About BU

We have a big vision, and it starts with you.

Our Vision: To grow global happiness.

We're a small team with a big vision. Despite the scale of our vision, we're proud to say that we're already on our way there. Thanks to our members, our graduates and the wider BU community we're spreading ripple effects of positive change that continue to expand our positive impact.

Our Mission: to empower individuals, organisations, and nations, with the tools and team to thrive

Our Values

VALUE #1

Proactivity

"How wonderful is it that nobody needs to wait a single moment before starting to improve the world" - Anne Frank

For too long the wellbeing industry (particularly mental health) has been remarkably reactive. We're changing this by providing people with solutions before they hit rock bottom and by ensuring that our entire team is proactive with supporting our members. We know that there's a lot that needs to be done in order to achieve our vision. That's why we approach our work with a healthy sense of urgency and with a focus on being remarkably proactive.

VALUE #2

Practicality

"Without vision you don't see and without practicality bills don't get paid" - Paul Engle

We know that people can't just spend all their time focusing on their personal development and their happiness. They have jobs to go to, people to support, and bills to pay. That's why we ensure that our approach to happiness is actionable, tangible, and practical to apply even in the most fast-paced of 21st Century lifestyles. We're sick of seeing wishy-washy, overly conceptual 'advice' being peddled by the wellbeing industry - so we're shaking things up with our down to earth, practical approach.

VALUE #3

Fun

"When fun gets deep enough it can heal the world" - The Oaqui

Happiness is a serious topic, but if we only ever take it so seriously we don't enjoy the journey there. Here at BU we believe that having a fun, tongue in cheek, approach to promoting happiness is an essential part of thriving. When you have fun in your journey you're more likely to reap the rewards, continue through the tough parts, and deeply embody the skills you build along the way. Plus, when our whole team is having fun we bring our best selves to our work.

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Our Beliefs:

Happiness spreads a ripple effect

The road to happiness is marked by green light decisions (the choices that equally challenge and excite you)

Workplace happiness is not a luxury, it’s a necessity

The happiness of a country (Gross National Happiness) matters equally as much as the economic development of a country (Gross Domestic Product)

Happiness is a skill, we can teach it to you

Our Team:

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Declan Edwards

Head of Vision and Impact
Founded BU Happiness College in 2017 with a vision of making the skills and science of happiness more accessible to individuals, organisations, and the world as a whole. Declan sets the vision and direction for BU.

  • Bachelor of Health, University of Newcastle
  • Postgraduate Degree in Positive Psychology, Central Queensland University
  • Practitioner Certificate in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, ACT Mindfully Institute
  • Practioner Certificate in Neurolinguistic Programming, The Coaching Room
  • Practitioner Certificate in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Australian Mindfulness Institute
FUN FACT: Declan has a fiery distaste for tomatoes. In his words “they’re the snot of the vegetable world, and trying to rebrand them as a fruit isn't fooling anyone."

Click here to book a FREE connection call with Declan.
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Ami Rankin

Head of Personal Happiness Coaching
Hired in 2018 for her passion and drive to help people thrive and 'get their sparkle back'. Ami is responsible for the ongoing success of the Personal Happiness Coaching arm of BU.

  • Practitioner Certificate in Neurolinguistic Programming, The Coaching Room
  • Practitioner Certificate in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, ACT Mindfully Institute
  • Practitioner Certificate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Academy of Modern Applied Psychology
FUN FACT: Ami loves Harry Potter so much she organised a 3 month trip to America around her 30th Birthday and spent her Birthday in Universal Studios at Harry Potter World walking through Diagon Ally and getting photos on platform 9 and 3/4

Click here to book a FREE connection call with Ami.
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Josh Devon

Head of Systems and Strategy
Hired in 2019 for his problem-solving skills and technical capabilities. Josh brings Declan's vision to life and measures all aspects of the company to ensure things run smoothly.

  • Business consultant for multiple 7 figure health and wellness companies (And chose BU in the end).
  • Works with marketing firms as a contracted digital expert.
  • Graduate of slingshots corporate accelerator.
  • 12 years experience in the corporate space, 3 as a project manager.
Fun Fact: In 2016 Josh was Canada's 7th fastest oyster shucker and operated a raw sea-food bar during his time there.
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Elizabeth Liersch

Head of Workplace Happiness Consulting
Hired in 2022 for her passion about seeing healthy and happy work environments thrive. Elizabeth also has a skill set for helping people lead their lives in a way that is true to them as an individual.

  • Master's Degree, Social Sciences - Counselling, Alphacrucis College
  • MRWED, Training and Assessment
  • 200 Hour Yoga Teachers Training, BodyMindLife Group
  • Bachelor's Degree, Arts/Theology, Alphacrucis College
  • 10+ years experince in the corporate space.

    FUN FACT: At 16 years old, raised 6 cows to sell, then used the money to go on a philanthropic trip overseas.
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Nate van Dyk

Head of Storytelling and Communication
Hired in 2017 for his incredible eye for detail and multi-angled storytelling skills. Nate ensures we are communicating our vision and mission effectively across multiple platforms.

  • Bachelor of Business, University of Newcastle
  • 15+ years experience producing media
  • Copywriting Course, Foundr
  • Advanced Email Marketing course, Foundr
FUN FACT: Winner of biggest mohawk at soundwave 2015.
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Jess Buser

Happiness Coach
Hired in 2019 for her warmth, kind-heart, and dedication to supporting people. Jess focuses on supporting our members and clients through their journeys at BU and ensures people have a great experience whilst they're working on their happiness with us.

  • Practitioner Certificate in Neurolinguistic Programming, The Coaching Room
  • Practitioner Certificate in Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, ACT Mindfully Institute
FUN FACT: When Jess was a kid she bought a pet mouse from a pet shop and hid it from her mum in her room for 5 months before she found out.

Click here to book a FREE connection call with Jess.