HOW WE HELP
DR DENISE QUINLAN
As Adjunct Professor at one of Europe’s leading business schools and facilitator of the only accredited Diploma in Wellbeing Science in Australia and NZ, Denise has taught global business leaders and educators around the world how to use wellbeing science to foster peak performance and build resilient teams. A founding director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience, an adjunct senior fellow at University of Canterbury, and a published author and academic researcher, she attained her PhD in psychological wellbeing from the University of Otago. The host of award-winning podcast, Bringing Wellbeing To Life, Denise connects her audience with engaging and lively discussions with experts in psychological wellbeing from NZ and around the world. Her gentle Irish lilt, massive knowledge and self-effacing wit have won her many fans.
DR LUCY HONE
Regarded as a leading international authority on resilience, Lucy’s TED talk, 3 Secrets of Resilient People, was rated one of the Top 20 TED talks of 2020, with over 6 million views. An adjunct senior fellow at the University of Canterbury, her research is published internationally, and both her PhD and professional work have been acknowledged globally for their outstanding contribution to the field. Author of the best-selling book, Resilient Grieving, Lucy’s depth of knowledge and first-hand experience of coping with trauma, challenge and change, has seen her increasingly featured in international media including the Guardian, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Washington Post, the BBC, CBS and ABC, Channel News Asia, Swedish Television, and TVNZ. Like Denise, she doesn’t mince her words and isn’t afraid to tell it how it is.
Director, Live Training & Events
With a background in education, travel and retail, Sally Murray brings her strong relational skills to support our clients, her best-practice teaching skills to deliver first-class training, and her deep understanding of school systems to enrich our education programmes. Having completed the Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing with Denise, she now supports its twice yearly delivery in Aotearoa New Zealand. If you want to really understand what it means to create strengths-based teams, Sally’s also the Strengths Profile accredited trainer to talk to. Everyone who meets her admires Sally’s warmth and generosity, as well as her ability to help organisations arrange complex training schedules! We feel lucky to have her run all of our live training, the Realtime Resilience webinars, our intensive face to face Masterclasses, and the week-long Diploma.
Lead Trainer, Live Training & Events
The science behind how people think, feel and act has always fascinated Kim. As a highly specialised qualitative researcher, she’s spent 20 years helping blue chip companies, government agencies and charities to be more successful by understanding their clients better. Since discovering resilience and wellbeing science in 2005, Kim has been on a mission to bring the field’s most relevant findings to workplaces everywhere. Along with a Diploma in Wellbeing Science, she brings a diverse yet complementary set of skills to her training making it engaging for participants and effective for organisations. “I love how a shift in mindset makes such a huge difference to people, and creates a wave of positive change across teams.” We love her determination to ensure the resilient mindset skills participants learn in training will actually stick.
A decade of playing professional sport and then transitioning into retirement taught Ged a great deal about what it takes to grow, learn, develop and adapt to different environments. In his role as Canterbury Sports Development Programme Manager at Tatai Whetu Waitaha, he provides aspiring athletes with the tools, skills and resources to help realise their potential. From even the briefest conversation it’s obvious how much Ged loves learning: in addition to a diploma in Exercise Science (Massey University), level 1 and 2 rugby coaching, level 1 cricket coaching, and a Drug Free Sport NZ Educator, he’s currently enrolled in the Diploma of Positive Psychology. “Everyone has dreams, wants to be the best version of themselves and succeed in their chosen field – my calling is to help people on this journey.”
An educator for many years in both primary and secondary settings, Jo also worked with the University of Otago in 2021 supporting first and second year teacher’s college students to adopt a strengths-based approach to their learning. Working with Jo is always fun, as she draws on an eclectic background of life experience that goes way beyond her hours in the classroom: time spent working in the wine industry (including owning and developing her own vineyard and wine brand, and completing the Diploma of Viticulture), event management for the ID Dunedin Fashion Week, and fund-raising for the Cancer Society. More recently she has enjoyed studying for the Diploma of Positive Psychology & Wellbeing Science. Whatever she’s doing, wherever she’s working, she is looking to optimise performance, but always with an empathetic eye for the people involved and an appreciation of the context they are working in.
DR REUBEN RUSK
Acknowledged internationally for his expertise in extracting meaningful insights from large amounts of complex data, Reuben is a great asset to our team because he understands the complexities of wellbeing measurement and evaluation. An internationally experienced presenter and recognised expert in wellbeing and resilience, his mission is to communicate helpful, scientifically sound insights in a pragmatic, no-nonsense, and accessible way. With a PhD from the University of Melbourne, Reuben has published widely, presented his hugely well-respected and much-cited research globally, and lectured at the University of Melbourne (where he is also an Honorary Fellow). Best of all, coming from a previous career as a professional engineer, Reuben can understand and explain how wellbeing works in ways we’d never have thought of and that definitely appeal to our clients with strongly analytical minds.
