Experience a whole-person approach to positive psychology and optimal well-being in a course developed by one of the leading experts in the field, Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, with immersions held at Geelong Grammar School.

This year-long online and onsite course offers an in-depth, integrated exploration of the science and direct application of positive psychology—the study of individual and societal flourishing—in all aspects and stages of life.

Apply the whole-person approach personally and professionally in leadership, counselling, coaching, parenting, or teaching in order to:

  • Bring about lasting change in individuals and organisations
  • Create healthy personal and professional relationships
  • Build positive emotions and the resilience to deal with painful ones
  • Develop self-regard and grounded optimism.

Graduates leave with the tools, practices, and research to support an increased capacity for health, strengthened resilience, deeper mindfulness, and greater levels of overall well-being.

The course commences in May 2015.

For further details and to make a booking visit our website: 




Knowing and Utilising What is Right with You

In this course teachers will gain an in-depth understanding of how to establish a strengths-based approach to foster positive relationships, improve academic learning and to enhance school culture. This practical workshop will provide participants with a personal insight into their own character strengths profile, including ownership of one’s signature strengths as well as awareness of the shadow-side of particular strengths. Teachers will explore a wide array of practical examples from specific classroom activities and school-wide practices through to student assignments and homework activities which involve parents and other family members. Specific primary and secondary activities will be presented and discussed. Extensive Character Strength research will be distilled down to key messages and potential dangers and pitfalls will be explored. At the end of the day participants will be well prepared to offer Character Strengths training for their own staff members and to work with colleagues to embed the language and activities of strengths throughout their school. 

Course dates and locations:

  • WA (Perth): 12 November 2014 
  • SINGAPORE: 3 December 2014 



Introducing Awareness and Meditation in the Classroom

In this course teachers are introduced to mindfulness, awareness and meditation and their applications and implications in classroom settings. This practical workshop will explore techniques and strategies to weave mindfulness into everyday practice in schools as well as investigate theory and research which establishes credibility within the curriculum. Mindfulness and meditation practices are being introduced in schools around the world. And, as more programmes emerge, researchers are finding that mindfulness meditation in schools is increasing wellbeing and reducing stress for students. Teachers will explore and trial a range of strategies for developing an educational environment which supports focus and attention as well as promotes open, creative thinking for students. Participants will have the opportunity to discover and discuss a range of resources to support implementation of mindfulness in their school. 

Course dates and locations:

  • WA (Perth): 13 November 2014 
  • SINGAPORE: 4 December 2014 



Practising and Teaching Solution-Focused Approaches

In this course teachers explore and unpack the concept of resilience through applying solution-focused approaches. Importantly, solution-focused approaches begin from the viewpoint that people have the necessary strengths and resources to manage their problems and realise their dreams. Solution-focused approaches are both theory-informed and evidence-based. Empirical research over the last 30 years has consistently found that solution-focused conversations significantly help people cope with adversities and create positive changes in their lives. The popularity of solution-focused practices have broadened beyond counselling and been found to be effective in a range of other areas such as coaching, health, business and education. Over the course of the day, participants learn about how the theory, research and practices of positive psychology, resilience and solution-focused approaches can be utilised to improve quality of life for themselves and others. Participants are given the opportunity to practise and reflect upon a set of essential solution-focused skills which can be applied within a school setting. Skills are explored and practised through interactive discussion and role-play in relation to school-based conversations, coaching, leadership, peer support and teaching.

Course dates and locations:

  • WA (Perth): 14 November 2014 
  • SINGAPORE: 5 December 2014 

For further details and to make a booking visit our website:


How to Change a Culture

John Hendry OAM (Hendo) is known throughout the Geelong Grammar School (GGS) community as a wise, caring and inspirational leader. He has made a significant and lasting impact on the culture of the School and has led the development of GGS’s highly regarded relationship management model.

John has been a core driver of the school’s implementation of Positive Education and his relationship models have underpinned the successful approach the school has taken in fostering wellbeing for all members of the school community.

The key learning intentions include:

  • To examine student wellbeing in relational circumstances
  • To investigate the influence of culture on wellbeing and strategies for change
  • To explore institutional culture and its impact on wellbeing and individual flourishing
  • To discuss relationship management policies in schools

The topics being explored will include: Relationship formation, core values, attachment theory, reflective science, appreciative models and neuroscience.

John will draw on the work of many world renown thought leaders and key researchers in the fields of Developmental Psychology, Positive Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Leadership, Motivation and Reflective Science.

