Teachers and students, in fact all human beings, are animals, and are like many other animals.  However, one major difference arises; humans can effectively work together and accumulate knowledge.  Passing skills and knowledge down through the generations as well as effectively developing the minds and morals of students enables significant progress for our species.  There is no doubt that this process of education thrives when secure and effective relationships exist.


In this keynote, Justin Robinson will share evidence, gathered both locally and globally, as to why teacher-student relationships matter so much for successful learning.  Whilst all teachers hope to build positive relationships with their students, the evidence suggests that this is not always the case.  Justin will share two key ideas which can assist all teachers to build positive relationships.  Specific examples for applying these ideas will be demonstrated and discussed.  Participants will be encouraged to reflect upon their own nuanced application of these two key relationship skills as well as consider how they may most effectively be actioned within their own unique school setting.


“If little kids are happy being at school – if they feel valued and secure and feel a sense of belonging – learning falls into place 99 out of 100 times.” 

Daryl Moorfoot, Head of Bostock House Junior Campus, Geelong Grammar School


About Justin

Justin Robinson, M.Ed. MACE, is the inaugural Director of the Institute of Positive Education, based at Geelong Grammar School. He leads a team dedicated to promoting the theory and practice of Positive Education through research and providing training for other educators. As a passionate leader in the field of student and staff wellbeing, Justin has been invited to write for a number of publications and speak at conferences both in Australia and around the world. His appointment at the Institute follows a successful career as a Mathematics and Physical Education teacher and school leader at both Geelong Grammar School and Trinity Grammar School. An enthusiastic sportsman, Justin has coached many school sporting teams and is a keen marathon runner. Justin is an Honorary Fellow of Melbourne Graduate School of Education, and lives with his wife Jeanette and their four children on the Corio campus of Geelong Grammar School.