The articles below are available in book form.


You can download the book as a PDF .


Parents invest much into education and one of the critical characteristics of the investment is trust.

Trust is being challenged within the community at present with Royal Commissions, National and State, reviewing behaviours that have undermined community and individual trust. Trust seems to be constantly challenged within education.
Life is lived relationally and it is critical that all recognise that they have a Relational Quotient (RQ). The capacity to form and sustain relationships basically determines each person’s Relational Quotient. This is critical to both the individual’s physical and mental health and the health of the relationships in which they live.

This series of articles will mine deeply this essential Relational Galaxy in which all reside and begins with a brief description of the critical elements of a quality relationship. This set of elements is fundamental to each and every relationship we form and “reside in”. Subsequent articles will investigate how to form relationships, how to nurture relationships, how to manage the inevitable mistakes made in relationships, how to change the nature of relationships and how to conclude relationships AND how relationships determine the capacity to engage and learn.


Parents Victoria is working with John on a new proactive contribution to State Education.

How ‘’giving’’ underpins all relationships. To give adds meaning.

The basic elements of a quality relationship are trust forgiveness, integrity, hope (optimism) and compassion. Each of these are important individually, but in concert they substantiate the relationship. Each is established upon ‘’giving’’ for without giving, none authentically function.


A Resilient Culture is an inclusive culture, one that appreciates the fact that people do struggle with challenge and this struggle can limit motivation, engagement and application. The resilient culture recognizes that “self-regard” is directly influenced by “social-regard”, that other people matter. Social-regard is the critical factor in how we regard ourselves and this social-regard is clearly posited in the “lived” culture, be it at home, at work, at school or at play. How others regard us determines directly our capacity to be resilient. A resilient culture establishes an enabling and supportive social regard context that does promote people being vulnerable and taking a risk, trying positively by addressing the challenge presented without the fear of being diminished, critically judged by others in a status sense for making an error or for not managing the challenge as well as one should or as well as one may have been expected to do so. A resilient culture encourages one to be vulnerable, to “have a go”, to try something, to reach beyond “the safe”, to explore and to experience the unknown. A resilient culture promotes all to understand that exploration into the known unknowns is OK as is the more interesting and more vulnerable world of the unknown unknowns. The resilient culture establishes hope and courage to present and to be actioned. A resilient culture is the way forward.


This article, by Dr Donna Hicks from the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, sets out the Ten Essential Elements of Digity, and conversely the Ten Elements to Violate Dignity.

“Dignity not only sustains but also energises and enables. It accomplishes great things. It lifts the fallen and restores the broken. When the recognition of the good in the other is shared, it is the sense of personal dignity given that can bring peace to situations of potential conflict. People’s awareness of their own dignity, their sense of worth, is the only answer to the inertia of an everyday life ruled by feelings of uselessness.” 
(Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu)
“Dignity is found in quality and virtuous relationships established upon contribution. The elements of such relationships are Trust, Forgiveness, Integrity, Hope and Compassion (Empathy actioned through Care).”
(John Hendry OAM)

The Ten Essential Elements of Dignity

Acceptance of Identity

Approach people as being neither inferior nor superior to you. Give others the freedom to express their authentic selves without fear of being negatively judged. Interact without prejudice or bias, accepting the ways in which race, religion, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, age and disability may be at the core of other people’s identities. Assume that others have integrity.


“If it is wrong, it is wrong even if everyone is doing it, and if it is right, it is right even if no-one is doing it.”

I established this statement in order to address dilemmas we constantly face when either alone or in a group. We cannot avoid such situations for life is about taking action, doing things, giving or taking, going along with the others, belonging to a team, being in moments when decisions need to be made to engage or avoid. Life is fully about decision making. All decisions are made within relationships and we live entirely within a relationship with ourselves and of course within relationships with others. We are relational beings, other people matter. We live with other people in all aspects of our lives and these other people can make or break us. “Hell is other people” (Jean Paul Sartre stated such in his play No Exit) and at times they can be, and at other times they can be our friends and supporters. They influence us and we them. We are defined by how we relate to ourselves and to others and how we behave within the galaxy of relationships we establish or encounter in life. The desire we have to be accepted by others, to be of worth in and to have status within relationships, is critical to our sense of self efficacy, our self-worth and to our capacity to make a contribution to others and the world. So how do we decide to address the above statement, “if it is wrong it is wrong even if everyone is doing it, and if it is right it is right even if no-one is doing it”?


"If you live with a resentful, angry, or emotionally abusive partner, you probably have a vague feeling, at least now and then, that you’ve lost yourself. In your constant efforts to tiptoe around someone else’s moods, in the hope of avoiding blow-ups, put-downs, criticism, sighs of disapproval, or cold shoulders, you constantly edit what you say and do."

In this article from Psychology Today, Dr Steven Stosny writes about the impact on children of growing up in a family where emotional abuse is prevalent. 

Dr Stosny also has a message of hope for such families.

Read the article on the Psychology Today website


How we behave is determined by a complex set of forces found within ourselves and the living moments we experience. Each situation possesses forces that influence our behaviour.  The context in which we find ourselves is critical and the situation influences can overwhelm our own behaviour endeavours in given contexts.  The psychology, and sociology, of the context is foundational to the behaviour within that context.  The dynamics of human behaviour are driven by the “contest” between the personal influence, situational influence and the influence directed through the forces tied to our behaviour beliefs and the overriding behavioural drivers such as fear, our core beliefs about people and about how people relate one to another.  The core belief we have in reference to others directs our behaviour. If the belief is that people are good and give to others in relationships as opposed to people who seek advantage and take from others, then the “downstream” living and behaviour actions will reflect that.  In essence people will be either self or other centred.  Behaviour is so directed in every living moment.  This core belief is the fundamental determinant of personal and relational wellbeing, for humans reside in relationships and how we behave in relationships is critical to wellbeing.  The primary relationship is of course with one’s self however it is this relationship with self (self-regard) that does determine how one relates with another.  If our self-regard is positive then we are positioned well to relate positively to others.  However, the relational influences found in moments are determined by a complex matrix of personal, contextual or situational circumstances all of which operate in concert to direct and determine our individual behaviour.

Behaviour and the process to more constructive and moral outcomes

First do no harm (Hippocratic oath). No one has a licence to harm another.

Behaviour that is harming another is also harming the person so behaving. It is essential to “arrest” that behaviour in the first place and then begin an educational process to change this harming behaviour. This process cannot begin by harming the person perpetrating the harm for all this does is reiterate that harming another is selectively permissible and legitimate. It is not. This “retribution harm” is not educative beyond “teaching” that when you do not have power you can and will most likely be harmed by someone with or in power (in authority). Should this be the modus operandi of the culture then we have a hierarchical culture built upon behaviour management based upon harm. This is the “stick” aspect of the “carrot and the stick’’ approach to behaviour management. This is where behaviour is extrinsically controlled and this entrenches power positioning that can be and most likely is, harmful.


John Hendry has been an educator for more than 50 years. He was a member of the Lara Lake School council for 13 years, 9 of which he was President.

He taught at Donald High School, Melbourne High School, Mordialloc-Chelsea High School, Monash University, and Geelong Grammar School where he spent 36 years. He has been an Acting Principal, Assistant Principal, Careers Master, Boarding House Master, Director of Student Welfare.

He is one of the originators of Positive Education, a Life member of the Careers Development Association of Australia, a consultant to Primary and Secondary Schools across all systems in Australia, Hong Kong, Mainland China, and a consultant to UNESCO on Bullying and school violence. He consults and works with the Positive Institute, The Flow Centre, Resilient Youth, Invictus Well-Being and many local councils and Professional Associations.  He has created a Relationship Quotient and established Relationship based Education (RbE), has co-created (with Andrew Fuller) the Resilient Mindset concept, and has created the Affect Performance Model which  explains among many things, Peak Performance. He has presented to education and industry and sport conferences all over Australia, in Asia, Southeast Asia, NZ, Europe and Canada. He has presented at National and International conferences on Education, Restorative Justice, Trauma, Relationships, Forgiveness, Performance, Flow, School Culture, Industry Culture and Sporting Club Culture, Resilience and Meditation. He has presented on Radio National in Life Matters, on Malaysian Radio on Education and Relationships. He has presented on The Teacher Learning Network and School Television on culture, forgiveness, resilience and bullying as well as Peak Performance. He has conducted retreats and workshops on Culture Change, Relationships, Education, and Forgiveness as well as “Cricket”. John.

In 2014, was awarded an OAM for Education and an OAM for Cricket. John coached cricket at State, Premier Grade level, school and underaged cricket for almost 40 years and represented Victoria and Australia in Open and underaged level as well as playing country cricket.

John believes that culture determines how we live and how schools educate. He believes that “relationships matter” and that general health and well-being as well as mental health are directly tied to the capacity to forgive. Performance, the capacity to perform at your best and to be resilient, also is determined by the capacity to forgive yourself when mistake occurs or failure arises. He knows that in team sport forgiveness is critical to performance of both individual and teams.

John loves children and believes teaching to be “the critical” profession in shaping culture. He is invested in teaching. John believes parents care and wish to contribute constructively to Schools. He is married, has three daughters and four grandchildren. John believes we are defined by how we behave in relationships. He has created the Relationship Reparation approach to mistake and has introduced this into many schools, families, communities, businesses and clubs. In Australia and internationally.

He is consulting to Parents Victoria.

These panel discussions, representing the views of educators, parents and students, were held at our Annual Conference in 2019. They attempt to answer the question: How do we kindly and constructively deal with difference and conflict in schools?

The discussions focus on two conflict scenarios and how to deal with them.

The Way Forward: Scenario 1.

The Way Forward: Scenario 2

Sport as a reflection of culture

Sport has been, and remains, a strong and significant part of the total School curriculum for most schools. It is important for students physically, mentally and socially. Sport in the School curriculum provides one opportunity for the culture of a School to be accessible for all to see, to be reinforced by deed.

Culture can be written, it can be spoken, but ultimately it is how we behave, it is our actions. Most importantly it is our actions to ourselves, to our team, to our opponents. In sport behaviour is evident, there is no hiding, it is seen in an individual’s actions, in a team’s behaviour. This is why compulsory Sport for all is an important part of any student’s education.

Sport is not about being the best, although, as in all walks of life this is what we strive for. It is about doing your best, it is about being the best that you can be, wherever that puts you on a spectrum of achievement.


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