The Resilience Project

This year Wales Street Primary School will be participating in the “Resilience Project”.


We are looking for ways to ensure our students develop a strong sense of personal self-worth enabling them to become positive contributors not only to the Wales Street community but also to the global community.


Hugh van Cuylenburg the Founding Director of The Resilience Project has been working in education for over 12 years. Starting out as a primary school teacher, he then moved into a position with Cricket Victoria as a development facilitator working with disengaged adolescents.

The highlight of his teaching career, however, was the year he spent in the far north of India volunteering and living at an underprivileged school in the Himalayas. It was here that he discovered resilience in its purest form.

Inspired by this experience (and subsequent trips to Bangaldesh and Sri Lanka) Hugh returned to Melbourne and commenced working on his own programs for schools. ‘The Resilience Project’ was born. Strongly influenced by the work of Professor Martin Seligman and Dr Barbara Fredrickson, Hugh’s presentations emphasise the value of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness.

Of note, Hugh has developed and facilitated programs for over 180 schools Australia wide. Beyond schools Hugh has developed and facilitated resilience and mental health training for The Melbourne Storm, Hawthorn Football Club, the Collingwood Football Club and the Australian Institute of Sport. He has also run successful programs for troubled youth around regional Victoria. He has written and implemented programs for the Education Department.

Hugh has also served as CEO of Step Back Think. Using Hugh’s experience in this area the aim this year will be to begin a journey with the students, staff and parents in developing a whole school understanding of what it means to be resilient and nurture one’s own mental wellbeing through a focus on gratitude, empathy and mindfulness.

The program is mapped to the Victorian School Curriculum and embeds understandings through a series of integrated lessons.