Founder and Managing Director
Catherine Shaw is the founder of the Positive Living Skills initiative in Australia.
The Positive Living Skills initiative was founded on Cath’s lived experience with anxiety and depression which drove her pursuit to find her own Positive Living Skills.
This saw her study to become a Life Coach and NLP Practitioner and her search for practical preventative programs led her to the extensive work of the leading international mental training expert, Dr. Terry Orlick.
Catherine has a strong background in business, is proud of her beautiful family, and she is proud to have led a team of committed professionals to develop and now distribute the evidenced based preventative Positive Living Skills Wellbeing programs, which are strongly based on Dr. Orlick’s concepts.
Catherine, together with this team of professionals, is entirely committed to see this Initiative become an integral part of educational and community life in Australia, to positively impact a whole generation to enable them to live contributing lives and stop this dangerous mental illness cycle which is gripping our communities.
Co-Founder and Director
Jo Devin is co-founder of Positive Living Skills, and together with Cath and the PLS team, she is extremely determined and committed to being a proactive contributor to enhancing mental wellbeing in Early Childhood Education and Care communities and Primary School communities by bringing these preventative positive living skills programs to children, students, educators and families.
Jo has an extensive background in Human Resources, Management, Leadership Development, and People and Business Development. She is also an experienced Counsellor, Life Coach, NLP Practitioner, and a competent and effective Facilitator and Trainer in the areas of personal development, stress management and life balance, presentation skills, leadership skills, communication and the customer experience.
Together the PLS team knows what it takes to support educators children and families to apply the positive living skills concepts into everyday life and work, so communities can thrive with practical tools for Positive Living.
None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful." Mother Teresa
Carly Fisher is a passionate and accomplished Psychologist who has worked for over 15 years with children, adolescents and adults in individual, group and business settings.
Carly is a passionate supporter of the Positive Living Skills Initiative and all it has to offer across Australia, with a particularly strong drive around rural and remote wellbeing.
Carly partnered with PLS founders in 2014 undertaking a comprehensive review of the initial modules of the program and advising on approaches and content, and Carly continues to be a vital ongoing contributor to the initiative.
As well as consulting with businesses to overcome challenges and unlock potential, Carly is a vocal advocate for rural and country kids and families being able to access high quality professional support, early intervention, training and learning. For more information visit www.carlyfisherconsulting.com.au
Dr. Loraine Fordham
Dr Loraine Fordham (PhD; MECh; Dip Fam Th; LCST) is a Senior Lecturer and Researcher in the field of early childhood.
Loraine has a PhD in early childhood (exploring families' experiences of family-centred practice) and has worked as an academic, researcher and speech pathologist in a range of early childhood, academic, health and community organisations.
From 2014-2016 Loraine completed a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with Kids First Australia (formerly the Children's Protection Society) in Melbourne, evaluating high quality early education and care practices with children and families experiencing vulnerabilities.
Loraine's teaching and research interests are in relational pedagogy (birth to 2 years), family-centred practices; inclusive education in early years settings; children's well-being; and high quality early childhood education and care.
John has been a business owner/director since 1988 and has lent his talents to a number of high profile marketing communications companies in executive management roles.
Since establishing John Holland Marketing in 2007, John has worked closely with entrepreneurs, CEOs and key executives, providing strategic advice and ongoing mentoring.
He is an experienced Director having sat on both commercial and not for profit boards.
John is a Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute (FAMI), a Certified Practicing Marketer (CPM), and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).
John has been an integral part of the Positive Living Skills team and strategy for the last 5 years.
Dr. Elizabeth Murray
Senior Lecturer and Researcher
Charles Sturt University
Dr Libbey Murray (BEd EC (Hons), PhD CSU) is Associate Head of School and Senior Lecturer in the School of Teacher Education at Charles Sturt University.
Dr Murray teaches a range of subjects both on campus and via distance to undergraduate and postgraduate students. Her research interests include examining children's social and emotional adjustment to school, child stress and anxiety, peer relationships, the teacher-child relationship, parent-teacher relationships, and quality teaching and learning environments.
Dr Murray’s work supports children, teachers and families in adjusting to and navigating their primary school journey.
Her recent research has examined children’s social and emotional resilience in later primary school, and examined children's drawings of their relationship with teachers across the first year of school.
Social impact Mentor
Geoff Gourley is a Global Social Entrepreneur, Impact Investor, NED and founder of One10 Group – a Social Innovation Accelerator and Impact Consultancy supporting purpose-driven entrepreneurs and organisations that deliver impact.
He is Founder & Chairman of Impact Investment Fund, Project Director & Chair, Project Working Group at CLARA, Advisory Board Member Swinburne University Technology Innovation Precinct and immediate past Board Director of United Nations Association of Australia.
Geoff is passionate about enabling purpose-driven people and business on a global scale.
Mark Allen is a corporate, commercial and intellectual property lawyer with over 35 years’ experience. Prior to establishing Aperion Law, Mark was leading partner at two major Sydney law firms.
For the past 20 years, Mark has focused on helping entrepreneurs develop and commercialise their business throughout all stages of the business lifecycle from incorporation to trade sale and private equity exits.
