QK @ Bologna Book Fair 2018

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Bologna Children’s Book Fair

Quirky Kid is heading back to Bologna for the 2018 Children’s Book Fair! Continuing our success on the international stage from the Bologna Book fair in 2014 and 2015, Chinese Children Book Fair in 2015, the London Book Fair in 2016, and the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2013 and  2017, we are excited to join our colleagues from around the world to network, learn, share, and be inspired.

About the Bologna Children’s Book Fair

With over 50 years of innovative events, the Annual Bologna Book Fair is the world’s largest children’s book trade fair. With a focus on illustration and innovative content, we are proud to be part of the Hello! from Australia stand for 2018. This annual event brings together publishers and leading figures from Italian and International publishing to discuss innovative and current trends, discuss new ideas, and learn about new perspectives on publishing from over 100 countries.

Quirky Kid in Action

We love broadening and strengthening our skill sets and learning more about publishing from leading industry experts. Our attendance at this event is a great way to spread the positive Quirky Kid messages, and promote our evidence-based therapeutic tools, such as The Best of Friends®, BaseCamp® and PowerUp™  to a wide audience. We are currently partnering with the University of Wollongong to evaluate the efficacy of our innovative  The Best of Friends® program, centered around our Award Winning Book. We are excited to showcase this research and show how our therapeutic tools are supported by our published work.

We’ll also be showcasing our new production: Basecamp.

Our resources are currently sold globally including in Canada, the USA and Singapore. We are keen to expand their reach to more markets and improve more children’s lives through our engaging and innovative educational developmental programs.

Quirky Kid has many 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.

Meet with us

This year we have our own stand, so come and meet with us in the Australian Collective Hall 25, Aisle 8, Stand 66.

  • Check out collective catalogue
    Join us at the Australian Party on 26 March Wednesday, from 5.30pm to 6.30pm \

Thank you for the Australian government for their support.

We will be sharing our time at the fair on our social feeds including Facebook, and Twitter. Follow us now to join in our time at the Fair.



Research Study 2018 – The Best of Friends Program


Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Research Study - The Best of Friends Program

The Quirky Kid Clinic and The University of Wollongong are proud to announce a new research collaboration testing the life-changing potential of clinic-based and school-based social and emotional learning programs. The research study will evaluate the efficacy of The Best of Friends® program in building children’s social and emotional competencies.

Term 2 Intake Update

Term 2 sessions are now available in Nowra, Wollongong and Austinmer. The session will start on Thursdays 3rd of May starting at 4:15 or 4:30 pm. Applications close 5th of March – hurry.

Apply Now

How will the study run?

Parents and children are invited to apply. The study will involve weekly one-hour group sessions, taking place over the course of ten weeks. Sessions will be delivered by trained facilitators and will cover topics around self-awareness and self-management, social awareness, and social management. The weekly sessions will be available in Sydney, Austinmer and at the Early Start Centre at the University of Wollongong.

How does my child take part?

We are currently recruiting children between the ages of 7-11 years, who are typically-developing, and who struggle to make or maintain friendships, manage social situations and regulate their emotions are eligible to take part in this study. To apply and receive the complete Parent Information Sheet please please visit apply at or call us for more information.

Children who meet the selection criteria, and who have parental consent, will be randomly allocated (like drawing a number out of a hat) to either an intervention or a control group, and parents will be contacted with further information.

Who has approved it?

This study has been granted ethics approval by Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Human Research Ethics Committee with approval number ‘HREC/17/SCHN/331’.

Please call us for more information  and to find out more about participating in the research.


Quirky Kid at iAccelerate@Sydney recap

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Quirky Kid selected to iAccelerate program

Late last year our principal child psychologist and CEO Dr. Kimberley O’Brien represented Quirky Kid at the iAccelerate@Sydney business networking event at Circular Quay.

Quirky Kid is a resident start-up of the iAccelerate program, which is a business accelerator and incubator facilitated and supported by the University of Wollongong (UOW).  iAccelerate is the largest single University supported program of its type in the country, has supported more than 100 business start-ups since 2012.

