On Saturday 14th August, I attended Government House to recieve the 2010 NSW Premier’s Anika Foundation Teacher Scholarship. The Anika Foundation raises money in order to fund research into how depression and mental illness are addressed in schools.
The reception was hosted by NSW Premier Kristina Keneally, and I spoke with NSW Education Minister, Verity Firth and NSW Department of Education Director General, Michael Coutts-Trotter. He, in particular was very enthusiastic about my propsed study tour, and in his words it will provide me with a “platform and a megaphone”. (Could be dangerous!)
It was an honour to meet Board members Ms Danae Blundell-Wignell and Jeff White, as well as members of the selection panel and I’m confident that rather than being a “one-off”, this will be the start of something very meaningful
The scholarship will enable to me to undertake a 5 week study tour of the UK, USA and Canada to evaluate how the concepts of Positive Psychology can be embedded into education in order to enhance the mental wellbeing of our students.
I will be visiting school’s that are world leaders in the implementation of an educational model that focuses on the child as an individual first. I’ll also be meeting with leading academics in the field of Positive Psychology such as Jenny Fox-Eades, James Pawelski, Tayyab Rashid, Jane Gilham, as well as the co-author of the Dalai Lama’s “Art of Happiness” series of books, Howard Cutler.
Below are a couple of pictures from the Reception at which I was officially awarded the scholarship.
Here I’m pictured with the Premier Kristina Keneally (centre), Mr Jeff White (left) and Ms Danae Blundell-Wignall (right) from the Anika Foundation and the other recipient of an Anika Foundation Scholarship, Karen Spitzer, the School Counsellor at North Sydney Girls High School.
The Premier showed a genuine interest in my rationale behind my proposed Study Tour.
This is such a great challenge you have set yourself and congratulations on winning the scholarship. There is an essential need for this and you are just the right person to do it. I wish you well in your quest, this is very close to my heart and if there is anyway I can help please don’t hestitate to contact me. I have been involved in the mental health system, have studied many types of therapies, have been counseling for the last four years and have a diploma in health counseling so I could be of help.
I hope many doors open up for you, the main one being your own mind.