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Emotional Health Awareness Day: Norah Naviti Wells

Posted in Alumni Profiles

Emotional Health Awareness Day was established to encourage and teach nurturing and relationship skills through schools, families and the wider community. To celebrate, we speak with Australia Awards alumna Norah Wells who graduated with a Master of Education and Leadership from the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2010. Norah is currently the Principal at Vila East School in Port Vila and she recognises the significant need to develop emotional health within schools; both for her students and in the context of a workplace for her colleagues.

Norah was inspired to undertake a Master of Education and Leadership after working alongside some influential mentors in the education sector. ‘They believed in change and that we can change for the better if we try harder‘ Norah explains. The type of change Norah refers to encompasses a holistic approach that includes both her students and her colleagues, ‘I found myself counselling and advising students in my teaching career. I really wanted to be of help to my colleagues in knowing and understanding the whole system of education and how this impacts the development of our country‘ Norah further explains.

The content of Norah’s studies at UQ have notably shaped who she is as a leader and an educator, ‘the leadership courses were eye-opening to the requirements and challenges of leading and managing schools. My vision is to communicate effectively across the board; with students, parents, teachers, the school council and stakeholders. I allow teachers to express themselves and take time to analyse their input before providing my own thoughts. I look for win-win situations and methods‘ Norah adds.

Norah believes school is also a space to foster positive interactions and teach basic life skills that includes moral values, how to live and communicate with others respectfully and the overall development of one’s character. By equipping staff and students with the capacity to understand and express their feelings, build confidence and display emotional resilience, Norah is also ensuring her students are subsequently provided with a conducive environment for learning.