Welcome to the Positive Education Podcast with Ash Manuel

Have you ever felt challenged by how to improve the wellbeing and happiness of your students in your classroom and across the whole school community? Or at your sports club or family home? Not only that but actually where to start and how to make it happen? Or do you feel you have a good wellbeing program in place, but you want to take it to the next level?

We have found that many schools and sports clubs know the importance, but are unsure of what they need to do to make it happen.

Ash has worked with close to 1000 organisation’s impacting more than a quarter of a million people, including schools, sports teams, and businesses across 45 countries. Today Ash is regarded as a global thought leader in positive education.

And as we know, the number hot one topic in the schools and in fact the world is mental wellbeing. Therefore, in each episode, Ash will talk with experts in positive education / well-being to extract actionable ideas you can execute in your classroom, across your school, at your sports club, and in your organisation. Plus tips and tricks that you can apply in your own life.

March 26, 2024

In this episode with Chris we dive into:

    • Successful start – what is it, how it works and the benefits 
    • Seaview Downs Primary School’s whole school wellbeing approach
    • Whole school wellbeing is a marathon, not a sprint
    • How the school goes about training teachers and the importance of teacher training
    • The importance of thoughtful and common language
    • The schools Interoception / wellbeing room and its purpose

More About Chris
Chris grew up in and still calls Streaky Bay on the West Coast of South Australia home. He’s a country lad that loves the ocean. He’s been teaching for 12 years now, two years as a Health and PE Teacher in Darwin, 2 years relief teaching in London – experiencing some of the more elite and prestigious schools in the UK, as well as some of the toughest schools in London. On return Chris, spent 4 years in upper primary back home in Streaky Bay before starting work in his current school at Seaview Downs Primary School where he’s now been for 4 years. Chris is going into his third year occupying the Student Wellbeing Role. He’s super passionate about wellbeing and ensuring kids feel a sense of connection, belonging and safety when they are at school. He’s also has two young girls, 4 and 2.


Email: Chris.Crabb791@schools.sa.edu.au
Website: https://www.seaviewdps.sa.edu.au/

February 19, 2024

In this episode with Casey we dive into:

    • The role professional sports as an industry can play in the mental health space, i.e. school programs, out in the community, etc
    • Using a huge brand to do good
    • The influence of role models
    • The Crows Foundation Vision: Strong community connection building a better future for children and youth in South Australia – what this looks like


More Casey Grice

Casey is the Executive General Manager Community and Foundation at the Adelaide Football Club. He’s an accomplished Executive General Manager, with extensive experience in not for profit, sport and government sectors. Casey’s career has been dedicated to leveraging the power of sport to generate tangible health, social and economic benefits to the Australian community.


Linkedin: Casey Grice
Website: crowsfoundation.com.au/

Janurary 29, 2024

In this is episode with Mona we dive into:

  • How Mona and her team implement wellbeing into the curriculum through 40 assets
  • The World’s Biggest Gratitude lesson and its lasting impact
  • The power of showing gratitude
  • Tips for teachers on how to include gratitude into the classroom and across the school
  • Al Ansar’s wellbeing theme days
  • Is learning from other schools under utilised?
  • The parent “Happiness Room”

More About Mona Farroukh

Mona is principal of Al Ansar International School in United Arab Emirates. She and her school has a strong focus on wellbeing. As the principal of this esteemed institution for the past two years, and even more in other schools in UAE & Egypt , she brings a wealth of experience and expertise in the field of education management and wellbeing.
Throughout her career, she’s been deeply involved in enhancing the academic experience for both students and staff. Her skill set includes designing and implementing professional development programs, conducting employee training, evaluating program effectiveness, and developing comprehensive curricula. Mona has a strong background in curriculum assessment and have successfully contributed to the development of engaging and effective educational programs.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree focused in English Language and Literature from Ain Shams University. Furthermore, Mona is proud to be certified as a Cognia/AdvancEd/eleot approved evaluator, as well as a Certified School Inspector from Tribal Education in the UK.

Click here for images of wellbeing in action at Al Ansar International School


Linkedin: Mona Farroukh
Website: https://alansarschool.net/

December 12, 2023

In this episode with Peter we dive into:

  • How Peter looks after his own wellbeing within a hectic lifestyle
  • His decision-making process when faced with a tough decision and how he weighs up different factors and perspectives
  • Preventative Vs Reactive approaches to mental wellbeing
  • Empathetic leadership
  • How he handles and thinks about criticism 
  • How he and his wife Annabel think about parenting

More About Peter Malinauskas

Peter Malinauskas is the 47th Premier of South Australia.

A firm believer in the importance of family and community, Peter has spent much of his professional life working with employees and employers in the retail industry to find a balance that benefits all South Australian families and workers.

Prior to entering the Legislative Council, Peter was the State Secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association. In this role, he led the campaign for part-day public holidays on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

Peter served in the Weatherill Government as Minister for Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse. Prior to this appointment, he was Minister for Police, Correctional Services, Emergency Services and Road Safety.

Peter was elected as the Member for Croydon at the 2018 state election.

In Peter’s spare time, he can often be found at a Port Adelaide game or out on the footy field with his beloved Adelaide Uni (The Blacks).

Peter’s great love is his family. Peter and his wife Annabel have two daughters, Sophie and Eliza, and two sons, Jack and George.