Course date and location:

Friday 7 November 2014 from 9:30am – 3:30pm at Geelong Grammar School, Corio campus

For further details and to make a booking visit our website: 


Institute staff go to Hong Kong! Justin Robinson, Janis Coffey and Charlie Scudamore head off to Hong Kong in November to bring Positive Education training to local schools. Carmen Yau, Director of the Bei Shan Tang Foundation attended one of our courses in order to assess whether Positive Education would be suitable for local schools in Hong Kong.  The foundation is subsidising the training courses to enable a broad audience of schools and educators to attend. The Institute is excited to be partnering with the Foundation and in extending the reach of its programmes to improve the wellbeing of young people in Hong Kong.


More newsletter items

Why an Institute of Positive Education?
Welcome to the first edition of our Institute of Positive Education’s enewsletter. As ‘Friends of our Pos Ed Institute’ we are excited to be able to ...
Learn It, Live It, Teach It, Embed It
There are many facets to Positive Education and many ways to successfully implement ‘Pos Ed’ into any school community.
Exploring Melbourne Uni’s Pos Ed Certificate
It was exciting for the Institute of Positive Education here at GGS to be involved in the launch of the first postgraduate university course in Positi ...
Certificate in Whole Person Positive Psychology
We are thrilled to announce a partnership with Dr Tal Ben-Shahar and the Wholebeing Institute to exclusively bring to Australia the world-renowned Cer ...
Pos Ed in Action - The Science of Gratitude
This piece has been written by Lexia Edwards, a science teacher at Mt Barker High School in South Australia, about gratitude and the ways that it is s ...
Pos Ed in the Community
On Sunday 7 September 2014 the first Positive Education in the Community course was run at the Corio campus with nearly 90 OGGs and friends.
Pos Ed Focus Day - Year 11
The Year 11 Pos Ed Focus Day was organised primarily by Year 11 students for fellow Year 11 students to bring a bit of positivity into their peers' li ...
Character Strengths challenge
This week, think of a goal you want to achieve. Write down your top signature strengths and reflect on each of them in terms of your goal.
We are on Facebook
The Institute of Positive Education recently launched our own Facebook page.
The Insight Series
The Institute of Positive Education presents the Insight Series - guest lectures designed to inform, inspire and provide insight.


Podcast image

‘Sonja Lyubomirsky on the Myths of Happiness’ on the Greater Good Podcast Series recorded February 2013 and is accessible here

The Greater Good Science Center has been operating from the University of California, Berkeley, since 2001. The non-profit organisation has a strong commitment to understanding both how science can serve us in better understanding social and emotional wellbeing, as well as how to help others apply findings and insights from science for the betterment of people’s lives.  In this interview leading researcher in Positive Psychology, Sonja Lyubomirsky, discusses her new book, The Myths of Happiness. For example, Lyubomirsky speaks about the two main myths around happiness. One type of myth revolves around our beliefs that happiness is contingent upon some future event, e.g. “I will be happy when I have a house.” Another type of myth refers to our predictions that we will be unhappy if a negative event occurs, e.g. “I will be unhappy if I lose my house.” Lyubomirsky refers to how research has demonstrated that humans are often more resilient than we think.  Over the course of the interview, Lyubomirsky discusses the complexity of pursuing happiness in terms of how individuals differ and the effects of gender, culture and biology.


Recommended reading image

Mindful Learning: Reduce stress and improve brain performance for effective learning
Dr Craig Hassed & Dr Richard Chambers

Mindful Learning provides a comprehensive guide for educators with varied experience and knowledge of mindfulness practices. The authors map out how mindfulness and education meet through defining and exploring the meaning of terms such as education, mindfulness, learning, attention, stress and memory.  This approach allows us to understand the interconnections and integration between mindfulness and learning suggested in the book’s title Mindful Learning.  Whilst a great deal of practical exercises are provided, the authors go beyond describing and justifying mindfulness as an additional technique or program which needs to be added into the curriculum.  Through interweaving sound research in the fields of learning and mindfulness, the book continually increases our awareness of the effects of being present as an educator. In this way, the book carefully and succinctly outlines how mindfulness is most powerfully learned through both explicit teaching such as training attention and implicit teaching such as role-modelling moment to moment awareness. The authors comment, “Most of what we teach we actually do without awareness.”  This book offers its reader the chance to learn about current research and practice, as well as reflect upon and improve their own lives in terms of teaching, health and home. 

Hassed, C. & Chambers, R. (2014). Mindful Learning: Reduce stress and improve brain performance for effective learning. Wollombi: Exisle Publishing.