islPAL - International Society for Leadership in Pedagogy and Learning

Pedagogies and Learning

Professor Paula Barrett - Profile

Paula is internationally recognised as a prominent scholar and groundbreaking researcher in the field of child psychology and education and has a distinguished international reputation as a keynote presenter. Recently, Paula received Highly Commended Certificate for the Human Rights Medal of the Australian Human Rights Commission; and the Telstra Queensland Business Woman of the Year Award. In 2008 she was a finalist in the Australian of the Year Queensland Award, and the Queenslander of the Year Award, for her contribution to the well-being of children and to the community.

Paula is presently Adjunct Professor of the School of Education at the University of Queensland. She has supervised 24 Honours, 19 Masters and 13 PhD students to successful completion of their postgraduate degrees.


Professor Paula Barrett

  • B.Sc (Hons), M.Clin.Psych., MAPS, PhD
  • Founder, Pathways Health and Research Centre
  • Author, FRIENDS for Life, Fun Friends and FOCUS
  • Patron, Pathways to Resilience Trust. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots.

Paula has authored and evaluated over 15 years the well-known FRIENDS for Life program recognised by the World Health Organization for the prevention and treatment of childhood and adolescent anxiety and depression in children from the age of 4. Worldwide the FRIENDS programs are available in 12 languages and are used in 18 countries by government departments in the education and health sectors, psychological and research-based clinics, academic institutions, and non-profit organisations.

In 2007 Paula's Fun Friends program for 4 to 7 year olds was officially launched by the Queensland Premier Anna Blight. And Paula has recently authored an Adults Resilience Program utilising a weekend workshop approach currently trialled around Australia with diverse populations.

Paula is a Certified Speaking Professional with the National Speakers Association of Australia and has given numerous invited keynote addresses at national and international conferences on positive psychology, child psychology and psychiatry. In June Paula will present an invited address and four symposiums to the World of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies Triennial Conference in Boston.

Paula is also the Director of the award winning Pathways Health and Research Centre, a Finalist in the Telstra Business Awards in the category of Innovation. Since its creation in 2003 Pathways has helped tens of thousands of children and families.

Paula is the patron of the Pathways to Resilience Trust that works to implement the Fun Friends and FRIENDS for Life programs in Australian schools in areas of low Socio-Economic Status, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Indigenous backgrounds, as well as regional and remote areas, particularly those affected by drought. By implementing these programs in underprivileged Australian schools the Trust is working to prevent anxiety, depression and youth suicide, and to promote resilience in families and communities in areas of need. To date the Trust has provided up to 10,000s children the possibility of receiving these programs through a train-the-trainer model.