“I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or de-humanized.”
Dr Haim G. Ginott (1922-1973)
Our approach is not that of ‘me guru – you dumb disciple’, rather one of a mutual learning environment. It is not a case of here’s our seminar – hope it fits your situation.
We are committed to working with you to identify the most effective program for your students. Peer Power seminars are a lively combination of information and interaction, so that the students take part in an enjoyable learning experience. Through these seminars, a framework is created allowing the students to think through the relevant issues and apply the lessons individually. These seminars are user-friendly for the students and school administration as they are modular in format and can be tailored to suit your school’s curriculum, learning outcomes, timetable and students
A good education leaves a lot to be desired…
Over the last three decades, Michael Knight has engaged with hundreds of thousands of young people. He has lost about the same number of hairs from his head. The founder of the Australian arm of Peer Power has an established record for generating classroom dynamics that get results for schools, teachers and students. During his youth work journey, Michael has focused on classroom and large scale seminar presentations, crisis counselling, adventure therapy (camping), administration organisational management and development. Michael Knight is still learning, but has walked down the road of experience enough to be able to make a genuine difference for schools.
“Did you see the score, Luke?” … “Yep.”
“Wait I didn’t tell you which sport”…. “I know.”
Just like Mr Schwarzenegger’s 2nd most quoted line “Come with me if you want to live”, Luke is passionate about communicating with adolescents how to live life to its fullest. Unfortunately for Luke, his similarities to the Terminator don’t extend to physique. He loves everything sport: watching, playing, talking and keeping track of scores. You’ll make his day if you ask him the rules of any particular sport (especially Mao the Card Game). Luke is motivated by enabling adolescents to discover their unique contribution to culture and develop genuine relationships that traverse their lifetime. Just like the Terminator’s most quoted line “I’ll be back!” having been gone 10 years from Peer Power, he is back! Oh…and he’d also say: Let’s Go Broncos!
Never waste a good mistake
‘Inaptronym’ means the personal name doesn’t match the owner. ‘Philippa’ means horse lover, but this Philippa loves photography, gardening, picnics, walks, hosting people at her house, road trips, Christmas decorating, true crime podcasts, envelope budgeting, long chats with a friend over a cuppa…just not horses. Hence why Philippa goes by ‘Pip’. Pip’s love of serving others has taken her to different countries, meeting new people and hearing their fascinating stories. She is pumped by “aha moments” when something new is learned. So much so, Pip became a primary school teacher and then home schooled her children in Laos. Pip has some very pedantic opinions about the right way to do things; it is best to watch a period drama first AND THEN read the book. Having made a few blunders herself, Pip’s mantra is “never waste a good mistake”
“I’m actually so funny.” – Khushboo Purswani
Some would describe Khushi as “a real-life Meghan Markle:” absolutely born and destined for royalty. Kidding! Though she wouldn’t mind marrying a red-head prince and having a socially acceptable reason to be professionally unemployed. When she is forced to work, she supposes Peer Power is about as good of an option as you can get. She is really passionate about advocating young people to fearlessly be who they are made to be. And to boldly live it out. However, she is even more passionate about mocking our director, Michael, and growing him in his capacity for resilience. When not writing this bio, Khushi spends every waking moment investing in adolescents in some way, shape or form.
Calisthenics is not pain, it’s exercise induced discomfort
Legend tells of a man named Joe, who spends 70% of his waking hours defying gravity, either balanced on his hands or swinging from the nearest bar. No, he isn’t an elusive missing link between man and monkey, despite the occasional theories fuelled by his unique appearance and primate-like agility. His resolve for physical agility is rivalled only by his commitment to constantly discern and listen to adolescents and the issues they are experiencing. Unlocking their potential is a day-to-day challenge that gets Joe out of bed, as does the aroma of a freshly made coffee. Joe brings a pragmatic approach to physical fitness, hence why he’s into calisthenics ie. using your body weight with little or no equipment, and a similar approach to conversations with adolescents that are real and robust, free from complexity.
LILY VAN TWEST
Brunch is like an intervention, but with pancakes..
Light up blue and yellow and you get green, “Frank Green” as Lily would say. And speaking of light when she walks into the room like Donna from Suits, the energy changes. Lily’s energising, delightful presence is a source others respond to, as she loves authentic conversations with adolescents that bring life. Another source Lily responds to is coffee, a beautiful barista-made cappuccino at brunch to be exact! And speaking of exact, did we mention Lily won ‘Student of the Year’ (2023) in her university course. We her fellow adolescentologists mention this because Lily’s gracious humility never would. It should also be noted that Lily likes to binge Greys Anatomy (#queenmeredith) because it reminds her to challenge what’s possible!
The most interesting kinds of people are those who do not sweeten or dilute themselves. Like coffee, they are full strength, searing hot, and able to rouse the world’s weary, idle heart …
Well, Shania doesn’t like coffee but she loves that quote. Her passion is people and aim is to make sure that no one goes through life feeling unnoticed or unvalued (apologies to Ninja’s). Shanaia loves to have real, meaningful and important conversations that draw out who the person is called to be instead of who the culture tells them to be. Through this, Shainiqua recognises that life’s uncomfortable growing pains take us to greater levels of self-awareness and inform better choices for the future. Consequently, Shana will be sure to carefully consider the consequences of what she names her children.
PS. “It’s Shaina”. Thanks Mum, I told you people would keep spelling my name wrong!
Our Engine Room
Meet the real boss…
Hidden deep within the engine room is the powerhouse of Peer Power – Ida. Quietly tapping away at a hot keyboard, she keeps this well-oiled machine ticking over.
Ida doesn’t ask for much from the team – just straight answers, promptly submitted paperwork, correctly filled-in forms and, of course, good coffee.
“Please choose a quote that’s not boring”
Seriously! Tegan is absolutely anything but boring hence the reason for the quote. Beyond being serious she is eloquently efficient, fabulously on-point and tenaciously attentive to all things administrive. Some would describe her as Administration Manager, but that would be boring. Others however who get to know Tegan experience her attention to detail, support, communications and essential skills that have made all things seminar happen, currently happen and continue to happen well into the future. As an AFL Cat’s lover Teegs knows the highs and even highers of supporting successful teams. As a home renovator she has danced the balancing act of desired outcomes and staying within budgets. All of this is part of what makes Tegan the heart and soul of the Peer Power engine room.