Conference Speakers
Denise Quinlan

New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience

Talk Title:

Navigating well-being change: Customised, contextualised well-being planning for schools

Talk Description:

Schools world-wide are adopting wellbeing as a goal and implementing wellbeing programmes. It is increasingly easy to learn about positive psychology. For many educational leaders, however, creating and implementing their own wellbeing plan remains a challenging process. They must select from a wide range of topics and strategies and identify where modifications for school context are necessary. Although Robinson’s Road Map for schools embarking on wellbeing change provides valuable guidelines, wellbeing planning continues to challenge educational leaders. Dr Quinlan will share a wellbeing planning process and toolkit developed through years of assisting schools to plan and implement wellbeing change. This process supports schools to plan and implement effective wellbeing strategies that: acknowledge and build on existing strengths; earn staff buy-in and engagement; and reflect school culture, values and priorities. This process builds on Robinson’s roadmap for wellbeing change and is consistent with best practice principles for effective wellbeing programmes and initiatives. It provides overall wellbeing change principles and tools consistent with a strengths-focus and appreciative approach. This process has enabled schools to cut through the myriad of possible wellbeing strategies to develop plans that build on strengths, engage staff and reflect school culture and priorities. This wellbeing change model offers a standardized process that gives rise to customized and contextualized plans created and supported by staff.


Dr Denise Quinlan is a director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience and an adjunct Professor at IE University’s Business School, Madrid. She contributes to the development of wellbeing in education and the workplace through her research, programme development and face-to-face consulting and training. Her primary interest is the effective translation of research into practical, appropriate strategies for education and the workplace. Longstanding school collaborations and decades of work in management assessment and development give Denise a deep understanding of the contextual challenges in implementing wellbeing initiatives.


©2018 by the New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology.