Positive Schools

Master Class (Day 2)

Main Stage (Day 1)


Positive Schools St Peters College


Mathew White

Evidence-Based Positive Psychology

St Peter’s College, Adelaide

Infusing Evidence-Based Positive Psychology into Traditional Organisational Change Frameworks:

Measuring whole-school wellbeing: The St Peter’s College – Adelaide Student & Staff Wellbeing Survey

Recognised by Martin Seligman as a world leader in developing an evidence-based approach to wellbeing St Peter’s College, Adelaide, has embraced wellbeing as a central part of its mission. However, traditional change models are still the norm in many organisations where change is viewed as a step-by-step process that aims to address problems – rather than a transformational approach where the aim is to radically alter the organisation by growing the good. In keeping with the latest thinking and science in the field of positive psychology, St Peter’s College, Adelaide, Australia has incorporated Seligman’s (2011) PERMA into its new strategic direction to supports it mission to provide ‘an exceptional education that brings out the best in every boy.’ But St Peter’s College has adopted an evidence-based approach to PERMA that has been embedded into the school’s new strategic direction in the areas of academic life, wellbeing, co-curricular, culture, infrastructure and financial sustainability. This keynote reports on the results of a mixed method design used to evaluate a whole-school approach to wellbeing in the academic and co-curricular domains. Particular reference will be made to St Peter’s College Wellbeing Survey, Sports Coaching Model and developments in the teaching of English Literature. This keynote makes a significant contribution in that it is one of the first to conduct and report a mixed methods evaluation of whole school wellbeing.


mathew white positive schools mental health and wellbeing conferenceAbout Mathew

Dr Mathew White is Director of Wellbeing at St Peter’s College, Adelaide, where he is a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Mathew graduated with a PhD in 2004 from the University of Adelaide. He was Director of Leadership of the social enterprise Teach For Australia specializing in strategy development and management. Mathew was the first Head of Positive Education at Geelong Grammar School where he taught and held positions of academic and pastoral responsibility for 11 years. A Fellow at Melbourne Graduate School of Education Mathew has authored book chapters and peer-reviewed articles on wellbeing.  He has advised corporate, non-profit, independent, government and catholic education systems on applications of positive psychology. He is a member of the advisory panel for the University of Melbourne’s Positive Psychology Centre and Dr Seligman’s role as Adelaide’s Thinker in Residence.






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