Be Bold Body Image Workshop

Friday the 28th of July, saw the first Be Bold Body Image Workshop offered to our year 8 and 9 girls on behalf of Centacare Family Services.

The facilitators from Centacare along with the assistance of Eliza Farrell our Re-engage youth worker,  guided the group of young women through the ins and outs of the importance of self-esteem, how media and people in our lives influence body image and the harm of their expectations on us.

Students were shown how social media can be used to set unrealistic expectations, through manipulated images, Photoshop and models posing in particular way to enhance images.

A number of students left the session with a clearer understanding of “the norm” and stepped out of their comfort zones sharing stories with the group about  times when they have felt  “not good enough” about their bodies.

Some student feedback:

“It brought me out of my comfort zone and made me realise other people feel the same way. We are made a certain way, that way is just for you and that’s okay”.

Below is an outline of what information is being delivered in sessions :

Session 1: Body image and media

-Why body image is important to self-esteem

-How professional and social media influence body image

-How media images are manipulated and unrealistic

-Why comparison is unhelpful and contributes to poor body image and low self-esteem

Session 2: Redefining beauty and developing a healthy focus

-How beauty is defined by culture and over time

-What makes someone beautiful – not just appearance

-Why dieting is unhelpful

-How to focus on health rather than appearance

Session 3: Self-esteem and resilience

-Why self-esteem is important

-How to practice self-acceptance

-How to challenge negative self-talk and develop positive self-talk

-How to develop resilience and self-confidence



Jamie Maniero – Student Counsellor

White Ribbon Ambassador

Positive Behaviours and Respectful Relationships


Parents in Education week 2017

Parents in education week

Parents in Education week promotes and highlights the importance of parents being engaged in their child’s learning and education from birth through school, and to provide practical advice for parents on how to support their child’s learning.

In 2017 Parents in Education week will be held from Monday 18 to Friday 22 September.

View the map of event locations and partnerships.

Register to participate by clicking on the session topics of your choice in the program below. All events are free.


This year a 3-day speakers program will be delivered each evening from Tuesday 19 to Thursday 21 September. The Minister for Education and Child Development will chair a panel, and keynote speakers will present at the Star Room, Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

Program session Date Speakers
An evening with Minister Susan Close and guests discussing the 21st Century child 19 September 2017
7.00pm to 8.45pm
Dr Kristin Alford
Niki Buchan
Jodie Benveniste
Unlocking your child’s potential and learning through strength-based parenting” 20 September 2017
7.00pm to 8.45pm
Professor Lea Waters
9 Ways to a Resilient Child 21 September 2017
7.00pm to 8.45pm
Dr Justin Coulson



Teresa Bruno

Senior Leader-Learner  Wellbeing

Resilience Workshops

In term 2 a four week workshop was conducted with some year 8 students to educate them on anxiety management & resilience skills.

The group was a confidential & safe space for them to express their thoughts & feelings in a verbal & creative manner. The work shop consisted of a number of discussions & activities based around positive psychology, mindfulness, gratitude, values, emotions & feelings reflection.

The students involved were encouraged to discuss & express their understanding of how to manage anxiety & were given strategies to improve their resilience.

This workshop resulted with a positive outcome, with students reporting back that they found it beneficial & would be interested in continuing similar workshops in the future.

Thank you to all those who participated & who were involved in planning & delivering the workshop.

Rebecca & Maria

ACAP student Counsellors.

Wirreanda Learner Wellbeing- Positive Education- PERMA +



Today staff were fortunate enough to have Annette Bulling present on PERMA +, Annette is Project Lead – Education from the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre at SAHMRI ( The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute- which is an independent health and medical research institute in Adelaide ) . Annette has a background in education – worked in schools sites, regional office and central office. She spent time working for Mindmatters and Australian Childhood Foundation promoting mental health, wellbeing and trauma-informed practice.

The purpose of Positive Psychology and PERMA + at Wirreanda Secondary School is to encourage and support a  flourishing school community that focuses on POSITIVES that contribute to the wider population and in doing so help a greater percentage of people to live well and build resilience.

“PERMA” stands for the five essential elements that should be in place for us to experience lasting well-being. These are:

  1. Positive Emotion (P)

For us to experience well-being, we need positive emotion in our lives. Any positive emotion like peace, gratitude, satisfaction, pleasure, inspiration, hope, curiosity, or love falls into this category – and the message is that it’s really important to enjoy yourself in the here and now, just as long as the other elements of PERMA are in place.

