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Teacher, Educational Consultant and co-developer of The Rite Journey
Andrew is first and foremost husband to Becky and father to his four children and 3 step-children. (Yep, he has had his fair share of personal experience with raising children.) 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. Each year about 8000 young people in nearly 100 schools are initiated into adulthood 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 50,000 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.
2013 saw him co-creating a new educational initiative, ‘Habits of Heart’ (www.habitsofheart.com), 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 eldest son through a Rite of Passage experience in Central Australia drawing on his Rite Journey experience and more recently in 2017 he took his youngest son on his Rite of Passage Journey. 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 online course he is working on, it will outline a process of how we can transform our boys into fine young men.
Andrew has been keen to create resources that help teachers and parents in building relationships with their students and children. The Rite Journey Feeling Cards are the first of his suite of card sets. In 2016 Andrew worked on creating a resource to promote conversation and connection specifically amongst men and boys and the ManMade Toolbox was born. In 2017 he teamed up with Jane Bennett to create his third Card resource, a set of conversation cards for women and girls, Woman Wise.
In 2018 Andrew created some resources which help parents ‘graduate responsibility’ with their children and assist in developing resourceful, responsible young men and women. This scaffolded process is called The Rite Journey Parenting Plan.
“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.
We are honoured to have had Steve and Jane accept the invitation to be Rite Journey Elders. In this role their vast wisdom and experience serves to inform, support and uphold The Rite Journey program and facilitators.
AUTHOR, EDUCATOR AND CO-DEVELOPER OF THE RITE JOURNEY GIRLS’ PROGRAM
With a background in social work and clinical hypnotherapy Jane has worked with Natural Fertility Management for the last three decades, through which she became passionate about the need to transform inherited views of embarrassment and shame around menstruation (and the many knock on effects) into those that are conducive to menstrual, and general, wellbeing. See www.fertility.com.au for more about Natural Fertility Management.
In 2000 Jane created Celebration Day for Girls, a program for 10-12 year-old girls with their mothers, and later Fathers Celebrating Daughters for dads. In 2012 she began to train facilitators to run these programs in their own communities. Celebration Day for Girls is now available in over 20 countries. See www.celebrationdayforgirls.com.
Jane is the author of A Blessing Not a Curse and Girltopia: A world of real conversations for real girls, and the co-author of About Bloody Time, The Pill: are you sure it’s for you?, The Complete Guide to Optimum Conception, The Natural Fertility Management Contraception Kit and Woman Wise conversation cards (the latter with Andrew Lines).
In 2017 Jane founded the Chalice Foundation, a not-for-profit
social enterprise dedicated to menstrual wellbeing, education and positive menstrual culture. See www.chalicefoundation.org for more and to sign up for blog updates.
In 2008 Jane was delighted to join Andrew, Graham and Amrita Hobbs to adapt and rewrite The Rite Journey (then just available for boys) as a meaningful and intentional rite of passage program and manual for girls. Jane frequently joins Andrew training teachers in schools implementing The Rite Journey, and has enjoyed meeting so many amazing teachers at fabulous schools, committed to the very best for their students. While she has worked primarily with girls and women Jane is takes a keen interest in boy’s journey to adulthood, as well as men’s experience as fathers.
Jane is a mother and grandmother, and lives with her husband Kim in the granite wilds of Central Victoria.
Parent educator, psychologist, author
Steve Biddulph is one of the world’s best known parent educators. A psychologist for over 35 years, he is now retired but continues to write and teach. Steve’s books including Raising Boys, The New Manhood and Raising Girls are in four million homes, and have changed the way we raise children to be more equal, but also more individual and unique. He brought fatherhood out of the shadows and has offered real solutions to making better, safer men.
Mike is the Director of Student Leadership at CBC Fremantle, bringing with him a wealth of experience in adolescent rites of passage. His role focusses on providing a clear leadership map for students from Years 7 to 12 with particular attention to the opportunities of growth and transition for the young men in the Year 9 Rite Journey programme. Mike is inspired by the development of young people and is driven to create a space for students that allows social and emotional skills to flourish. Prior to CBC, Mike was at Mazenod College having introduced and headed up TRJ for 5 years. He acquired a Bachelor of Education and Social Sciences at Edith Cowan University, completed studies in Positive Education with the University of Melbourne and is currently completing a Master of Education (Leadership and Management) with The University of Notre Dame Australia. Outside of the College, Mike enjoys spending as much time as possible with his wife and three children.
South Australia / Northern Territory
Ben is a middle school teacher, Rite Journey coordinator and student counsellor at Emmaus Christian College. He is married and has two beautiful and energetic young sons at home who he spends a lot of time with. Ben participated in the adult Men’s Rites of Passage in Queensland through the Centre for Men in 2010 as part of his own faith journey towards self-discovery and stepping up into responsibility.
