hanna Redpath Kidd (BA, BPHE, BEd, MSc, MEd, RP, CAPP) is a teacher, registered psychotherapist and school counsellor with two decades of experience. She has spent her career developing wellbeing in others – social, emotional and physical. She specializes in international education and has worked in Korea, China and Canada. Her current school, Ridley College, aims to ‘inspire flourishing lives’ in children from across Canada and from 63 nations around the world.
Creating personal connections and supporting students and families through life’s challenges led Hanna to pursue a Master’s in International Counselling. Working as a psychotherapist in private practice as well as a school counsellor, Hanna has found a way to support children, teens and adults, no matter where they are on the wellbeing continuum.
Hanna is the Project Leader of Visible Wellbeing at Ridley College, which is North America’s first Visible Wellbeing School to partner with Professor Lea Waters, President of IPPA. In this role Hanna is responsible for leading and implementing the science and research of wellbeing to all students, faculty and staff in the school. In her role as Lower School Counsellor at Ridley College she teaches the habits of wellbeing including mindfulness, gratitude, savoring, emotional management, and conflict resolution. She enjoys leading parenting workshops that inspire parents to use strength-based techniques to enhance their relationship with their child/ren.
Her passion for wellbeing has led her to recently complete a Certificate in Positive Psychology and become a trained VWB facilitator. Hanna has been a workshop presenter at both the Canadian
Sandeep Gautam is a certified Master Trainer (certified by MEPSC a GoI initiative under Skill India Mission). He is also a Gallup-certified Strength Coach and has conducted strengths based leadership, as well as other training and assessment, for more than 3 years. His clients include pharmaceutical companies, software companies, logistics companies and more.
He has 16 + years of management and leadership experience, last working with Cisco as a Senior Software Development Manager, a job he left to dedicate his life to the cause of applying positive psychology findings to the work and educational settings.
Sandeep is the Global Representative (India) for International Positive Education Network (IPEN ) and conducts character strengths based positive education workshops for high school students in schools, that are aimed at building resilience and wellbeing of the students. He had the fortune of being trained in psycho-social counselling by Snehi - a Delhi based mental health NGO and is a passionate advocate of mental wellbeing for all. Sandeep is also a prominent psychology blogger.
Sandeep has a B. Tech. in Comp. Science from IIT Delhi and has completed an Executive Program in Leadership and Management (EPLM) from IIM Calcutta. He aims to touch as many lives as possible and turn them around for the better.
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