Knox Grammar School supports students to be agents of their own wellbeing, and actively encourages them to lead others in this space.
The Knox Science of Wellbeing Team collaborates with Ravenswood School for Girls to deliver an annual student-led wellbeing conference, to promote evidence-based wellbeing initiatives and ensure a broad reach across Australian schools.
We welcome all students far and wide to join on us on this vibrant and animated day!
This conference brings you a unique opportunity for student collaboration, to share experiences and perspectives, and learn practical strategies that can be implemented in your own school.
If thats not enticing enough we - the incredibly honest and engaging presenter Martin Heppell from The Resilience Project will be presenting on the power of being present and grateful for what we have. You will then get to participate in two workshops informed by positive psychology theology that have been researched, designed, and will be facilitated by student leaders.
Also, if you have a wellbeing initiative you are proud of and want to share, you have an opportunity to present a three-minute talk. To express your interest please submit an abstract here.
For all questions or enquires, please contact Knox Science of Wellbeing Co-ordinator, Sarah Glassie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About 300 student leaders from 40 schools across Sydney last week gathered to learn how they could boost young people’s wellbeing during a student-led and designed conference first conceived by Knox Grammar and Ravenswood School for Girls.
Attendee Nicholas Laba, a year 11 student at Maronite College of the Holy Family in Harris Park, said social media was one of the biggest risks to young people’s mental health. He now wants to bring some of the skills he learnt back to his school.
“I definitely think if students work together we can make it a safer place where there is less bullying,” he said. “If we notice bullying online it’s our role to help people who are in that situation and call it out.”
Nicholas said young people’s mental health suffered through lockdowns and the conference was the perfect time to get a better insight into how the school leaders could help.
“Because it was led by students, and we came together it was just such a great environment because we all are similar ages,” he said. “It’s a lot easier to connect with people who are my age and are going through very similar experiences right now than people who are, let’s say, 20 years older than me.”
The Student Led Wellbeing Conference was first developed by Knox Grammar and Ravenswood in 2020, with the schools’ young leaders working hard since then to create resources and workshops.
Last week’s conference featured two keynote speakers – a youth mentor and digital wellbeing expert – followed by student-led workshops on topics including “relationships” and “habits and goals”.
Knox Grammar prefect and key organiser Oliver Sved said boys especially struggled to open up and talk about their feelings.
“I think a big thing is definitely the risk of social media and how easy it is to put on a facade, meaning you only see the highlights and everything is good and people are enjoying themselves,” he said. “That’s what it seems like but in reality you’re sort of hiding a darker side or a side you don’t want to talk about with other people.”
Oliver said the key to the program’s success was it was led by students rather than teachers.
“It’s easier for the people who attended to relate to us rather than adults who have been in a different generation and had a lot of different experiences from us,” he said.
“We encourage them to go to their schools and approach their teachers and staff with ideas for initiatives or specific projects that can be used to help wellbeing.”
Knox Grammar deputy headmaster Phillip O’Regan said it was clear young people were better engaged on matters relevant to them when they could learn from each other.
“There are 300 students in attendance from 40 schools and by the math, if they go back into their school settings and just use one of those positive messages then we know that there are 60,000 kids being affected through that positive conference,” he said.
PIC: Annie White from Chevalier College, Nicholas Laba from Maronite College of the Holy Family, Lara Ergun from The McDonald College, Oliver Sved of Knox Grammar and Gemma Rodham from Ravenswood School were among the conference attendees. CREDIT: JANIE BARRETT