Damien Barry | Principal
Wisdom College

Damien Barry, Principal, Wisdom College

Damien is the Principal of Wisdom College, a Prep to Year 12 school on the southside of Brisbane. Wisdom College has implemented a range of innovative programs to support students, staff and the broader community to achieve improvements in learning, wellbeing, language acquisition, and engagement. Damien's qualifications include an Ed.D; M.B.A and an M. Ed. He is a Churchill Fellow after having developed rites of passage programs for teenage boys to reduce incidences of domestic violence. He is an Adjust Research Fellow at Griffith University and a sessional academic at the Australian Catholic University. He has authored two books - The Teaching Game and The Leadership Game - for early career teachers, and those new to the school leadership arena. He is a cricket tragic, loves Star Wars and 80's music, and continues to teacher senior English.


Day 2 @ 12:30

PANEL - Relationships matter: Growing student belonging to cultivate a connected school community

Research shows the pivotal role that belonging plays in overall wellbeing and academic outcomes.  Cultivating a culture of empathy, support, and encouragement within the school community creates an environment where students feel valued, understood, and empowered to thrive across the many layers of their learning journey.

As educators, we recognise the profound impact that a strong sense of belonging can have on student application to learning and engagement in classroom practice, which has the capacity to significantly enhance academic performance. By exploring the intersection between resilience and student belonging, we recognise resilience as a key factor in navigating challenges and building strong connected communities. We also see belonging as a protective factor for things such as school absences, school refusal, and behaviours that are not compatible with successful academic outcomes. So, what can schools do to foster a greater sense of belonging?


This panel brings together thought leaders in the field of wellbeing education, who will discuss ways to cultivate belonging and connection in a school environment.

Audience takeaways:

  • The significance of fostering a sense of belonging in schools.
  • The consequences associated with a lack of school belonging.
  • Strategies for facilitating a stronger connection between students and their school.



last published: 21/Apr/24 11:05 GMT

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