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Education Issues

The articles below are available in book form.


You can download the book as a PDF .

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.


“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”?


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.


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.


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