December 5 , 2023

In this episode with Aimee we dive into:

  • How Aimee went from being a teacher and a school leader to starting the well-nest
  • Aimee’s philosophy / approach to wellbeing in schools
  • Self-awareness and taking responsibility for our own wellbeing is #1
  • 3 actionable wellbeing tips for an individual educator 
  • Steps to implementing wellbeing across the whole-school 

More About Aimee Parkinson

After spending over 12 years in the education system as both a school leader and educator, Aimee saw first-hand how the wellbeing of staff easily becomes a low-level priority when other pressing matters demand attention. Along with these experiences, she combined her Masters of Educational Leadership, Health and Wellness Coaching Professional Certificate, Accredited Practitioner Credentials with Work of Wellbeing and research gained from hosting The Wonders of Wellbeing Podcast, to create Well-Nest. Aimee’s vision is to plant wellbeing at the heart of who schools are and what they do. The fast-paced world of education is a complicated, dynamic and interconnected system. Well-Nest takes a holistic, evidence-based approach to support staff wellbeing in schools. They are dedicated to long-term solutions to support the growth and development of flourishing school cultures.

November 29 , 2023

In this episode with John we dive into:


  • How John started a school that he wanted to see
  • How to use the Metaverse in project based learning
  • The benefits of learning in the Metaverse
  • How you can get started with using the Metaverse in project based learning
  • Why removing exams can enhance wellbeing

More About John  Kelly
John Kelly is the proud owner and general director of a boutique Kinder and Primary school in Mexico City, known for its innovative educational approach. They also work as a Metaverse and VR consultant globally, contributing to educational advancements. Their school, Colegio Ikigai, is recognised as the first in Mexico to embrace the Metaverse and is influenced by Phenomenon Based Learning from Finland. The person is dedicated to exploring new leadership and teaching methods and aims to bring about positive changes in education, emphasising critical thinking and creativity. They prioritise skills development and are passionate about transformative educational projects, envisioning a hyper-personalised, free, and high-quality global education system. The individual is particularly interested in Metaverse, blockchain, and NFT projects that can revolutionise learning environments. Being a loving husband and devoted father brings them immense pride, and they express gratitude for the impact they make on their family and the educational community.


November 22 , 2023

In this episode with Jarrad we dive into:

  • The importance of genuinely caring for your employees
  • Banter Vs Bullying
  • How to be an empathetic leader
  • The importance of creating a culture where young people want to be

More About Jarrad Tait

Jarrad is the visionary founder and co-director of Adelaide Hills Lawns & Gardens (AHLG), a leading landscaping and garden maintenance company renowned through SA for its commitment to providing excellence in the landscaping and horticulture spaces, as well as the well-being and happiness of its team members.

Along with his close mate and business partner, Luke Timmins, Jarrad has not only built a successful team who transform and maintain outdoor spaces across Adelaide and in particular, the Adelaide Hills, but has also cultivated a workplace culture that places a premium on the mental and emotional well-being of their team, which is evident in their company purpose of ‘Making Life Better’.

Beyond being a business leader, Jarrad is known by many for his unwavering support of his team. He understands the importance of fostering a positive workplace environment, placing emphasis on open communication and mutual respect. Additionally, Jarrad is a big advocate for mental health awareness, implementing programs within the company to support the well-being of the AHLG team.

Under his guidance, AHLG continues to flourish, creating and maintaining outdoor spaces that stand as testaments to both their landscaping and gardening expertise and a rare but enormous commitment to the welfare of those who bring their vision to life.

November 14 , 2023

In this episode with Kelly we dive into:

    • How to get started with your book idea
    • Self-Publish or Publisher?
    • The benefits of writing a book
    • The role of a book writing coach
    • What is the Expert Author Community and to join?

More About Kelly Irving

Kelly Irving is a best-selling book coach, editor, and creator of the Expert Author Community – a global coaching experience that has launched hundreds of award-winning authors into the world. She nurtures business owners to bring their biggest, best and most commercially viable ideas to market (she’s never had a book pitch rejected by a publisher). She is passionate about empowering leaders to share new solutions, offer new insights and produce work that enriches their lives as well as others. 

You can contact Kelly and follow her here:


LinkedIn: ’Expert Author Community’
Website: https://www.kellyirving.com/ & https://www.expertauthor.community/
Instagram: @goodcontentkel

Find and validate your best book idea https://www.kellyirving.com/canvas
Apply for the Expert Author Community now https://www.expertauthor.community/
Meet us at our free Open House! https://www.expertauthor.community/learn
Growing With Gratitude Book

November 8 , 2023

In this episode with Dale and Ash we dive into:

  • 6 super simple ways to implement wellbeing in the classroom + in your own life

More About Dale Sidebottom

Dale Sidebottom has been referred to as the energiser bunny of the teaching world. With his love of play, fun fitness, energy and passion for getting people moving, Dale is the created of Jugar Life, Energetic Education, Learning with Games, and the top rating educational podcast Energetic Radio. Dale has created a unique blend of fun, teamwork, wellness and movement into his keynotes, seminars and conferences which he has presented in 20 countries around the world for students and teachers.

You can contact Dale and follow him here:

Email: dale@energetic.education
Websites: https://energetic.education/ | https://jugar.life/
TEDx Talk: Dale’s TEDx Talk
Facebook: https://facebook.com/energeticeducation1
Instagram: @energeticeducation
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DaleSidebottom

More About Ash Manuel

Ash is host of this podcast. In 2010, while teaching as a primary school physical education teacher in Adelaide, Ash discovered his most significant learning. Resilience, grit and happiness can be practised – in the same way, skills in a sport can be practised. As a result Growing With Gratitude was born. Growing With Gratitude focuses on teaching children skills based on gratitude, kindness, empathy, positive reflection & serving others, the critical building blocks to resilience, grit & happiness. Today, Ash is widely regarded as a leader in primary school positive education. In 2021, Growing With Gratitude won the Innovation into Mental Health, Social and Emotional Wellbeing Award at the South Australian Community Achievement Awards. GWG offers whole school presentations, in-class sessions, student and staff workshops and online programs. Growing With Gratitude reaches 100’s of thousands of students across the globe and is currently accessed in 45 countries. 

