See below for June 2018 Program

Full Day Pre-Conference Workshop

Sunday 24 June 2018

Full Day: 09:30 – 16:30

The Power of Mindful Self-Compassion

Pioneering researcher into self-compassion, USA

‘With self-compassion, we give ourselves that same kindness and care we’d give to a good friend.’

Dr Kristin Neff

Self-compassion involves treating ourselves kindly, like we would a good friend. It motivates us to make needed changes in our lives not because we’re worthless or inadequate, but because we care about ourselves and want to lessen our suffering. 

This workshop will provide simple tools for responding in a kind, compassionate way whenever we are experiencing painful emotions. Through discussion, meditation, and experiential exercises, you will gain practical skills to help bring self-compassion into your daily life.

You will learn how to stop being so hard on yourself; handle difficult emotions with greater ease; and motivate yourself with kindness rather than criticism. Practices will also be introduced to help ease stress for caregivers.

This course is relevant for the general public as well as to practicing mental health professionals.

Specific Learning Objectives 

  • Identify the three key components of self-compassion
  • Describe key research that supports the benefits of self-compassion
  • Understand the difference between self-compassion and self-esteem
  • Practice techniques to increase self-compassion in everyday life
  • Motivate yourself with kindness rather than self-criticism

About your workshop leader

Dr Kristin Neff is internationally recognized as a pioneering researcher into self-compassion. Over a decade ago she first identified self-compassion as a measurable trait, and now there are over a thousand published studies on the benefits of self-compassion.

An associate professor in educational psychology at the University of Texas, Austin, Dr Neff’s research interests centre on the psychological health benefits of self-compassion. Dr Neff is the author of Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself.

Two Day Conference

25th & 26th June 2018

Day One

25th June 2018

Happiness, Wellbeing & Compassion

8:30am - 10:05am

Opening Remarks

8:30 am

Behavior change expert and former Australian Comic of the Year

Respected Gadigal Elder, cultural representative for the Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council

Opening Remarks Event Partner: New Horizons

8:40 am

Stop Chasing Self-Esteem and Just Be Self-Compassionate

Pioneering researcher into self-compassion, USA

8:45 am

For years high self-esteem was seen to be the ultimate marker of psychological health. Although it’s problematic to judge yourself negatively, there are also problems with trying to judge yourself positively – narcissism, bullying, and unstable self-worth to name just a few.  Self-compassion doesn’t involve judging yourself at all, it simply means relating to our imperfect selves with the same kindness, understanding and support we’d show to a good friend. Research supports that self-compassion is a healthier and more sustainable way to experience good feelings toward ourselves than self-esteem.

How Can There Be a Compassionate Future in a World Of Robots and Artificial Intelligence?

World authority on Artificial Intelligence and Social Robotics

9:25 am

Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can enhance, improve and scale human expertise is dramatically changing and impacting our social and working lives, controlling how we perceive and interact with the physical and digital world. Where is the place for compassion in a world increasingly reliant on AI and social robotics?

Personal Story: Making a Difference in the Face of Great Loss

Australian of the Year 2015 and domestic violence campaigner

9:45 am

Much loved journalist, facilitator and social justice advocate

Be moved and inspired by Rosie Batty who knows pain no woman should have to suffer. Her eleven-year-old son Luke was murdered by his own father in February 2014 in an horrendous attack that shocked not only Australia, but the world. Rosie has gone on to become an outspoken crusader against family violence. She has won hearts and minds all over Australia with her compassion, courage and grace.

Morning Coffee

10:05am - 10:50am

Happiness, Motivation & Transformation

10:50am - 12:30pm

Developing the Mind of a Leader

Corporate mindfulness expert working with global corporations to create truly human leadership

10:50 am

What mental qualities make for great leadership in the 21st century? Hear the results of a two-year study into understanding how leaders lead themselves, their people and their organisations for extraordinary results.  Based on extensive research of 35,000 leaders, interviews with 200 executives and using the latest neuroscience, the research explores the mind’s intrinsic motivation.

Positive Psychology & Prada

Master trainer and leading advisor in the practical application of positive psychology

11:10 am

What makes us happy? Is it an increase in our wealth and the material trappings of success that lead us to feel we are living the good life? Neuroscience shows that our brains light up when we discover something shiny, new and cool. Yet our pursuit of status symbols and more stuff doesn’t necessarily make us more satisfied with life. Instant gratification comes at a price. Hear how the quest for the perfect Prada handbag and a holiday in Italy lead to an understanding of the secret to lasting happiness.

