See what our parents and students are saying about us...............

(For HOLIDAY PROGRAM Testimonials- scroll down to the bottom)


"It has been a wonderful opportunity for Emily to have attended SHINE Academy where Melissa has identified the importance of teaching our girls the gift of emotional resilience which is sadly lacking in today's society.  The SHINE program has taught her the crucial elements of resilience and how her response and reactions can shape her personal development.  

Throughout the program Melissa taught our daughter about developing winning attitudes, respect in responding, healthy self esteem and self knowledge and how to handle some of life's toughest lessons.  We have seen a new found confidence and maturity in our daughter and this has been acknowledged by several of her teachers, both to her personally and to myself.  

Her public speaking skills have flourished and she has become wiser and matured in her emotional self.  She sees herself as an individual and her self respect and ability to evaluate circumstances and rationalize her thinking gives us, as parents, a peace of mind that she has the emotional skills to work through her teenage years. Thank you Melissa for producing such a rewarding program that is a wonderful foundation to life."


Jo and Dean Petch, parents of Emily Petch aged 12, Moorabbin Primary School, Victoria


Scarlet loves going to Shine each week. It is her favourite time of the week and she looks forward to it and loves to talk about it afterwards.  I feel that she is learning so much in the reassuring, positive, safe environment you provide.  Her father and I have been very pleased to observe her growing confidence and maturity.  Thank you so much for your advice to Scarlet a few weeks ago when she was having trouble with a boy in the playground.  Sometimes all one needs is affirmation that you're on the right path.

Scarlet is already saying how much she will miss Shine when she has finished, and she still has another Term to go!  I think Justin and I will miss Shine too.  

Pauline O'Kane, mum of Scarlet, aged 11, St Joseph’s Elsternwick


My daughter Madeleine was a shy, soft spoken, kind-natured 11 year old girl.
Madeleine has always found it difficult to keep friends and speak in public. Madeleine said to me when speaking amongst her peers that she "didn't like the sound of her own voice". As a parent, I was crushed to hear this.
I enrolled Madeleine in the SHINE Academy for Girls and within a very short time Madeleine spoke clearer, stood taller and gave eye contact. Madeleine has now made new friends and has learnt how to keep them. 
Madeleine has learnt amazing life skills over the past two terms.
Melissa has been a fantastic, calm and caring role model in Madeleine's life. Melissa has taught Madeleine the skills needed to enter high school for next year.
Thank you so much for your wonderful program. 
Each and every child should have the opportunity to shine.

Danielle Joy, mother of Madeleine, 12, Bentleigh West Primary School


Andrew and I want to thank you for everything you have given Keira so far. She loves going to SHINE, but more importantly, we believe she has a stronger sense of self, and understands very important concepts that most kids don’t (and many grown-ups for that matter). Seeing her stand up in front of a crowd and talk confidently and clearly (as she has now done - twice) is something we thought we may never see. 

This has been the perfect program for our little girl and we are so glad we found you. I now believe every child should have the opportunity to learn many of the things you teach in a formal, structured setting. (And we look forward to enrolling our little boy, Rory, in Longford & Fraser when he’s old enough.)

See you next term.

Best wishes

Vikki and Andrew Davis, parents of Keira, aged 8, Caulfield South PS


You have become a significant mentor in Jessica's life at a time when she so desperately needs to have someone strong, kind and understanding reassure her. I consider Jess and myself to be very close and she herself has said that she can "tell me anything" but I also understand that it is the significant others in a child's life that can colour their experiences and dramatically affect how they see themselves and their place in the world. Melissa, you have offered your time to listen to Jess and that has meant a great deal to her. I know that she has looked forward to meeting with you at Shine and want to thank you for taking the time to speak with her individually after class.

I look forward to seeing Jessica further develop through Shine in term 3 and commend you on implementing such an outstanding program.

Natasha, mum of Jessica Ride, aged 11, Firbank


On behalf of Tom and myself I would like to pass on our appreciation in regards to the invaluable life lessons and values you have imparted to our beautiful girl through the Shine program.  
We have proudly observed her implementation of such in her communication with others and ourselves and dearly hope she will continue to do them constant justice throughout her life.

Leanne and Tom Coleman, parents of Alexandra, aged 10, Mentone Park PS


It has been wonderful to watch her blossom under your wing. She has gained confidence and valuable life gifts that she will take with her wherever she goes.

As a parent, I am so pleased that you offer such an amazing course for young girls & boys. Teaching these skills sets them up for life. I too have enjoyed reading the notes than Hannah brings home each week. Maybe a course for adults would be something you could offer in the future!!

You are a very caring, gentle & lovely soul. We have been blessed that you were part of Hannah's education.

I wish you all the very best as you continue to transform the lives of children.

Siobhan Shippen, mother of Hannah, age 11, Firbank



Iris has completed the enter program at the Shine Academy.It was a wonderful and fruitful year for her. She loved her Shine classes and adored Melissa, an exceptional role model in Iris’ life. As a parent, I was thrilled to observe the gradual positive transformation in Iris’ social skills. Initially shy and quiet, Iris gained a lot of confidence and self-awareness, learnt how to be assertive and treat others with respect and kindness. Putting these skills to good use, Iris has made new friends at school, learnt to enjoy public speaking in front of the class and volunteers to take additional responsibilities in school social life.


Thank you, Melissa for being such a strong source of inspiration for my daughter.

Marina, mother of Iris, 9, Glen Huntly Primary School


It will be an honor to let other people know how much and in what way SHINE helped our family, so, please, feel free to include any words of our gratitude to you.
When in the middle years of Ania's primary school my rather cheerful and outgoing child started experiencing tension and sadness as a result of intensity in communication styles of some school peers I tried to help by talking to her and explaining. Though my insight into the issues wasn't adequate as I'd grown up overseas and did not have enough experience within Australian environment. I also lacked a specialist knowledge and techniques.
We felt very lucky to have learnt about SHINE Program just in time to get the feeling of hope. The program proved to be so well prepared and structured, delivered in the most stimulating and engaging way, and in the most friendliest atmosphere. No surprise that all the girls just couldn't have enough of it and were always impatiently looking forward to the next class!
Bit by bit they were learning and reiterating the techniques of effective interpersonal communication and outstanding personal presentation; how to achieve and maintain emotional stability and wellbeing in the modern very complex and multifaceted social environments. My daughter grew so confident and empowered by the knowledge and understanding she acquired through SHINE, that this, final year of her primary school proved to be the most enjoyable out of all. I'm glad to hear that more than often Ania quotes Ms.Anderson, happily uses and shares the skills and attitudes she's learnt in SHINE.
I also obtained the feeling of ease and confidence in my daughter's social abilities.
We just cannot thank you enough,
Dear Ms Anderson for creating SHINE and making it available to us!
May the coming New 2013 Year bring good health, prosperity, success and good luck to you and your loved ones!

