Children need resilience to respond to challenges, take risks, be physically and mentally well and thrive as they grow into teenagers and adults.

In the past, life experience was all you needed to become resilient. However, for many children this is no longer enough. The world is becoming increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, mental illness in young Australians is on the rise and many of the broader constructs that helped build resilience in the past, such as extended families and entire communities raising children, no longer exist.

 

It is not possible to measure resilience in young children so we risk not knowing if they are resilient or not until it is too late. Leaving it to life experience also builds unconscious competence, which can make it difficult for children to identify what skills they need to draw upon when facing challenges.

We know what resilience looks like in children now and can therefore provide skills and coping strategies - why not teach and practice these in the same way we would a musical instrument before an exam or a sport before a big game?

 
Information Banner - Resilience in Kids

Our team

 
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Susie Mogg, founder

Susie has a passion for helping children strengthen their resilience so they can recover quickly from everyday challenges and adapt well to change. She wants to future proof children so they can all become strong members of society who thrive no matter what life throws at them.

Susie strongly believes there are underlying capabilities that can be strengthened. To this end, she has developed a program that will develop these capabilities through face to face workshops for children, face to face and online 1-1 and small group coaching for children and their parents/carers and face to face and online educational events for parent/carers.

Susie believes there are many ways to build resilience and as such has developed a broad program that is made up of fun, engaging and developmental sessions that are practical and evidence based. Given the primary role that parents/carers play in nurturing strong and resilient children the program includes options for involving and engaging parents/carers.

Susie has a background in Human Resources, having worked in external consulting and internal HR roles in large corporates for the past 20 years. Recently, Susie has specialised in talent and leadership, helping leaders achieve their potential through the delivery of large scale talent programs as well as one-on-one coaching and development and group facilitation. Susie has 2 primary school aged children of her own and as such has a very personal interest in this critical area of child development.


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natalie mackenzie, resilience coach

Natalie has always believed in the power of storytelling. Having obtained her Masters degree in Dramatherapy from Roehampton University in London, UK, Natalie is fascinated by people and what makes them tick. She loves how role-play, stories and drama have the power to foster creativity, imagination, learning, insight and personal growth.

A registered dramatherapist with ANZATA (Australia and New Zealand Arts Therapy Association) and the British Association of Dramatherapists in the UK, Natalie has over 10 years' experience working with children who have experienced emotional trauma. She has worked in a therapeutic centre for children who have experienced abuse, neglect, grief and loss and is facilitating group programs for children whose parents are in alcohol and drug rehabilitation. Natalie provides individual and group dramatherapy programs to support children’s mental health. Exploring anxiety, emotional regulation and social skills, her creative approach supports children and young people in dealing with life’s serious stuff.

Natalie wants to help kids experiencing big emotions use creativity and their imagination to express what can often be difficult to express in words alone. Natalie is passionate about empowering children and their families to cope with life's challenges in a creative way.


ELIZABETH BYRNE, RESILIENCE COACH

Elizabeth byrne, resilience coach

Elizabeth brings over a decade of experience in working with children of all ages. As a resilience and relaxation coach, professional nanny, infant massage consultant, sleep guidance specialist, maternity nanny and behavioural specialist, Elizabeth assists families with many of the challenges that may arise as children develop.

Her passion for children and their emotional and social development is palpable. She is incredibly passionate about her work with children, helping them to learn self-esteem and resilience through understanding their emotions and giving them lifelong tools to cope.

Elizabeth runs resilience workshops in a group setting as well as one-on-one mentoring and coaching. She has shared her professional expertise through presenting at conferences and has facilitated workshops for children as well as parents and carers.

She trained as a resilience and relaxation coach in 2013 and has built on her skills through professional development and is currently studying a bachelor of counselling and social work. 


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SAMANTHA HERBERT, RESILIENCE COACH

Samantha’s greatest passion is using creative play and expressive arts to guide children to build their resilience, ignite inspiration, identify their strengths and realise their full potential. Samantha weaves her creative play with her love of telling stories. Through this, she creates didactic opportunities that inspire a connection to the Australian wildlife and conversations about mental and physical wellbeing. 

Samantha is the founder of the business, Seeds Of The Future. She is both a 1:1 mentor and group facilitator of programs using creative mediums for self-expression, self-awareness, and self-empowerment. 

Samantha is currently a senior facilitator for the United Nations Youth organisation running innovative workshops, conferences, and in-school programs discussing global issues and engaging students with the world around them. 

Samantha has completed a Bachelor of Communications (Theatre/Media) at Charles Sturt University, a Diploma of Leadership in Group Work & Expressive Arts at the College of Complementary Medicine and a Graduate Certificate in Gestalt Psychotherapy at the Gestalt Institute of Sydney. She is currently studying an Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy.
 


