Positive Education Schools Association (PESA).

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Until 2011, the early adopters of Positive Education in Australia worked largely in isolation or within small networks of schools in which knowledge and experiences where shared informally.

Early in 2012, The Peninsula School (Victoria), St Peter’s College (South Australia) and Knox Grammar School (New South Wales) met with Associate Professor Lea Waters at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education, to explore the likely benefits of forming an association of educators who shared the vision of promoting Positive Education in all schools across the nation. The idea of learning from each other, as well as encouraging other schools to embrace the tenets of positive psychology was clearly a shared vision of these three schools.

A few months later, the leaders of nine schools from across Australia came together at St Peter’s College in Adelaide for an inaugural workshop at which the foundations of the association were discussed. Membership of an interim Board was determined, together with that of a committee which would do much of the groundwork towards preparing a constitution for the association.

Much work was done during the period 2012 – 2013 to develop the mission, vision and core values of the new association, which was to be named the Positive Education Schools Association. This work was assisted greatly by Michelle McQuaid, using an Appreciative Inquiry approach.

From the beginning, there was a strong commitment for PESA to be an association of educators and schools from all sectors, across regional and metropolitan Australia: government, independent and systemic.

The founding schools of PESA provided countless hours of support and generous financial assistance to enable a formal launch of PESA at the 4th Australian Positive Psychology & Wellbeing Conference held on 8 February 2014 at the University of Melbourne.

PESA Board

Chair: Simon Murray (Headmaster, St Peters College SA)

Roger Bayly (Deputy Principal, Christ Church Grammar School, WA)
Steven Bowers (Principal, Burgmann Anglican School, ACT)
Janis Coffey (Educator)
Scott James (Deputy Principal, Knox Grammar School, NSW)
Stuart Johnston (Principal, The Peninsula School, Vic)
Anne Johnstone (Principal, Ravenswood School, NSW)
Charlie Scudamore (Vice Principal, Geelong Grammar School, Vic)
Warren Symonds (Principal, Mt Barker High School, SA)
Julie Townsend (Headmistress, St Catherine’s School, NSW)

Office Bearers:
Chair – Simon Murray (St Peter’s College, SA)
Public Officer – Anne Johnstone (Principal, Ravenswood School, NSW)
Treasurer – Stuart Johnston (The Peninsula School, VIC)
Executive Secretary – Kirsten Ross

Details about PESA are found at

International Positive Education Network

The aim of the International Positive Education Network (IPEN) is to bring together teachers, parents, academics, students, schools, colleges, universities, charities, companies and governments to promote positive education. The goals are to support collaboration, change education practice and reform government policy. Positive education challenges the current paradigm of education, which values academic attainment above all other goals. Drawing on classical ideals, we believe that the DNA of education is a double helix with intertwined strands of equal importance.

The President of IPEN is Sir Anthony Seldon.

Details about IPEN are found at

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