With appreciation and admiration
Larissa and Ania, aged 12, attending Oakleigh PS


Zara has completed the entire curriculum. In her graduation speech she spoke these words:

"Firstly, I would like to thank Miss Anderson for being such a wonderful, inspirational teacher and for helping me to become a confident, assertive person. It has been fun over the terms and I have made some wonderful friends. I would like to thank the whole class for being so kind and caring. I have had so much fun; I really don't want to leave.

SHINE has taught me so much, I can't think of any words to justify just how great it really is. My knowledge of the world and in manners and etiquette has deepened vastly and throughout the terms I have learnt how to become a confident leader. If I had never of come to SHINE and met everybody then I think my life would never have been as good. Since being here I have changed and grown and people have commented on that.

The programs have assisted me greatly but it's not just them that have helped. It has been Miss Anderson. She has inspired me and has been the one who has made it so great. SHINE would not be SHINE without her.

Thank you so much for supporting me and helping me to shine. Thank you.

Zara Roussel, aged 13, Haileybury


Stefanie has not only immensely enjoyed her class experience at SHINE Academy for Girls but has also effectively put the skills she has learned to good use. She has attended two programs so far and is very much looking forward to the next one. At the conclusion of each class I have noticed her brimming with enthusiasm and self-satisfaction with the experience and the skills she has acquired so far.

Stefanie is a sensitive, kind and considerate child by nature. For this reason, it has been pleasing for me to see her develop resilience and confidence in order to maintain her beautiful qualities without the risk of being hurt or taken advantage of by difficult people. For example, Stefanie has told me stories about children at her school who formally bullied or excluded her but who now respect her and are queuing up to befriend her. I have also observed her interacting with children of various ages and adults a like with uncommon assertiveness for her tender age (eight years old), but always in a polite and respectful manner.

On a side note, Stefanie has also had to deal with the separation of her parents and I have no doubt her improved communication skills and confidence have helped her to cope with the inherent difficulties associated with type of situation and enabled her to effectively impart her feelings to me when she needs to talk.

To conclude, both Stefanie and I are very grateful for your wonderful programs Melissa, and look forward with great anticipation to the next one.

Danny, father of Stefanie, aged 8, Glenhuntly Primary School


SHINE Academy for Girls was one of the best choices I made. In doing so I have learnt and matured so much. I’ve learnt social and life skills throughout my time there and have come away a better person. If I could start my terms again I would, because, I believe there is so much more that I could learn. The girls in the class are the most fabulous people I have met and I’m definitely going to keep in touch with them.

Hannah Walker, aged 14, Mentone Girls’ Secondary College


Our daughter (8 years old) has thrived in the Shine program this year and is very excited to be participating again next year.  She has grown in confidence and has handled a difficult bullying situation which is now a thing of the past. She was so distraught when she told us earlier in the year that she was being bullied. This included being physically pushed around, told she smells, her lunch smells and general personal taunts. The two girls involved also broke things that she had made regularly.  We chose not to intervene as our daughter panicked because she didn’t want to be seen as a ‘dibby dobber’ so I sat down with her and asked her what she could do to help herself. She decided to take her ‘problem’ to her Shine group. Where 22 beautiful girls gave her understanding, empathy, support and more importantly (with Melissa’s guidance) strategies to take home. I picked up a very different girl that night, She looked empowered and happy. Something we hadn’t seen for a while.  Two weeks later I asked her how things were going and she said, oh *Sarah (not real name) and I are friends now, everything is ok. She then said ‘What you have to understand mummy is *Sarah is not a bad person, it was just her behaviour that was bad’. The girl who was the main instigator of the bullying then asked if she could have my daughter for a play date. Sure I said, come to our place!

Our daughters teacher has also informed us that she has removed herself from a particularly toxic group friendship and is now choosing to play with other girls. I am delighted that she is beginning to make good choices around friendships and that she has been able to distinguish between people and their behaviours, this has been due to the skills she has learnt at Shine, thank you. We re-enforce these at home which has been useful when managing the dynamic between her and her younger sister. By identifying the bullying behaviours that she experienced and identified during the program we are able to get her to think about how she is treating others.

A fabulous program that is showing tangible benefits for those we love the most.  

Thank you for bringing this much needed program to us.

Name Withheld - Bayside Resident


We were all very overwhelmed when Olivia was recognised last night for her efforts. I personally wanted to thank-you. Olivia works so hard at everything she does and to receive such recognition gave her enormous joy and satisfaction as she has traditionally been a little "lost in the crowd". I see this note today as an opportunity to also thank-you for providing Olivia with key tools and strategies that she can use throughout her life. Since her engagement at Shine we have noticed a significant advancement in the way she conducts herself and she is blossoming into a very confident, delightful young lady. Thank-you so very much for all that you have done for our Olivia.

Gordon Shinnie, father of Olivia, aged 12, Glen Iris PS


"Our 7 year old daughter had been too nervous to enrol in a regular afterschool drop-off activity before but we finally enticed her to start with Shine & there are no regrets - she has absolutely LOVED every minute there, & has learnt so much about life & relating to people. She is very much more conscious about respect, self presentation, good manners, public speaking & positive attitudes now, & it has really helped coming from someone other than us who she is so fond of & has enormous respect for. Thankyou ever so much Melissa, & we look forward to continuing with Shine".

Cate Barlow, mother of Sally, aged 7, Brighton Beach Primary School


Grace Reiter has completed the entire curriculum (four terms). This was her graduation speech:

Ladies and gentlemen, at the start of Term 4, last year, I walked into SHINE a scared and shy girl and now a year later I can confidently stand here and speak tonight.
I would like to thank Miss Anderson for her wonderful support and wisdom, my parents for giving me the opportunity to come to SHINE and Jordan, who has been with me every step of the way.
Over the past year, I have learnt new skills, met new people and gained a lot of confidence. My fondest memory is losing $110 in the um, ah, well, like competition but I have come a long way from there and now I am finishing my SHINE education. Thank you Miss Anderson and my classmates - I will never forget this year.

Grace Reiter, aged 13, Kilbreda College


We are thrilled for Isabella to be once again partaking in your invaluable lessons at The Shine Academy.  Of course she looks forward to again sharing in your class and most of all, spending time under your guidance and direction. Although it is exciting that she will have completed the course at the duration of this term, it will be a double edged sword as it will be quite sad to say goodbye to you and for Isabella especially - we hold you in high regard and I know that you have given our daughter an extremely high benchmark with which to measure against other people of authority (for which I am indebted).