  1. Engagement (E)

When we’re truly engaged in a situation, task, or project, we experience a state of flow: time seems to stop, we lose our sense of self, and we concentrate intensely on the present.

This feels really good! The more we experience this type of engagement, the more likely we are to experience well-being.

  1. Positive Relationships (R)

As humans, we are “social beings,” and good relationships are core to our well-being. Time-and-again, we see that people who have meaningful, positive relationships with others are happier than those who do not. Relationships really do matter!

  1. Meaning (M)

Meaning comes from serving a cause bigger than ourselves. Whether this is a specific deity or religion, or a cause that helps humanity in some way, we all need meaning in our lives to have a sense of well-being.

  1. Accomplishment/ Achievement (A)

Many of us strive to better ourselves in some way, whether we’re seeking to master a skill, achieve a valuable goal, or win in some competitive event. As such, accomplishment is another important thing that contributes to our ability to flourish.

We look forward to working further with Annette and SAHMRI in the future with our goal of building resilience in our community.

White Ribbon-Breaking the Silence in Schools Program 2016-2017 case study

Please allow me to take this opportunity to share with you our schools White Ribbon journey thus far and our plans for the future.

Wirreanda Secondary School has committed to the White Ribbon “ Breaking the Silence “ in schools programs as part of the primary prevention of violence against women. The primary prevention of violence against women is an important first step to use an educational setting as a platform to raise awareness and build a culture of respectful relationships.

Below is a link to the Wirreanda Secondary School’s Breaking the Silence in Schools Program 2016-2017 case study;

This document outlines;

Our site overview and context

Our aims and policies

Our timeline, training, accreditation and events

2017 and embedment into culture

and finally

Our outcomes and our plans for the future

Wirreanda Secondary School White Ribbon Breaking the Silence in Schools Program


Jamie Maniero

Student Counsellor, White Ribbon Ambassador

Positive Behaviours and Respectful Relationships



Take a Stand

On Friday the 17th of  March 2017, Wirreanda Secondary School conducted a whole day of focus and awareness around resilience, respectful relationships, conflict resolution strategies and mindfulness, to help ‘ take a stand together’ and support BULLY NO WAY!

This included;

Morning sessions:

Teachers booked their classes into morning sessions with key guests including , focus leaders and student leaders who have made areas of resilience, respectful relationships, mindfulness and conflict resolution.

Mid afternoon session:

A mid-afternoon to lunchtime walkthrough information session, in which students completed a ‘resilience walk’, through various community groups and service providers gathering key information, justifying their emotional responses, expressing their opinions, beliefs, questions and choices, in order to build and modify safety strategies.

Lunchtime Event

A lunchtime school community event, showcasing our school’s commitment and awareness of BULLY NO WAY, with school bands performing songs of hope and encouragement, food and more information displays and workshops.

And finally two afternoon sessions:

One with a key guest speaker discussing their own battle with life setbacks, how to evaluate/rethink and refine life after unexpected or difficult situations and self-discipline strategies and personal experiences.

And the other with Helen Sleeman our Wellbeing Officer and Nick Jackson discussing Digital Citizenship with our learners parents .

This in turn further supported our safe school policy, strategy and programs in which;

All members of Wirreanda Secondary school have the right to be included and have respect from others, the right to learn or to be taught, and a right to feel safe and secure in their school environment.

Acknowledges that Wirreanda Secondary School is a White Ribbon and Safe School Coalition site and promotes respectful relationships amongst all members of the community.

The Wellbeing Team


Operations Flinders

Designed to mentally, physically and emotionally challenge, Operation Flinders is a South Australian based charitable organisation that runs a world leading wilderness adventure program for young people at risk in the picturesque Flinders Ranges.

For the first time, Wirreanda Secondary School was extended an invitation to send a ‘team, which comprised of 10 students with mixed ages, genders and year levels. Participants were recommended to partake in the exercise, based on a number of aspects ranging from disengagement with school to an identified need to develop leadership qualities.

Over the 8 days, participants travelled 90km all over Yankaninna station on foot, carrying with them rucksacks full of all their vital equipment, bedding, food and water. Whilst the days were spent hiking mountains, abseiling, managing blisters and complaining about what they missed from home,  evenings were spent around the campfire, completing jobs and reflecting on the things important to them and the changes they wish to make in their lives.