Kimberley was one of the many distinguished guests present, including iAccelerate CEO Omar Khalifa and representatives from other iAccelerate resident companies – Me3d and Recovery Camp.

Kimberley introduced the important work we do at Quirky Kid and discussed out the journey from an initial start-up business to a successful publisher of therapeutic resources with clinics based in Sydney and Wollongong. Kimberley also reinterred  the benefits of the iAccelerate for startups like Quirky Kid, including support and access to a network of like-minded business people

Additionally, Kimberley highlighted Quirky Kid’s vision of supporting and developing children’s social and emotional learning (SEL) on a global scale;  introduced some of the Technology-Based products we are developing and discussed our research partnership with the University of Wollongong.


Lunch and Learn 2017 re-cap + 2018 plans

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

'Lunch & Learn' Sessions at Quirky Kid

We love learning at Quirky Kid and are always working to create a learning culture within our team. Our “Lunch & Learn” sessions are one of the many ways in which we try to develop new skills. The sessions are fun, practical, and informative opportunities to learn from industry-leading experts and expand our knowledge of emerging topics around current child development and family issues.

Lunch and Learn sessions are held regularly at our clinics in Sydney and Wollongong and are open to anyone with interest in the topic to attend. We recognise that attendance is not always possible, and have therefore included (below) a summary of the background of the guest presenter and of the topics presented to us in each of these sessions to-date, for those who are interested or would like a quick review.

Register your interest for the upcoming 2018 professional workshops at our workshop pages.


Dianne Starkey has been working as a psychologist for the past 41 years specialising in the treatment of children, adolescents and adults. Previous workshops that Dianne has run include trauma treatment, attachment theory and the treatment of attachment disorder, and court assessments and reports.

Dianne shared her wealth of knowledge on:

  • Identifying and assessing risks as psychologists
  • Community Services Mandatory Reporters Guide and safeguarding children
  • Rights and legal requirements of a therapist, as well as appropriate behaviour and emotion regulation of a therapist in family court
  • Preparing and presenting a therapy report to the court
  • “Do’s” and “don’t do’s” when preparing or presenting therapy reports


Lesley Harrison represented The Office of Children’s eSafety Commissioner for this Lunch & Learn session. Her presentation provided a great insight into the extent that young people are accessing material online and using social media.


With social media and access to technology becoming more available, we gained a great deal from this Lunch & Learn session, covering :

  • Developmental stages that children go through and how these stages are affected by screen time
  • Technology-Facilitated Abuse (TFA), which is an issue in the online world for young people and reporting TFA
  • Most common types of online TFA are: name-calling, threats, cyberstalking, social humiliation, sexual harassment, offensive language, sharing without consent, or repeated requests
  • Gaming and the potential for gaming to become an addiction. Strategies were suggested for parents to protect their children from over-using or even becoming addicted to computer/console gaming


Dr Rebecca Sng is a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Family Therapist. Rebecca has a great deal of knowledge and lived experience in the area of working within Narrative Therapy.


Rebecca covered the foundations of Narrative Therapy such as:

  • Focusing on the concept of storytelling such as re-storying or re-authoring (rewriting or changing one’s view of a certain story
  • Skills used in this approach which include retelling a dominant story as an alternate story, using an outsider as a witness and Externalisation
  • Narrative therapy acknowledges ‘Migration of Identity’ where an individual shows a public acknowledgement of a preferred identity



Professor Stuart Johnson is a highly regarded researcher and teacher at the University of Wollongong. He is passionate about non-drug treatment alternatives for children with AD/HD.

Stuart’s Lunch & Learn session focused on:

  • A tool that Stuart and his team recently created to treat the core problems in ADHD. The device (which is a bluetooth EEG recorder and computer generated games) aims to manage behavioural inhibitions and improve performance on tasks due to being under aroused
  • The most significant area to focus on when treating children with ADHD is working memory and cognitive training
  • Children with ADHD are “under-aroused”, that is, they seek external stimuli to self-stimulate, therefore it is important to train them to maintain focus and be able to meditate to feel calm.