DR EMMA WOODWARD
Dr Emma Woodward is a highly qualified and passionate registered psychologist, with 25 years’ experience working across multiple mental health, educational, and organisational settings both in NZ and internationally. Completing her Doctorate in Child, Educational and Community Psychology at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, she now works with schools and local government agencies to promote better wellbeing outcomes for students, families and the wider community. As well as our Clinical Director, Emma is also the Director of Psychological Services at The Child Psychology Service which is nationwide, providing effective mental health support to children and their families. Known for her down-to-earth communication style, and as the mother of four young boys, she is often called upon by the media to share practical ways to boost resilience for young people and families.
Adrienne is a fantastic communicator – making the science come alive with real-world language, case studies and stories. Faced with the increasing challenge of helping young people navigate the 21st century, she became convinced that best-practice teaching needed to be complemented and enhanced by research-informed strategies for wellbeing. She enrolled in the Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, which ultimately led her to join our team. As an experienced educator with over 17 years working with adolescents and their families both here and internationally, and the last 9 years spent in pastoral care focusing on behaviour management, student wellbeing and supporting staff, her deep knowledge of school context and the NZ curriculum, as well as wellbeing and resilience, are key assets for our team. She has recently completed her masters in classroom wellbeing interventions.
Growing up walking between cultural and socio-economic worlds convinced Paul that proactive top-of-the-cliff solutions for wellbeing are better than a reliance on the ambulance at the bottom. He combines an impressive mix of academic qualifications (conjoint Social Science & Management degree, the Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing from LGI, and a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Melbourne) with two decades of youth-centred experience including running programmes for marginalised kids, school retreats, facilitating student leadership programmes (like the Prefect Training Programme and the Males in Education Now Programme) for AUT, and contributing to the foundation of Dilworth School’s Rural Campus. Paul is anchored to whanau and whenua by his brilliant educator and wife, Asha, and their three beautiful boys.
An orgnisational psychology specialist and organisational and leadership development specialist, Ruth has extensive experience, working in the wellbeing, leadership and culture space for the last 20 years. An accredited executive coach (PCC certified) she’s a skilled facilitator with an extensive track record delivering programmes across the breadth and depth of many organisations. She thrives working in contexts demonstrating a global mindset, an explicit commitment to do this work, an appetite to innovate, collaborate, and experiment with new approaches. People appreciate her thought leadership, subject-matter expertise and refreshing delivery style, while we admire her innate ability to relate to clients across different sectors, industries and global regions for the absolute benefit of their people, customers, clients and stakeholders.
As a qualified and registered Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Julie has spent much of her life working in the health sector, assessing and treating people presenting with mild-moderate mental health symptoms, specialising in the field of Psychiatric Consultation, and investigating the psychological factors contributing to ‘broken heart syndrome’ (which led to publications in academic journals, and presentations at New Zealand and international conferences). In 2017, however, Julie’s personal and professional life changed dramatically with the deaths of her husband, Paul, and son Sam, just two weeks apart. This fuelled in Julie a passion for resilience psychology, as she worked to accept and adjust to the double bereavement. Since then she’s been busy – completing the Diploma in Wellbeing Science, featuring in the documentary Camino Skies and authoring, Grief on the Run (Allen & Unwin).
Trainer & Strengths Coach
Working with Georgie will allow you to unlock your real potential, working in a collaborative, solution-focused and results orientated way. Somehow she manages to be direct and kind, curious and compassionate. While she’s well qualified (with a Diploma in Positive Psychology and Wellbeing and an accredited Strengths Profile trainer), it’s her eclectic professional and life experience that makes her such an effective facilitator. Originally a registered nurse, she’s worked in property management, pharmaceutical sales and management, been a hospital manager and done an MBA. Alongside her work for the Institute, Georgie is currently Practice Manager at a Christchurch law firm where she enjoys putting wellbeing theory and strategies into practice. All about ‘health by stealth’, Georgie is a massively valued member of our team and hugely popular with the workplaces she supports.
Anna works as an advisor across multiple projects incorporating the things she cares deeply about – wellbeing, whānau, tamariki and parenting. She’s known nationally as a thought-provoking, fun and experienced trainer, masterful at communicating science in creative, engaging ways. She’s worked with a range of organisations including the All Right? Mental Health and Wellbeing campaign for the last eight years. She manages and contributes to Sparklers, the incredible online national resource enabling teachers to embed wellbeing learning into their everyday activities. She also co-directs Real Parents delivering the Ministry of Education’s Incredible Years programmes and has co-designed the Kākano app alongside CDHB and University of Auckland Department of Psychological Medicine. Her training always includes honest accounts of her self-learning and experiences (which frequently makes us and clients laugh), and dynamic, energising activities.
INCLUDES EXPERTS FROM
AROUND THE WORLD AND AT HOME:
- Grant Rix, Mindfulness Education Group, NZ
- Dr Paula Robinson, Positive Psychology Institute, AU
- Dr Sue Roffey, Growing Great Schools Worldwide
- Chris Jansen, Leadership Lab, NZ
- Marg Thorsborne, Thorsborne & Associates, Australia, NZ and UK
- Dr Ryan Niemiec, VIA Institute, USA
- Jillian Darwish, Thriving Learning Communities, Mayerson Academy, USA
- Greg Jansen and Rich Matla, Restorative Schools