Andrea Downie

Cofounding Director, Project Thrive

Andrea Downie is an educator, action researcher, facilitator and international keynote speaker who has worked with over 200 schools and organisations in Australia and overseas collaboratively to activate excellence and inspire transformational, innovative and impactful work.
She has worked with the Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and TAFE education systems, right across the State, Private and Independent sectors. She is a proven change maker in increasing excellence amongst students, staff and structures.
In 2016 Andrea co-founded purpose driven organisation Project Thrive which focuses on innovative and disruptive work from well being science and education to enhance the curriculum, embed systems thinking and create engaging and purposeful 21st century learning practices through a strengths based lens. Andrea challenges schools and organisations on traditional well being concepts of reactive problem solving and moves them towards effectively co-designing the future.

Her on the ground experience, knowledge and action research has given her insight into some of Educations greatest strengths and importantly opportunities to make the system even better. Her strong activation skills have led to the implementation of successful processes and policies that have significantly enhanced student success, improving outcomes for all students, not just those at the lower end, and has enhanced culture and well-being across communities.

Andrea is known for her impactful work fusing well-being science (Positive Psychology), systems leadership and education redesign, often in a faith context. She has implemented effective theory of change processes with well over 100 Catholic Leaders. Her work with leaders has been published in an International book to provide school networks, local and state governments with key principles and processes for developing well-being and educational capabilities across communities. Andrea has been apart of designing and activating processes and policies to enhance the behaviour and culture of organisations as well as enhance education practices.
Andrea has been engaged by the likes of The University of Melbourne, City of Maroondah, Courts Victoria, Catholic Education Melbourne, Department of Education Victoria and Northern Territory, 21st Century Learning International, English Schools Foundation in Hong Kong, National Education Summit and many more. Andrea has also work for Mars Australia, one of the worlds top 5 largest privately owned companies as a National Activation Manager.

Andreas education includes a Bachelor Degree majoring in Psychology, a Postgraduate Bachelor of Education, Certificate of Gifted Education and a Master of Applied Positive Psychology (First Class Honours) from the University of Melbourne and a Certificate in Redesigning Education from Harvard University. Andrea is also on the Systems Informed Positive Psychology team at the University of Melbourne.

Her on the ground previous experience teaching in Primary years and holding numerous leadership positions in Wellbeing, Learning Enhancement, Technology, Gifted Education and as a Deputy Principal has significantly shaped the innovative, impactful and inspiring work she brings to education today. She is passionate about making education the best and most desirable system in the world where well-being, purposeful learning and excellence for all students and staff is at the forefront.