Wellbeing Talks

2020 Wellbeing Talks

Teenagers Drugs and Alcohol – Paul Dillon

7pm Tuesday 25 February 2020 
School Hall, Mosman High School
Parents of students in all years are welcome

Hold the date – Paul will be back to speak to students in Years 10, 11 and 12 during the day and to parents in the evening,

2019 Wellbeing Talks

Hang on tight! A parent’s guide to navigating the highs and lows of adolescence – Professor Ron Rapee

7pm Thursday 19 September (before the P&C meeting)
Library, Mosman High School
All parents are welcome

We are delighted that Distinguished Professor Ron Rapee will be back to Mosman High School,  talking to parents on navigating the highs and lows of adolescence covering:

  • Teenage development and what is “normal” or typical at this life stage.
  • Some of the factors that build resilience in teens and also some of the factors that lead to poor outcomes.
  • What families, schools, and communities can do to build positive outcomes and reduce problems.

Ron was the Founding Director of the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University. He has focused most of his research in the last 25 years onto anxiety and its disorders. He is fascinated by the ways people’s lives change over time and so his work with anxiety disorders has now covered the entire lifespan, from infancy to older age. He is currently an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow leading a program to understand factors that increase risk and provide protection from the development of emotional distress during the adolescent years.

He has received awards from the Australian Psychological Society (Distinguished Contribution to Science) and the Australian Association of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (Distinguished Career Award), as well as being made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012 for his services to clinical psychology.

Teenagers, Drugs and Alcohol – Paul Dillon

Paul Dillon returned to Mosman High School, speaking to students in Years 10, 11 and 12 during the day. In the evening Paul spoke to parents of students in all years, sharing with them the latest data and information on what is happening with teenagers in relation to drugs and alcohol. He also gave parents lots of practical advice. His presentation can be found here

Paul is the founder and Director of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia.

Further Resources:

2018 Wellbeing Talks

Encouraging Healthy Technology Habits in our Young People – Dr Andrew Campbell

Technology permeates almost every part of our young people’s lives.  For their generation, learning to manage themselves in relation to digital technology will be as much a part of a healthy lifestyle as sleep, exercise and nutrition. Drawing on the latest research, Dr Andrew Campbell spoke to parents about how young people’s relationship with technology changes through their development and how best we can encourage them, in an age-appropriate way, to make wise choices about their digital consumption, benefiting their health, emotional wellbeing, relationships and future careers.

Dr Andrew Campbell is the Chair of the Cyberpsychology Research Group at the University of Sydney, having specialised in this area for over 20 years. He has also spent over a decade in clinical practice as a Registered Child and Adolescent Psychologist. His presentation is available here

Teenagers, drugs and alcohol – Paul Dillon

Paul Dillon returned in 2018 to speak to parents and students in Years 10, 11 and 12. His presentation to parents can be found here.

Paul is the founder and Director of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia.

Further Resources:

 Study Without Stress – Associate Professor Viviana Wuthrich

Associate Professor Viviana Wuthrich from the Macquarie University Centre for Emotional Health spoke to parents about ‘Study without Stress’. She gave parents practical tips for reducing anxiety and stress in students from Years 7 to 12, including around academic matters. A copy of her presentation is available here.

Too Much Too Young: The sexualisation of young people and what parents can do about it – Melinda Tankard Reist

Melinda Tankard Reist  spoke to parents on how the proliferation of sexualised images and messages contributes to a distorted view of bodies, relationships and sexuality, hampering the healthy physical, emotional and social development of young people. The presentation included practical strategies for parents to help counter this and raise happy, healthy and resilient young people.

Melinda also spoke to students in Years 7, 8 & 10. She unpacked the images and ideas young people receive every day from games, music videos, advertising, marketing, clothing and magazines. She challenged the implicit message that people’s value and worth lie solely in their bodies and physical appearance.

She provided a list of resources which can be accessed here.


2017 Wellbeing Talks

Teenagers, alcohol and drugs – Paul Dillon

Building on his talk to parents in 2016, Paul Dillon spoke to parents about adolescent development in relation to risky behaviours, as well as providing practical suggestions around alcohol and other drugs. During the day he also spoke to staff and to Year 10, 11 and 12 students.

His presentation to parents can be accessed here.

Paul is the founder and Director of Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia.

Teenagers, mental health and resilience – Professor Ron Rapee

The adolescent years are a time of tremendous change and upheaval and include some of the most challenging years for many parents. During the teen years, young people face huge changes physically and socially, and this is also the time when many common mental disorders first begin.

Professor Ron Rapee’s presentation to parents covered some of the typical emotional changes and challenges that take place during adolescence, along with thoughts on what contributes to general mental health and resilience for teenagers. He also focused in more detail on anxiety and depression (the two most common forms of difficulty). The talk included some of the factors that increase the chances that teenagers might develop emotional difficulties, as well as touch on some of the things that parents can do to help.

