top of page

Nurture WORKS Conference


Nurture - at the heart of social and emotional wellbeing for children

For school admin, pastoral care, social and emotional wellbeing, behaviour management staff is schools, teachers, chaplains and school psychologists.


Kate Wilson
Capturing Inspiration
Turning golden moments into creative works to share with flair.


Steve Heron
Glimmer of Hope
Tools to power hope in children through metaphor, narrative and dialogue.


Kate will enthrall us with a 15-minute poetry slam on the main stage as well as conduct a Breakout Session.


A poetic story-sharing themed session with a focus on turning a golden moment into a story to share with creative flair. The moment will be able to be interpreted visually as well, through drawing in the workshop, or can be applied to other art forms such as photography, painting, performance etc.


Kate Wilson is a poetry-spitter. She writes with depth and humour to inspire, empower and connect. After discovering a goldmine of spoken word poetry on YouTube in 2008, Kate began to channel her creativity into the marvellous art of performance poetry. After over a hundred performances in bookshops, bars and barns, she's still loving every syllable. Kate has performed and facilitated workshops at writing and music festivals in WA and Victoria, and has collaborated with choirs and dancers in the South West and Perth. As a teacher of Speech and Drama, Kate has a playful and inclusive approach to sharing creativity that will have you feeling safe to take risks and inspired have fun with your own unique style of expression Kate was inducted into the WA Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011 to commemorate the 100th International Women’s Day celebrations, Power of 100.  

Kate started writing poetry at the age of 7 while sitting on her garage roof.


Tools to power hope in children through metaphor, narrative and dialogue.


My Dad taught me that a bad tradesman blames their tools. I have spent much of my life developing good tools to use in social and emotional wellbeing and pastoral care with children. Tools for powering hope.


If you were only allowed to keep one useful resource what would it be?


This will be a hands on workshop to explore powering hope in children and how to use metaphors, stories and conversation when helping children through sticky social and emotional situations.


Find out about the latest resources in the BUZ Tool box. How to be master of your tools of the trade and get the best out of them.


Steve Heron is the founder of ‘Nurture Works’ and developer of ‘BUZ - Build Up Zone’. Steve has 40 years of experience working in pastoral care with children in schools, families, camps and the community. Author of the positive books ‘BUZOLOGY – Powering Hope in Children’ and ‘Bully Proofing – The Art of Social Confidence in Children’, Steve is also a children's book author, a program creator and innovator in his field.

Steve has been described as an ‘affirmative vandal’ because of his positive approach to making the world a better place for children.

A BUZologist is a good word to describe Steve who is passionate about powering hope in children, building children up and creating positive child friendly environments that grow children’s confidence.

Steve was a finalist in the 2015 Australian of the Year for WA in the Local Hero section and finalist for 2015 Western Australian of the Year Awards in the Community Category.

Clara Deans
More than just ticking boxes
BUZ Alignment with the Australian and WA Curriculum


In this session Clara will be sharing and helping explain the following:

The background to the 5 most important areas for Student Wellbeing

  • Safe environment

  • Connectedness

  • Learning engagement

  • Social and emotional learning

  • Whole School Approach


Foundations of BUZology and how it meets school requirements for National and Western Australian Curriculum

Theoretical Foundations:

  • Identified Theoretical Frameworks

  • Other influences


Discussion of Program alignment and benefits for schools:

  • Whole School Approach

  • A holistic education

  • Proactive

  • Child-centred

  • Effectiveness

  • Teacher friendliness

  • Ease of access and use of resources


Clara Deans has worked as an educationalist for over 35 years and has extensive experience in liaising with community stakeholders in a range of educational settings including schools, community organisations and tertiary institutions.


Clara has coordinated courses and lectured at Edith Cowan University and The University of Notre Dame, conducted research for the Sport and Physical Activity Research Centre (ECU) and managed a variety of education and health related projects, including managing the Values Education Project for the Department of Education and Training (DET). 


Clara hopes to leave a legacy for the future by contributing to the empowerment of children through social and emotional wellbeing. Passionate about preventing children from experiencing the harmful effects of social and emotional abuse her focus has always been on developing and building the personal capabilities of individuals whether with students, staff and parents, or the broader community.


Board member of ACHPER WA (Australian Council for Health and Physical Education and Recreation, Western Australia) and PTCWA (Professional Teaching Council of Western Australia).



Melissa (Mim) Merriman
Bringing Hope Home
Encourage families to communicate, create mutual agreements and work as a team to bring home hope.

Modern families are walking a path unknown to any other generation. With life busier than ever before, parents working longer hours or even many kilometers from home and the impact of digital technology, children are growing up in homes that are increasingly disconnected.

These children are losing hope and families don’t know how to change it. They are bumping their way through the storm with no guidance and support.

Authentic communication that comes from the heart is the key to bringing hope to these homes. Children need boundaries that are firm and delivered with love; they need to know their families care and are interested; they need to connect and have fun together; they need to feel part of a functioning tribe. Most of all they need to know their parents have got hold of the reins.


In this workshop we will discuss ways to encourage families to communicate, create mutual agreements and work as a team to bring home hope.


Mim Merriman has spent several years studying the work of Marshall Rosenburg – ‘Non-Violent Communication’ including an international intensive training. NVC focusses on the art of empathy and communicating with people from the heart, working to find understanding in conflict rather than seeking to be understood.

Mim has always enjoyed being around children and working with them. After her own children started school she studied to become an education support worker and specialized in special needs. While working in schools she gravitated to children who needed ‘building up’, she could see the missing link to their academic success was their social and emotional wellbeing. Mim loves working at BUZ and seeing children transform during camps and school programs. Mim says, “It is an honour to contribute to the wellbeing of a child and their community.”

Mim is the BUZ Camps and Programs Coordinator in Busselton.


Matthew Sloan
Dads and Lads
Engaging with and empowering fathers and sons

Boys need good men on which to model themselves. ‘Dads and Lads’ sessions at St Stephen’s School, Carramar, provide opportunities for fathers and sons to have fun together, to interact positively with others and to learn from one another. It gives boys a chance to learn from and model themselves on one of the most significant people in their lives, their Dad, as well as learning from other Dads. These sessions complement the BUZ programs that run across the primary school.


This session will explore ways St Stephen’s School actively engages with families in order to strengthen relationships and help parents and children gain insights into aspects of the way they relate to others. We will focus on the ‘Dads and Lads’ sessions that have been run once a term, looking specifically at how we combine hands-on learning with an interactive presentation exploring various aspects of life, such as effective communication and cooperation.


Matthew Sloan is a Year 4 teacher at St Stephen’s School, Carramar and the Curriculum Leader of Social/Emotional learning, working across the year groups. Within this role Matthew leads BUZ sessions with different classes, implements the school’s ‘protective behaviour’ program and provides opportunities that help build relationships within families. A Social Worker for 14 years before a career change into primary teaching at 40, Matthew is passionate about helping students to further develop their social and emotional well-being.

bottom of page