You can contact Ash and follow him here:

September 15, 2023

In this episode with Mandi we dive into:

  • The power of technology in education.
  • How to combine STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) and wellbeing practice.
  • What is design thinking and how it connects to wellbeing.
  • How best to prepare today’s students for the future.


More About Mandi Dimitriadis

Mandi is an experienced and qualified classroom teacher who recognises the power of technology to enhance teaching and improve educational outcomes. She was the social impact winner of the 2019 Winnovation Award celebrating innovative South Australian women. Mandi has extensive experience with curriculum development and learning, having previously developed programs for the South Australian Government’s Department of Education. She is passionate about Design Thinking and how best to prepare today’s students for the future.

You can reach Mandi here:
Email: mandi@makersempire.com 
Linkedin: Mandi Dimitriadis
Website: makersempire.com

September 8, 2023

In this episode with Shane we dive into:

  • The challenges that principals encounter that staff and parents may not realise.
  • Advice for young principals on ways to support staff.
  • Setting up a support network system for teachers and for school leaders.
  • Tips for principal wellbeing and how he handled stress / challenges. 
  • Wellbeing prevention strategies for principals.


More About Shane Baker

Shane has been a teacher, a bureaucrat, a school principal, a system leader in regional WA and now semi-retired but remains committed to promoting well-being with schools, leaders in schools and in recent times, establishing an Alumni of past principals that has as its central focus – wellbeing for those that have moved on from the principal role. 

Wellbeing Focus

Shane began to experience the principalship as an increasingly complex role as he moved through the years and different size schools in his career. So he decided to do something about it then and today he continues with this work. 
Shane is known for innovation and for being an agent of change. One of his coaching principals is “change is inevitable”. These  would be the hallmarks of his career – developing staff using a project based approach saw him introduce on-site childcare to schools; school based health services for students, a staff well-being framework and structures for developing leaders

Shane says he needed to better understand what was happening which meant further study and training opportunities which included QELI 2016 scholarship and taking part in a CEWA tour of USA and Canada in 2018.

Even after completing two Masters in Education and Leadership 1996 and 2004 leading to PhD candidature but upon returning back to schools after 3 years working in Head Office he realised that he needed to do more work to understand what was going on with people and their needs.

Shane’s business also has a focus on helping people transition to retirement and some supervision work with religious orders which is a recent initiative in the wellbeing space for them.

You can reach Shane here:
Email: iccs@iinet.net.au

August 31, 2023

In this conversation with Val you’ll be inspired to take action on your BIG idea. This is a heart warming and motivating episode.
In this episode with Val we dive into:

– What Val’s motivation was to start a school that focused on social and emotional learning and trauma-informed care
– The process of actually starting a school
– How students came to be at Ryan Banks Academy
– How she came to be on the Ellen Show

More About Valerie Groth
A social entrepreneur and experienced nonprofit executive, Val is passionate about working with organisations whose missions lie at the intersection of innovation, impact, and purpose.  After formerly working as a school social worker, she then served as founder and CEO of Ryan Banks Academy, a nonprofit named after a former student of hers who was lost to gun violence and which focuses on mental health, trauma-informed care, and providing holistic support to students and their families.

With Master’s degrees in Social Work and Educational Leadership, Val is also a certified life coach where she works with social workers, founders, educators, and other visionaries who wish to use their skills to make the world a better place.  She is also an international speaker and the author of the book The Power of the Possible: The Dire State of Inner City Education and One Woman’s Revolution to Fix It, and recently completed the manuscript for her second book, a fictional thriller novel centred around social justice. 

Val has been honoured to receive accolades such as being chosen as 2023 Alumna of the Year at her MSW alma mater, being a featured guest on The Ellen DeGeneres Show for her work at Ryan Banks, being featured in the I Am Chicago campaign, as well as in various media features ranging from the Chicago Tribune to CBS and NBC.

You can reach Val here:
Val on The Ellen Show

August 23, 2023

The purpose of this short episode is to talk about the upcoming 4th Annual World’s Biggest Gratitude Lesson event.

In this episode with Ash we dive into:

– What is the World’s Biggest Gratitude Event?
– The purpose behind the event
– What to expect from the event
– When the event is happening and how to register – bigclass.growingwithgratitude.com.au – Thursday September 14

More About Ash Manuel

Ash is host of this podcast and founder of Growing With Gratitude.

Growing With Gratitude focuses on teaching people skills based on gratitude, kindness, empathy, positive reflection & serving others, they key building blocks to resilience & happiness.

Today, Ash is widely regarded as a leader in positive education. Growing With Gratitude literally reaches 100’s of thousands of students across the globe and is currently accessed in 45 countries.

As a result of Growing With Gratitude’s success, GWG now also runs leadership programs in schools, has a High School version, Multi-Sports program, a corporate that focuses on connected leadership & also works with sports clubs.

You can reach Ash here:


April 19, 2023

In this chat with Sam and Sam you’ll learn about AFL Max’s Breakthrough camp, Australia’s first Mental Health overnight camp for kids. You’ll also learn about what AFL Max is and what it offers. This is a brilliant chat with a couple young men, who are driven to make a difference.