Personally, you are a person of great warmth and dignity, and with a wealth of knowledge you strive to develop the utmost confidence and potential in the most important people in our lives, our children. We thank you for your dedication to an invaluable cause.

Rosette Licciardo, mother of Isabella, aged 10, Beaumaris Primary School


Amelia, aged almost 8, completed the entire curriculum. This was her graduation speech:

"Good Evening, Ladies and Gentleman and fellow students,

As you all know, this is my last term at Shine and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my teacher, Ms Anderson. She has helped me to become courageous and not to be a passive aggressive snake or an aggressive crocodile or a passive doormat. Ms Anderson has shown me how to be an assertive hero and stand up for myself and others.
I have made many friends through this journey and I will be sad to say good-bye but I would like to thank them for their friendship and wish them all the best of luck on their journey.
Finally, I would like to thank my parents for giving me the opportunity to shine and learn to be brilliant.Thank you for listening. Good evening and good night."

Amelia, aged 8, Melbourne Girls Grammar School


I just wanted to say thank you for being an excellent SHINE teacher this year. I am really happy I participated in SHINE this term, and I believe that I have learnt some really valuable life lessons that I will definitely be able to use later on. I now say "um" less, and am careful of making quick judgements based on appearance. I no longer look at my feet when I walk or dance and I know how to handle quite a lot of unpleasant social scenes assertively.

You have been a really positive role model for me, and SHINE has become a welcoming, positive and respectful family. I look forward to coming each week, and enjoy seeing all my friends I have met while doing SHINE.

You have taught me so much, and I look up to you immensely. You have inspired me so much, and I will be eternally grateful for that. Thank you so much, Miss Anderson.

Siobhan Thomas, aged 12, Carnegie Primary School


In my opinion the Shine Academy for Girls is an excellent program for young girls to develop a better understanding about themselves and the people around them. Girls learn about how to get along with people, how to be polite and how to behave appropriately in different contexts. I have found that these ideas and skills are usually not explained at school or other places so the Shine Academy plays a really important role in teaching girls about life and getting on with people which is hard to find elsewhere. Miss Anderson is a very inspiring and influential figure and is a great role model for young girls. She knows how to handle so many situations that girls find themselves experiencing and is always willing to share skills and interesting past experiences with us. The skills I have learnt at Shine have been beneficial to me in so many ways, for example they have assisted me to act appropriately in peer group situations. I have also been able to share some of the skills I have learnt with my peers, I suppose this has been a demonstration of the leadership that Miss Anderson has shown us.  Thank you Miss Anderson, I shall treasure the skills you have shared with me forever.

Pia Cattapan, aged 14, Star of the Sea College, Brighton


My 12 year old daughter Amba has just completed Programs 7 and 8 at Shine academy for girls. Since completing the very fun program, as she puts it, her confidence levels have soared. She was extremely shy and now she is a new girl, bursting with confidence. Amba starts high school next year, and she now feels full of confidence to make new friends and is really looking forward to it. Amba is returning to Shine next year to complete programs 1 and 2. She cannot wait. A big thank you to Melissa. You have done a fantastic job.

Bridgett Kalpins, mother of Amba, aged 12, Coatesville Primary School, East Bentleigh


Isabelle Cruickshank, aged 9 completed all four terms. This is her graduation speech:


*Ladies and gentleman my name is Isabelle.

*I have completed 4 terms at Shine and I am proud to graduate today.

*When I started at Shine I didn’t know what to expect and that seems a long time ago.


*I found Miss Anderson to be a beautiful, wise person, with a good heart. She always listens and understands our problems.

*My classmates are lovely people too. They respect me and they keep me company while I am at Shine. We all talk to each other and share things, happy or sad. At break time we sing and dance to Miss Anderson’s music, and it’s so much fun.

*At Shine I have learned that you should always be kind to people no matter what the situation. Also, you should always stand up for yourself and your friends. You should be resilient because there are ups and downs in life and you need to deal with them.If you are confident you can do challenging things like rock climbing.


*Thank you to my parents for giving me the opportunity to be at Shine this year.

*Thank you to Miss Anderson and my class mates for being my teachers and friends.I have an awesome time andI will miss you all.


Isabelle Cruickshank, aged 9, Sandringham PS


When my daughter started with Shine Academy she had very little confidence in herself and did not know how to deal with her peers without getting her feelings hurt.   After four terms she has gained life changing skills of how to deal with difficult people and situations as well as being able to make herself be heard instead of other people just pushing her aside without listening to what she has to say.  I would highly recommend Shine Academy to parents, for children who need to increase their self esteem and/or confidence in themselves to help them grow and become well balanced succesful people.

Sonja Rakach, mother of Chanelle, 13, East Bentleigh Primary School


Shine Academy for Girls is the best decision I have ever made in my life. In the lessons we learned how to be resilient. The course is fun and serious at the same time. When I was there I made lots of friends for life. Miss Anderson is the nicest lady I have met and an awesome teacher. When I first met all of the girls I was very nervous but when I got to know every one I was fine. 

To whom ever is reading this I would definitely recommend it.

Isabel Robertson, aged 12, Mordialloc Beach PS


Over the past few weeks, I have seen Steph develop into a calmer, more co-operative and open young lady. There is no tension or frustration around us and that feels great!

All of this is thanks to you!

Melissa, you truly are a remarkable woman. Last night, during the graduation, it was so apparent that you are saving dozens of young people from going through what can be perceived as torture during their school years. Not only that, you are developing them to be better adults, parents, leaders, spouses, co-workers and humanitarians.

I have no doubt that for many of these children, had your program not been made available to them, that they would suffer through the most important developmental part of their lives – allowing themselves to be subjects of bullies and narcissists throughout their lives.

Bullying is at epidemic levels around the world and it makes my blood boil that little seems to be done. It all seems to be “talk” and no real action.

I wish that there were 1,000 of you, so that your program could be run across the country.

You are very, very special.

Kate Craven, mother of Steph, aged 12, OLSH


Jordan has completed all four terms at SHINE Academy. This was her graduation speech:
Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

Firstly, I would like to thank my Mum and Dad for sending me to SHINE Academy for Girls, for this amazing opportunity. Next I would like to thank Miss Anderson for being such an inspirational teacher, also I would like to thank my beautiful class mates especially Gracie who has been with me the whole way.

I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship for programs 3&4 by an anonymous member of the community and I am extremely grateful for that.

SHINE has helped me so much, before I came here, speaking in front of a crowd, making a speech or presenting a project to the class terrified me. Now, even though I still get nervous I don't absolutely freak out!