Positive Education: Transforming Schools, Enhancing Lives

Passionate leader in the field of positive education

11:30 am

A mounting body of research is supporting the value of adopting a whole-school approach to wellbeing, with measurable benefits in school culture, personal wellbeing and even academic performance.  Hear insights gleaned from a decade of pioneering Positive Education at Geelong Grammar School and be motivated by an inspiring and accessible vision for the future of education.

Discovering a World of Happiness

Global traveller and collector of moments of happiness, Netherlands

11:50 am

What are your moments of happiness? Research has shown that recalling and savouring good experiences increases happiness. Hear how one woman has travelled the world connecting with over 10,000 people and helping them record their happy moments.

Rockstar Your World

Phil Lee

Personal transformation and peak performance expert

12:15 pm

Wouldn’t you like to consistently turn up as your best self in your work and life? Find out how, by emulating three principles used by all enduring and admired Rockstars, you can be more fulfilled, engaged and successful.

Lunch Break

12:30pm - 2:00pm

Your Questions For The Dalai Lama: Live Video Cross

How to Lead a Happy and Meaningful Life

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso - via live video cross

Revered spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Laureate


His Holiness the Dalai Lama will be joining us via video cross live from his home in Dharamsala, India, to share his message of love, kindness and compassion. This will be an interactive session – what question would you ask the Dala Lama?

Happiness & The Way You Think

3:00pm - 5:35pm

Thinking About the Future: Whether, When, Why, How, Who, What… and So What?

One of the world’s most influential psychologists, USA

3:00 pm

An organised, future-oriented mindset is probably the most effective way to find success in life, but psychology has traditionally focused much more on the past than the future. Explore cutting-edge research into how the way we think about the future affects our happiness and wellbeing. Discover what happens when we shift our thinking away from “What is going to happen?” to “What do I want to happen?” and “How can I bring that about?”.

Afternoon Coffee

3:30pm - 4.15pm

Think Better, Live Better

Inspiring two-time cancer survivor and award-winning coach

4:15 pm

When it comes to feeling better about ourselves, and our place in the world, the biggest and most complex obstacle we need to overcome is our mind.  Learn how to use a proven set of tools for reducing needless stress, improving your happiness and increasing positive results.

7 Body-Brain Vitality Rituals

Former Royal Navy Aircrew Officer, leading exercise physiologist, nutritionist and neuroscientist

4:30 pm

Western medicine has historically employed a reductionist, dualistic, biomedical model, where there is no role for the mind in physical ailments or wellness. This notion is slowly being challenged by the emergence of a new biopsychosocial approach, which recognises the body-brain connection and its role in both wellness and disease. In this stimulating talk, learn 7 daily practices that will help you to move beyond the absence of ailments to living a flourishing life.

Personal Story: So You Thought You Couldn't Laugh About Mental Health? Think Again!

Inspirational mental health advocate and Deputy Commissioner for Mental Health, NSW Mental Health Commission

4:50 pm

Discover how humour and emotion can be immensely valuable in breaking down barriers, and stigma about having a mental illness. Laugh out loud and maybe shed a tear as you are taken on an inspirational and powerful journey with a dedicated advocate, educator and ‘Psychologically Diverse citizen’. 


Powered by Pecha Kucha

Be entranced by a series of stories about happiness and wellbeing accompanied by short visual presentations.

Pecha Kucha 20 x 20 is a simple presentation format where presenters show 20 images for 20 seconds each slide. The image advances automatically while the presenter talks along to the images.

5:10 pm

Radical Moderationism - An Extreme Anti-Extremist Approach to Happiness and Life

Leading positive psychologist, executive coach and founder of The Happiness Institute

Happiness versus depression. Alt right versus Antifa. Rich versus poor. Even women versus men! The most recent US election showed us that we can all be influenced by the bubbles within which we live; and 2017 showed us that the divide between groups with different beliefs is becoming wider. There’s nothing wrong with holding strong beliefs; but is increasing extremism and separation really an approach we want to take? What if there was another way? And what if this other way was called “radical moderationism”; a middle way, guided by acceptance, compassion and empathy, walked passionately?

The Good Hustle

Author, business strategist, yogi and good hustler

Discover a unique way of combining the spiritual pathway to happiness with the process of creating sustainable heart-centred business. The Good Hustle is both revelation and revolution, combining the ancient wisdom of yoga with contemporary business practices in a compelling blend of mindfulness, spirituality and entrepreneurial action.

