Positive Schools

Master Class (Day 2)

Main Stage (Day 1)


Workshop Room


(QLD/VIC) Jane Higgins

The Odyssey Program


What’s Up Man? – Teen boys in Australia

Adolescence is a tumultuous time for any teenager and a time where boys often engage in high risk taking behaviors. The lack of role models and ceremonies into manhood leave boys to find their own role models and develop their own initiations. We often see the tragic result of their unhealthy choices. 

While they are attempting to navigate their way through an increasingly high tech world they are presented with a one dimensional view of masculinity and told they need to be strong, tough, buff, and muscular to be accepted by their peers, girls and themselves.

The Odyssey Program, a national in-school series of workshops, works with adolescent boys to explore masculinity and identity (among other topics). We challenge them to discover healthy roles models for themselves while assisting them to critically analyise who they are told to be by the media.

We encourage them to celebrate diversity and embrace their masculinity in a positive way. As boys are kinetic learners we use best practice in teaching boys and our workshops are highly engaging and interactive.

Today’s presentation will offer the audience a snap shot of what is happening in “Boy World” and introduce participants to The Odyssey Program and the strategies we use to support boy’s mental health and well being as they journey into manhood.


About Jane

Jane Higgins began the Odyssey Program 5 years ago after meeting a boy in a park who was about to end his life. So affected was she by the young man, Jane vowed that she would find a way to support our boys through their journey into manhood.

She has a degree in Social work and a Masters in Social Science (Counselling) and so she set about developing 9 workshops which she and her team deliver to thousands of boys in schools all over Australia.

In 2011 her company was endorsed by the Australian Institute of Male Health and Studies. She is also the mother of two boys.





Please book early to ensure you secure your place at the most important Positive Schools Conference yet.