Also before I came here I was saying "like" all the time; just ask my mum or Gracie they used to count! Now sometimes when I hear people talking, some of them say it every second word and I think to myself did I really used to sound that terrible? I can barely understand her anymore.

I've learnt so many amazing things at SHINE it's hard to choose my favourite, but I think it would have to be learning how to handle some of life's toughest lessons - rejection, criticism, conflict, bullying and failure. I think that course has helped me the most.

Now I don't know what I am going to do with my Thursday afternoons. I look forward to coming to SHINE every week and seeing all my new friends.

I have 64 hours of knowledge that I can keep working at, to help me in my life.

All the courses have gone so fast and I can't believe that it's over and that I'm graduating. I really don't want to leave and I hope that there will be many more courses in the future.

So again, thank you again to everyone.

Jordan Boland, aged 13, Kilbreda College


Thank you, thank you so much for such an inspiring and enjoyable experience. I've never done anything quite like the Shine course. I've been thinking it over, and I suppose what I liked most about it is that it gives you so much important life information without being preachy. The girls at Shine are some of the nicest people I've ever met. And you, Melissa, are such an inspiring teacher.

Grace E, aged 13, who completed Program 7&8 in Term 4, 2010


I am so grateful Sebelle has had the opportunity to work with you and experience SHINE. We use the term “shine” for the moments inside when we feel our vibrant selves fully.
Although Sebelle is in her last term at the Academy I would appreciate it If I could put her name down for this particular term again (Program 3&4) when it comes around to repeat and revise the information.
I believe it would be very beneficial for her going forward.
I would recommend SHINE to anyone.

Antoinette De Luca, mother of Sebelle Cohen, 8, St Kilda Park Primary School 


Laura is enjoying the program and we are impressed with the weekly lesson summary - I only wish a program like this had been around when I was moving into the teenage years.


Beverly Ross, mother of Laura Parsons, 11, Mentone Primary School


Jordie Mellas has completed the entire curriculum (four terms) at SHINE Academy. This was her graduation speech:

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Tonight is my last night at shine academy for girls, and I just wanted to say firstly a big thank you to all the people who have helped me through my good and bad times, especially when they made me laugh.

My favourite lesson, I don’t think I have one because I’ve loved every minute of this wonderful journey, although, last lesson, we had to say a sentence after Miss Anderson. The sentence was: one smart fellow, he felt smart. We had to say this three times. However some of us got a bit tongue twisted, so by the third time, half the class were saying: one smart fellow, he smelt fart, by accident. That was really funny.

Moving on, shine has taught me skills I will keep with me for life. It would take me months, if not years, okay maybe not that long, but a long time anyway, to list all of them, so I have two words, assertiveness and resilience.

Thank you and good evening.

Jordie Mellas, Year 7 at Sacre Coeur

“My daughter Amy (11yrs) attended a combined course of ‘Emotional Resilience’ and ‘Life’s Toughest Lessons’
Being a very gentle and sensitive child, Amy benefited from this course in many ways but mainly in learning how to be more confident of herself and therefore not constantly seeking approval from others.   In building Amy’s social needs, she made many friends there and looked forward to going every Wednesday.   She LOVED Melissa, who understood all the children there so well and made it a fun atmosphere in which to learn. The girls were taught in a gentle but solid manner.   
Thank you, Melissa for your dedication and love in running this program to help our girls in their formative years“

Ahila Amarasinghe, mother of Amy aged 11, St Patrick's Primary School, Murrumbeena


You know when you walk into a room and you can feel everyone’s eyes on you?

That squirmy feeling in your stomach?

You start to second guess yourself, wonder whether you look perfect enough for everybody there.

Should I have done cork screw curls or a messy bun?

Worn my skinny jeans or my chinos?

Does my “derriere” look big in this?

That guy certainly thinks so!

Most of you probably wouldn’t know what it feels like to walk into Shine, however, every girl behind me knows this sensation. The overwhelming feeling of contentment, happiness and a sometimes triumph when you win the Caramello koala for not saying “um “or “yeah”. Which to let you know, I am trying very hard to do tonight.

I guess what I am trying to convey is that walking into ‘Shine’ on a Thursday night is a whole lot different from walking into the room I was talking about.

The girls here don’t judge you for what clothes or shoes you are wearing let alone your hairstyle.

They‘re more understanding and compassionate than the average person.

I’ve learnt to look out for others, voice my opinion, and become the Shepherd instead of the sheep.

“To be a star you must shine your own light, follow your own path. Don’t worry about the darkness for that is where the stars shine brightest”

This was printed on a card I received from Miss Anderson, and I think it will be the thing I take away with me from Shine.

I think that will be the thing I add to my backpack, my backpack of life-lessons. The backpack that I will take with me as I start my journey into the big, wide world…

Anyway, I am Alex Chant, good evening and good night!

Alexandra Chant, aged 12, Mentone PS


Melissa Anderson has a unique combination of qualifications that allows her insight into the pressures of modern day on our children. She has recognised some of the negatives repercussions of this trend such as the alarmingly high number of children being diagnosed with depression & the downside to technology associated with mobile phones, msn & online social websites.

I found her approach to teaching children to be more resilient totally refreshing. Her class structure of role playing, games & group discussions is not only age appropriate but is also brilliantly disguised in fun. Gidget looked forward to her classes & always left with a smile.

I feel confident Gidget now has the tools & knowledge to successfully navigate her way through the ups & downs of life.

We look forward to returning to Shine Academy.

Kylie Reis, mother of Gidget Reis aged 8, St Brigid’s Primary School – Mordialloc


Confidence is when you walk out of a Shine session and happily apply what you have learned with your family and friends.
Pride is when you want to teach your family and friends what you have learned.
Alex has displayed both Confidence and Pride.  After the first session, Alex walked out with a smile and said "That was the best"
Thank you Melissa and Shine Academy.

Thanks again

Tina Manuel & Craig Robinson, parents of Alexandra, aged 12, Gardenvale Primary School


The Graduation Speech of Mollie Williams after completing the entire SHINE curriculum:

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome!

At the start of this year I walked into Shine a shy, yet excited, young girl but I don’t stand in front of you all today as that little girl any longer I stand here as an assertive and somewhat resilient young lady and as a Shine PH.D graduate for December 2011.

I have so many people to thank, to my incredible Mum, Dad, my 2 sisters and my amazing little brother Carter for not only driving me here and home again every Thursday afternoon but just for being by my side so supportively for the last 13 years. I love you all so much.