Hello Sunday Morning

Movement builder and former Qld Young Australian of the Year

Be uplifted by the story of how a young man undertook a year-long experiment to change his relationship with alcohol and went on to build the world’s largest online community of people supporting each other to change their behaviour around alcohol. A nightclub promoter at the time, Chris blogged about the challenges and successes of this experiment when he woke up hangover-free every Sunday morning, signing off with, “Hello, Sunday morning!”

Is Happiness a Choice?

Inspirational speaker, author and lead facilitator with Quest for Life Foundation

Can you really choose to be happy? What does contemporary research in neuroplasticity, epigenetics, physical health, social connection and planetary wellness say? Be gently guided to an inevitable, energising conclusion for personal empowerment. Will you choose happiness?

Close Of Day 1

Day Two

26th June 2018

Happiness & Your Mind

8:30am - 10:15am

Opening Remarks

Distinguished broadcaster and sustainable food advocate

8:30 am

The Psychology of Luck

Described by Scientific American as ‘the most interesting and innovative experimental psychologist in the world today’, UK

8:35 am

Why do some people lead happy successful lives whilst others face repeated failure and sadness? Why are some people always in the right place at the right time, while others are always unlucky? Professor Wiseman has worked with some of the world’s luckiest and unluckiest people to answer these fascinating questions. Learn how to think and behave like a lucky person using scientifically tested techniques and find out how ‘The Luck Factor’ can change your life.

Life, The Universe and Your Place In It!

Inspiring Buddhist nun and founder, Liberation Prison Project, USA

9:15 am

Why are you here? What role do you have to play in the craziness that exists in the world today? Mind, or consciousness, is at the very heart of Buddhist practice. And knowing and transforming it – the whole spectrum of our thoughts, feelings, and emotions – is work we all need to do to reshape our world.

'Can't or Won't?' - How Your Mindset Shapes Day-To-Day Decisions

One of Australia’s leading thinkers on educational issues

9:35 am

Hear how and why your decisions and behaviour are driven by your mindset. By challenging our mindsets, individuals, families, workplaces and communities can get out of their own way and ultimately thrive

Personal Story: It Takes a Team

‘Miracle-Man’ who survived multiple near-death experiences and went on to help raise millions of British pounds for a children’s hospital, UK

9:55 am

All members of any team play a vital part in the whole. Be taken on a powerful journey, as Anthony recounts his multiple brushes with death as a teenager and how he was brought back to life not by one person but by a team of people – everyone working in the hospital contributed to the miracle of his survival.

Morning Coffee

10:15am - 11:00am

Happiness & Connection

11:00am - 12:30pm

Connection and Wellbeing for All

Woolwonga, Gurindji (NT) Australian First Nations People cultural and wellbeing advocate

11:00 am

The philosophies and teachings of Australia’s First Peoples, a way of life that has sustained First Australians for tens of thousands of years, is worth sharing. In doing so we can create a new story of connection and wellbeing for all Australians.

21 Days to a Happier Family

One of Australia’s most respected relationships researchers and authors

11:20 am

Everyone wants their family to be happy, but so much gets in the way: work stress, commitments and our children’s challenging behaviour are some everyday obstacles. As a result, families can seem fragmented, stressful and out of control. Positive psychology and the science of happiness can offer effective strategies that are easy to put into place and reap fast rewards.

Personal Story: Healthcare Starts With Self-Care

Inspiring medical doctor and employee wellbeing expert, UK

11:40 pm

Be moved and inspired by the story of a young doctor struggling with workplace related stress, burnout, anxiety and depression. Deciding to focus on her own health and wellbeing, she incorporated mindfulness meditation and positive psychology practices into her day to day routine. These practices were life changing.

Music, Hearts and Minds

aka Mrs Mindfulness, co-founder of the mindfulness summit and respected meditation teacher

12:00 pm

Be entranced by beautiful music and images as you are lead on a guided mediation, connecting our hearts and minds.

The Two of Us: The Power of Touch

12:10 pm

Thought leader in the neuroscience of human connection

Survivor of the London terrorist bombings in 2005 and thought-provoking advocate for peace

Be uplifted by a conversation between an acclaimed neuroscientist and a survivor of an horrific terrorist bombing on the amazing power of touch and acceptance in overcoming trauma. Hear how we can use an understanding of neuroscience to wire people up to feel a sense of belonging and connection – a powerful way to deal with radicalisation.

Lunch Break

12:30pm - 2:00pm

Happiness, Nature & Health

2:00pm - 3:15pm

Opening Remarks

Award winning social entrepreneur and Do-Goodologist

ReWilding Our Children – Nature Connection That Works

One of a kind environmental educator and wildlife naturalist 

2:00 pm

Our children are losing their wild connection with nature and it matters. It is not simply that there is less wild nature to connect with, rather we are failing to engage with even the commonest events and phenomenon of the natural world. A great forgetting is underway, with far reaching consequences for our health and wellbeing.