In this episode with Sam and Sam we dive into:

– The impact the camp aims to have on young people.
– What is AFL Max? And what it offers.
– How the Breakthrough Mental Health camp come about.
– How the camp works and what participants can expect
– How major sporting brands / clubs can play a positive role when it come to mental health 

More About Sam Rossi – GM of Education and Programs

Sam joined AFL Max in November 2019 after 8 years as a classroom teacher at Sacred Heart and Christian Brothers College. He holds a Bachelor of Education from Flinders University and Certificate III Fitness qualification. Sam leads, designs and implements new offerings and initiatives for AFL Max, including Australian curriculum aligned programs, camps, school sports days and student leadership programs.

You can reach Sam here:

More About Sam Tharaldsen – Programs Coordinator

Sam joined AFL Max in early 2022 following 3 years at the Adelaide Football Club in the Community Department. With a Bachelor of Business (Sport and Recreation Management) and an accomplished SANFL football career, Sam leads the design and execution of all AFL Max programs, including the national Coles Healthy Kicks program.

You can reach Sam here:


March 20, 2023

This chat with Kevin is super interesting. Kevin is principal of Everton primary school in rural Victoria, a school with 7 students. Everton is a town of approximately 200 people and is located 272km north east of Melbourne. The closest town being Wangaratta. I wanted to talk to Kevin about what life is like at a tiny rural school. I think you’ll find it fascinating.

In this episode with Kevin we dive into:

– The positives and challenges about being principal of a tiny school
– The impact COVID had on a tiny Victorian rural community / school, when COVID wasn’t an issue in Everton
– Implementing wellbeing into a school with 7 students and a variety of ages
– The important role a school plays in a small community
– The challenges of being a principal at a tiny school you may not have thought of
Plus much more…

More About Kevin

Kevin is part of a busy, active family. His wife Kerry is an accountant and CEO of all family portfolios; daughter Emma is completing VCE studies (and driving!), Archer 16 yr old talented soccer player and fishing and camping expert, and youngest Patrick has just started secondary school, plays representative soccer and has caught more fish than his brother this year. His sons’ drive and engagement for soccer and the outdoors has led to him lacing up the boots for the Over 35s, and spending time both on and in the Ovens river.

Rural communities have always played a formative part of Kevin’s growth and attitude, having played various sports at nearby townships to his home at Wangaratta including Tarra, Violet Town, Whorouly, Everton and wider districts. The warm welcoming nature of the clubs that put a major focus on arvo tea, and having a laugh with team mates and the opposition, was a major draw card.

A tennis coaching side hustle led to teaching degree at CSU during his late 20’s and has worked at many schools around the Wangaratta area in a variety of roles, having worked the last 5 years at Everton Primary School, a boutique small school, as a teaching Principal. Kevin also enjoys participating in programs that have a wider influence such as being an active member of his Ovens Learning Cluster, leading a Community of Practice that focuses on Trauma Informed Practice in schools and is currently the Treasurer for the Country Education Partnership.

You can reach Kevin here:

January 12, 2023

This chat with Shaun ‘The Wild Thing’ Tait cannot be missed. Shaun is a former Australian Cricketer and one of the world’s fastest bowlers of all-time. He’s played for different organisations all around the world, dabbled in entrepreneurship and is currently bowling coach for Pakistan. 

In this episode with Shaun we dive into:

– His childhood growing up with his Dad and Brother
– Coping with the sudden loss of his Dad
– Walking away from Cricket, while playing for Australia with mental health challenges
– The importance of self-awareness and ownership in team environments
– The real life of a professional athlete / coach
– The challenges of living away from family
– Strategies to move forward from set backs in high pressure situations
– How sport has had a positive impact on his mental wellbeing 
– Life away from cricket

More About Shaun

Shaun played 3 test matches, 35 one day internationals and 21 T20’s for Australia. He’s represented 15 professional teams (more clubs than Tiger Woods). In 2007 Shaun was a key member of Australia’s World Cup winning team, where he was named in the World 11 for the tournament. In 2010 Shaun bowled a delivery clocked at 161.1kph, the second-fastest of all-time.

Shaun met his lovely wife Mashoom, while playing in the Indian Premier League and they now have a beautiful daughter together. Shaun is currently based in the UK, however for the past 12 months has been travelling with the Pakistan Cricket team and has spent a considerable amount of time in Pakistan.

Shaun has also invested in a hotel and other various other ventures.

You can reach Shaun here:

Instagram: @shauntait32

October 28, 2022

Dr. Gilda Scarfe is the founder and CEO of Positive Ed and Mental Toughness Institute, member on the advisory board of the Global Flourishing Study led by Harvard University in collaboration with Baylor University. Gilda is a positive psychologist and mental toughness expert with a Master in Education and Doctorate in the conceptualization and application of mental toughness in education.

In this episode with Gilda we dive into:
– Changing the language when developing wellbeing practices in the classroom and across the school
– Gilda’s 4 dimensions to wellbeing
– The importance of awareness
– The importance of habits in wellbeing practice
– A global perspective of teacher wellbeing

More About Gilda

Gilda specialises in the design and implementation of wellbeing and mental toughness in learning, decision-making, quality of relationships, performance, and organizational climate; measuring mental toughness; and the influence of mental toughness training on key life outcomes. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed books and journal articles and presently sits on the editorial boards of a number of international peer reviewed journals.

