Andrew Lines – Teacher-Guide, Educational Consultant and co-developer of The Rite Journey

Andrew is first and foremost father of two daughters and two sons. He also happens to be a Physical Education / Outdoor Education teacher who has been teaching for 20 years. His passion for health, fitness and providing students with positive and successful experiences in PE led to the publishing of Sport Covered, his exploration of teaching 23 sports using a games based approach to strengthen student’s development of game sense and their motivation to learn.

Following this Andrew turned his passion to providing relevant learning experiences for students, especially in the social, emotional and spiritual realms and this has led him to being one of the world’s most influential contemporary Rites of Passage creators and one of Australia’s most recognised boys’ educators. More than 6000 young people in over 60 schools will be initiated into adulthood in 2014 through his school based year-long Rite of Passage program ‘The Rite Journey’. This brings the total number of students having completed The Rite Journey to over 20,000 from its beginnings in 2005. He has worked with thousands of teachers in hundreds of schools to facilitate a process which honours the transition of our children into a responsible, respectful and resilient adulthood. His contemporary methodologies for working with students in middle years’ classrooms are being used by schools throughout Australia and New Zealand and now in South Korea and Europe.

2003 saw him co-creating a new educational initiative, ‘Habits of Heart’, which are a set of 16 principles which when explicitly taught allow for the growth of social and emotional intelligence.

In March 2014 Andrew took his own son through a Rite of Passage experience in Central Australia drawing on his Rite Journey experience. He is now offering workshops to dads/uncles/grandfathers and mentors on creating a Rite of Passage for their boy. This process of creating a Rite of Passage is the subject of the new book he is working on during 2014, it will outline a process of how we can transform our boys into fine young men.

 

“Andrew is an exceptionally talented and dedicated teacher who provides a wonderful model of commitment to lifelong learning. His work with High School students demonstrates warmth and clarity, respect and understanding. Students appreciate his willingness to listen, his open and honest responses and his unswerving commitment to their development and wellbeing. Andrew’s lessons are dynamic and engaging, lively and challenging. Students are seen, heard and appreciated, and typically respond by working in a focussed and respectful way. Andrew is also generous in his support of parents and colleagues. As a professional mentor he offers practical advice and opportunities for others to observe and participate in his lessons. His deep understanding of the challenges faced by adolescents – boys in particular – is recognised and valued.  
Andrew’s insights into the needs of adolescent boys led to the development of The Rite Journey, a year-long ‘coming of age’ program that now offers programs for both boys and girls. Andrew worked with colleagues to create manuals for teachers and workbooks for students. He has worked with the staff of schools and community organisations around the country to help them implement the program. Students who have participated and their parents have spoken in glowing terms of how the program has supported their children to step into the next phase of their lives with confidence and with respect for those who will continue to support them. Teachers also notice and appreciate the benefits of the program in providing a structure for the explorations of social and personal issues through the turbulent early high school years. In relation to Adolescent Mental Health, the program definitely provides a pro-active strategy.

Andrew is a wonderful communicator. He has been invited to speak about his work at national and international conferences. He shares insights from research and personal experience with warmth and good humour. He understands the struggles of young people, of parents and of teachers, and can speak to any group in a way that engages them. He is constantly searching for new ways to support students. He is committed to ensuring that each one develops the inner strength to overcome the obstacles that life will inevitably present. “

Felicity Hickman – A current mentor and past-principal of Andrew’s.


Amrita Hobbs – Educational Consultant, Workshop Facilitator,Inspirational Speaker, Community Developer, Author, Publisher and and co-developer of The Rite Journey Girls’ Program

It is with deep sadness that we pass on the news that Amrita lost her 3 year battle with breast cancer on Dec 1, 2014.  She is still an integral part of The Rite Journey and her influence and wisdom will continue to be felt for many years to come.

Internationally acclaimed, Amrita travelled around the world three times, for five years, offering workshops in Europe, Canada, Russia, Estonia, Turkey and the UK. She returned to Australia in 2008. In 1978 Amrita qualified as a Drama in Education teacher (B.Ed.(Hons)UK). She immediately immigrated to Australia. In 1986 she founded Harmony Holiday teenage residential camps. Inspired, she wrote her first book ‘It Could be Different’ (1991). She then offered ten day Rites of Passage camps to mark the transition young people experience. For the last fifteen years Amrita has facilitated innovative workshops for mothers and daughters about reclaiming the feminine mysteries. She also works with adults. Amrita facilitates programs for schools on Teenage Relationships, Understanding Gender and, to counteract bullying and teasing, Creating Caring Classrooms. Her latest initiative is YOUthSpeak. Amrita’s latest book is GETTING REAL…about growing up! (2006) and ConnXions – feelings, qualities and values cards (2010). Further information on Amrita’s work can be found at http://www.amritahobbs.com/


Jane Bennett – Counsellor, Social Researcher, Author, Educator and co-developer of The Rite Journey Girls’ Program

Jane originally trained as a social worker and clinical hypnotherapist and has worked extensively in the field of Natural Fertility Management. Through this work Jane become interested in facilitating the transformation of inherited views of embarrassment and shame around menstruation and the transformation of puberty into those that are positive and empowering. Since 2000 Jane has run workshops for mothers of daughters – A Blessing Not a Curse, for 10-11 year-old girls with their mothers – A Celebration Day for Girls, for fathers – Fathers Celebrating Daughters and for 14-15 year old girls – Cool on the Inside. These have been held at schools and for school communities in Victoria, New South Wales, the ACT and South Australia. Jane has also presented workshops for welfare, health and education professionals, including Celebrating Girls. In 2002 ‘A Blessing Not a Curse – a mother-daughter guide to the transition from child to woman’ (Sally Milner Publishing), in 2004 ‘The Natural Fertility Management Conception and Contraception Kits’ (with Francesca Naish) and in 2008 ‘The Pill: Are you sure it’s for you?’ (Allen and Unwin, with Alexandra Pope) were published. Also in 2008 Jane was invited to collaborate with Andrew, Graham and Amrita to write The Rite Journey for girls. Jane was delighted to contribute to the profound work already pioneered by Andrew and Graham to develop a specially tailored Rite Journey for girls. This was completed in 2009, with teachers trained and ready to guide girls through The Rite Journey in 2010. Jane is the mother of a daughter and the step-mother of three sons, all wonderful young adults now. While she has worked primarily with girls and women Jane is also very interested in the different journey toward adulthood, as it is experienced by boys, as well as the very important role of fathers. Further information on Jane’s work can be found at http://janebennett.com.au/


Graham Gallasch – Teacher-Guide, Educational Consultant and co-developer of The Rite Journey

Graham Gallasch has played an integral part in the creation of The Rite Journey. Whilst he is less involved in a practical sense these days, he still plays an important role as a friend and mentor to Andrew and The Rite Journey Program. Graham graduated in Physical Education and is currently a Key Learning Area Leader at Cornerstone College, Mount Barker, SA. His teaching career has spanned 25 years during which his passion for healthy living, outdoor adventure and developing positive relationships has been at the forefront of his educational philosophy. Over the last few years this passion has been focussed more acutely on the boys in his care, as their yearning to be guided on a path to adulthood has been increasingly evident. Graham believes that this transition should not be left to chance or to societal whims, but rather become a carefully mentored process involving boy, home and school. This transition from boy to man is as much a spiritual journey as a physical and emotional one. He also maintains a genuine enthusiasm for his own journey through this life.