To the awesome girls who sit behind me today, who not only made my Thursday afternoons the best ever, but for being so beautiful, inside and out.

And finally to Miss Anderson, who has been such an amazing teacher and friend to me for the past 4 terms. I have learnt so many ‘tricks’ and ‘skills’. I thank you deeply from the bottom of my heart.

So I leave Shine now as an ‘assertive hero’ and I know that I will walk out of here today and take with me lifelong confidence, lifelong friends and lifelong memories.

To conclude in the words of Dr Seuss “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...” And now I know that where ever I go I will shine!"

Mollie Williams, aged 13, Mentone Girls Secondary School


Both my children suffer from social anxiety. Shine Academy and Longford and Fraser have been amazing for teaching them in a fun and relevant way how to handle social situations and how to feel better about themselves. When my daughter started at Shine, she could not get up in front of her class let alone a room full of strangers without completely falling apart and laughing hysterically. After one term she was able to give her end of term speech without so much as a giggle. Shine Academy and Longford make each child feel supported valued and worthwhile. Melissa also lets the children know in a kind caring yet firm and direct way how she expects them to behave and what the consequences of their choices will be. My son has gone from strength to strength, he is making more friends at school and is becoming more relaxed in social situations. Melissa should look to implementing her programme in schools - it would do the world of good for the youth of today who are subjected to images of perfection that no one can really live up to.

Tonya Gladstone, mother of Laura, 12, King David School and Charlie, 10, Geelong Grammar


'I loved the experience at Shine, it was fun and I also learned some key points about life. Miss Anderson has a great personality'.
Aphrothiti,  aged 10, Brighton Primary School


I would love to let you know and give you some feedback about one of your Shine graduates. Aphrothiti was recently interviewed at a modelling/casting agency (as she would love to get into acting). During the interview I noticed her new found confidence. Surprisingly, Aphrothiti also encouraged her brother in the interview to get up and  'shine' when he felt shy.

The interviewer noticed this kind and mature gesture by Aphrothiti  and commented on that during the interview. When we left Aphrothiti looked the interviewer straight in the eye and confidently shook her hand and politely thanked her.

I knew alot of how Aphrothiti interacted in the interview was because of her experience at Shine. The next day the Agency rang and said they loved the children and accepted them.

I have always tried to teach my children manners and how to be confident, however I would like to acknowledge YOU for holding the light so children can really 'shine'.

Thank you, thank you!!!!

So when you are tired and you haven't had dinner and you get home late....always remember that what you are doing is making a difference to a little girl, who will grow up to be a young woman, who can contribute to her community and her world because you cared and held the light so she could SHINE.

Thank you Melissa for giving Diti' some great life tools that I know she will carry with her throughout her whole life. Not only does she now know how to give a great handshake, she also learned that being extraordinary IS an attitude, while also being a decent human being. Her light is definitely 'SHINEing!

My Sincerest Thanks,
Angela Mellas, mother of Aphrothiti, aged 10, Brighton Primary School


Belinda Neighbour attended the SHINE Academy for girls Program 3&4 'Emotional Resilience' & 'Life's Toughest Lessons'

Belinda loved and looked forward to attending every lesson, she came through this course with
a better understanding of self-esteem & being a positive human being, she is able to be more resilient with her
sister and understands that every individual is a different person in their own way.
Many thanks for your kind and wonderful course structure we will be looking at more courses in the near future.
many thanks

Angela Sorpreso. mother of Belinda Neighbour, aged 12, Cheltenham Primary School


Brittannie completed the entire curriculum in March, 2012 (four terms). This is her final Graduation Speech:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I apologize in advance if I start blubbing in the middle of my speech. This past year at shine has been so amazing that I think I’ll start to cry if I think about having to leave too much. I have learnt so much this year that it’s almost like being at school, except shine is fun, so really it isn’t anything like school… but each time I get a glimpse of what my future holds, like writing resumes, going for job interviews or really anything that requires some sort of professionalism or understanding, I look around at the other people my age, who are all looking very confused and worried, and I sit there feeling so glad that I’ve been taught how to handle situations. Shine has helped me so much, especially with making new friends and school work. I was recently moved up a class at school and with all my knowledge from shine, I found it really easy to make friends and be independent enough to catch up and excel in all my school work, so now I’m having a really good time. I’m so grateful to my parents for giving me the opportunity to go to shine, even though at first when my dad first presented shine to me, I was like ‘Pffst, an etiquette school for young ladies? No. I am not walking around for hours balancing books on my head.’ I’m just glad he managed to convince me that that wasn’t the concept of shine. Massive thanks to Miss Anderson, who has been the one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever had. She has so much knowledge to share, I don’t even know how she remembers it all that when I still haven’t memorised my eight times tables… And another thanks to my awesome class mates, who are all amazingly nice and hilariously funny. Thank you for listening.

Brittannie Probst, Glen Eira College, Year 8

Junior Ph.D of Leadership



Thankyou Melissa and Shine Academy for the wonderful work that you have achieved with my daughter.  You have helped to restore her self-esteem and you have provided her with the tools to stand up to the schoolyard bully with dignity, authority and most of all respect.

We will be back with our other daughter.  


Vanessa Davie, mother of Annabelle, 10, Brighton Beach Primary School


Ella completed the entire curriculum. This was the graduation speech she prepared herself:

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to thank all my classmates for helping me throughout this journey.

I would like to thank my parents for sending me to shine.

I would also like to thank Miss Anderson for being a great teacher and supporting me on my way.

In shine I learnt lots of great things like how to stand up to bullies and to learn how to be a good sport.

Miss Anderson has made learning fun and easy.

Once a bully from my school tried to bully me but I used what I have learnt from shine and two weeks later she asked me for a play date and stopped bullying people.

I have loved it so much that I want to go again.

I don't only want to go again because I will miss Miss Anderson , I want improve on my shine skills.

Good evening and good night.

Ella Curry, almost 9, Brighton PS


Indigo attended Program 7 and 8 (From Shyness to Healthy Confidence and How to Become a People Magnet) and I have watched her successfully use her new found skills in many social situations.
I think that the success is due not only to the important messages, self-respect, how to say "no", how to make friends, confidence and public speaking, but also in how they have been communicated, giving the girls a "safe place" to try these new confident behaviours. In addition, I think it is useful to being taught by a trusted third party and role model, Miss Anderson.

The skills taught are important to us all, and our girls in attending Shine are able to develop these positive habits at an early age.

Thank you!
Alison Kennedy, mother of Indigo, aged 10, Melbourne Girls Grammar



My girls attended SHINE Academy and during the course Sarah and Brooke learnt to be more resilient , confident and assertive. Melissa has instilled a radiant confidence and great positive thinking.  Thankyou for providing a wonderful course.