Gilda is an international keynote speaker and consults around the world with school and Fortune 500 companies on best practices for integrating wellbeing, mental toughness and positive psychology domains into training and product design. Her vision is to empower individuals to fulfil their potential through human-centred, whole-person leadership, promoting sustainable flourishing across micro, meso, and macro levels.

You can reach Gilda here:




September 29, 2022

Ash is the founder of Growing With Gratitude, the host of this podcast and newly published author. 

In this episode with we dive into:
– how GWG and the book about
– what you can expect from the book and what you will take away

More About Ash
Ash has over 20 years’ experience working in education environments and advocating for a
culture of positivity and kindness.

He is the Founder of the Growing with Gratitude program that helps schools and organisations develop better cultures
and atmospheres that support mental health and wellbeing.

You can contact Ash and get your copy of the book here here:

Book: growingwithgratitude.com.au/book/ | Amazon | Booktopia
Victorian Government Schools Mental Health Menu: Growing With Gratitude
Instagram: @growingwithgratitude
Linkedin: Ash Manuel
Email: info@growingwithgratitude.com.au

September 3, 2022

Josh is a Teacher, and currently the Community Programs Manager for the Danny Frawley Centre and the St Kilda Football Club. 

In this episode with Josh, we dive into:
– the role professional sporting organisations can play in the mental wellbeing space
– the Danny Frawley Centre and it’s purpose
– the 4 pillars the Danny Frawley Centre focuses on
– the ‘for good’ a professional sporting club can play in the community
Plus a heap more

More About Josh
Josh started his career at the AFL, working with remote indigenousness communities on driving social change through Australian Rules Football.

After completing his grad year in teaching Josh pursued his passion for harnessing the power of sport as the vehicle to improve community health outcomes, particularly around Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Continuing his career in the AFL sector, setting up and implementing a successful suicide prevention pilot program for local sports clubs and is now the community programs manager for the newly established Danny Frawley Centre.

You can contact Josh and follow the Danny Frawley Centre here:
Facebook: facebook.com/dannyfrawleycentre
Instagram: @dannyfrawleycentre
Linkedin: Josh Connell
Email: hello@dannyfrawleycentre.com.au
Website: dannyfrawleycentre.com.au

August 8, 2022

Madhavi is Director of Positive Minds Australia, is a widely Published Author and co author of resilience, confidence and social-emotional intelligence books and programs implemented across Australia and Overseas. Madhavi’s published work includes, ‘The Confident Minds Curriculum,’ ‘The Resilience and Wellbeing Toolbox,’ and ‘What’s the Buzz? A social emotional literacy program.’.

In this episode with Madhavi, we dive into:
– why teacher wellbeing must be a priority
– strategies, activities and tips for teacher and student wellbeing
– the impact of COVID and student wellbeing
– the common mental health / wellbeing issues she’s seeing in our young people
Plus a heap more

More About Madhavi
Madhavi’s expertise is often sought by various Parenting and Education magazines and she is a regular Podcast and Radio guest, advising on Parenting, Education and Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Madhavi combines her compassionate knowledge and commitment to her field with studies in Psychology, Counselling and over two decades of professional work in schools and organisations with young people and families, to lead Positive Minds Australia in their commitment to improved wellbeing, resilience, confidence and thriving for all.

Madhavi provides a broad range of Professional Development opportunities in Corporate and Education settings on topics including Wellbeing, Mindset and Stress Management. Madhavi provides counselling and social emotional skills training for young people and adults at her Unley (Adelaide, South Australia) rooms.

You can contact Madhavi and follow her here:
Facebook: facebook.com/positivemindsaustralia
Linkedin: Madhavi Nawana Parker
Website: positivemindsaustralia.com.au

August 4, 2022

Hollie is the Schools Program Lead at Readiness, a complete wellbeing platform for students and schools. She’s also a full-time wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend. She’s a wellbeing specialist, a teacher, a part-time chef, Uber driver and a casual gym enthusiast. Hollie is an aspiring pro surfer who has an addiction to chai lattes.

In this episode with Hollie, we dive into:
– the purpose of readiness.org.au
– how to take a proactive approach to wellbeing
– the importance of teaching skills of wellbeing from an early age
– sport and it’s lessons of resilience
– the role of character strengths in the classroom
Plus more

More About Hollie
Hollie Seibold believes everyone deserves to live a happy, healthy and successful life.

It’s what gets her out of bed each morning. It’s also the driving force behind her working with Readiness.

Hollie is a devoted wife and mother to three adolescent girls and is passionate about creating generations of resilient people.  This encompasses students, teachers, business leaders, employees and families that are empowered to live their best lives and do their best work.

In her role as Enabler, Hollie works with organisations, teams and individuals to bolster their inherent resilience – the foundation for better connections, greater self-worth, increased empathy and improved efficiencies, Mind, Body & Soul.

In doing this, Hollie takes an inquisitive, informed and practical approach, working collaboratively with her clients to help them gain awareness of their strengths and weaknesses, build positivity and arm them with the tools they need to deal with adversity. 

Aware that to teach well means you must continue to learn; Hollie is always looking for opportunities to increase her knowledge and impart her learnings. Hollie’s own journey of overcoming challenges and having a growth mindset drives her passion to achieve Wellbeing communally.

She is a fully qualified schoolteacher (specialising in P.E.) with more than 15 years’ experience teaching both junior and senior years. Her extensive career has seen her gain experience across a variety of industries including hospitality, health and fitness, business and administration – experience that’s seen her work with a range of different people and personalities.

