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‘Leading for wellbeing’ seminar series

How to build thriving teams and workplaces amid challenges.


In 2023, the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) delivered a series of free 90-minute ‘Leading for wellbeing’ seminars for family violence, primary prevention and sexual assault managers, team leaders, coordinators, Human Resource staff, emerging sector leaders and interested practitioners and workers.

Facilitated by the world-renowned Health, Safety and Wellbeing expert, Dr. Michelle McQuaid, the series responds to workplace wellbeing queries and shares real-life success stories and challenges.

The seminars have been popular and contribute to DFFH’s commitment to building leadership capability in the family violence, primary prevention, and sexual assault workforces.

"Fantastic series : Well, put together, relevant and evidence based." – Seminar participant 2023.

Seminar 1: Creating a shared understanding of workplace health, safety and wellbeing – Wellbeing plans, boundary setting and passion fatigue

This seminar explores new approaches to caring for workplace wellbeing by diving into the latest evidence-based actions that can have a big impact for individual and collective care by drawing on research from:

  • Sandra Bloom’s safety and wellbeing plan recommendations and navigating parallel processes of trauma
  • Vikki Reynold’s zone of fabulousness and collective care models
  • Brene Brown’s boundary setting and Robert Vallerand’s passion fatigue
  • Stephen Trzenick’s and Paula Davis’s insights on burnout and why our current approaches are often misguided.

Guest speakers, Kelly Gannon, Manager, Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation & Marianne Hendron, CEO, Women's Health Grampians share real-life examples of wellbeing strategies that are working.

Seminar 2: Workplace health, safety and wellbeing in practice - psychological safety to reduce harm and burnout

This seminar looks at ways to grow the psychological safety in your teams and workplace using the latest evidence-based actions that can have a big impact for individual and collective care and will assist you to:

  • understand what the new psychosocial hazard requirements mean for workplaces, leaders and their teams
  • see how workplaces are using the Safe & Equal self-assessment tool to minimise psycho-social risks and support intersectionality, inclusion, and equity
  • explore why building psychological safety at the Us (workplace), We (leaders and teams), and Me (individual) levels can improve learning, wellbeing and performance
  • experiment with the four small evidence-based actions every leader can take to build a culture of safety and care.

Guest speakers, Colleen Crispe, Service Manager, Family and Children's specialist support team and Junction Support Services (via The Orange Door), Kristy-Lee Loots, Sector Development Advisor, Safe and Equal, & Lisa Robinson, Executive Manager, MELI (formerly Bethany Community Support) share real-life examples of wellbeing strategies that are working.

Seminar 3: Cultural safety and holistic healing

This seminar is co-hosted by Daphne and Ivy Yarram from Yoowinna Wurnalung Healing Service with Dr Michelle McQuaid and looks at:

  • how we can unlearn our biases about each other and the power of a 'cup of tea' moment when it comes to the collective care of our teams
  • the power of narrative as part of supervision practices to allow each of our team members to own their own stories
  • navigating the risks of double-dose trauma and meeting our governance requirements to support the health, safety and well-being of our teams.

Seminar 4: Tying it all together

This final seminar brings together key concepts and wellbeing practices explored in the first 3 seminars and covers topics requested by the sector including:

  • team dynamics and building on your team’s strengths: how to spot, develop, and deploy the strength dynamics across your team – even when they collide – to support one other’s health, safety, and wellbeing
  • influencing the broader culture: how to map and leverage existing role modelling, contagion effects, advocacy, routines, rituals and rules to make caring for healthy, safety, and wellbeing sustainable
  • recognition and reward: how to meet people’s neurological need for fairness and appreciation and why small moments of gratitude are the most powerful and under-utilised tool for most leaders
  • lived experience in the workplace: how you can better support the wellbeing of workers with lived experience.

Guest speakers include Elena Ashley, Manager, WIRE and Geraldine Bilston, Senior Project Officer and ex-Deputy Chair Victim Survivors' Advisory Council.

Reviewed 02 June 2023

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