PESA is the peak association for wellbeing education.
Our mission is to lead, develop, and foster the implementation and development of an evidenced based approach to wellbeing in education.
Our vision is for the science of wellbeing and Positive Psychology to be integrated throughout the education system, enabling all students, schools, and the wider community to flourish.
PESA advocates and promotes Positive Education to education systems. Positive Education is an approach that weaves the research from Positive Psychology and wellbeing science, into schools. Positive Education teaches young people the skills they need to support and manage their mental health and wellbeing, assisting them to make a successful transition into (and to maintain) a healthy adult lifestyle.
For more information about Positive Education, it's benefits and the research and evidence that support this approach, join our FREE Introduction to Positive Education session that happens every term (see the program for 2023 here) or watch the recording from our last session in T4 2022, presented by David Bott, founder of the Wellbeing Distillery, below.
Our Mission is to lead, develop, and foster the implementation and development of the science of wellbeing in education. Read more about our mission, vision and goals in our 2018-2022 Strategic Plan here.
PESA was formally launched at the 4th Australian Positive Psychology & Wellbeing Conference held at the University of Melbourne in February 2014. Read more about our history here.
PESA's board is a mix of global leading academics within Psychology and Wellbeing, and national leaders from all sectors of education. This makes PESA uniquely placed to assist educators to implement the science of wellbeing in contextually appropriate and effective ways. Read about our board here.
Annual General Meetings
In accordance with our constitution PESA holds Annual General Meetings. To view a record of each AGM, see here.
Advertise with us to reach a targeted audience of schools, school leaders and wellbeing educators interested in evidenced based wellbeing products and services. Read more about our advertizing options and rates here.
PESA's team is a mix of global leading academics within Psychology and Wellbeing, and national leaders from all sectors of education. This makes PESA uniquely placed to assist educators to implement the science of wellbeing in contextually appropriate and effective ways.
Professor Lea Waters AM, PhD.
Order of Australia recipient, Lea Waters AM, PhD, is a psychologist, researcher, speaker and author. She’s one of the world’s leading experts on Positive Education, Positive Organizations, and Strength-Based Parenting and Teaching. As a University researcher, Lea turns her science into strength-based strategies to help organizations, educators and parents around the world build resilience in their employees and children, helping them to thrive. Lea is the Past President of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and founding director of the Centre for Positive Psychology (now the Centre for Wellbeing Science) at the University of Melbourne. Lea holds affiliate positions at Cambridge University and the University of Michigan and serves on the Scientific Board at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. She is the author of The Strength Switch. Lea’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and more. Read more about our ambassador here.
Lisa Davias is PESA’s third CEO, serving our organisation and the community of PESA members since March 2023. Lisa brings to PESA a breadth of experience in Corporate Management, specifically in People & Culture and Marketing, and is driven by a strong passion for wellbeing and Positive Psychology.
Dr Martin E.P Seligman
Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman is a global leading authority in the fields of Positive Psychology, resilience, learned helplessness, depression, optimism and pessimism, and is often credited as the father of Positive Psychology. He is also a recognized authority on interventions that prevent depression, and build strengths and well-being. He is the Director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center and Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology in the Penn Department of Psychology. He is also Director of the Penn Master of Applied Positive Psychology program (MAPP). He was President of the American Psychological Association in 1998, during which one of his presidential initiatives was the promotion of Positive Psychology as a field of scientific study. He has written more than 350 scholarly publications and 30 books. Read a message from our Patron here.
Administration & Accounts
Kim has been working for small businesses in Victoria since 1999, working within these busy environments in accounting tasks and administrative roles. Besides her role at PESA, Kim operates the accounting and administration side of a family run business and is a mother to two children. She holds education & wellbeing in high regard and supports the areas of Positive Education and Wellbeing within all organizations.
Anne Johnstone is the Principal of Ravenswood School For Girls and Chair of PESA. Anne holds a Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) degree from the University of Pennsylvania, in which she achieved a distinguished capstone (thesis) award, under the supervision of Professor Martin Seligman. Anne is currently completing a PhD on applying positive psychology principles in education under the supervision of Professor Lea Waters and Dr Aaron Jarden, through the University of Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Anne is one of the pioneers of positive education having commenced work in this area as a recipient of a Churchill Fellowship in 2004, during which she conducted research, while based at Cambridge University, on how to foster resilience in learning. Anne has since led the implementation of Positive Education in three schools - as Deputy Headmistress of St Catherine's in Sydney, Principal of Seymour College in Adelaide and now as Principal of Ravenswood in Sydney. In 2019, Anne was one of just five educators globally to be recognised for her pioneering work and internationally recognised leadership in the field of positive education. This honour was bestowed by Professor Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology. Read a message from our chair here.