The Institute of Positive Education Insight Series brings some of the leading thinkers in the field of Positive Psychology and Positive Education to Geelong and Melbourne, for guest lectures that are designed to inform and inspire.

Read on to find out more about our 2019 programme of events:

Insight Series speaker, Michael Steger

Meaning and Purpose in Life with Dr. Michael Steger

Monday 15 July 2019, 7pm at the Geelong Grammar School Toorak Campus Hall

The quest for meaning is a long-time companion of the human condition. In fact, it may be as old as human culture itself.

In this Insight Series presentation, Founder and Director of the Center for Meaning and Purpose, Dr, Michael Steger, examines how, over the ages, psychology has framed the question of “what is the meaning of life” in distinctly personal terms, and how it has used rigorous scientific research to forge a deep body of knowledge about the contributions meaning and purpose make to health, relationships, happiness, self-understanding, and even longevity.

No question that has puzzled us for scores of centuries has an easy answer. As such, we are honoured to have this opportunity to hear and learn from esteemed researcher and author, Dr. Steger, about ways we can embrace and answer these questions in our own lives


Strengthening Educational Engagement with Tom Brunzell

Tuesday 11 June 2019, 7pm in the Cook Theatre at Geelong Grammar School, Corio Campus

Positive Education has transformed the lives of many young Australians.  However, for young people struggling with complex mental health challenges, Positive Education requires renewed focus through the lens of understanding child vulnerability.    

Come and learn about research and strategies arising from Berry Street's approach to bolstering struggling communities, and learn what you can do to strengthen and support educational engagement for students who urgently need Positive Education to set higher expectations for themselves to meet their potential.   

Berry Street are carrying out extensive work in systemic change and promoting new strategies for collective learning, and we are honoured to be sharing this progressive initiative with our community.

About Tom Brunzell:
Tom Brunzell (MS, EdM, PhD candidate) has experience as a teacher, school leader, researcher and education advisor in New York City and Melbourne.  Currently, he is the Director of Education at Berry Street, Victoria's largest child and family welfare organization working with trauma-affected children and their families.   Tom presents internationally on topics of transforming school cultures, high expectations for differentiated instruction, trauma-informed practice, wellbeing and the application of positive psychology, and effective school leadership.  He is also a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Graduate School of Education studying trauma-informed pedagogy, positive psychology, and their impacts on workplace meaning.


Cultivating Self-Compassion with Dr. Karen Bluth

Thursday 28 February, 7pm at Geelong Grammar School, Corio Campus 

There is growing research to indicate that adults and adolescents who are more self-compassionate are more resilient in the face of setbacks or failures, less likely to engage with harsh self-criticism and unhealthy perfectionism, and more likely to experience enhanced wellbeing. The research also indicates that self-compassion can be cultivated with practice.

In this public lecture, Cultivating Self-Compassion, Dr. Karen Bluth will share some of the recent research about the benefits of self-compassion in adults and adolescents, as well as a range of self-compassion practices which can be introduced to daily life to contribute to increased self-awareness, self-compassion and ultimately, greater compassion for others.

All are welcome to come along and join us for this fascinating public lecture from Dr. Karen Bluth.

About Dr. Karen Bluth:

Karen Bluth, Ph.D. is faculty at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina Medical School and a Research Fellow in the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute.

As a researcher, Dr. Bluth’s work focuses on the roles that self-compassion and mindfulness play in promoting wellbeing.

Dr. Bluth holds almost 20 years’ experience as a classroom teacher and is a certified instructor of Mindful Self-Compassion, and co-creator of the curriculum Making Friends with Yourself: A Mindful Self-Compassion Program for Teens.



Previous guest lecturers have included: 

Martin Seligman, Alfie Kohn, Helen Street, Russell Harris, Michelle McQuaid, Maureen Gaffney, Matthew Johnstone, Cris Popp,Tim Cope, Dianne Vella-Broderick, Maria Sirios, Toni Powell, Tony Fernando, Karen Bluth, Tom Brunzell and Michael Steger.

Marty Sel presenting 730x450