With almost 20 years experience in clinical psychology, Louise Shepherd has developed a passion for Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) and has grown as one of the leaders in this field within Australia.

This flexible parenting session:

  • Covered key skills to educate and equip families in flexible parenting with ACT
  • Explored how ACT can help parents to ride the emotional rollercoaster whilst staying true to their heartfelt desires and values for raising healthy and well-adjusted kids.
  • Addressed key concepts and exercises that might help a therapist working with parents.


Stephanie Meades is passionate about creating positive change in people’s lives through empowerment and education of positive lifestyle change. As a certified GAPS (Gut and Psychological Syndrome) practitioner and passionate advocate, Steph presented on the following:

  • How behaviour, mental health and gut health can be tied together
  • Tips for reducing damage to gut health such as avoiding processed foods and chlorinated water, feed your body with nourishing foods and avoiding sugar
  • Provided empirical evidence for probiotic supplementation demonstrating positive improvements in reducing anxiety-like behaviours, reducing depression-like behaviours, improving learning and memory, improving response to emotional stimuli – emotional processing and reducing self-reported feelings of sadness and aggressive thoughts.


Mark is from a behavioural perspective background and currently works at the Child Behaviour Research Clinic of the University of Sydney. Marks Lunch & Learn session discussed:


  • How “attachment parenting” is becoming a buzzword in Australia and how the people associated with attachment are causing doubt and suspicion in the public for those who follow the behavioural research
  • How some of the attachment articles out there claiming behavioural practitioners are causing trauma and harm with ‘time-out’ procedures
  • Maintaining the behavioural integrity of an intervention, and also to include ‘attachment’ type concerns 

Register for the upcoming workshops

Register Today



Kesser Torah College and BoF

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kesser Torah College and The Best of Friends

We are proud to announce Kesser Torah College has just confirmed they will be implementing The Best of Friends ® program during 2018.

Kesser Torah College is a Jewish educational facility offering Jewish Education and care for children aged 2 years – Year 12. The College incorporates the Early Childhood Centres (Carl Rose Early Learning School and the Education & Care Centre), Primary School and High Schools, situated in beautiful Dover Heights, Sydney. At Kesser Torah College education is also about life itself, “going above” and “looking beyond” the academic and extra-curricular program and applying learning to living.

Their enrolment continues to establish our Social and Emotional program as the most effective classroom intervention to foster children’s social and emotional wellbeing. 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.

About Kesser Torah College

Kesser Torah was incorporated in December 2003, and is a Jewish orthodox school with a Chabad ethos. It has grown to accommodate over 480 students catering to over 250 families. With a staff complement of 90 professionals, the school is committed to enhancing academic and extra-curricular learning for each child as an individual, and to providing the highest quality Jewish and Secular education, as well as pastoral care. The teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe OBM continue to inspire the educational philosophy of Kesser Torah College.

The College is co-educational to the Year 1 level. Years 2-6 in the Primary School and in the High School, boys and girls are taught separately.

Social and Emotional Learning

Equally with their commitment to academic results and positive psychology, Kesser Torah College has demonstrated clear commitment to the Social and Emotional Learning of their students. We were impressed with the vision, passion and commitment the school has for “going above” and “looking beyond” the academic and extra-curricular program and applying learning to living.

About The Best of Friends and the School

The implementation of The Best of Friends ® will take place progressively and will be closely supported by the program author and our Educational Developmental Psychologists Dr. Kimberley O’Brien.

Participants will receive a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid. Facilitators and teachers will have access to a series of manuals and regular supervision as and when required.

The Best of Friend is a Social and Emotional Learning program developed by The Quirky Kid Clinic. Find out more.

Interested in offering The Best of Friends ® program at your school?

Currently, the program is available to a limited number of schools and organisations. The BoF program has a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan and we are keen to identify partners committed to SEL implementation and evaluation.

Schools can choose from a target (small group) or universal (classroom) format. We will provide all the implementation assistance required, including training, supervision and support for key staff members.