From Manicures to Manure - How a News Anchor Found Purpose Through Gardening

Distinguished broadcaster and sustainable food advocate

2:20 pm

Even the most reluctant green thumb will be inspired to channel their inner gardener and reconnect with nature by hearing how a leading broadcaster transformed her tiny thirteen-floor balcony into a bountiful kitchen garden.  Whether you have a garden, courtyard, café, restaurant, terrace, balcony, roof-top – or just a windowsill, you too can transform your space into a productive food oasis that takes just ten minutes a day to maintain.

The Joy of Walking

Inspiring adventurer and founder of Wild Women on Top and Coastrek

2:40 pm

Walking creates joy in human beings.

Walking in nature creates natural exhilaration.

Walking in nature with friends rejuvenates the mind, body and spirit.

Learn how to ritualise this scientifically proven phenomenon into your busy life for pure joy.

The Power of Letting Go

expert professional organiser and Interior Architect

2:55 pm

My house burnt down, I now own a better view of the moon.” Japanese poet and Samurai, 1657 – 1723

De-mystify the relationship you have with the physical items you surround yourself with and come to a deeper understanding of what these items do to your headspace and relationships.

Cooking with Heart and Soul

Celebrated chef and TV personality

3:10 pm

One of Australia’s most talented chefs will share how, for her, cooking is a way to show love and interest in people – as she says, “…food makes people happy.” Be inspired to create your own delicious meals – share the love and cook up a storm tonight!

Afternoon Coffee

3:30pm - 4:15pm

Moving Forward One Step at a Time

4:15pm - 5:10pm

Think Small: The Surprisingly Simple Ways to Reach Big

Innovator in applied behaviour change and health

4:15 pm

We’re often told to dream big, the sky’s the limit and that nothing is impossible. While it is undoubtedly good advice to set yourself goals that have the potential to make you and those around you healthier and happier, how to reach those goals is often less clear. Be motivated to make change in your life using a simple and accessible plan for success, based on seven scientifically tested steps that really work.

Panel: How To Change Your Life - Insights From The World's Top Psychologists

4:35 pm

Pioneering researcher into self-compassion, USA

“The most interesting and innovative experimental psychologist in the world today”, UK

One of the world’s most influential psychologists, USA

Multi-award winning ABC journalist, presenter, podcaster and documentary maker

So often we get enthused about making changes in our lives and yet again and again we find it hard to make these changes stick. Gain insights and practical tips to help create a happier, healthier life for yourself and those you love.

Closing Session: Why Do I Make Music?

Acclaimed musician and jazz trumpet player extraordinaire

5:10 pm

Relish a fabulous closing session with the music maestro, James Morrison!

Close of Day 2


Post-Conference Workshops

Wednesday 27 June 2018 

Morning Workshops

09:00am - 12:00pm

Workshop 1: Willpower: Self-Control, Decision Fatigue & Energy Depletion

One of the world’s most influential psychologists, Australia & USA

A new understanding of how people control themselves has emerged from the past decade of research studies. Self-control depends on a limited energy supply, and each person’s willpower fluctuates during the day as various events deplete and then replenish it. Decision making and creative initiative also deplete the same willpower supply, while eating and sleeping can restore it.

Explore how some circumstances propel people to perform well despite depleted willpower, including power and leadership roles, local incentives, and personal beliefs. People with high self-control specialise less in resisting temptation than avoiding it.​

Workshop 2: Harness The Craziness - How To Face Negativity With a Positive Mind

Inspiring Buddhist nun and founder, Liberation Prison Project, USA

Whether it’s traffic jams, strained relationships at home, highly demanding jobs, or the overall state of global affairs, there are a lot of things ‘out there’ that we allow to affect our personal inner worlds. So how do we shed our habitual anxiety, stress, blame, guilt and depression? How do we instead cultivate bravery in the face of our problems?

In this workshop, through dynamic teachings and Q & A, inimitably fiery Australian Tibetan Buddhist nun, Ven Robina Courtin, will draw on experiences from her own crazy life to explain how we can become wiser, more confident and joyful in the midst of this crazy world we find ourselves in. By becoming deeply familiar with the workings of our own minds and hearts – truly, being our own therapist – we can slowly begin to open up our marvellous potential for clarity, contentment and love that Buddha says is innate within us.

Workshop 3: Learning To Learn

One of Australia’s leading thinkers on educational issues

Too many people believe they don’t need to learn, or that they can’t learn. Professor Carol Dweck from Stanford University contends that this is due to individuals developing a Fixed Mindset with regard to their capabilities. It is argued that learning is stunted and many social issues can arise by having a Fixed Mindset and in order to flourish, we need a Growth Mindset – a disposition that embraces challenge, seeks out feedback and values effort as the pathway to mastery.

This workshop will tackle issues such as:

  1. Could a Growth Mindset be the key to unlocking our potential?
  2. What are some of the self-sabotaging behaviours that come about as a result of a Fixed Mindset?
  3. What are some of the cultural forces within our homes, schools, organisations and communities that can impact mindset?
  4. How can you develop a Growth Mindset and nurture the mindset of others in your life, be they children, partners or colleagues? 

All participants will receive a comprehensive resource with further learning materials and strategies to utilise in their day-to-day life. 

Workshop 4: The Heart of Relationships – How The Science of Happiness Can Make All Your Relationships Thrive

One of Australia’s most respected relationships researchers and authors

Regardless of how much you love your spouse, your child, or the other significant people in your life, sometimes it all falls to pieces as we try to wrestle with life’s challenges. A growing body of literature has examined the association between qualities of character and relationship outcomes. Qualities such as kindness, forgiveness, compassion, and generosity all relate to improved relationships.

In this interactive, dynamic workshop you will have the opportunity to explore new scientific findings on the surprising virtues that can enhance every relationship and improve overall wellbeing.

Afternoon Workshops

2:00pm - 5:00pm

Workshop 5: Night School - The Life-Changing Science of Sleep

Described by Scientific American as ‘the most interesting and innovative experimental psychologist in the world today’, UK

Richard Wiseman is on a mission to put the world to sleep. For years he has explored the new science of sleep and dreaming, conducting experiments into sleep-learning, and assembled the world’s largest archive of dream reports. Join Wiseman as he uncovers the power of the sleeping mind, revealing how you can get the perfect night’s sleep, decode your dreams, and improve your life without moving a muscle.

Workshop participants will:

  • Explore exciting peer-reviewed research, mass-participation experiments and the world’s largest archive of dream reports, to uncover the truth about the sleeping brain.
  • Gain powerful tips on how to use those hours of apparently ‘dead’ time to change your waking life.
  • Discover how to learn information while you sleep, the creative potential of a six-minute nap, and what your dreams really mean.

Studies show that even a small lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on health and happiness. It’s time to banish nightmares, make the most of the missing third of your days, and get the best night’s sleep of your life.

Workshop 6: Mindfulness & Compassion For Effective Leadership

Corporate based mindfulness meditation trainer and executive coach

Corporate mindfulness expert working with global corporations to create truly human leadership

In this interactive workshop Gillian and Murray, Australia Country Directors of Potential Project and part of the author team for ‘The Mind Of the Leader – How to Lead Yourself, Your People and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results’ will teach you the science and practices of developing mindfulness and compassion. Participants will be shown how to apply these traits in day to day situations at work and at home. 

Workshop 7: The Secrets of Longevity

Former Royal Navy Aircrew Officer, leading exercise physiologist, nutritionist and neuroscientist

The concept of ageing is a hot topic right now, however there is a lot of misleading information in the public domain about how to improve your longevity. In this workshop you will hear how to separate fact from the fiction, and critically evaluate the leading theories of ageing, including telomere length, inflammation, genetics and others.

Explore a systematic approach to reducing chronic disease risk and maximising cellular health through lifestyle choices in the four interactive pillars of nutrition, movement, mindset and sleep. Lastly, be taken through a proven model of behaviour change to help turn your good intentions into great habits.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the major theories of ageing
  • Understand the relative contributions of nature and nurture
  • Discover the influence of sleep, nutrition, exercise and stress on biological ageing
  • Critically evaluate more commonly marketed supplements on the ageing process
  • Learn key daily habits that can significantly impact your longevity

Workshop 8: Living With Less

Expert professional organiser and Interior Architect

Explore the relationship you have with your clutter, what impact that has on the life you live versus the life you want and deserve to live. De-mystify the social need for perfection and debunk the all too common notion that being busy and stressed is a good thing.

Participants will learn the basics about how to de-clutter and get organized including:

  • Setting your goals
  • Finding the time
  • Getting and keeping yourself motivated

You will design a plan to conquer the clutter in your life, based on down to earth, practical advice you can take home and start implementing immediately.