Linda Simonis, mother of Sarah, 12 and Brooke, 10, St Bridgets Primary School, Mordialloc


Dear Linda (Principal of Carnegie Primary School)


Recently I attended a seminar on raising resilient children, delivered by Melissa Anderson who founded the Shine Academy for Girls. I was informed of the seminar by an advert in your newsletter. From that seminar, my daughter was invited to attend a free class. I believe that just from that one class my daughter gained several new and valuable life skills.


My child has since been attending class one day every week after school, and her ability to deal with life’s little struggles such as making friends and keeping them, dealing with failure and success, dealing with her anger and other emotions, have all improved exponentially. She is now a much happier child who is able to successfully overcome all kinds of challenges in her daily life.


I would highly recommend all parents enrol their children in this program regardless of their child’s level of social skills.



Toni Arthur, mother of Tristeace aged 8 years old, Carnegie Primary School



Dear Melissa,


Thank you for your continued support and giving Bambi the foundation to create a happy Positive Life.

She has gained so much Confidence, Self Respect and she now acknowledges the choices she makes will affect her future.

I have watched her change, become more self aware as she continues to grow.

She faces her challenges with Inner Strength and Resilience that I had not seen in her previously.

She enjoys her time spent at Shine and is looking forward to next term.


With Kind Regards and Great Appreciation!


Ann-Maree Cheung, mother of Bambi, aged 12, Cheltenham Primary School




“Lauren thoroughly enjoyed her course in Emotional Resilience, and to this day we reflect on the material covered.  Certain situations present themselves and Lauren now has a set of tools in her ‘emotional resilience tool box’ that she can apply.It is of great importance to have skills taught at home but it does have more impact when this is then reinforced by a professional .Thank you Melissa for such a valuable learning experience, and making it fun.”

Warm Regards
Anette Kulesza, Mother of Lauren, aged 8,  Firbank


“My daughter enjoyed the welcoming environment at Shine Academy and has made new friends whilst improving her overall confidence and learning important personal skills that will hopefully stay with her for life.”

Nicola Evans, daughter Sian Evans, aged 13 (Shelford School)


Madeleine completed the entire curriculum. This was her Graduation Speech:
Good evening ladies and gentlemen thank you for coming tonight.

First of all I would like to thank my parents for spending their time every Thursday driving me her to Shine academy for girls. Second of all I’d like to thank my class mates for all their support, friendship, their welcoming spirits and warm souls.


But last but not least I would like to thank Miss Anderson. I have looked forward to every Thursday after school this year. Miss Anderson is always kind, positive, lovable and stunning. She has given me skills that I will carry through my life time to by shiny.


I would like to present a gift I have made with my mum's help to represent my gratitude and love for Miss Anderson. The front of the quilt represents the colours of her love for icecream. The back represents all the girls she has touched in some way at Shine Academy for girls.


I hope you can use this as your quilt when you eat ice cream and reflect on what an amazing teacher you are. The world would be a safe, loving and kind place to be if there were more Miss Andersons in it.


I will miss my classmates and the wonderful experience with Miss Anderson.

Thank you Miss Anderson

Madeleine Joy, aged 12, Bentleigh West Primary School


Ruvindi learnt many positive skills, that she will be using throughout her life. Further, the entire course helped her to be assertive, and I strongly believe that she will become a good positive citizen.

Vijitha Yapa, father of Ruvindi, aged 12 years old, Mentone Primary School


You taught Ellen some very important skills while she was at Shine. Important, but things we'd never even considered teaching her. Things like how to greet people and shake hands, how to handle situations when people disagree. Things that we as adults sometimes take for granted, but are learnt skills - and it's much better to be taught the right way to do things than have to learn everything by trial and error. She enjoyed going each week and c ame home with only positive things to say about her evening.

Keep up the great work -  as parents appreciate everything you've done for Ellen. I'm sure she's a much more confident person as a result as I've seen her use the skills she's learnt from you many times already - especially with us. I've even used a few of the ones she's taught me!

Karen and John Winnett, parents of Ellen, 12 years old, Mentone Primary School


I found this experience at Shine to be very helpful to my daughter and more importantly she found it helpful and really enjoyed it. I would recommend it to any girls wanting to get that little bit more from themselves.

Mandy Barwick, mother of Stephanie, 12 years old, Mentone Primary School




Kate enjoyed the time she spent at SHINE Academy. The curriculum and staff are entertaining and engaging and make learning a lot of fun. She'll take forward life skills that she can employ every in every social, school and even, in a business setting. Thank you Melissa.

Cheryl Beasley, mother of Kate, 12 years old, Beaumaris Primary School


It goes without saying that Alex will also miss you and the lovely rapport she has developed with you. You often come up in our conversations with Alex and she will often quote things that you may have mentioned or referred to. Your words of wisdom have certainly had a profound effect on our Alex. We can see a new maturity in her over the 12 months, since commencing the Shine Program. We thank you sincerely for the care you have shown Alex and the safe, warm and nurturing environment you create in your classroom.

Lena Chant, mother of Alex, aged 12, Mentone PS


“Melissa has a wonderful ability to relate to the younger age group. She has a very down-to-earth nature which makes her approachable, but is always professional and completely confident in her methods of teaching. I remembered everything she taught me. I believe Melissa is exceptional at what she does.


-Lina Nicolas, former student

Bundoora, Melbourne

Currently VCE/VCAL Team Leader

Copperfield College

Delahey Senior Campus



“I have never before nor since had such an influential teacher as Melissa Anderson. She first taught me when I was seven years old and I’ll never forget her classes. She is a woman with natural charisma who automatically lights up a room. It was simply impossible not to hang onto every word she said. My weekly classes were something I longingly looked forward to each week. She influenced my life and work habits in lasting ways and I thank her very much for it.”


-Beth Kaabar, former student, just married
Mount Waverley, Melbourne




Dear Melissa,

Thank you for a wonderful program.

Initially Madison was reluctant to take time out from the school holidays to attend however I asked her to make the most of the experience and to have a positive attitude, after the first day she was pleasantly surprised and said the third day was the “best ever!”  Eliza on the other hand quietly took it all in and was constantly sharing small bits of information she had learnt along the way, often using day to day experiences to highlight a point.  For example we were all travelling home in the car and Eliza said “Dad did you know that you sometimes speak over people.  It is better if you let them finish before talking”  During dinner that night Madison said “Can I please leave the table I’m finished now and you will know that because I have placed my knife and fork together in the centre of the plate.”  I did know I’d only been telling her that for years!  I was most impressed with the 5 rules of a good handshake and we also continue to practice the word watch with each member of the family accumulating money.

