About Where There's a Will

We are a community focused and locally funded charity consisting of local schools, early learning centres, a travelling toy box and key members of the community. Based on wellbeing science, our educational approach is a preventative measure using positive psychology on a whole community scale.

On behalf of the Where there's a Will Board of Directors

Welcome to our website!

Where there’s a Will exists to create a new normal where enhanced mental health and wellbeing allows our Upper Hunter community to thrive and flourish.

Our approach prioritises prevention through education. It is a tried and true approach. The ‘Slip Slop Slap’ campaign taught us how to prevent skin cancer, the ‘Healthy Eating Pyramid’ taught us about food choices. Where there's a Will is following this lead by adopting an education approach for wellbeing and mental health.

Currently this education, based on wellbeing science, begins when two-year olds in the Upper Hunter enter our pre-schools. Ultimately, we hope it will begin at birth when these now two-year olds become parents that are capable of modelling positive wellbeing for their own children.

While we don’t focus on treatment, we do recognise that these resources are sorely needed in our community and throughout Australia. The system is not coping with demand, there is a national shortage of practitioners. The circuit breaker in addressing mental health is to tackle it with prevention equipping people with the tools to ride the highs and lows that life can throw at us, and how to identify when things are not going well and be able to seek help.

Creating this sort of generational change via prevention requires a plan and patience. We are very proud that the Upper Hunter community has both a plan and patience.

While there have been many wins during our six years of operation that keep our team motivated and inspired, we have systems in place to ensure that this is a sustainable model capable of achieving much longer term goals.

We understand that the Upper Hunter is the only ‘whole community’ implementing positive education and positive psychology on this scale. That this can happen relying on community commitment and financial support makes the Upper Hunter truly unique and trailblazers for the future of positive education, wellbeing and good mental health for our community.

Scott Shann
Upper Hunter Where there’s a Will

Our Mission

Positive Education for Good Mental Health

To embed evidence-based wellbeing literacy and practices through leading and promoting ongoing cultural change in our Upper Hunter schools, families and community.

Our Approach

Cultural Change Pre-school to Year 12

We want to effect true cultural change by equipping youth from preschools to Year 12 with essential knowledge and skills to develop resilience and self awareness. We believe that teaching our youth to build their own resource toolkit can build their strengths and help them to make well informed decisions for their future wellbeing and good mental health.

Our People

Meet the Team

Our Where there’s a Will team believes in Martin Seligman’s premise that PERMA makes up five important building blocks of wellbeing and happiness. These five building blocks underpin our approach for Where there’s a Will and relationships within our team.

Positive emotions – feeling good | Engagement – being completely absorbed in activities | Relationships – being authentically connected to others | Meaning – purposeful existence | Achievement – a sense of accomplishment and success

We are also becoming more aware of our character strengths to help ourselves and our team to achieve optimal outcomes for Where there’s a Will.

For this reason, we’ve mentioned each of our team members’ top character strengths.  If you are interested in finding out your own character strengths, click here to take the VIA Character Strengths free survey.

Pauline Carrigan


Scott Shann


Michael Gillette


Ben Hodges


Kirsty Hails


Elizabeth Bate


Andrea Burns



Together We Can Make
Great Progress



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