Professor Lea Waters AM, PhD, is an Australian academic, psychologist, author and speaker who holds a PhD in Organizational Psychology and is a world expert in education and parenting.
Professor Waters is the Founding Director of the Centre for Positive Psychology, University of Melbourne, where she has held an academic position for 24 years. She also holds a position on the Science Board of The University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and is the Director of Visible Wellbeing, her social venture, which is being run in schools across Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, The Netherlands, United States of America and United Arab Emirates.
Lea’s online family program the Strength Switch is based upon her acclaimed parenting book, ‘The Strength Switch’ – the top release on Amazon in the parenting category and listed in the Top Reads for 2017 by Berkeley University’s Greater Good Science Center and in the Top Five Books for Parents and Children in the UK’s Top Five site. The Strength Switch has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Hungarian, Arabic, Spanish, French and Russian.
Lea has written for The Wall Street Journal, TIME.com, The Atlantic, The Guardian and has been interviewed for articles in The Washington Post, The Toronto Globe, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Vogue, and ELLE Magazine. Lea has consulted across sectors such as finance, business, retail, local Government, Charity, health Care, Sport and Education. Her TEDx talk, Warning: Being positive is not for the faint hearted!, explores how we can use social media to have a positive impact on others’ wellbeing and has been viewed more than 130,000 times.
Lea is the recent Past President of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) (2017-2019), was the Chair of the 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology and is currently a Board member of IPPA as well as being the Patron for Flourishing Education Japan and the Ambassador for the Positive Education Schools Association.
In 2015, Professor Waters was listed as one of Australia’s Top 100 Women of Influence by the Financial Review. In 2017 she was listed in Australia’s Whose Who of Australian Women and in 2020 Lea was honoured by the Governor General of Australia and named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), one of the highest civilian honours in Australia, for her leadership in psychology and education.
Professor Waters says, “It’s an honour to be the Ambassador for PESA and support the fruitful work that this association is doing to bring wellbeing to all schools across Australia.”
PESA is grateful for Lea’s insightful and practical contribution to the Association.