Author/illustrator and Founder of My Wellbeing School
My entire career has been focused on developing mental health and wellbeing strategies for adults and children. When I begin integrating mediation and mindfulness practice into my work almost ten years ago, I witnessed first hand the life changing effects the practice can have when explored authentically. I worked in health and wellbeing clubs in Hong Kong, Cyprus and the UK before my focus shifted to writing and curriculum development almost four years ago when I moved to Australia as a way to increase my impact and help young minds adapt and cope with this ever changing global context.
What do I love about my work?
I love the freedom I have to design and create new projects. I love the process of bringing an idea to life, witnessing the evolution of a project as it matures and takes on a life of its own – a bit like having kids. I LOVE seeing my books in the hands of enthusiastic teachers that will champion the message into the classroom and make the work their own.
What is my biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge I have is my dyslexia. Not that I see it as a disability; neurodiversity is something to be celebrated. But as a dyslexic writer and business owner, I need to be patient with myself and allow the process of creation to be fluid. I need to practice kindness to myself, allow room for error and space to think to keep a clear and level head.
What is my big vision?
I want schools to appreciate the importance of wellbeing education beyond a box to tick. I want wellbeing to become a core subject taught in schools, educating children how to have a positive mindset, how to value themselves and to respect the opinions of others and the world around them. I believe the mental health of teachers should be taken seriously – they are our champions. The way the education system is currently set up is based on luck. If my children end up with a great teacher that wants to focus on wellbeing in the classroom, we are in luck, but I’m not interested in playing the lottery when it comes to wellbeing. We need a systemic change.
Why is mental health so important to you?
Mental illness is something I’ve been exposed to since a young age. I could see first hand that happiness was nothing to do with the things you had but how you felt inwardly about the world around you. My biggest fear growing up was that I would catch depression like you catch a cold. Through plenty of twists, turns and soul searching in my late teens and early twenties, I discovered my own path to happiness. That path came through meditation – being able to still my mind, understand my thoughts, express my emotions in a healthy way and from there, teaching became a natural part of the journey.