What professionals think…

(To see what parents and kids think, scroll down the page)

Screen Shot 2015-10-27 at 2.13.08 pm“Sparky and Shady is a very thoughtful process that considers the different aspects of children. It is designed for parents to read with their children and contains lovely descriptions of the positive aspects of ourselves (Sparky) and the more critical wary and protective part (Shady). It contains coping strategies and methods for children to cope with a range of problems and challenges. A great contribution!” Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist and Family Therapist, Resilient Youth Australia Fellow, Ambassador for Mind Matters, National Centre Against Bullying Member



screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-1-39-23-pm“The earlier we develop emotional intelligence and awareness in our children, the less mental health issues they will experience in later life. I highly recommend ‘Sparky and Shady’ to all parents looking for strategies to build resilience in their young children.” Dr Nicola Holmes – Working with adolescents with mental health issues, Headspace






“Sparky and Shady captures the core information that children need to understand themselves and thrive; plus it provides guidelines for parents to follow so that they can best support the emerging self of their precious little ones. It works with special needs children and can be adapted to all levels. Thanks Kathy for bringing Sparky into our lives and helping to befriend Shady.” Prem Dana Takada, Clinical Psychologist, Family Therapist & mum





“I highly recommend Sparky and Shady. We were lucky enough to work alongside Kathy at Lower Bucca Community Preschool while she delivered this program. Supporting the children and their families in follow up was essential and rewarding. It helped to further embed the practical solutions for the children, establishing a better understanding of themselves, both their Sparky and Shady sides! The children embraced the language and practiced when supported by their educators and parents! It was a rewarding experience for all involved and definitely made a positive difference!” Nicky Misios, Director, Lower Bucca Community Preschool




“I thought it was insightful and engaging. There was lots of room for student participation and freedom to express themselves. A great way to open up discussions with my more reserved students.” Alison Clark, Primary School Teacher 

“Every school should use this program. Students were engaged and participated well in each lesson. Delivered beautifully.” Louise, Teachers’ Aide




“The Sparky and Shady Teachers’ Manual is easy to follow, with minimal preparation needed. It contains great suggestions for discussions and follow-up activities. It allows the students to explore the different aspects of who they are and how they work without any kind of judgment. It also has weekly notes to let parents know exactly what’s being taught so the conversations and consistency of language can be continued at home. It was fun to teach and raised some deep concepts within our small group that needed to be addressed for these children. I highly recommend this program. It does make a difference.” Gayle Ellicott, Learning and Support Teacher





“As a Preschool Teacher, I’m extremely interested in enhancing every child’s development at such a young and significant stage. This program provides the foundation to empower children to recognise their emotions and learn strategies to manage their behaviour. Its holistic, positive approach is very exciting… I only wish I’d had this sort of guidance when I was a child!” Giselle Pitt, Preschool Educational Leader





What parents think…

“Sparky and Shady really is for everyone, grown ups and kids. It really got me to have a good look at myself again and prompted me to further deal with some stuff of my own. I feel like I am more the parent I wanted to be again. I also loved that it is a very practical and relatable program. I am just amazed by my girl and the way she has taken it all in (even when I thought she wasn’t), she has even started to try to pass it on to her 2 year old sister!” Candice Robinson




 “Hi Kathy, I had to share with you Sam’s very exciting achievement – Dux of Year 6! So proud of him and all that he has overcome with much support from you!” Caroline Bleechmore







“Sparky and Shady has completely changed my approach to raising my young girls. Using practical strategies from the workshop, I am encouraging my daughters to grow to be the beautiful, courageous and loving children they were meant to be.” Corey Lewis







“After attending and seeing how passionate Kathy is, its hard not to take that passion on. I’m really looking forward to implementing the ‘Pit Stop’ at home and seeing positive changes!” Carrie Easson





wp_20150603_0201“The Sparky and Shady program gives parents and children a mutual understanding with simple tools and easy language. It extends beyonds the kids and empowers the parents too!” Michele Naidu






“We loved the Sparky & Shady workshop with Kathy. It was fun, it was inspirational and it gave us communication tools that we can use ongoing to solve problems in our little family. On a personal level I rekindled my love for art and decided to do an Art course, and for Meadow she now understands herself better and can solve her own problems (most of the time). On a whole it brought us closer and the group we met were lovely!” Deb Cairns 





Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 11.18.19 amScreen Shot 2016-06-03 at 11.18.11 am“The Sparky and Shady program was: Enthusiastic, Motivational, Powerful, Optimistic, Wholehearted, Energetic and Realistic!” Robyn Church





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“This program makes sense for adults and children alike. You really need to do this as a family to develop open, loving communication before you navigate those teenage years. Kids should be taught this stuff at school with parents included; it could heal and prevent so much worry, anger and sadness in all our lives.” Brenda Mulhearn




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“I haven’t seen Ryan as active as he was those two days EVER! He loved the workshop and really seems to have taken a lot on board! I learnt an awful lot too – thanks so much! I came for Ryan, but got so much out of it myself!!!!!” Kathy Berg






“Thanks again for holding the Sparky and Shady course. I think it might be life changing for us!! I have used the skills you taught us and things have calmed down a lot at home. Thank you!” Cristi Juffermans




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“Sparky and Shady just makes so much sense. It has given my son a way of voicing his feelings and emotions without exploding. We are still working on it but now we have a way of communicating which I can also understand. The energy and joy that you bring to the workshop Kathy is infectious we both had a wonderful time. Thank you Kathy.” Leah Dodd




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“Sparky and Shady has helped me in a way I never thought possible. Learning about these two has helped me be more aware of my emotions and the way I think about situations in my life. The whole concept is awesome!” Karlie Bennett





Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.11.15 am“The Sparky and Shady workshop was so much fun. My kids had a ball and the program was easy to understand and just made sense. I love the fact that it embraces all our thoughts and emotions (the good, the bad, and the ugly) and gives a unique way of looking at them that makes us feel positive about ourselves whilst helping to overcome our own negativity. I went there for my kids to learn to deal with their emotions better but learnt so much about myself that I feel calmer as a parent and can now really help my kids with their emotions. The program and workshops are awesome.” Leanne Robinson




Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 11.18.18 am“Kathy, I just wanted to let you know how much your workshop has done for Kiyarna, myself and my two youngest daughters. I set an intention early this year to help children in connecting with their energy, mind and body so I could help them in believing in their uniqueness and I have looked at courses but couldn’t quite find what resonated with my intention – that was until yesterday! I am so happy that you have created this opportunity for our children. You are really changing lives and families. I now feel like I don’t need to look so hard for “something or a course etc.” as you have got this and now I want to spread the word and let so many other beautiful families know all about you. You are amazing and you should be so proud of the baby you have created. I am blown away with it all and the way you have made this so child friendly. I had to stop and think (which is what made me sit down and type this) WOW how lucky are our children to be able to begin the unpacking of their baggage and embrace their feelings now…. imagine the world in 20 years when these children are young adults!!!! Thank you for everything” Giselle Pitt


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“The Sparky & Shady workshop really helped boost my daughter’s self-esteem and has given us a common emotional language invaluable for the ups and downs of growing up.” Lucy





Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.19.42 am “Since my daughter has attended several Sparky & Shady workshops, her confidence, curiosity and interest as well as interactions with others has developed immensely. I love how she is becoming less afraid to try new things & being more inquisitive as well as interacting more easily & confidently with a variety of people. What I love the most is how she is learning to listen to herself & trust her intuition in making right decisions. I personally feel that the social, physical, mental & spiritual nature of the Sparky & Shady workshops has worked hand in hand in assisting her with her learning. Kathy is a phenomenal educator & person. She has a wonderful rapport with the children & it has been under her wonderful guidance that I have witnessed my beautiful daughter flourish. Thank you Kathy!” Vicki Foggiato


Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.36.41 am“My son Logan really enjoyed Kathy’s workshop! He has Aspergers Syndrome so I was unsure how he would react. The principals of ‘Sparky and Shady’ really made sense to him and helped him to not only understand and accept himself but also other people in a way that nothing else has!! On a regular basis when one of us is sad, angry, frustrated… we fall back to Kathy’s theory and find that it makes a real difference to nipping the negative in the bud! Shady just needs to be heard and then Sparky puts us back on the right path. The concept has definitely helped our family communicate and understand each other, ourselves and others and has made us even closer. Thank you Kathy!!” Jo Eland



Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.47.29 am“My daughter Lilly loved attending Kathy’s ‘Sparky and Shady’ workshops because in Lilly’s words, ‘You get to learn about Sparky and Shady which are parts of your heart. Also that Shady can be good and bad and Sparky is like a bright spark that gives you all your ideas and helps you work out what to say instead of saying something mean to someone. I am much more confident in myself and understanding my feelings.’ Since Lilly has learned about Sparky and Shady she is happier, smiles a lot more, more confident in talking to others, becoming less clingy with me and better at communicating her worries with me. I too attended a joint session with Lilly and Kathy and since my spirits have lifted too and I love understanding what Lilly’s been learning as it helps us to understand each other more and has strengthened our bond. Kathy’s positivity is infectious 🙂 We are so blessed to have someone like Kathy reaching out to our children… I’m certain my childhood and teenage years would have been so much happier if I’d have had the opportunity to attend one of Kathy’s workshops.” Fiona Jeff


Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 10.58.01 am“Thank you for developing such a concept to help our children. ‘Sparky and Shady’ have been mentioned through out many situations that arise in our children’s lives. I am so glad I sent my two children together to attend the program as they use the concept and strategies to work through arguments and problem solving together. It also compliments my attempts at teaching my children mindfulness. Thanks again. I would recommend your program to parents I know.” Melissa Garner




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“Great content delivered in a dynamic and engaging environment. The course gives me a language to use with my child that helps her to grow. Thanks.” Kerry Keogh




What kids think…      

“It will help you to manage your anger. It will also help with your fears.” George 7

“Totally do it! Kathy is really nice and helps you heaps in your life. It is my favourite type of school!” Lilly 10

“The lady is nice (Kathy). You’ll like it. You get to do fun games and you don’t really do work, you just draw.” Dempsey 12

“Nice I liked it.” William 10

“Please come, it is very good!” Rene 7 

“It is pretty cool! My mum is a bit of a lunatic, but I think she is onto something!” Jack 11 (Kathy’s youngest son)

“I had a great two days at Sparky and Shady with Kathy. All the games we played were awesome. You learn things about yourself that you didn’t know. You should come!” Saxon 10

“Sparky and Shady is really fun!” Jessie 13

“It was lots of fun, we played so many games.” Nyah 9

“You should really come because you learn a lot, do relaxing things and play outside a lot. It is really fun?” Harrison 10

“It will help you.” Xabi 9

“Do this, it is good for you.” Luke 11

“I’ve done it and it was great!” Kiarra-Lee 10

 “So much fun! Not much is as fun as that. Thanks for being so nice! Thanks Kathy from Ari.” Ari 8

 “I loved it so much. The games were so fun and you got to play loads because Kathy doesn’t like staying still for very long.You got to do work but it was fun because it involved all these other mini-games. You could make new friends. Thumbs up!! Maya 10 

“I have learnt so much from ‘Sparky and Shady’. I remember at first I thought it was stupid and childish, but I ended up enjoying the holiday workshop and then I went to after school classes too. I have been going really well at school and I think most kids need to attend these workshops, school gives you stress and you feel so down. Sparky and Shady has let me release my stress.” Taleah 13

“You should do this program for you and your family.” Jazlyn 10

“This is the best thing in the world. Do it.” Bailey 8

“It was awesome. Thank you Kathy.” Jasper 10

“Just do it!” Dakota 11

“Do it. It helps you believe in yourself and teaches you not to listen to other people’s Shadys.” Marshall 10

“It will really help you with your life.” Violet 12

“You learn a lot about your feelings. Do it!”Aaron 9

“Do it. It is cool. I’ve done it twice so I know what I am talking about.” William 10

“It was so much FUN! You learn so much!” Amber 11

“It will help you. It is also cool and good.” Jamillia 9

“It was a really good thing to learn for life.” Ava-Lee 10

“I think you should do it because it is so fun!” Kayden 11

“If you have trouble at home or anywhere else, do this because it will help you.” Reuben 12

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