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.

November 24, 2021

In 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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