Dear Colleagues,

I am excited to announce the appointment of two new casual Directors to the PESA Board: Andy Skidmore and Elizabeth Bate.

Andy Skidmore is the CEO of The Youth Impact Foundation, a not-for-profit social enterprise focused on changing the narrative for young people across Australia and New Zealand by reducing duplication and amplifying impact among youth organisations in the charity sector. At the age of 21, Andy founded Burn Bright, an organisation dedicated to enhancing the wellbeing of young people through leadership and character-building programs, as well as national camps grounded in evidence-based wellbeing science and positive psychology.   

Currently, Andy serves as the Managing Director of the National Leadership Forum, an annual leadership event for young people aged 18-26 held at Parliament House in Canberra. Through his initiatives, Andy has positively impacted over 200,000 young people both in Australia and internationally. His leadership in various charities has earned accolades such as Australia’s Most Innovative Charity by Westpac and UNSW, recognition for outstanding data use, and a spot in Anthill’s list of 100 ‘Cool Australian Companies’.

Andy also contributes his expertise to the boards of the Attitude Youth Charitable Trust and The Magic Moments Foundation. He holds a Master of Science in Coaching Psychology from Sydney University, a Bachelor of Arts, and has studied Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University.

Having been an active member of the NSW PESA Chapter Committee since 2019, we are thrilled to welcome Andy to the Board. Andy shared, “I am excited to serve on the PESA board to help PESA continue to grow, ensuring that all schools and young people across our country have access to the tools they need to flourish.

Elizabeth Bate is the Principal of Tumbi Umbi Campus, Tuggerah Lakes Secondary College on the Central Coast of NSW. A dedicated champion of positive education, Elizabeth is committed to building capacity and competency in colleagues and young people through steady, incremental changes to individuals and systems. She believes that teachers have the best job in the world because “we wake up every day and make a difference in the lives of young people for the better.”

Elizabeth’s signature strengths – honesty, spirituality, leadership, teamwork, and social intelligence – are evident in her daily role as Principal. A passionate advocate for public schools, she has served as a principal in two high schools for a decade and has been an educator for over thirty years. Elizabeth played a pivotal role in transforming the NSW regional hub of the Upper Hunter in positive education and now serves on the Board of the Upper Hunter charity, Where There’s a Will. She is currently leading the implementation of positive education in a cluster model on the Central Coast of NSW.

Inspired by the positive education journey in the Upper Hunter, Elizabeth completed a Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) from The University of Melbourne and holds a Professional Certificate in Positive Education. Elizabeth shared, “I am delighted and honored to join the Board of the Positive Education Schools Association. As Principal of a NSW public high school, I am passionate about creating environments in which students can thrive academically and personally. Being part of the board allows me to collaborate with like-minded educators and leaders, sharing best practices and innovative strategies to ensure that positive education becomes a cornerstone of our educational system. I look forward to contributing to the Association’s mission of integrating positive education into every school in Australia, enhancing our students’ well-being and resilience.”

We are thrilled to welcome Andy and Elizabeth to our Board and look forward to the positive impact they will bring.

Warm regards,

Warren Symonds

PESA Chair