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Erin Mitchell, resilience coach

Erin is an adolescent/teen counsellor, parent coach and family therapist. She believes in the value of learning healthy coping skills early in life. Children who are able to cope in healthy ways will be more resilient and manage stress better as adults.

As a mum to two children, aged 8 years and 9 years, she has been teaching these coping skills at home to her own children. She understands from first hand experience that it’s not always perfect. She strives for making progress, however small a step is. She is pasionate about teaching our children how to become the best version of themselves and experience true self-esteem.

Her first degree was a Bachelor of Music from the Conservatorium of Sydney. Her later counselling studies included majors in Child Development, Effective Parenting, Conflict Resolution and Family Therapy.

She has been influenced by John Gottman’s work on Emotional Intelligence, the field of Positive Psychology and the pioneering work of Haim Ginott. She is a member of the Australian Counselling Association and an accredited facilitator of Tuning into Kids, an emotion coaching program designed for parents to create better interpersonal relationships with their children.


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Elisha Smyth

Since completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and a Diploma of Education in Drama and English, Elisha has undertaken extensive employment in primary, secondary and co-curricular education. More recently Elisha obtained a Post Graduate Certificate in Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. This training motivated Elisha to pursue an active role in the promotion, development and delivery of student health and wellbeing initiatives in education.

Elisha loves to devise stories with her students through improvisation, storytelling and play. Through her work she aims to build confidence, encourage understanding and foster creativity. Always striving to provide children with a friendly and supportive learning environment, Elisha seeks to create an experience that encourages fun, improves communication and promotes self-discovery. It is her belief that sharing stories and accessing our imagination can help us find balance, health and happiness in our lives.

 


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Daniel Silver

Daniel Silver is an accomplished educator with a background in nature education and arts education. He's worked in these fields for the past 6 years.

Daniel is a trained art therapist, resident Bush School leader at Centennial Parklands and he coordinates a co-curricular creative arts program for junior school students at Wenona School. 

As an educator Daniel aims to nurture ecological understanding, equip young people with the tools to express themselves and the capacity to realise their full potential. His approach is informed by best practice and ongoing professional development.


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RUTH SUGDEN

Ruth is an Occupational Therapist, Individual, Group and Couple/Family Therapist and Attachment Educator with undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications from the University of Qld, The Australian Institute for Relationship Studies and The University of New South Wales. She completed the General Course in Group Analysis at The Institute of Group Analysis (London) and has undertaken study at The Tavistock Centre (London).

She has studied attachment theory extensively and trained in The Strange Situation Assessment at the University of Minnesota with Emeritus Professor Alan Sroufe and Professor Elizabeth Carlson. Ruth has completed all “Circle of Security” trainings including Core Sensitivities and is certified in advanced assessment and treatment planning/delivery as well as the DVD Parent Education Training.  In 2013 Ruth completed PACT training (Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy) with Dr Stan Tatkin and in 2014 did 16 hours individual work with him in the USA. She has completed the Gottman Emotion Coaching for Children training. She is a member of the Australian Occupational Therapy Association and the Australian Association of Family Therapy .

Ruth has worked clinically in a variety of mental health settings since 1978, including 12 years as a fulltime (tenured) lecturer at The University of Sydney. She has also worked on the delivery of education programs in schools for The Butterfly Foundation and in long-term research on the nature of resilience in younger children.  

She’s the mum of three adult daughters and is passionate about secure attachment functioning in relationships, and the ways in which families can be strong, happy and resilience enhancing.


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Louise Kissane

Louise Kissane has been teaching children of all ages for over 20 years as a K-12 PD/H/PE teacher. Louise has worked at both the primary and secondary levels in the Government, Independent and Catholic Schools systems and currently teaches sport and meditation, social/emotional learning programs and runs the Earthkeeper program for years 5 and year 6 at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School Manly. 

Louise is also the founder of Earth School www.earthschool.co. As a wellbeing and social/emotional learning specialist, Louise creates and facilitates wellbeing programs in a number of school communities. She also runs regular term based self-care and wellbeing sessions for the Broken Bay CSO school counsellors and wellbeing retreats for teachers and parents.

Louise is a passionate advocate for the importance of dedicated spaces that offer opportunities for quiet reflective time to reconnect with ourselves, and each other. This allows us the opportunity to discover what is going on within and then use these discoveries to respond to ourselves and each other with care and concern. She is curious about how a focus on developing emotional and social intelligence within our school communities can impact our classrooms, homes, communities and planet.