Ben says “Year 9s are the best. The Rite Journey is both my most favourite and hardest lesson to teach. I love being able to help facilitate opportunities for personal growth and collective ownership. Yet, this subject requires such personal investment and vulnerability if it is to be authentic. It is such an honour and privilege to be working in this space with young people.”
Kareena is a very proud and dedicated mum and wife of two beautiful daughters and husband Brett. She has been a Science and PE/Health teacher for 15years. Her most fulfilling professional journey has been through her teaching of The Rite Journey and fulfilling the role of Year 9 Coordinator for the past 8 Years. She has had the privilege of working in both the public and private educational systems and has always had a strong passion for relational education and wellbeing. She has been involved in mentoring female staff to work within the Rite Journey Team and has also played a role in developing professional development for staff around wellbeing, classroom management and developing strong student relationships. She has presented her teaching activities at The Rite Journey Deepening the Journey Conference and has published work in the student guidebook. Kareena looks forward to further embracing the opportunity to share her knowledge and expertise in training and mentoring others.
Luke has been a passionate advocate for The Rite Journey since he helped to establish a Year 9 Campus (Croagh Patrick) at St. Patrick’s College, Launceston in 2012. He currently runs Reflection Days and Retreats at the College, and coordinates the ceremonies for The Rite Journey. Luke is married to Nicole, and they have 3 children and two grandchildren – twin 4yo girls. Spending time with family, and grandparenthood, is number one in his life. Luke also gets much joy from reading, walking, yin yoga, and he loves the regular training that allows him to compete in triathlons. Luke has a long history of coaching cricket, he loves watching Test cricket and his beloved Tigers (Richmond FC). He is enjoying assisting in community based programs, guiding young people as they continue their journey to adulthood. This opportunity to spread the message, and influence, of The Rite Journey is something that he greatly looks forward to, as he believes that it can make a huge difference for individuals, families, communities and our country.
New South Wales
Andrew McCrohon is a loving husband and proud Dad of three children. Away from that, he is the Service Program Coordinator at Ambrose Treacy College, Brisbane. Andrew has been teaching for 13 years, which has seen him work in the independent, state and catholic sectors of Education and subsequently in both coeducational and all-boys environments.
At St John’s Anglican College, he taught the Rite Journey program from its inaugural year at the College as well as five additional years. During this time, he developed a love and a passion for TRJ, and what it offers young people.
“I feel very fortunate that during my time as a Rite Journey ‘guide’, I’ve been able to witness first-hand the impact that The Rite Journey has had, not only on the boys and girls in our care, but also on the parents, the families and the greater school community. I’m still in contact with many of the students that I’ve had the privilege of working with on their journey into adulthood. It’s a special thing….to see a young man, throughout the year, go through the stages of TRJ and realise who he is and how great he is.”
New Zealand South Island
Lisa has been teaching for almost 30 years across a diverse number of schools in New Zealand. She is currently teaching at St Margaret’s College in Christchurch where she has been for the last 15 years.
Lisa’s passion is developing ideas and programmes that open students’ minds, challenge thinking and build grit. The Rite Journey allows her to do this in an amazing way.
2020 will mark the 10th year of teaching Rite Journey for St Margaret’s College and they consider the programme the jewel of the Middle School.
Lisa is curriculum leader of Health throughout the school and Rite Journey.
Lisa’s wonderful work heading up TRJ contributed to St Margaret’s College being named one of 6 lead schools in 2019.
New Zealand north Island
Chris is a husband, dad, son and teacher known for being enthusiastic, kind and helpful.
He has had extensive experience in pastoral care for over 20 years as teacher, Dean and Deputy Principal in different contexts across Australia and New Zealand.
He introduced The Rite Journey at St Andrews College, Christchurch in 2014 and then at Waikato Diocesan School for Girls in 2019.
Chris loves chilli, running marathons and fishing.
Teacher, Rite Journey Teacher-Guide and co-developer of The Rite Journey
Teacher, Educational Consultant, Rite Journey Trainer and Executive Officer of Adolescent Success
Angela is an educator who trained as a teacher in New Zealand.
For twelve years she worked as a middle years teacher and leader. Her most recent role in a school was her nine year stint as Head of Middle School at St Margaret’s College, an all girls’ school in Christchurch, where she was a strong advocate for young adolescent girls.
Angela is currently the Executive Officer of Adolescent Success Inc. a not-for-profit professional teachers’ association which attracts members from across Australia and the globe. Adolescent Success Inc. produces teaching resources, publishes an academic journal and runs conferences, workshops and study tours for middle years teachers and leaders. She also is our lead Rite Journey Female Trainer.