Master Class (Day 2)

Main Stage (Day 1)

Day 1 Concurrent Sessions & Workshops



KidsMatter & MindMatters








11.30 - 12.30

MindMatters2 Workshop

A mental Health and wellbeing framework for secondary schools - The relaunch - new advances, new approaches

(scroll down for detailed information)






14.30 – 15.30

KidsMatter Workshop

A mental Health and wellbeing framework for primary schools- The latest ideas and strategies from KidsMatter

(scroll down for more information below)



MINDMATTERS - Thursday 11.30 - 12.30


Using technology and creativity to improve positive mental health and wellbeing

with Nick Prendergast



Adolescents who have positive mental health and wellbeing have been shown to have greater attachment to school, better behaviour and attendance outcomes, engage in less risky behaviour and achieve better academic performance. Research has shown that a sense of connectedness to parents and school is the most significant protective factor for developing positive mental health in young people. Schools can use technology and engage in creative strategies to build connectedness, and to promote attitudes and behaviours which enhance mental health and wellbeing. An effective way to do this is through building a Whole School Approach which requires all stakeholders, parents, students, staff and community to work together, to create a protective environment that promotes social and emotional health and wellbeing.


This workshop will investigate how schools can integrate student mental health and wellbeing in a creative and coordinated way by using the MindMatters redeveloped four component framework to develop a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing. This interactive session will examine creative strategies for developing connectedness in the classroom and school environment by considering the roles played by parents, staff, community and students. Specific examples from secondary schools across Australia will be shared and participants will be provided with practical strategies to apply back at school. From 2014, beyondblue is working closely with Principals Australia Institute to further their ground-breaking work and create a world class online environment to support schools to meet the mental health needs of Australia's young people. This redevelopment ensures current schools, and those new to MindMatters, will benefit from both face to face as well as online professional resources.


About Nick


Nick Prendergast is the MindMatters Programme Leader at beyondblue. He has a Masters in Health Administration, a Bachelor of Youth Affairs and Diploma in Alcohol and Drugs. Nick has worked in the health and community services sectors for over 20 years, predominantly with young people. Prior to joining beyondblue, Nick was the Executive officer for headspace Western Melbourne and Northern Melbourne, a prevention, promotion and early intervention mental health initiative for young people. He was the Manager of the Adolescent Forensic Health service, Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne a statewide health service for youth justice. Nick has worked with the NHS South of England exploring the development of early intervention models in mental health for young people, and has also worked with Det Sociale Netværk in Denmark assisting in the development of similar models for young people.


About MindMatters


MindMatters uses a whole school approach to mental health promotion based on the principles of the World Health Organization's Global School Health Initiative and the Australian National Health Promoting Schools Framework (pdf, 207kb).


MindMatters aims to:


    embed promotion, prevention and early intervention activities for mental health and wellbeing in Australian secondary schools

    enhance the development of school environments where young people feel safe, valued, engaged and purposeful

    develop the social and emotional skills required to meet life’s challenges

    help school communities create a climate of positive mental health and wellbeing

    develop strategies to enable a continuum of support for students with additional needs in relation to mental health and wellbeing

    enable schools to better collaborate with families and the health sector.



KIDSMATTER - Thursday 14.30 - 15.30


The KidsMatter Portal- Supporting online professional learning for staff


Presented by KidsMatter State Co-ordinators Stephen MacDonald (WA), Michael Hardie (Qld), Rob Mason (Vic) & tbc (NSW)


KidsMatter Primary has been delivering professional learning for school staff over the last 6 years with great success. It has recently added a new online platform to its suite of professional learning resources. The KidsMatter Portal is an interactive, flexible online space that provides evidence-based strategies, quality professional learning and resources to support schools' implementation of KidsMatter Primary. This workshop will highlight the innovative features of the Portal, with a focus on the staff professional learning around helping students experiencing mental health difficulties. Come along to see how the new Portal can benefit schools in so many ways!


About Stephen(WA)

Stephen Macdonald – WA State Coordinator, KidsMatter Primary


Stephen Macdonald has been on staff at Principals Australia Institute (PAI) for 4 years primarily in the role of State Coordinator for KidsMatter in WA. Recently he has also coordinated an organisation wide values alignment project and developed a suite of Leadership and staff wellbeing workshops. In 2012 and 2013 Steve was heavily involved in development and delivery of school wide student wellbeing project with remote schools in the Kimberley. In addition to his work with PAI over the last couple of years Stephen has worked with a variety of school and not for profit organisation leadership teams in developing a clear sense of purpose and culture across the school and organisation. Stephen brings to the role 20 years of experience in a wide variety of schools and mental health services and has previously worked in a leadership student support position in a K-12 college, as a community development manager in local government and managed a schools program for a community service organization.


About Michael (Qld)

Michael Hardie – Qld State Coordinator, Queensland


Michael is passionately committed to engaging primary school communities and taking a creative approach to mental health and wellbeing. Michael has worked in health promotion, education and community development for over 25 years in Queensland, Scotland and Spain. Involvement in the health promoting schools movement in Scotland lead to a coordinating role in the QUT Resilience Project, involving primary schools in Brisbane and Charleville. Michael lives in Brisbane with his wife Angela and children, Rory (9) and Beth (6).


About Rob (Vic)

Rob Mason -Vic State Coordinator, KidsMatter Primary


Rob Mason joined the KidsMatter team as a state project officer for Victoria, before taking on the role of State Coordinator in 2012. Rob has been working as a social worker with young people and families for 25 years in a range of settings including mental health, substance use, housing and homelessness. He has spent twelve years working as a social worker with DEECD, providing case management support, guidance to wellbeing teams, and offering secondary consultation and training to school leaders and staff. The focus throughout his work had been on promoting positive health and wellbeing in primary and secondary schools, and on the development of partnerships between schools and community.


About KidsMatter


KidsMatter is a mental health and wellbeing framework for primary schools and early childhood education and care services, and is proven to make a positive difference to the lives of Australian children.


KidsMatter Primary aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of primary school students; reduce mental health problems amongst students and; to achieve greater support for students experiencing mental health problems.


To achieve these aims, KidsMatter Primary promotes collaborative involvement across the health and education sectors. It provides a framework for mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention (PPEI) that is specifically oriented to primary schools, rather than presenting schools with a single defined program. Through the KidsMatter Primary framework, schools are provided with the resources to implement a comprehensive approach to addressing students’ mental health which is tailored to their local needs. In this way KidsMatter Primary builds on the work schools are already doing to address the mental health of their students through national, state, territory and sector-based mental health initiatives and policies


MindMatters is a national mental health initiative for secondary schools funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and implemented by Principals Australia (formerly APAPDC).