Neil has worked in education for over 40 years, including Sydney high schools in the inner city, northern, western and southern suburbs. His leadership experiences include working with disadvantaged, Aboriginal, multicultural and middleclass communities as well as experience in teaching in the UK. Neil’s most recent school role was as College Principal at Northern Beaches Secondary College the largest school in NSW, working across five campuses with a team of principals and over 370 teachers. This experience has further developed Neil’s expertise in school organisation and processes as well as his significant understanding of teaching and learning in primary schools. For over three years Neil was seconded to work with leaders and teams in all public schools across New South Wales with the aim of building school excellence, school and leadership capacity, to assist school planning and leadership coaching. Additionally, to increase his knowledge of educational practices, Neil has spent time in schools in the United Kingdom, in California and Georgia in the United States, Nova Scotia in Canada and in schools across Finland. He has also has had significant dialogue with and hosted visiting educators from Japan, China, Finland, Scotland, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Netherlands and the ACT.
Neil’s professional interests include constantly exploring better ways to meet student needs and raise expectations, student wellbeing and resilience, using evidence to improve school processes, methodology and outcomes, developing school networks, partnerships and improving pedagogy. Neil has considerable experience over the past 20 years in the practical and ground breaking application of Positive Psychology into varied school settings in order to bring about measured changes in student resilience, staff wellbeing and the creation of positive school environments. A particular interest of Neil’s is to enhance the professional growth and development of teachers and to build school capacity by developing aspiring leaders and whole school approaches through applying solution focused psychology to coaching, mentoring and the many other conversations across school communities. In response to specific needs and requests, Neil provides keynote addresses on The Resilience Doughnut and the Resilience Report for all schools – local, regionally, nationally and internationally. He develops and presents teacher and school leadership training and professional learning materials and events for both small and large school group settings as well as coaching and mentoring teachers and school leaders.