Quirky Kid and University of Wollongong Collaboration Launch

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Posted on by Zoe Barnes

The Best of Friends® Industry Research Collaboration

The Quirky Kid® Clinic’s collaboration with the University of Wollongong provided the evidence base to scale the innovative The Best of Friends® program

The Quirky Kid Team and The University of Wollongong’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Professor Jennifer Martin would like to invite you to a presentation of the industry research collaboration between Quirky Kid® and the University of Wollongong (UOW) on The Best of Friends® program.

This event will provide you with an expanding small business’s perspective on collaborating with a university as an effective innovation pathway. You will learn how Quirky Kid leveraged their innovation spend through various programs – including Tech Vouchers, Internships and UOW’s incubator iAccelerate – to maximise impact.

The Best of Friends® program was developed in response to increasing demand from schools to address the social and emotional learning (SEL) challenges that children experience, and to offer them the academic and social benefits that SEL provides.

The research conducted by Quirky Kid® and the University of Wollongong added to the growing evidence of the efficacy of The Best of Friends® program, which Quirky Kid®  was then able to use to scale their product so their expertise could benefit kids in schools not only across Australia but around the world.

Representatives from Quirky Kid, the University of Wollongong, and NSW Government’s Boosting Business Innovation Programs will be on hand to answer your questions and get you started on your own innovation journey.

Friday 9 August, 9:30am-12:00pm
Level 49, MLC Centre  (19 Martin Place, Sydney)

9:30-10:00am Showcase demonstrations and networking
10:00-11:15am –  Presentation and Q&A:

  • Innovation in Social Emotional Learning – Dr. Kimberley O’Brien (Quirky Kid)
  • Collaborating with UOW –  Zahra Shahbazian, Industry Research Manager (UOW)
  • Leveraging your innovation spend  –  Leo Rocker (Quirky Kid)

11:15am-12:00pm: Networking and light refreshments

About Quirky Kid

We’re one of Australia’s leading Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology Clinics and passionately committed to providing clients with the highest standard of service delivery. Quirky Kid is a member of the University of Wollongong business incubator program, ‘iAccelerate’. We operate clinical spaces in Sydney and Austinmer with a new clinic opening soon in Canberra.

You may also know of Quirky Kid as an award-winning publisher of unique therapeutic resources for young people and families. These include Face it cards, Tell Me A Story cards and the popular programs, Power Up™, The Best of Friends® and BaseCamp which are used in schools around Australia and overseas.


We’re Growing Up

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Australian child psychology services provider and publisher Quirky Kid is growing up, receiving significant federal and state government support to take its strategies for tackling children’s mental health issues to Australia and the world.

Quirky Kid has been named among the first seven successful recipients of a grant from the Department of Social Services (DSS)  $7 million Sector Readiness Fund (SRF), managed through Impact Investing Australia’s Growth Grant.

Quirky Kid, founded by the visionary duo Dr Kimberley O’Brien and Leonardo Rocker, is a provider of mental health services for children, as well as educational publishing services, products and software.

The $130,000 grant from the SRF will be used to engage Social Impact Hub’s services to help Quirky Kid become impact investment ready, including working with Quirky Kid to deliver impact assessment and a capital raise by July 2020.

Earlier this year, Quirky Kid was selected to join two International immersion programs, the Dubai EdTech Bootcamp organised by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and the India Entrepreneurs International Bootcamp funded by the NSW Government and led by the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship.

Quirky Kid also exhibited at the world’s largest trade fair for children’s literature and creative content, The Bologna Book Fair in Italy.

Last year, Quirky Kid received two prestigious nominations at The London Book Fair, winning the Best Educational Initiative Award for Basecamp®, an educational program designed to support children to manage anxiety. Basecamp® has also received two other local awards and nominations, such as Best Designed Educational Primary / Secondary Book at the Australia Book Designer Awards.

The SRF aims to change the way Australia addresses social issues by investing in growing enterprises delivering positive social outcomes. In announcing the SRF grantees on 17 May 2019 (former) Minister for Families and Social Services, Paul Fletcher MP said: “The seven social impact investment organisations [have] demonstrated growth potential to deliver positive social outcomes.”

“Social impact investments can be a game changer in the approach to some serious and entrenched social issues and the Sector Readiness Fund forms part of the Government’s commitment to tackling disadvantage through innovative financing models,” Mr Fletcher has said.

Quirky Kid, described by the Sydney Morning Herald as a “quiet Australian success story, used by thousands of organisations around the world” link to report, has been diligently delivering innovative products and solutions for schools and families, such as a new online application to support parents and professionals called BriteChild (see

Quirky Kid is a resident at The University of Wollongong incubator, iAccelerate, which is committed to helping social entrepreneurs deliver meaningful impact.

Quirky Kid has taken an innovative idea to deliver mental health services for children and are building a thriving business with a social conscience. We look forward to continuing to support them further on their journey,” iAccelerate CEO Omar Khalifa said.

Dr O’Brien and Mr Rocker said: “Since 2016, we have engaged an incredible team to make sure we can raise the necessary capital to escalate our impact and commercial success. Our ambition is to continue to scale without compromising our impact”

Quirky Kid is due to open a third clinic in Canberra at the end of 2019.

Founder and Director of the Social Impact Hub, Jessica Roth and her team are delighted to be working with Quirky Kid. According to Jessica: “Impact investment will help Quirky Kid scale its business, to deliver its quality programs to more kids and families, leading to improved wellbeing and outcomes for many, as well as generate financial returns for impact investors. The Social Impact Hub is committed to supporting purpose-driven businesses as they scale, and we are thrilled to have won an Impact Investment Ready Growth Grant to work with Quirky Kid.”

Sabina Curatolo, Director of Social Enterprise Development at IIA added “raising capital to grow these for-purpose businesses often requires new skills and advice that these change-making entrepreneurs would not already have. The grants from this new fund enable successful applicants to seek this specialist advice from intermediaries, enabling their businesses to grow and increase their impact. In this way, we are also encouraging growth in intermediaries which is key to effectively growing the impact investment eco-system.”

About Quirky Kid

We’re one of Australia’s leading Child, Adolescent and Family Psychology Clinics and passionately committed to providing clients with the highest standard of service delivery. Quirky Kid is a member of the University of Wollongong business incubator program, ‘iAccelerate’. We operate clinical spaces in Sydney and Austinmer with a new clinic opening soon in Canberra.

You may also know of Quirky Kid as an award-winning publisher of unique therapeutic resources for young people and families. These include Face it cards, Tell Me A Story cards and the popular programs, Power Up™, The Best of Friends® and BaseCamp which are used in schools around Australia and overseas.


Ciao! We’re off again to Bologna

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Image of globe, focus on Italy and The Quirky Kid Clinic logo

Quirky Kid will be in Bologna from 1st to 4th April for the annual Bologna Children’s Book Fair. As the world’s largest trade fair for children’s literature and creative content, Bologna brings together leading International authors, illustrators, publishers and agencies from over 100 countries! A platform for both traditional and digital media, the fair is a global epicentre for discussion on trends, innovative ideas and new perspectives in children’s publishing.

Quirky Kid will join the Australian collective stand on Hall 25, Stand B66. View the 2019 catalogue.

Continuing our success on the international stage from three previous Bologna Book Fairs, the Chinese Children’s Book Fair, the London Book Fair, and the Frankfurt Book Fair, we are excited to share our award-winning books with different audiences and perhaps even discover some unique new additions to the Quirky Kid resource collection.

From the clever kids at Quirky Kid

This year we will, of course, be taking our entire stable of our Quirky Kid publications on the road, but we will be showcasing two very special products in particular: Basecamp® and BriteChild®.

Basecamp® is our latest publication to become an award-winner, now we can’t wait to take it on tour and show the world why! An innovative cognitive-behavioural program, developed for managing anxiety, it is a unique, interactive and customisable tool, disguised in the familiar form of an illustrated book. BaseCamp® won “Best Designed Educational Book” at the 2018 Australian Book Design Awards, it won the “Educational Initiative Award – International Excellence” at the 2018 London Book Fair and was shortlisted for the “Educational Resource Award – International Excellence,” also at the 2018 London Book Fair. While we’re pleased-as-punch to receive this recognition for BaseCamp®, we’re not really altogether surprised. Our most important judges have been giving it the “thumbs-up” for a while already!

BriteChild® is our latest initiative and one for mums, dads and big people in the lives of little folks. Not a traditional children’s book, BriteChild® is a digital application, which connects parents and organisations to children’s development specialists, to address a broad range of challenges. BriteChild® is our first, truly digital innovation and we couldn’t be more pleased with what we’ve developed. We’re feeling quietly confident grown-ups around the world will be singing our praises soon too!

Bologna is a fantastic opportunity to spread the word for our evidence-based therapeutic tools to a global audience. As in past years, we also expect The Best of Friends® and PowerUp™ (more of our award-winning books) will continue to be really well-received too.

Quirky Kid has a few new resources under development and we are keen to create a big impact on the Social, Emotional and Educational sector. You can find out more about The Quirky Kid Resources on our website or at our publishing page.

When in Rome… well, Bologna anyway!

This year you will find Quirky Kid in Bologna at Stall Hall 25, Stand B6  at the Children’s Book Fair. Why not come and say “Bonjourno!”.

Take a peek!

To see the full range of Quirky Kid publishing products, have a browse around our catalogue at: and

We will be sharing our time at the fair on our social feeds including Facebook, and Twitter, so be sure to follow us on our adventure!


Basecamp @ Valli Jones

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

anxiety program by Quirky Kid

We are excited to welcome Valli Jones to Quirky Kid clinic as a program facilitator of our award-winning anxiety Program, Basecamp®. Already a facilitator of our Social Emotional Learning Program, Best of Friends, we are looking forward to working with Valli Jones to provide Basecamp® to their clients.

Basecamp® is an innovative anxiety program designed for children between the ages of 7 to 12. Developed by Clinical Psychologist, Dr Kathryn Berry, and the Quirky Kid team, BaseCamp® draws on decades of experience, combining a sound theoretical cognitive-behavioural approach with effective, engaging and child-centred activities. Winner of multiple International and Australian publishing awards, Basecamp® is being implemented by clinics and schools across Australia to assist children in learning how to manage anxiety.

About Valli Jones

Valli Jones is a Gold Coast-based psychologist with a special interest in child and adolescent psychology. Working from a holistic, person-centred perspective, Valli uses evidenced-based methods to assess and treat a range of common behavioural and mental health concerns. Valli holds a Master of Clinical Psychology, is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, and is a member of the Australian Psychological Society.

How Basecamp® will be implemented

Dr Kathryn Berry and our team of psychologists will work carefully with Valli Jones to implement the Basecamp® program. Key to the success of the program is ensuring that all facilitators are provided with comprehensive training and guided implementation to their students. Evaluation and monitoring tools will also be used to ensure the outcomes of the program are met and to develop ongoing individual intervention students anxiety.

Interested in offering Basecamp® at your school?

Valli Jones is one of a number of schools we are currently working with to implement our Basecamp® program. With St Monica’s and other incredible schools onboard, Basecamp® is recognised as a cost-effective, evidence-based intervention to assist children with managing their anxiety.

We continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe. Just last week Basecamp received a Highly Commended mention at the 2018 Education Publishing Awards.

basecam awards

Contact Us or visit the program website to find out more about the program, and how you can meet and develop the needs of your students through The Basecamp® program.


Quirky Kid is heading to Dubai!

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Posted on by Zoe Barnes

Quirky Kid in Dubai

Dr Kimberley O’Brien, c0-founder and principal psychologist at Quirky Kid® will be heading to the UAE next week to participate in the 5-days Dubai EdTech Bootcamp organised by Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), together with eight hand picked educational movers and shakers.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has the largest number of English-speaking private schools in the world and more than 20 international universities. Education is big business in Dubai and the schools there are at the vanguard of technology integration with traditional educational modalities.

Dr Kimberley will be connecting with other global innovators in the educational and educational technology space, sharing skills, and showcasing our unique Quirky Kid products and programs. Amongst the showcase is BriteChild®, an innovative new app currently in the Beta-testing phase, as well as our Social and Emotional Education Systems and curriculum, like The Best of Friends® BaseCamp® and Power-Up® programs.


The programs includes the opportunity to deliver a 10 minute pitch pitch session to a small group of key potential customers and investors. Attendees will include decision makers from schools and universities; family offices; VC funds and government funding
arms, such as:

  • Knowledge Fund, Privity FZ LLE, Athena Education, Foundation Holding, Cedar Bridge, Private Office of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Alnehayan and Private Office of HH Sheikh Saeed Bin Ahmed Al Makhtoum

While there’s no denying that we’re thrilled-to-pieces to be recognised at the Bootcamp as an innovator in education, we’re also thrilled to have the opportunity to expand our reach to more kids globally.. Our participation in this exciting event helps us understand the common experiences of children first-hand on a global scale, as well as helping us achieve our goals of reaching beyond geographical boundaries to make kids all over the world happier, healthier and in better relationships.

The inaugural Dubai EdTech Bootcamp is a joint initiative with Austrade, EduGrowth and Dubai Future Accelerators and runs from 2nd-6th March 2019 in Dubai UAE.

About the Program

The format of the program consists of various interactive sessions including workshops, pitching sessions, presentations and networking. The
sessions include:

  • Introduction to UAE business and local culture: understanding the unique cultural and business context in the Middle East
  • Insights into education industry: understanding the UAE innovation eco-system and education market as well as the education regulator
  • Introduction to Dubai Future Foundation, Dubai Future Accelerators, Area2071, GEMSX and KHDA
  • Briefings on setting up a business, business structures and partnership models, financing options, intellectual property protection,
    tendering and contracts.
  • Roundtables with private and public sector customers to understand their needs to refine your approach and message for the UAE market.\
    Video conferences with experts in other Middle Eastern and African markets to learn how to take advantage of regional opportunities.

If you would like to connect withy Quirky Kid and explore opportunities with us for the Middle East, please get in touch. Quirky Kid as recently selected to participate in the India BootCamp organised by the NSW Department of Industry and the School of Social Entrepreneurs.