Students were broken and challenged, but with no option other than to suck it up and persevere, they did it! As a supporting teacher, I cannot begin to describe the pride and admiration I have for those who participated and supported us. No doubt this has been a life changing experience for all involved and one that I hope all our participating students can look back on and recognise as a major accomplishment in their lives.
Alicia Dean

Health and Physical Education/VET Sport and Recreation /Specialist Sport Course

White Ribbon Day 

Wirreanda Secondary School has committed to the White Ribbon “ Breaking the Silence “ in schools programs as part of the primary prevention of violence against women. We recognise that the primary prevention of violence against women is an important first step to use an educational setting as a platform to raise awareness and build a culture of respectful relationships.
Today we showed our support and raised awareness by;

A lunchtime BBQ that facilitated conversations and enabled us to keep up with already established traditions.
A lunchtime staff v’s students basketball match which attracted many enthusiastic players and supporters.
An area set was up for students to contribute to the ‘rise up’ SOUTHERN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INITIATIVE supported by the city of ONKAPRINGA to decorate a t-shirt with a message of hope. 
Pledge boards where staff and students were encouraged to photograph colleagues and peers holding a ‘we swear’ poster and post them to social media using the hashtags #decdWRD2016 and #WhiteRibbonDay.
Students represented Wirreanda Secondary School by going to the WHITE RIBBON BREAKFAST at the Adelaide Convention Centre, thank you to Alicia Dean was facilitating the morning.

A fantastic lunchtime event that had music, entertainment, facilitated awareness and as always exhibited a community building a culture of respect.

Huge thanks to the White Ribbon Team – Jamie Maniero, Ben Menzies, Ralf Pirone and James Skehan for organising today’s event.

Thanks to Azra for her BBQ skills, Amber,  Josh and the peer support students for helping with the set up of the day and Jake for assisting with his DJ skills.

Deadly Start 2 High School

Deadly Start 2 High School

Deadly Start 2 High School is about year 7 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in secondary schools. Year 7 students have the opportunity to participate in the transition program aimed at supporting positive transition into secondary school. Several secondary schools in the south take turns in running workshops to encourage a positive outlook at high school. Wirreanda ran a program on Kaurna language and artifacts as well as a science class with the wonderful Ms Nicholson.

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A Taste of Culture for the Japanese Koshikawa students

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students had the opportunity to present a ‘Taste of Culture’ for the Japanese students of Koshikawa. The Koshikawa students had the wonderful time of painting native animals inspired by Aboriginals designs. They students also had fun of a shared lunch of wattle seed damper, scones and kangaroo sausages. All food disappeared within minutes .

It was interest how well the students took in the information we provided and how good their art skills were…It was nice chatting to new people with a different culture and we learnt form them as well” – Breanna Trueman –

“We also taught the students about different animals, languages and laws…I had a lot of fun and so did the Koshikawa students” – Tamya Motto –

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Azra Rochester
Aboriginal Secondary Education Transition Officer

R U OK? Day


R U Ok

Week 7 – Thursday 8 th September is R U OK? day

Lunchtime Events occurred today in the Nunga Room, with students having the opportunity to participate in a conversation corner and ask one another ” R U Ok ?”.

R U OK?’s vision is a world where we’re all connected and are protected from suicide.

Their mission is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.

Their Goals are :

  1. .Boost our confidence to meaningfully connect and ask about life’s ups and down.
  2. Nurture our sense of responsibility to regularly connect and support others.
  3. Strengthen our sense of belonging because we know people are there for us
  4. Be relevant, strong and dynamic

We know that suicide prevention is an enormously complex and sensitive challenge the world over. But we also know that some of the world’s smartest people have been working tirelessly and developed credible theories that suggest there’s power in that simplest of questions – “Are you ok?”.

It’s this lack of connection (or lack of belonging) that we want to prevent. By inspiring people to take the time to ask “are you ok?” and listen, we can help people struggling with life feel connected long before they even think about suicide. It all comes down to regular, face-to-face, meaningful conversations about life. And asking “are you ok?” is a great place to start

Staying connected and having meaningful conversations is something we can all do. You don’t need to be an expert – just a good listener. So, if you notice someone who might be struggling – start a conversation.

Please do not hesitate to see a member of the Wellbeing staff for any support or advice.