Belinda Cupples — Education Program Manager

I have always worked in the education field, moving from teaching to leadership and curriculum and then back to the classroom again. My priority as an educator has consistently been to create meaningful and supportive connections with young people. However, over the years I have watched my focus evolve from teaching the curriculum content, to instead using the curriculum as an all-encompassing tool. A tool to help young people explore and develop the dispositions and mindsets, that will provide them with a sense of fulfilment and purpose beyond the traditional academic notions of success.

As a result of my professional and personal experiences, I now know that empowering young people to achieve mental health and personal wellbeing is the most significant thing we can do within our education system. I’m so excited to be working so closely with schools and educators as part of Smiling Mind to help create this reality.

The best thing about working at Smiling Mind…

The people, who are all so warm, funny and genuine, and the fact that I can be part of a mission that is so close to my own heart and passions. Also, beanbags, plants and dogs in the office!

The biggest challenge in my role:

Finding enough time to have the depth of conversation I want to have with each and every school and educator about mental health being the most significant foundation for young people’s wellbeing and sense of fulfilment.

Favourite Smiling Mind moment to date?

The fact that everyone took an 11am break to meditate on my first day.

If I wasn’t working at Smiling Mind I’d…

Freelance writing or working at a remote school.

Favourite meal:

Homemade lentil spaghetti bolognese.

What I do when I’m not at work:

Read, write, paddleboard, play piano, cook, cuddle my dog and hang out in nature.

On meditation:

It has helped me come home to myself.

My favourite inspirational quote:

“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.”
— Michel de Montaigne

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