Jill Kennedy

Jill Kennedy

Jill was born and raised on a farm in south west of Western Australia, where she was surrounded by abundant natural beauty. This lifestyle fostered the qualities of generosity, helpfulness, gratitude and appreciation for the unity of all of creation.

When moving to the city Jill’s roots remained firmly planted in nature. She completed her schooling at Methodist Ladies College, Claremont and graduated from Murdoch University with a BA in Psychology and Primary Education plus a Dip Ed. Jill’s interest in human potential was strongly influenced by two factors. The first came from having a younger sister with Intellectual Disability, Mild Autism and Type 1 Diabetes. The second came from a Religious Education teacher who speculated that Christ, Buddah and other great teachers may have utilized 100% of their brain as scientific research indicated that most humans use less than 10% of their brain.

Although interested in brain research, Jill began to realize that there was more to human potential than brain development. In 1992 she traveled to the USA where she undertook workshops at the fledgling Institute of Heart Math. She began to ponder the hidden qualities of the heart. Upon her return to Australia, she taught meditation to children and resumed yoga classes, which had always restored her mind, body and emotional balance.

Jill’s teaching career took her to many government schools and into the independent sector, where she was involved in the NPDP Values Trial between1996-98. This began with a request from a broad spectrum of non-government schools for values to be explicitly stated in the National Outcome Statements. The report on the effectiveness of that trial to explicitly integrate an agreed set of values across curriculum, resulted in the development of a refined set of values for Western Australian schools and their inclusion in the Western Australian Curriculum Framework. In the area of Values Education, Jill found her passion in life. The Virtues Project gave her personal and work life meaning and purpose. It enriched her experience as an educator and was a simple method of explicitly growing in the qualities of the human heart; virtues

At that time, Jill trained as a facilitator for The Virtues Project, a project which was recommended as an excellent resource for teaching values. Her commitment to using the 5 strategies of The Virtues Project to develop the highest qualities of character has taken her to state, national and international conferences. She has conducted workshops for hundreds of schools, parents groups, day care centres and community organizations. These workshops show how the Virtues Project develops authentic self-esteem, prevents bullying and develops the core competencies of Social and Emotional Intelligence for Resilience. Behind every success is a virtue.

Jill has conducted Values Forums throughout Western Australia and continues to show school communities how they can use the 5 strategies of the Virtues Project to Develop State and National Values Outcomes by

  1. Integrating them across the curriculum.
  2. Using the Virtues Project to underpin Behaviour Management and Pastoral Care Programmes.
  3. Enhancing school ethos.

Her workshops are inspiring, practical and offer many activities that can be integrated into classrooms the next day. She helps people familiarise themselves with Virtues Project materials available to support the development of character.

Jill sees the power of using this project in parenting. With a friend, she introduced the Virtues Project strategies to parents of children in her care. This extended to whole school parenting classes and has evolved into 5 Week Parenting Programmes, giving parents simple strategies to awaken the gifts of character in their children. Participants welcome the clear outlines for the parent as role of authority without becoming aggressive or passive.

jill_standingIn 2002, Jill formed a business with a partner, to bring the Canadian founders of the Virtues Project to Perth to conduct extensive workshops, lectures and retreats. This has been repeated on three other occasions. She has attended the World Mentorship Conferences for Virtues Project Facilitators in Auckland in 2004, Queensland in 2006 and Victoria, Canada in 2008.

In 2005 she was given the honour of being appointed a Master Facilitator for The Virtues Project in recognition of the significant contribution that she has made to The Virtues Project. In 2009 she has coordinated the Global Mentorship Conference for The Virtues Project in Perth, Western Australia.

Jill regularly conducts 2 Day Awakening the Virtues Within Workshops for anyone interested in learning to use the 5 strategies of The Virtues Project. This workshop is a pre-requisite for the 3 Day Facilitator Intensive, which prepares participants to confidently facilitate Virtues Project workshops for others.

Workplaces are now seeking Jill’s Virtues Project advice in developing ethical leadership, staff unity, excellence, commitment and increased productivity. Research shows that workplaces with a strong foundation of Virtues Project strategies produce these results.

Jill is committed to providing Virtues Project Connections for facilitators of the Project and Carers of the Disabled and Aged. She provides A Pace of Grace Retreats, to remind people that they have what they need to sustain the necessary qualities of character for a joyful, meaningful, peaceful and purposeful life in times of rapid change in our very busy world. These activities also utilise Jill’s skills as a Yoga Health Trained Teacher, a Heart Math 1-1 Provider and a trainer for Maggie Dent’s Silence, Stillness and Calmness programme.

Having cared for her mother through the stages needed to receive low and high levels of aged care, Jill learnt the importance of being deeply present to companion people through challenges at each phase of their life. She enjoys sharing her strengths in assisting others to live meaningful, balanced, purposeful lives of joy.