He is particularly interested in working with entrepreneurs who bring disruptive technologies and business models to the market.
Mark brings a blend of astute legal advice with a deep understanding of the commercial drivers for transactions that underpin the growth of the value of a company.
For more information about Aperion Law visit https://www.aperionlaw.com.au/
Paul de Maria
Paul joined Sydney based Hales Redden and Partners Accountancy firm in 1966 as a young employee, then over the years progressed through the ranks to Partner, and is now a Consultant to the firm.
Qualified Chartered Accountant, CPA, Registered Company Auditor, Registered Tax Agent, and Justice of the Peace.
Paul now offers Business and Advisory services to a range of individual and multi-corporations adn offers a wide range of Auditor Services to unlisted Public companies and Community organisations.
Customer Engagement - Early Learning
Hailey Chant has brought 15 years of childcare industry experience to the PLS team, ranging from birth to 6 years old, Before and After school care, having also worked with pre-teens and teenagers at the Starlight room at Westmead children’s hospital, and managed young children’s sport programs.
She has worked her way from Trainee to 2IC, educational leader and Director for a short period.
Completing her Bachelor of Education Birth to five years through Charles Sturt University while working and raising her daughters has been both a challenging and rewarding life experience for Hailey.
As Customer Engagement Specialist for Positive Living Skills Hailey enjoys combining her knowledge and experience in Childcare, her relationship skills and her passion for positive mental wellbeing to support and engage Centre staff.
Derek Lavine has a broad range of experiences in the IT sector, having been a founding member of two businesses; a Systems Integration Company, responsible for client's software, hardware and networking, and a company providing Event Registration and Ticketing software to large and small festivals.
Derek has also contracted in the Telecoms, Education, Health and Legal domains as a software architect and developer.
Derek's experience stretches over 30 years, and he has helped both large and small organisations with their technology strategy to achieve their business goals.
Steph O'Connell (MHC, A Dip A, MAICD) is a Communications Strategist, Health Advocate, Speaker, Writer, and Collaborator.
She started in consumer marketing and moved to strategic communications working in industries including medical research, government and international non-government organisations, sport, education, tourism, hospitality, and more - global businesses to start-ups and community groups.
Today Steph is still developing creative, robust and bold strategic communications and crisis and issues management for corporate and community associations.
She recently campaigned for comprehensive health communications for young adults for Meningococcal vaccination awareness, with Meningococcal Australia, reaching national audiences and government stakeholders.
She is currently an Ambassador fpr the Australian Patients Association and an advocate for accessible vaccination programs.
Customer Engagement - Primary Schools
After completing her Arts Degree with a focus on linguistics and literature, Christina’s commitment to supporting the health and wellbeing of children grew as she embarked on her own motherhood journey.
Her keen interest in supporting young people led her to a career in the Children Services industry, initially as a Before and After School Care Educator, before coordinating a school holiday program for the Department of Education with the YMCA.
Christina loves spending time outdoors with her three school aged children and husband and is excited to bring her passion for mental wellbeing together with her sound administration and relationship building skills to Positive Living Skills in her role as Customer Engagement Specialist – Primary Schools.
Beth has been providing Learning and Development Services to professionals working with children and families since 1999. Since 2007 she has been working as a consultant, offering reflective supervision and specialist training services.
Her focus areas include training in attachment, infant mental health, neuroscience, child and brain development, trauma, parenting and more.
In 2018, PLS approached Beth to review and potentially endorse the Positive Living Skills Early Childhood and Primary School Wellbeing programs which had a resoundingly positive response.
Her clients include early childhood education organisations, as well as child welfare and domestic violence services. Beth is the co-author of ‘Helping Your Baby to Sleep: Why Gentle Techniques Work Best.’ See bethmacgregor.com for more information.
IT Support Manager
David Harrison. (MCSA) (MCP) is a dedicated husband and father with a passion for everything IT, specifically concentrating on Business IT Services. David is Owner, Director, and Engineer of Pegasus IT Ltd (UK) and Pegasus IT Solutions Pty Ltd (AU).
Pegasus IT specialises in IT Consultancy, infrastructure, software and cloud services. Being based in Australia and the UK allows Pegasus to provide 24 hour IT support.
David along with the Pegasus IT team is immensely proud to be working with such a professional, dedicated team, and enjoys supporting and advising Positive Living Skills with IT infrastructure, security, software and cloud services to help them succeed seamlessly as a business and to work worry free.
Ian Pridham acquired a deep understanding of digital transformation strategy and management over his 30+ year career, and is an Honorary Fellow at the University of Technology, Sydney. He has worked with companies of all sizes, including several he founded.
With a recent move to Health from a primarily Finance and Telecommunications background, he is currently tackling superbugs as Director of Technology for the OUTBREAK Project - a 17 organisation international consortium that includes 9 universities/institutes, CSIRO, Department of Health, Department of Primary Industries, and 5 commercial organisations.
Ian has worked with blue chip national and international companies devising and/or leading numerous tens-of-million-dollar technology-based transformational initiatives.