On a personal note, Hollie loves good food and entertaining with friends and family. Autumn is her season of choice, Rom-Coms are her go-to movies, Surfing is her newfound passion and music can determine her mood, you may catch her belting out a song at the traffic lights. She is most at home curling up with a good book and sipping on an almond Chai Latte.

You can contact Hollie and follow her here:
Email: hollie@readiness.org.au
Linkedin: Hollie Seibold
Website: readiness.org.au

July 7, 2022

Ben is Head of Wellbeing at St Peter’s College Junior School in Adelaide, South Australia. St Peter’s is one of the leading Positive Education Schools in the world. I am super excited to have Ben on the Podcast. A must listen for all school leaders and teachers who are looking to implement or improve upon their current programs.  

In this episode with Ben, we dive into:
– keys to setting up a positive education program across the whole school
– the importance of choosing a framework and then bringing in programs to support the framework
– the challenges of setting up a wellbeing program
– why it’s important to individualise wellbeing strategies
– the importance of training teachers.

More About Ben:
Ben Storer grew up a passionate sportsperson. However, Ben had a change of focus when his Father passed away and has own diagnosis of a heart condition. As a result, Ben was asked to coach sports teams instead of play and it was here he realised his passion for education.

Ben began his teaching career in 2003 and since this time has held positions as a class teacher, Assistant Boarding Housemaster and Assistant Head of Junior School in Schools in the UK and Adelaide, South Australia. 

Ben joined St Peter’s College (Adelaide, South Australia) as a year 6 teacher in 2012 and undertook training in Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Further highlights include: a Professional Certificate in Positive Education with the University of Melbourne and co-presenting at state and national Positive Education Schools Association (PESA) conferences.

Ben currently holds the position of Deputy Head of Junior School – Wellbeing and Administration at St Peter’s College.

When he isn’t spending time with family and friends, Ben can be found coaching sports teams, meditating, stuck in various yoga poses or out in the garden as a newly converted green thumb.

You can contact Ben and follow him here:

Email: BStorer@stpeters.sa.edu.au
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BDStorer
Website: Well-being and Pastoral Care at St Peter’s


May 26, 2022

This episode features ways to allocate time to wellbeing, whether that be in the classroom or around the school. This episode has something for everyone. Ana shares:

  • how at JBCN International School they allocate time to wellbeing 
  • why all teachers know all students names at the school
  • student led wellbeing initiatives at the school
  • what the school does to ensure everyone feels they belong, no matter there role in the school

More About Ana

Ana Dominguez is Vice Principal at JBCN International School in Mumbai, India. Ana is an experienced Assistant Principal with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry. Skilled in Literature, Communication, Classroom Management, Foreign Languages, and Drama. Strong professional with a mind for international education and experience in all levels of the IB Diploma and Cambridge board. She’s also passionate about the wellbeing of students and staff.

You can contact Ana and follow him here:

April 4, 2022

This episode features valuable tips that can help you during stressful and anxious times. It’s important to find out what works for you, when it comes to dealing with stresses and when you do it’s even more important to take action on your ‘mood shifters’. Because at the end of the day it’s up to us to take responsibility to deal with our challenges. The episode, also delves into upcoming workshops Dale and Ash are delivering and they also talk about opportunities to deliver workshops at your school or organisation. This episode has something for everyone. Dale and Ash share:

  • 2 tips each on dealing with stress and anxiety
  • the importance of taking responsibility for your own wellbeing
  • wellbeing games to play and why it’s important to keep wellbeing practice fun
  • upcoming workshops


Adelaide Workshop – May 23
Workshop Flyer – Adelaide
Workshop Flyer – In schools
Workshop Video


More About Dale

Dale Sidebottom has been referred to as the energiser bunny of the teaching world. With his love of play, fun fitness, energy and passion for getting people moving, Dale is the created of Jugar Life, Energetic Education, Learning with Games, and the top rating educational podcast Energetic Radio. Dale has created a unique blend of fun, teamwork, wellness and movement into his keynotes, seminars and conferences which he has presented in 20 countries around the world for students and teachers.

You can contact Dale and follow him here:

Email: dale@energetic.education
Websites: https://energetic.education/ | https://jugar.life/
TEDx Talk: Dale’s TEDx Talk
Facebook: https://facebook.com/energeticeducation1
Instagram: @energeticeducation
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DaleSidebottom

More About Ash

In 2010, while teaching as a primary school physical education teacher in Adelaide, Ash discovered his most significant learning. Resilience, grit and happiness can be practised – in the same way, skills in a sport can be practised. As a result Growing With Gratitude was born. Growing With Gratitude focuses on teaching children skills based on gratitude, kindness, empathy, positive reflection & serving others, the critical building blocks to resilience, grit & happiness. Today, Ash is widely regarded as a leader in primary school positive education. In 2021, Growing With Gratitude won the Innovation into Mental Health, Social and Emotional Wellbeing Award at the South Australian Community Achievement Awards. GWG offers whole school presentations, in-class sessions, student and staff workshops and online programs. Growing With Gratitude reaches 100’s of thousands of students across the globe and is currently accessed in 45 countries. Ash is also host of this podcast, 

You can contact Ash and follow him here:

January 26, 2022

This episode is packed full of passion, featuring fantastic actionable ideas and student stories. Whether, you are a high or primary school educator there is something for everyone. Colette shares:

  • how to make positive education manageable for the whole school context
  • why acknowledgement of country is so important
  • where her passion for student well-being and positive education comes from
  • stories of the benefits of wellbeing
  • how strengths should be a big part of your behaviour management strategy
  • the importance of student voice
  • how to approach starting at a new school and how to approach wellbeing when starting out at a new school

More About Colette

Colette Bos is in 2022 an Assistant Principal at Roma Mitchell Secondary College but her roles have also been:

Director of Inclusion, Henley High School

Principal of Salisbury North R-7 School and was instrumental in leading and implementing positive education throughout Mark Oliphant B-12 College.

