The inspiration for the program came from Living Ripples Founders and Philanthropists – Liz and Anthony Phillips. As experienced educators and sports coaches they have a strong awareness of the importance of resilience and self-confidence in children and in life. Committed to making a positive difference in this area, they have invested heavily (through The Phillips Foundation) to bring Living Ripples into existence.
Living Ripples recognises that significant change takes time, which is why it is designed as a three-year partnership with schools. Living Ripples also recognises that we can achieve more if we work together, which is why it is a collaborative program that brings together leading experts and providers to give the students in our partner schools the best available support. Living Ripples also recognises that it will not be able to partner with every school, which is why we are prioritising remote and complex schools.
Living Ripples was founded through the collaborative efforts of Liz and Anthony Phillips, Kristen Skinner and Andrew Kent. Their efforts in early 2020, established a framework supported by a network of experts and providers to set up systems, people and processes capable of making a positive difference to the resilience and self-confidence of students in schools that chose to partner with Living Ripples, regardless of the schools location.
Kristen is an experienced communications and marketing consultant specialising in developing partnerships and delivering creative, impactful projects to benefit others. She has spent the majority of her career working directly with school communities and school leaders. Kristen is a qualified teacher, B. Ed Physical Education, Dance and Drama and is a passionate health and wellbeing advocate.
Andrew has a knack for simplifying complex issues and creating and implementing successful strategies for a wide range of businesses and organisations. Born and raised in the country, Andrew understands the unique challenges of remote and complex school communities with his first school having less than 20 students, prep to year six all in the one classroom.
To ensure every school gets the attention they need and deserve, Living Ripples is building a team of education experts that have a passion for student wellbeing and an understanding of remote and complex schools.
Andrew Smee has spent his whole professional life in education. With a Bachelor of Education (Primary Teaching), majority of Andrew’s teaching experience has been within the NSW Department of Education as a classroom teacher and also as a school principal. Residing on the south coast of NSW Andrew is passionate about creating positive school cultures where opportunities for school communities to build resilience and self confidence can thrive.
Bart Cowie is extremely passionate about youth mental health, graduating with a bachelor’s degree of Social Work (Honours). Bart has worked in a flexible learning centre as a youth worker, assisting students’ wellbeing needs directly, alongside teachers. Additional experience as a trampoline coach has also furthered Bart’s appreciation for supporting the different needs of young people to develop and grow, as well as the benefits of resilience, persistence, and physical wellbeing in children.