Ideas are well grounded in solid scientific scholarship, while providing practical ways to apply that scholarship within the school.”
— Dr Peggy Kern- Centre for Positive Psychology, University of Melbourne
One of the best and most useful PDs I have ever been on.
— Hayley Moore- Head of Junior Secondary, Ferny Grove SHS

Purpose of the day: This PD is designed to guide schools through some of the contemporary research and practice about student performance. It will also share useful ways of applying the concepts of growth mindset, grit and wellbeing, to help students THRIVE.

Intended Audience: Primary and Secondary School Principals, Deputy Principals, Assistant Principals, Heads of Year/House, Guidance Counsellors or those teachers with a Middle Leadership role in student enhancement, S.E.L., wellbeing or Pastoral Care.

Program Outline:

8:30am Registration, Tea, Coffee

9:00am Session #1- Thriving with growth mindsets (with a focus on neuroplasticity and creating a culture of stretching).

10:45am- Morning Tea

11:15am- Session #2- Getting gritty (Application: habit formation and setting targets)

1:00pm- Lunch

1:40pm- Session #3- Helping kids flourish with wellbeing practices (Application: gratitude and active listening). Implementation plans and support- how to implement at your school.

3:30pm- Close

“Luke is a dynamic and charismatic presenter who engages teams with insightful ideas and resources for developing strategies for student success. Whether it be working with teachers on Leadership Development or Wellbeing, Luke is able to unpack the multilayers of research and his own teaching and leading experience for a fun-filled and action-orientated professional development program - one that our teachers have raved about.”
— Mark Fleming- Assistant Principal (Pastoral Care and Religious Education), Southern Cross College, Annandale.
“This Twilight was the BEST I have ever been to. Luke was an excellent presenter. He made the ‘after hours’ session very enjoyable. Let’s bring him back for the next twilight!!”
— Teacher- Holy Spirit College, Mackay.
“Best PD I’ve ever attended in 7 years of teaching. The entire day was useful. A fantastic presentation!”
— Teacher- St Clare’s Primary School, Townsville.
“Luke has a passionate and genuine desire to unleash the potential in all of us. His presentations are engaging for both staff and students. Through the use of anecdotes and solid data and evidence, Luke clearly demonstrates how the growth mindset philosophy can be used to get the best out of our students and ourselves. As a College, we have been on the growth mindset journey for sometime, but Luke’s presentation has enabled us to take the next step and to really embed the philosophy into the culture of our school.”
— Steve Centra- Principal, Lumen Christi College, NSW South Coast


Cost: Investment per participant is $210+GST. ($180+GST for early bird tickets- available until Friday June 23).

Morning tea and lunch provided. All registrants receive a complimentary copy of "Thrive- Unlocking the truth about student performance", by Luke McKenna.

Presenter: UPP founder, Luke McKenna is an educator and author who specialises in working with schools to build growth mindsets, resilience, wellbeing and leadership for all students. Over the last 10 years, he has worked as a classroom teacher and school administrator. Luke has worked with educators and students across Australian Primary and Secondary schools from the Independent, Catholic and Public sectors. Luke holds degrees in Business and Education, a Masters of Educational Leadership, and a Professional Certificate in Positive Education. This year, Luke is speaking at The Positive Schools Conference, Sydney; Griffith University's Professional Development Network Conference on the Gold Coast; and ACU's Advisory Conferences in Canberra and Brisbane. His work has been published in the Australian Journal of Middle Schooling, Happy Schools and The Positive Times.

Links to Australian Professional Standards for Teachers- click here


  • Sunshine Coast- Thursday August 10- Alex Park Conference Centre
  • Brisbane- Friday, August 11- Camp Warrawee, Petrie
  • Gold Coast- Thursday, August 17- Runaway Bay Sport & Leadership Excellence Centre

If you would like to host an open workshop at your school,  or arrange PD for your staff, please contact us to discuss options.

Participant comments about UPP PD days

"Very interesting and helpful. The most productive PD day!"

"A great PD packed with positive ideas that can be put into practice."

"Luke's presentation offered a lot of variety and was well paced to keep me interested. I appreciated the research, relevance and authenticity. I have since shared some of the insights from this PD with a particular year 8 class who is struggling with essay writing- it was like the light turned on for them, we can fail, but we'll learn, don't be afraid to work hard."

"Practical tools to help me with my everyday teaching, and an understanding of how to go about implementing change- excellent!"

"Great information and relevant examples. Highly professional and personable presentation."

"It is fantastic to have so many practical ideas to walk away with."

"A lot of food for thought about how to travel forward. A great day. Very well organised."

"Great PD. Best I've been to this year."

"Great to take goal setting to the next level. Really good to get ideas for how we can improve our own program."

"So many good ideas to think about and incorporate into existing PC program. 10/10"

"Practical ideas to include in my schools' SEL program. I really enjoyed the overview of growth mindset, grit and wellbeing- loved the examples and evidence."

 "It was fantastic. There were so many great ideas and super important messages for us personally and professionally. Entertaining and superbly delivered. Research was shared in a clear and easy to understand way. I wish I had this professional learning ten years ago."

"Luke's presentation was engaging. He was a teacher, so knows what we deal with - the content he presented was relevant and easy to implement. I loved this presentation!"