Helen Street

Wellbeing is not a competition

TEDxPerth 2018
November 2019

Talk length:


Wellbeing is not a competition | Helen Street | TEDxPerth

Helen says schools are perpetuating an unhealthy competitive reality for our children, undermining our best intentions for wellbeing. It is time we better understood wellbeing is about the context around us and ground our schools on equity, belonging and inclusion. Contextual Wellbeing matters because every child matters. Social wellbeing researcher This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Helen Street
Social Psychologist

Helen began her journey supporting youth wellbeing during a PhD at the University of Sheffield in 1994. Helen developed her theory of Conditional Goal Setting which explains how misunderstandings of motivation can lead to a lifelong vulnerability to depression and anxiety.

Helen met her partner, Neil Porter, in Perth and they worked together to develop the Positive Schools Initiative advocating for educational reform to better support equity, motivation and wellbeing in young people. In 2018 the Positive Schools conferences celebrated their tenth anniversary across four states in Australia and their fourth anniversary in Asia.

Helen is a regular advisor to the Health Department of WA's Centre for Clinical Interventions and the WA Association of Mental Health. She has written and presented regularly on TV, radio and in other media, including a year spent as the show psychologist for Channel Ten's morning TV show The Circle.

Helen is an honorary Associate Professor in the graduate school of education at UWA, the chair of Positive Schools with Neil and, most importantly of all, a besotted mother of three beautiful girls.

In her spare time, she loves to paint and is thrilled to have a portrait of her youngest daughter accepted for the Black Swan 2018 Salon des Refuses. And she absolutely relishes going to the movies, not the cultural kind but high-octane action movies, especially the Bourne franchise! Her favourite kind of day is a day spent with family and friends, lots of cheese and a glass of good wine.