Chief Investigator

Graham, Anne


Australian Research Council, Linkage Grant

Grant ID


Grant Links


School or Research Centre

Centre for Children and Young People

Lead Partner Organisation

Southern Cross University

Other Partner Organisations

Catholic Schools Office, Lismore; Good Grief Ltd, North Sydney; The University of Central Lancashire.


Anne Graham, Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore NSW 2480, Australia.


wellbeing, children, young people, recognition, school, teaching and learning


Anne Graham at the Centre for Children and Young People (CCYP), was awarded the 3 year ARC Linkage in 2012 titled ‘Wellbeing in Schools: What role does recognition play?' The CCYP partnered with the Catholic Schools Office, Lismore, Good Grief Ltd and the University of Central Lancashire. The aim of the research was to generate new knowledge about ‘wellbeing’ in schools that would result in improved outcomes for children and young people.

Since data collection during 2012-2013 the project has produced systematic policy and practice-relevant evidence to advance the way children’s social and emotional ‘wellbeing’ is understood and approached in schools. The research has been used by school systems to develop policy and implementation frameworks to support wellbeing in schools.

Professional development activities were undertaken during 2015-2017 to further engage school systems with the key research findings. The positive response and uptake of key learnings reflect the value of engaging research partners in the entire research process - turning research findings into knowledge, improving policy and providing practical and tangible outputs for school communities.

Data Collection Start Date


Data Collection End Date



Qualitative: Semi-structured interviews with teachers and principals (N=89); focus group interviews with primary and secondary students (N= 606)

Sampling Procedure: Purposive sampling of targeted ages across 3 Catholic school systems

Data Kind: Semi-structured interviews; focus group interviews

A qualitative methods approach was utilised, generating important descriptive and thematically coded qualitative data. The views and perspectives of students, principals and teachers, which are central to the research, were sought through in-depth, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups.


Regional NSW, Victoria and Queensland.


This is a sample of the data only.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

FoR Code

1303 Education

Viewing Instructions

All individual teacher interviews and student focus group interviews were audio recorded and transcribed, with additional written notes and drawings (by students) collected to augment this. The qualitative data gathered was de-identified, transcribed/labelled, stored and analysed in NVivo – interviews (N=89), focus groups (N=606). Children’s drawings (approximately 600 images) were photographed and manually analysed. These images are kept securely at CCYP. Tools used for the professional development workshops can be found at The data at the level of participant’s drawings and focus groups or interviews transcripts and online survey answers is confidential, and not able to be shared.

Data Processing

The interview and focus group data collected in Phase 2: Qualitative data collection were transcribed, coded and inductively analysed for re-occurring themes using the Nvivo software program. The students’ drawings and/or lists of school improvements gathered in the Phase 2: Qualitative data collection focus groups were analysed manually for repeated images or words and cross-checked with related transcribed discussions. The very extensive data generated from the large numbers of interviews and focus groups provided rich insights into how students, principals and teachers perceive wellbeing in schools, how this is currently facilitated and potentially best supported.

Wellbeing data_Phase 2_Student Focus Groups_17.8.17.xlsx (51 kB)
This is a sample of the data only