Why "Stormbirds"?

Stormbirds have learnt to adapt to natural events, flying to safety in the face of disaster. It is our hope that the children and young people who complete this program are helped to learn from the experience of natural disaster the skills of resilience and attentiveness to the feelings and reactions to support their recovery and participation in life and learning.

How does it work?

Stormbirds is embedded in the foundational principles of the well-researched and successful Seasons for Growth education program. Stormbirds contains similar concepts and exercises and focuses on the skills of emotional literacy and building resilience and the opportunity to develop positive relationships with peers and trusted adults.

Childhood Studies provides the foundational discipline for the programs, reminding us to respect the dignity and self-worth of all children and young people and emphasising the importance of young people’s active participation and ‘voice’, as an ‘expert’ in their own experience, with the linchpin of the program as the quality of the learning experience, based on conversations with and between the young people.

What do participants learn in the program?

Stormbirds has four sessions (50-60 minutes) and the content of each session reflects key themes for the children and young people as they process their experience and learn knowledge and skills to support their recovery. The program has a sound curriculum structure and incorporates a wide range of age-appropriate activities including writing, drawing, discussion, stories, role plays, music, guided meditation and journaling.
Session 1: Learn that change and loss are part of life
Session 2: Learn about feelings and responses
Session 3: Learn about memories and support
Session 4: Wings of Hope: Ritual of Closure and review of the learning

Program Outcomes:

Children and young people:
• Learn about the changes they experience as a result of a natural disaster
• Learn their reactions associated with the natural disaster are natural and normal
• Learn skills for coping, problem solving and decision making
• Build relationships with peers and trusted adults for support
• Build their self-confidence and self-esteem

How is the program structured?

Stormbirds is a small group program (4-7 participants) developed with children and young people invited to attend the age-appropriate program level.

Who can deliver Stormbirds?

Stormbirds is delivered by one adult facilitator or ‘Companion’. Companions may be teachers, counsellors, psychologist, social workers, chaplains, health professionals who undertake a one-day training workshop. All Companions must be endorsed by their school/agency ensuring the appropriate state or territory child protection requirements.

How are Companions supported with Stormbirds implementation?

1. Face-to-face training and Stormbirds Companion Manual and Participant Journals
2. Additional evidence-informed information and access to online resources
3. Ongoing support from MacKillop Family Services Trainers and Program Coordinators
4. Structured debriefing with identified professional within their school or agency
5. Reconnector network and learning sessions, newsletters, conferences

For more information about the Programme, please contact

To find out how to become a trained facilitator email