Colette is passionate about embedding positive education throughout all curriculum areas and ensuring it is not seen as an add-on. In her roles, she used research and evidence to enable her to ‘think outside the square’ to embed Positive Education in education in context for all children and young people including refugee children with limited English and those experiencing trauma.

She has previous experience as a School Counsellor R-12 and a Youth Development Coordinator across the Northern Adelaide Region where she focused on a strengths-based approach and the importance of the student voice.

In 2016, Colette worked in the Department of Education and Child Development’s Student Engagement and Wellbeing Unit to focus on pedagogy and wellbeing and the balance between wellbeing for learning and learning for wellbeing.

Acknowledgement of Country: Acknowledgement of Country
Email: Colette.Bos440@schools.sa.edu.au 

January 20, 2022

This episode is very humorous. Find out why the SCUM ran out onto the ground in tin foil hats and with their pets. The episode also highlights the important role sport plays in the mental wellbeing of people and the power it has to bring people together, no matter how young or old and no matter your level of skill. Could sporting clubs be the antidote for loneliness and be the ultimate destination to build connection and a sense of belonging? ‘Coach’ of Adelaide Uni Football Club’s ‘F Grade’ shares:

  • why he uses his role as “F Grade’ coach to bring people together
  • the importance of being inclusive
  • why and how sport is a true connector and how a club can make you feel like you belong, even if you are not a player
  • ideas on how to bring people together
  • examples of how people’s mental wellbeing has been positively impacted
  • the importance of bringing young people together through sport

More About Damien

Damien is ‘Coach’ of Adelaide Uni Football Club’s ‘F Grade’ known affectionately as the SCUM. He’s the ultimate connector and has this amazing ability to bring people together, so they feel they are included and feel they belong.

Adelaide Uni Football Club Website: https://uniblacksfc.com.au/

January 4, 2022

This episode has something for everyone, whether you oversee the wellbeing of a school from ELC to Year 12, oversee the wellbeing of a primary or high school, whether you are a Principal, school leader or importantly a teacher. Director of Wellbeing of Scotch College Adelaide shares:

  • the why and the how of creating a whole school approach to wellbeing
  • the schools wellbeing framework – Scotch FIT and why it’s important to name your whole school approach
  • what Scotch’s whole school approach looks like, including internal and external programs
  • the importance of student, staff and parent agency, when it comes to wellbeing
  • student and staff stories of the benefits of a whole school approach to wellbeing
  • plus tips and tricks and much more

Make sure you grab a note pad and pen.

More About Shawn

Shawn is a passionate educator with a heart for student wellbeing. With 20 years experience and 9 years as a Senior Leader across multiple schools, Shawn has been a Head of Faculty, Head of House, a Head of Middle School and is currently the Director of student Wellbeing at Scotch College, where he has spent the last 6 years leading the College’s strategic and innovative approach to wellbeing and mental health in education. He has spoken nationally and internationally on the topics of creativity, innovation and wellbeing.

On a personal level, Shawn is proud husband and father of 2 young children, an avid cyclist – racing with Norwood Cycling club, a huge NBA and AFL fan.

Email: skasbergen@scotch.sa.edu.au           
LinkedIN: linkedin.com/in/shawn-kasbergen-930bb5106
Mental Health First Aid Training for Schools: https://mhfa.com.au/schools

December 9, 2021

This is a brilliant episode for educators and wellbeing leaders who are looking for ideas on how to execute wellbeing across your whole school or add to what you are already doing. Wellbeing leader Meagan Hart of Gilles Street Primary School shares:

  • fun and unexpected ways to cultivate staff wellbeing
  • how to include wellbeing in the yard
  • how to engage students, staff and families when it comes to reviewing school values
  • the challenges that a small wellbeing team faces and the importance of forming a supportive committee
  • Ideas on how to execute wellbeing across your whole school

Lot’s of takeaways to apply:)

More About Meagan

Meagan’s career in teaching has spanned over 22 years. She started her career at The Pines Primary School in Adelaide as a Year 6/7 teacher. She spent some time at The Pines as the acting School Counsellor, and then moved to Darwin to teach. These experiences ultimately led to Meagan’s passion for working in the area of student wellbeing.  

She’s currently the Student Wellbeing Leader at Gilles Street Primary School in Adelaide’s CBD and has been in this role for the last 2 years.  And she’s been appointed to the role again in 2022. 

Meagan has 3 children of her own and is passionate about supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and enabling them to have a genuine voice in decisions affecting their lives. 

December 2, 2021

This is a must listen for educators and sports clubs who want to understand more about the state of wellbeing amongst our young people and the role you can play. Lot’s of takeaways to apply. Also, be sure to check out how you can do the mental health first aid course. Click here for more info.  this episode I talk with John Mannion, South Australia’s newest Mental Health Commissioner and Executive Director of Breakthrough. Australia’s only foundation dedicated solely to mental health research. In this must listen conversation we discuss:

  • the state mental wellbeing of young people across Australia
  • simple ways teachers can support the mental wellbeing of their students
  • sports clubs and their role in wellbeing
  • challenges we face tackling wellbeing
  • mental health first aid

More About John
John Mannion is the inaugural Executive Director of Breakthrough – Australia’s only foundation dedicated solely to mental health research. John’s career in mental health has spanned more than 30 years including as a practitioner as well as leading mental health services across the state.