I do believe in good manners however it seems it took an outside influence to finally get through what I had been saying every day for years.

The course isn’t just about good manners I particularly liked the social awareness element as well as the social skills required to face life.  I have been trying to teach my children these things by example and also by constantly saying “Look people in the eye when your talking, stand confidently and smile and you will soon have a friend, see that girl playing on her own ask her if she wants to play with you.”  but by showing a video, doing role play, seeing examples and discussing it the girls have developed a better understanding.  

We all want our children to be confident human beings who feel comfortable in social situations and show kindness to people who arent.  This involves skills that need to be learnt and practiced.  The Shine course reinforced what I have been trying to teach my children, but did it in a fun, obvious way that really hit home.  I have just invested in my childrens future, my children have just spent 3 days learning skills they will use for the rest of their lives.  I am extremely happy with the choice to send my girls to Shine.  I have already seen the benefits.

Jacqui Taylor, mother of Madison and Eliza
Stella Maris Primary School, Beaumaris


Nadege walked away from Day 1 saying "Mum, I totally love it. I had a beautiful day." Needless to say the ensuing two days were just as rewarding and fulfilling. While Nadege is a very sociable and outgoing individual, your course helped to solidify some of the topics we had previously discussed when confronted by certain issues at school and in her private life. Your interactive approach and the fun games that you played made the consolidation of what she was learning that much stronger. At all stages of our lives we oten need reinforcement, encouragement, and an appreciation of just how special and valuable we all are. Certainly, to be able to instil these beliefs at a younger age, when experiencing the trials and tribulations of growing up, really woks to benefit the child and helps to make the transition to the teenage years and thereafter adulthood, that much smoother.

Nadege walked away from the class full of newfound confidence. She was overwhelmed when reading her "warm fuzzies" because she did not think she was so likeable. She was also very proud tyo have won a gift for her good manners, and overall she walked away understanding just how lucky she was to have participated in such a warm and caring learning environment.

It was evident to me as a parent that during the ceremony at the end of the course, just how happy and proud all the girls were, and this I believe was reciprocated by all the attending parents. I was so proud of Nadege that a tear came to my eye when she spoke.

Melissa, I honestly believe that you have offered Nadege and all of the girls a valuable life experience. I have already spoken to a couple of my friends about your course. I would recommend it to all parents. What you teach is rarely taught in a conventional schoo, setting, and in our increasingly busy world we often neglect the basics that set us up to be honourable social citizens.

Congratulations, and again, on behalf of Nadege and I, thank you so very much.

Josette DeGabriele, mother of Nadege, aged 10, Caulfield Junior College


'I had contemplated putting my daughter forward for the SHINE program for quite sometime, if I’d known what a positive experience it was going to be I would not have hesitated. On the last day I was so surprised to see my shy girl confidently walk up to the microphone and thank Ms Anderson for the previous three days and then announce in the car on the way home "that was the best holiday program EVER!"

Olivia reflected on the course over the next few days at home discussing what she had learned, the role playing exercises, the friends she made and wishing that the course ran over a longer period of time so she could continue with what she had learnt.

This has been such a positive and powerful program I think every child would benefit from the chance to experience such a first class learning opportunity. I'm surprised that schools don't offer the principles of the SHINE program as part of the curriculum."

Tess Wearing, mother of Olivia Wearing - 8 Years old - Chatham Primary School - Surrey Hills


Terri thoroughly enjoyed the Shine Holiday program. She was a little apprehensive on the first day as she was not sure what to expect and did not know anyone. After the first day however, she was beaming and chatting constantly about all the fun she was having and how much she enjoyed the activities and role playing. I was surprised at how quickly she had adjusted as she is usually slow to warm up to changes. I am so glad I signed her up. Her face lit up when reading the warm fuzzies and it was so encouraging to hear her tell me she was proud of herself. In a world where the strong, externally beautiful or physically adept are held in high esteem or even envied, it was so refreshing to expose my daughter to an environment, other than her home, where kindness, compassion and inner beauty are celebrated. The values and life-long skills that you teach should be compulsory in all schools. Thank you so much. My younger daughter is desperate to attend but she’ll have to wait a couple of years!
Yours faithfully,

Helen Handrinos, mother of Terri, aged 8, Sussex Heights Primary School


Three days of the holiday program at Shine Academy was a very significant experience for Iris. From the very first day Iris just couldn't stop talking about the things she learnt during the workshop, about the role games she participated in and about her new friends. As a parent, I was impressed with the way the Program was organised. I got an impression that my daughter was participating in a prestigious international conference with name tags, working folders and delicious catering. It gave Iris a wonderful experience of mature behaviour in an atmosphere of respect, creativity and openness.

I am happy my daughter had an opportunity to participate in this wonderful program.

Marina, mother of Iris, aged 8, Glenhuntly Primary School


Emily thoroughly enjoyed her three days at the Shine Academy for Girls.  I noticed a huge difference in her by the end of the second day in both her confidence and the way she spoke to both us and her brother.  We were eager to find out what the theme colour of the morning tea each day, and Emily enjoyed thse catering very much.  Emily has made some good friends and is in contact via phone and email with the girls and looking forward to catching up in person soon.


Emily Vains, aged 9, Antonnio Park PS, Mitcham


Maya attended the Shine Masterclass School Holiday Program in January 2012. 

Initially Maya was very apprehensive about attending as she was quite worried about not knowing anyone else however after the first day this was no longer a problem.  When Maya finished on the first day the look on her face was enough to tell me she had had a great day, she was happy, relaxed and asked me how many hours until she could go back the next day.  Maya made friends with the other girls and felt supported by Ms Anderson and her classmates right away.

Since finishing the program Maya has spoken of many things that she learnt and we have seen this in the way she is doing things differently as well.  Before we eat at night Maya waits for everyone to be at the table before starting, she is more confident and talks about never giving up and looking at people from the inside out rather than the outside in.   These are lessons we teach at home however having them reinforced in such a positive environment has made all the difference.  I have also noticed that Maya looks people in the eye when she speaks to them now rather than looking shyly at the ground.  If I ask Maya what she thought of Shine she says she loved it.

I would highly recommend the program to parents and I will definitely be sending my younger daughter when she is old enough to attend.

Cathy Cooper, mother of Maya, 7, St Josephs Primary School, Warragul

Alex had a great time at your seminar last week. She fought me tooth and nail about going. At the end of the first day she couldn't stop talking about her day. She has since put her newly acquired skills to good use, in one example attacking her speech to her year group for an elected position with enthusiasm and confidence, and more importantly clear speech. Alex loved it, gained lots of self confidence and she loves that she can choose not to be a passive doormat.

