School Life - The Resilience Project

Cobram Anglican Grammar School are very excited to join with the Resilience Project to enhance the curriculum and pastoral care programs of the school.

Over two days, the School was fortunate to host Hugh van Cuylenburg, founder of the Resilience Project. Hugh has worked in education for over 13 years, teaching both primary and secondary classes in a range of educational settings. He has also presented to over 200 corporate groups and elite sporting teams as a keynote speaker. In 2015, Hugh was asked to present workshops for every National Rugby League club. Since then, he has worked with the Australian Cricket team, the Australian Netball team, the Australian Women’s Soccer team 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.

The keys to Hugh’s message lie in the lessons he learned while teaching in a remote Indian village. In 2008, Hugh was fortunate enough to spend time living and volunteering in the far north of India. Hugh spent time in a desert community in the Himalayas, where there was no running water, no electricity and no beds; everyone slept on the floor of their desert huts. Yet, despite the fact these people had very little to call their own, Hugh was impressed by how happy they were. It was this experience, and his subsequent post graduate studies, that led Hugh to some simple, but profound, conclusions about ways to enhance the happiness and resilience of our students and our community.

Hugh addressed staff, parents and students, recounting his experiences. He described the ways in which he observed the people of village practicing gratitude, empathy and mindfulness in all they did. His observations, and subsequent studies, led him to the conclusion that Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness are the keys to developing and maintaining resilience and happiness.

Hugh’s message resounded with our students and school community and the power of his message was seen and heard in the many #DIS moments and expressions of ‘gratitude’ that have been shared amongst students, staff and families since his visit. To reinforce the positive lessons learnt, the School is incorporating journaling in the Middle and Senior Schools and mindfulness programs across the curriculum. We look forward to the positive benefits this partnership will bring to all members of our School community.

Cobram AGS would like to thank the Parents & Friends Committee for their significant donation toward the hosting of The Resilience Project.