We have a copy of Distinguished Professor Ron Rapee’s slides on teenagers, their development and mental health, from his presentation.  We aren’t able to put it on the website but we can share it with those individuals who express a personal interest in it.  Please email us on [email protected] if you would like a copy.


Cyber Safety Presentations – Leonie Smith

It is ever more important that children and their parents know how to protect their online safety. Therefore, Susan Wyatt organised for Cyber Safety specialist, Leonie Smith, to visit Mosman High School .  Leonie is certified by the Australian Federal Government “Office of the eSafety Commissioner”.

She gave presentations to each year group for students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10.  She also gave a separate presentation to parents. Leonie’s presentation provided parents with a practical six step approach to raising responsible digital citizens, including thoughts on the perennial challenge of achieving balanced screen time.  She also spoke to parents about how to have conversations with their children about online safety.


2016 Wellbeing Talks 

Teenagers and healthy habits for brain health – Dr Sarah McKay

Dr Sarah McKay came to talk to the Mosman High School community about the importance of healthy brains for teenagers.Sarah is an Oxford-educated neuroscientist.  She talked about how the brain is central to young people’s total physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing, and how these elements interact together. She then focused on the 9 healthy habits that are most important for a healthy brain and enhanced wellbeing, explaining why these strategies matter and the scientific evidence behind them.  Below are links to her presentation and to two other useful reference sources on teenage brains.

Teenagers, Alcohol and Drugs – Paul Dillon

Paul Dillon’s annual visits to speak to Mosman High School students in Years 10, 11 and 12, as well as to parents, are part of the School’s long term program to ensure the whole community is well informed about alcohol and drugs, enabling us to best support our students in making wise decisions. Click here to see the slides from the 2016 presentation.

2015 Wellbeing Talks 

Teenagers and Emotional Health – Associate Professor Maria Kangas

Associate Professor Maria Kangas spoke to parents about Teenagers and Emotional Health.  Maria covered the spectrum of emotional health issues for teenagers from everyday stress to anxiety and depression, as well as  exploring what is in the ‘normal’ range for adolescents, when to be concerned and what steps to take in seeking help.

An Associate Professor at Macquarie University’s Centre for Emotional Health, her work is particularly focussed on the impact of stressful events and on enhancing resilience.

HSC Ready Panel

It can be challenging for Year 11 and 12 parents to know how best to support their young people through the HSC journey, so we organised a panel of presenters to share their wealth of knowledge and expertise. If you missed the discussion, below are the notes. While aimed at years 11 and 12, the information is useful for all years.

Teenagers, Alcohol and Other Drugs: How much influence do parents really have? – Paul Dillon

Paul Dillon is well known as an authoritative and expert speaker on teenagers, alcohol and drugs, visiting many schools across the country every year.  Paul gave presentations to Year 10, 11 and 12 students, staff and parents.

The parent presentation focused primarily on alcohol, although the results of the 2013 National Drug Household Survey were discussed.  Paul examined what we know about the prevalence of alcohol and other drug use by young people, with a particular emphasis on the latest evidence on the risks associated with teen drinking. There was a close examination of the positive influence that parents can have on their child’s drinking behaviour, as well as the barriers that they may face during adolescence. The aim was to empower parents with a positive message and assist them in having open and honest family discussions in this complex area.

If you weren’t able to attend, here is the link to Paul’s 2015 presentation slides.


2014 Wellbeing Talks

Healthy Technology Habits for Young People – Dr Andrew Campbell

Technology is now such an integral part of our lives that developing healthy habits around its use is essential for young people, yet for many parents it can be daunting to know how to advise and support their sons and daughters.  Hundreds of parents attended Andrew’s seminar series in 2014, organised by the P&C Wellbeing Committee for the parents of students at MHS. These covered safety and information keeping online, mobile computing behaviour, being good e-citizens, cyberbullying, online information privacy and legal aspects of online behaviour.

Andrew is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sydney, specialising in cyberpsychology, as well as working in private practice with teenagers and their families.

Download the notes from Andrew’s introductory presentation on 24 July here:  MHS Presentation notes – Empowering Teenagers with Technology for Good Health – 24th July 2014

Download the notes from Andrew’s talk on Social Networking on 13 October here: MHS Presentation notes – Social Networking – 13th Oct 2014

Understanding anxiety in our children and how parents can best help – Professor Jennifer Hudson

Professor Jennifer Hudson from the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University came to MHS to talk to us about ‘Understanding anxiety in our children and how parents can best help’. Jennie combined insights from her own research with practical strategies, as well as bringing the understanding that comes from being a parent herself.In her Tedx Talk she covers similar themes.