Sarah White, mother of Alex, aged 9, Firbank


Over the three day holiday program Danah found the program very informative, engaging, inviting and caring.  She has hopefully made lots of new life long friends and was very impressed with the catering through out the course.  She has already informed me that she would like to attend the next three day program.

Thank you for all your time and care with the girls Melissa.

Mary Akritidis, mother of Danah, aged 10 years of age, Firbank


I found the holiday program really fun. I enjoyed meeting new friends and loved the food.

Katie Barnshaw, aged 9, Beaumaris Primary School


Hope [7 years old] was initially reluctant to attend the holiday program because she didn't know anybody.  However, when I picked her up at the end of the first day, she was bubbling and excited about her new friend, and what a fun day she'd had. Because of her age, I thought that 3 comprehensive days might possibly be too much for her, but she truly did gain.  In my opinion, the effect of the SHINE experience on Hope is that she is more aware of her surroundings in general, and confident within herself and in her dealings with others.  I think this program is beneficial to all girls - and I would definitely recommend it.

Lindan Robertson, mother of Hope, Kunyung Primary School, Mount Eliza


Thank you for an outstanding three days. Our daughter truly loved every minute of it – and that is saying A LOT! She is an exceptionally shy and reserved little girl, and this program was exactly what she needed – and everything we hoped for. On the second day, she voluntarily got up to speak in front of a group for the very first time, and that is a gift for which we will be forever grateful.

Vikki Davis, mother of Keira, aged 7, Caulfield South Primary School


Shine has the perfect balance that is required for a modern etiquette course. Jessica loved the focus on poise, grace and manners as well as developing her confidence and ability to express herself assertively. I would recommend Shine to any parent that wants to provide their daughter with strategies to help them navigate successfully through life.

Natasha Ride, mother of Jessica, aged 10, attending Firbank


My two daughters attended the Shine Academy school holiday program and really enjoyed learning how to be confident, caring girls. They enjoyed interacting with girls of their own ages and getting positive feedback when they gave things a go! My girls are still talking about the things they learnt, correcting each other if they slip up, and being kinder to each other. Thank - you Melissa for giving us this unique opportunity in our local area.

Renae Wilkinson, mother of Paris and Lucia
St Leonards College, Brighton


 The SHINE holiday program gave Tori the skills to express herself and be true to herself.

She thoroughly enjoyed the program and it was fantastic to see her come home at the end of every day with so much to talk to me about.

Melissa provided a warm and caring environment which gave the girls the opportunity to be themselves and truly shine!

I really like how it questioned her thinking and still continues to even though the course has finished.

Julie Ferres, mother of Tori
Brighton Primary School


Isabella has gained so much from the Shine Holiday Program experience and we have already seen positive changes in the manner in which she handles difficult situations. Her confidence has grown and she is showing more maturity and ability to problem solve in a positive manner when things don't go her way. Her relationship with her siblings has improved and she is showing more tolerance and patience with her younger sisters who can be quite difficult. More importantly she appears happier. She eagerly tried new activities over the holidays and seemed more confident to "give it a go" when something new was presented to her.

Warm regards
Lisa, mother of Isabella, 11, Doncaster Gardens Primary School


We would like to thank you once again for the opportunity for Tristeace to participate. This is the third time Tristeace has attended Shine classes and once again, she has come away with a renewed attitude and confidence.

Tristeace will tell you that she really loves the games and the food but I know that she also knows that what she is learning in your classes is helping to make her path through life a much smoother and happier one.

Tristeace has enormous fun testing out her assertiveness and other skills on her friends and family, but the one thing I have noticed which has really left an impression, is Tristeace's increasing ability to hold her emotions in check, gauge the likely reaction, and responding more appropriately to emotive situations. Tristeace has much more self-appreciation too. She can say with confidence that she is a good person and believe it. This, for me, is probably one of the most valuable tools a child can have on their side. Self-Belief. Without it, a person can spend their whole life comparing themselves to others and always being disappointed. For teaching Tristeace that tool, we will both be forever grateful.

Thank you Melissa!

Toni, mother of Tristeace, 8,  Carnegie Primary School


At SHINE Academy I learnt many new techniques about how to manage my anger. Also how to properly act like a lady. We also learned many skills and tricks about public speaking and how to catch the public's attention. It was an experience of a life time that I would recommend to anyone.

At SHINE Academy I made many new friends that were interesting. The course lasted for three days and every day was a new experience. We played a lot of games - this involved self truths and being able to own up to the mistakes we had previously done.

They showed us how to behave in a proper manner, and if we didn't there would be consequences, I mean having to pay. At the start of each day, we were given $200 and if we didn't sit properly, or spoke without permission or out of context or even if we said words like "Um", "ah", "well" or "like", we would have to pay $5 to the bank. At the end of each day we would have to count our money, and at the end of the three day course Ms. Anderson would tally up all our money and the person who had lost the least would be the winner. This technique was a great one since it made us all realise how much we didn't realise that we had such bad habits. At SHINE Academy we learnt how to get along with everyone, and to appreciate what we had. We also learnt not to concentrate on bad things but to concentrate on good things and to accept things as they were. To accept the fact, that we can't always get everything we wish for, but to be grateful for what we have.

At SHINE Academy we played many games such as Chinese Whispers or Shake murder. Chinese Whispers was to show us how something can get changed if it goes through everyone, kind of like rumours. Shake murder was to teach us to take in every detail. If the murderer was to touch your hand differently you had to be honest and die in the game.

Finally, we learnt that us girls are much more than what we see in the mirror and beyond all our cracks and breaks, we are all the same and we feel the same things, but also unique in our own ways.

I learnt so much, made so many friends and I have taken in so many new techniques about life. I enjoyed every bit of SHINE Academy.

Mailys Perfrement
Age 13, Glen Eira College


Thank you SHINE for such a positive experience! My daughter not only learnt vital skills for life but had a ball doing so. Definitely an opportunity that every young person would benefit from.

Alekse Lukjanov, father of Ruby, aged 9
Chelsea Heights Primary School


Lorri thoroughly enjoyed her time at the Shine Academy school holiday program.

The lessons that Lorri learnt, were invaluable and we all had a great time at home, learning from Lorri!

Lorri loved Melissa and bonded beautifully with all the other girls in the program.

I look forward to sending my other 3 children to the program as well in the future!

Massive thank you to Melissa for providing a safe, comfortable and fun environment for Lorri to learn in!

Roslyn Gunn, East Malvern, mum of Lorri, aged 10, Mount Scopus, East Burwood