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Nikki Bonus, Founder and CEO of Life Skills Group and Hon. Tanya Plibersek, Shadow Minister for Education and Shadow Minister for Women discussed the many roles we are all currently playing, from parents to leaders, and a discussion around what are the critical areas in education today concerning schools, teachers, students, and their communities that we need to address.

This 30-minute fireside chat with two female leaders, both mothers and both committed to making a difference in the lives of families, schools and our young people in education will provide a unique opportunity to hear and be heard by a national voice in education. 

In this webinar, our experts  discussed:

  • The biggest issue's facing school communities today
  • How we prioritise SEL and wellbeing in education
  • What we can do to provide more support for schools, teachers, students and communities
  • A recognition of the role of teachers and families during the pandemic

The Life Skills Group team have been working with over 850 schools for over 12 years. In the past few months alone we have witnessed a surge in educators reaching out, and have connected with thousands of teachers and leaders in schools and governments across Australia. The message shared has been one of frustration, grief and weariness as they try to respond to the ever-growing hidden pandemic of the worsening mental health of our students, educators and communities in the face of the ever-changing restrictions, lockdowns and personal disconnect we are all struggling to navigate. This, coupled with the lack of expertise, tools, resources and support for educators and families to address this has led to calls for extreme measures: “Mental health screening has been recommended in all schools after research found one-quarter of young Australians experienced psychological distress during 2020.” (Sydney Morning Herald, 8 September 2021).

We have heard our community, and feel that this voice must be amplified. To this end, we are running events such as this to ensure your voice is heard at the highest levels to support our communities in whatever way we can. This is a call for the attention and resources needed to support Social Emotional Learning, the measuring of emotional literacy and wellbeing that’s so urgently required, today. We thank you for lending your support.


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Tanya Plibersek is the Shadow Minister for Education, Shadow Minister for Women, and the Federal Member for Sydney.

Between 2013 and 2019, Tanya was Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party. From 2013 to 2016, Tanya was also the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development.

Tanya served as a Cabinet minister in the Gillard and Rudd Governments. Tanya was Minister for Health, Minister for Medical Research, Minister for Housing, Minister for Human Services, Minister for Social Inclusion, and Minister for the Status of Women.

Tanya grew up in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney and is the daughter of migrants from Slovenia. Like many newly arrived migrants, Tanya’s parents helped build the country in which they made their new home. Her father worked on the Snowy River hydroelectric scheme in the 1950s.

Tanya holds a BA Communications (Hons) from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and a Master of Politics and Public Policy from Macquarie University. Before entering Parliament, Tanya worked in the Domestic Violence Unit at the NSW Ministry for the Status and Advancement of Women. Elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Sydney in 1998, she spoke of her conviction that ordinary people working together can achieve positive change.

Nikki Bonus is an experienced Edtech founder and CEO of Life Skills Group, harnessing more than 20 years of deeply personal and professional experience in the development and delivery of social-emotional literacy programs for individuals, organisations, and most importantly, teachers and students. Nikki’s work has helped give voice to more than 850 schools, connecting with 20,000 teachers and 500,000 primary school children to build a continuing evidence base of what works to measure, report and implement real improvements in wellbeing for school communities.She was one of a 100 CEOs that was invited to participate in the Google - Engage - Search Inside Yourself leadership program, San Francisco, training her to deliver Transformational Professional Development experiences backed by world experts in neuroscience, leadership, mindfulness and emotional intelligence.She epitomises resilience having been out of home by the age of 16. The tragedies of mental health contributed to her brother taking his life at a young age. Her intrinsic motivation is the belief that no matter where you were born, no matter what family you were born into, anything is possible. Her commitment is to work in collaboration with governments, school communities to see Social Emotional and Physical Literacy as valued as academic performance.