In this workshop we will explore the implications of childhood excellence and high achievement. From sport to the arts and academia, the “pushy parent syndrome” will be discussed along with the requirement for extensive hours of training and practice. The effects of a constant culture of striving to be better, feeling guilty about having fun and “wasting time” in normal childhood play will be investigated. Attendees will be encouraged to reflect upon their own experiences and observations and to consider the application of some “positive psychology” principles to the children they influence.

About Richard

The Very Reverend Richard Pengelley is Dean of Perth and a dual Olympian. He was also a World Championship player and was captain of the Australian water polo team. He is a life member of both the Triton and UWA Torpedoes water polo clubs. He was the inaugural WA Junior Sports Star of the Year in 1978 and University of WA Sports Star of the Year in 1979.

Richard graduated from the University of Western Australia as a PE teacher in 1981. After working in state schools he accepted a job at Hale School. He then went on to study theology at Murdoch University, was ordained and exercised his ministry as Chaplain at the School.

He has since run a large parish, been a university college Chaplain, Assistant Professor in Sports Science, and Sub-Dean of UWA Community. Prior to his appointment as Dean of Perth, Richard was the Director of Service Learning and Leadership at Christ Church Grammar School where he enjoyed the opportunity of taking students to meet, work with and befriend some of the more disadvantaged members of both our society and those around the world.

In late 2014, Richard retired as Chair of both Special Olympics WA and True Blue Dreaming, an organisation that seeks to link university students as mentors to educationally disadvantaged youth and children in remote and regional WA. He is on the boards of the WA Institute of Sport, Hale School and St George’s Anglican Grammar School. Richard has also enjoyed media work as a sports commentator for the ABC and Channel 7. He is an advisor, host and presenter for the Positive Schools Mental Health and Wellbeing International conferences. He has been Chair of Anglican Youth Ministries, a national Synod representative, member of the Diocesan Council, an Examining Chaplain, Spiritual Director, retreat leader, Rector of St Nicolas’ Carine-Duncraig and Honorary Canon of St George's Cathedral since 1999.

Richard is married to Jo, a teacher, with three adult daughters, two of whom are also teachers.