John led the establishment of Breakthrough in 2018 which this year alone funded more than 20 leading research projects across all the state’s universities. These included projects in the areas of youth mental health, depression, indigenous mental health and eating disorders.

He has also been appointed the state’s newest Mental Health Commissioner. The role will be in addition to his commitment as Executive Director for Breakthrough where he looks forward to creating a life free of mental illness by focusing upon research to inform clinical improvements, enhanced outcomes and community connectivity.


November 24, 2021

One of the biggest challenges schools face is the how. “How do we go about executing a positive education / well-being program?” If you are a school leader, well-being co-ordinator or teacher who is looking to start or add to your WHOLE school wellbeing approach, then this is a must listen. In this episode I talk with Mark Butler. Mark has recently become the Secondary Principal at Al Bateen Academy – Abu Dhabi, UAE. Prior to this appointment he was School Principal K – 12 at Al Durrah International School – Sharjah, UAE. It was here Mark introduced a whole school approach to well-being. Most of our discussion revolves around how him and his team did this. Lot’s of takeaways, great advice and ideas you can apply immediately. And before Al Durrah, Mark spend 6 years at Emirates National Schools as Head of Pastoral Care and also as Assistant Head of School. 

More About Mark

Mark is a passionate student centred leader who grew up in rural Ireland. Although he is now leading one Abu Dhabi’s top private secondary school’s, Mark’s path to Education leadership was not via the conventional route. 
As someone who failed to connect with school throughout his post primary education, Mark graduated not knowing which direction to take. 
Guided by his parents he enrolled in the police force known as An Garda Siochana in Ireland. It was here where he began to find his passion for working with students, eventually finding his way into Education via Abu Dhabi where he has gone on to lead a school of 200 staff and 1200 students. 

Since his time in UAE Mark has had a significant impact on school culture at each of his posts, his passion to support and develop students socially and emotionally has propelled him to the top of of a very competitive market in Abu Dhabi. 


November 17, 2021

If you are a teacher or a sports coach who struggles with dealing with friendship issues, then this is a must listen. In this episode I talk with Dana Kerford, founder of Urstrong. A well-being program that aims to create a kinder world by empowering kids with friendship skills. We go into how to cultivate friendships, how to deal with “friendship fires” and much more. So many takeaways for you to apply.

More About Dana
After starting her career as a 4th grade teacher in Canada, Dana began to recognize the complexity of childhood friendships. Motivated to create cultures of kindness in schools, Dana launched a first-of-its-kind friendship program in 2009. Since then, URSTRONG’s whole-school friendship strategy has improved the social climate in schools globally, connecting over 1 million kids, parents, & teachers with a common language of friendship.

Dana is the go-to expert on childhood friendships and has presented at education conferences around the world.


November 10, 2021

If you are involved in any type of Sporting Club, this episode is a MUST listen.
In this episode I am talking with Craig Scott, President of the Goodwood Saints Football Club in South Australia. In 2020 the club was awarded the Good Sports National Junior Club of the year and was also runner up as a whole club in 2021. They have also received numerous other awards. The reason I wanted to get Craig on the podcast early on is because this man drives a club that focuses on the whole person. They are all about inclusion (they actually do it and not just use the word), the mental well-being of it’s players, past players and support staff. As a club, they fully understand their role as not JUST a Football Club, but as a club that develops the whole person starting right from the youngest teams. In this episode we take you through the steps and initiatives you can implement at your club. Is cost an issue? We go through how to navigate this too.

More About Craig
Craig is a well-known driving force behind the Goodwood Saints Football Club. Currently in his fifth year as president, his vision and guidance has seen the development of a female football program, as well as the SANFL Inclusive League, which ensures players with integration difficulties – including mental and physical disabilities – are entirely integrated into the club.
Craig’s strong advocacy for social justice issues is reflected by work undertaken at the club. He’s implemented opportunities for the homeless from the Hutt Street Centre, and supported causes like the Red Shield Appeal, breast cancer and Mental Health education. Outside the football club community and since 1994, Craig has been involved in Operation Flinders, a program aimed at supporting at-risk youth. His empowering nature and leadership abilities have enabled him to create a strong, healthy and more resilient community.
He was awarded the South Australia – Citizen of the Year Award 2021 at the Australia Day Awards in February and was also a finalist in the Australian of the Year – Local Hero 2021.

Email: president@goodwoodsaints.com.au
Website: https://goodwoodsaints.com.au/making-a-difference 
Programs Mentioned: 

Dale Sidebottom has been referred to as the energiser bunny of the teaching world. With his love of play, fun fitness, energy and passion for getting people moving, Dale is the created of Jugar Life, Energetic Education, Learning with Games, and the top rating educational podcast Energetic Radio. Dale has created a unique blend of fun, teamwork, wellness and movement into his keynotes, seminars and conferences which he has presented in 20 countries around the world for students and teachers.

In this episode with Dale, we dive into:
– the power of play and game based learning
– what approaches work best and what hasn’t worked so well
– why games work with disengaged students
– why all schools should have a wellbeing / positive education
– the future of wellbeing in school.

You can contact Dale and follow him here:

This is a short introduction to the Positive Education Podcast With Ash Manuel. In this short episode Ash will discuss the purpose of the podcast and what you’ll takeaway from each episode.

You can contact Ash and follow him here:

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