In 2008, I was fortunate enough to spend a few months living and volunteering in the far north of India. In this desert community, there was no running water, no electricity and no beds; everyone slept on the floor of their desert hut. Despite the fact these people had very little to call their own, I was continually blown away by how happy they were.
It was this experience, and subsequent post graduate studies, that have led me to some pretty simple conclusions about the things that we need to be doing here in Australia if we want to be happier. In a nutshell, I learnt in this desert village that practicing gratitude, empathy (compassion) and mindfulness leads us to a happier more fulfilling experience. Once I discovered these three principles were also evidence based, I thought it might be a good idea to turn this into a program for schools. Turns out it wasn’t just schools that wanted to hear this message!
Hugh van Cuylenburg
The Resilience Project delivers emotionally engaging programs to schools, sports clubs and businesses, providing practical, evidence-based, positive mental health strategies to build resilience and happiness.
We have delivered programs to over 500 schools around the country and worked with many elite sporting teams including the Australian cricket, netball and soccer teams, NRL and AFL clubs.
Through presentations, wellbeing journals, school curriculum, teacher diaries and our app, we seek to help all Australians become mentally healthy.
WHO HAVE WE REACHED?
MEET OUR TEAM
Hugh van Cuylenburg
Hugh has been working in education for over 13 years, teaching both primary and secondary in a range of educational settings. The highlight of his teaching career was the year he spent in the far north of India volunteering and living at an underprivileged school in the Himalayas. It was here that he discovered resilience in its purest form.
Inspired by this experience Hugh returned to Melbourne and commenced working on his own program for schools. ‘The Resilience Project’ was born. Having completed his post graduate studies, looking at resilience and wellbeing, Hugh has developed and facilitated programs for over 500 schools Australia wide. In 2015, the National Rugby League asked Hugh to run workshops at every single club in the competition. Since then, he has worked with the Australian Cricket Team, the Australian Netball Team, the Australian Womens Soccer Team, The Jillaroos and 8 AFL teams. Beyond the team environment, Hugh has been lucky enough to work one on one with individuals such as Steve Smith, Dustin Martin and Billy Slater.
Outside of schools and sport, Hugh has presented to over 200 corporate groups as a keynote speaker, where he teaches the same principles as he does when he is working with the prep kids in schools across the country.
His favourite past time is spending time with his partner Penny and their son, Benji.
Ben has held a number of roles throughout his 13 years in the education and sports industries including teaching, educational leadership, student admissions, marketing and communications. He has a genuine care for people and is passionate about helping them achieve their full potential. His most recent role prior to joining The Resilience Project was as an executive at SEDA Group as National Marketing & Communications Manager. Ben’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Applied Science, a Graduate Diploma of Education and a Specialist Certificate in Strategic Marketing
Administration Manager and EA to Hugh & Martin
Mel has dedicated the majority of her working life to administration and customer service in the luxury brands sector, most recently as a Senior Administration Officer in an international luxury Italian brand which has made her highly skilled in organising, multi tasking and problem solving – a perfect fit for her role at TRP.
Mel joined TRP in September 2016 and is widely recognised as the backbone of the company. She keeps the office running smoothly as our clients’ main contact with her invaluable knowledge and experience in customer service.
Schools Program Manager
Community Partnerships Manager
After completing her Masters in Global Media Communications, Penny worked in health communications, as a consultant for the Union for International Cancer Control in Geneva. Moving into Public Relations, Penny worked as a Senior Account Manager for a Melbourne based agency where she worked with a broad array of clients in the corporate, educational and not for profit sectors.
The role of Community Partnerships Manager is perfect for Penny as she loves developing relationships with others in the community and working together to improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians.
Accounts and Finance Manager
With Bachelor qualifications in Accounting and Hotel Management as well being a CPA, Helen brings a systems oriented approach to ensuring the finances of TRP are in order. She has set up finance systems in some of Melbourne’s premier restaurants and hotels as well for a range of other clients.
Helen has a strong affinity with the positive and practical message of TRP and is pleased to be part of the team which enables it to be spread far and wide.
Laura completed a BA Honours degree in Literary & Historical Studies at Staffordshire University before her life path brought her to Australia. She brings to TRP a very strong Customer Service background as well as highly skilled training capabilities and customer database expertise.
She is committed to the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents and is currently studying Cert IV in Child, Youth and Family intervention.
Senior Project Manager
Lucy has spent her career working in the intersection of health, education and technology – exploring ways to build and measure solutions that support health at scale.
Lucy spent three years as the inaugural General Manager of Smiling Mind. She was fortunate to be a finalist in the 2016 Young Australian of the Year Awards for this work.
Following this, Lucy headed to New York, and spent three years working in the tech scene (both start up and big agency) honing her knowledge of all things digital. This switch from health social enterprise to Corporate America was fuelled by a desire to learn best-practices in technology and innovation, and understand how to apply them in sustainable and scalable ways.
She now brings her health-tech knowledge to The Resilience Project, building and managing a new Digital Program in order to increase the accessibility and reach of our wellbeing curriculum.
Belinda has spent her working life helping at risk young people and their families. She began her career as a family services worker in child protection at Mackillop family services. After seeing first-hand the incredible impact that schools and teachers had on the families she worked with, she was inspired to complete a Graduate Diploma in Secondary education and moved into the education sector as a teacher and Student Wellbeing coordinator.
Belinda’s passion for prevention and health promotion grew and she went on to complete further studies in health promotion. She has since been involved in several community education programs including the AFL Respectful Relationships program and Baby Makes 3. Belinda has been integral in pulling together and updating all of our school curriculum materials and her role as Education Manager provides the perfect mix of working in prevention and education.