Meet Our Team
Erin is the Project Manager and co-author of Friendly Schools and has been directly involved in the research supporting this initiative since it began in 1999.
In addition to leading the content writing for the Friendly Schools suite of resources Erin’s focus has been in the translation of evidence into school practice and building school-based leadership capability to implement actions to build primary and secondary students’ social and emotional skills and wellbeing and reduce bullying and cyber bullying behaviour.
Matilda is a Project Coordinator at Telethon Kids Institute.
Her work at the institute covers a range of child and adolescent health issues including mental health, socio-emotional wellbeing, bullying and cyber bullying prevention. Matilda is currently supporting the Friendly Schools Project and is coordinating the OASIS project which aims to support the translation of Friendly Schools across Australia.
Matilda is responsible for the sales of the Friendly Schools suite of resources and any sales enquires can be directed to Matilda at email@example.com
Professor Cross is the research lead and co-author of Friendly Schools and has been directly involved in the research supporting this initiative since it began in 1999. Donna has almost 30 years of applied research experience.
She is currently a Chief Investigator on nine longitudinal research projects aiming to prevent bullying, cyberbullying and associated mental health harms among young people; promote healthy technology use, and improve the socio-emotional wellbeing of young children and supporting the social and emotional development of children and adolescents with chronic disease.
Cross currently leads over 30 researchers at Telethon Kids Institute who develop and test strategies to improve children’s and adolescents’ wellbeing, with a focus on mental health and social-emotional wellbeing.
Dr Natasha Pearce is a Senior Research Fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute and adjunct to the University of Western Australia focused on the translation, implementation and scaling-up of evidence to improve the wellbeing of children and young people and their families.
Her research with Telethon Kids Institute and with the Australian Life Course Centre focuses on whole-school approaches and school capacity building to improve the mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Pearce has led multiple research projects that focus on issues such as mental health, socio-emotional wellbeing, and bullying prevention in schools and has been instrumental in the development and testing of Friendly Schools having worked on the initiative for many years
Dr Kevin Runions studies children’s social and emotional wellbeing and how schools can work better to improve children’s lives. Kevin has been project director on two large school trials of the Friendly Schools program and is internationally recognised for his work on motives for bullying and moral processing in aggression. He has led research examining cyberbullying and school staff mental health literacy.
His research with Telethon Kids Institute and with the Australian Life Course Centre aims to understand how schools and families can work together to better help students, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds.