Dr Denise Quinlan

Founding Director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience


Dr Denise Quinlan is a founding director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience, an adjunct fellow at University of Canterbury, and a published academic researcher.

Trained in wellbeing science at the University of Pennsylvania by the world’s leading thinkers and researchers, she went on to attain her PhD in psychological wellbeing from the University of Otago. An Adjunct Professor at one of Europe’s leading business schools and facilitator of the only accredited Diploma in Wellbeing Science in Australia and NZ, she has taught global business leaders and educators around the world how use wellbeing science for peak performance and wellbeing.

Current Work:
Dr Quinlan is acknowledged nationally and internationally as an outstanding presenter and facilitator. Her humour and honesty make for engaging and entertaining learning. These same qualities have made her award-winning podcast Bringing Wellbeing To Life popular with a broad audience. Denise is the co-author of The Educators’ Guide to Whole-school Wellbeing, published internationally in 2020.

In addition to corporate wellbeing work in New Zealand and Australia, Denise has taught strengths-based team development to senior managers from the USA, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa on IE University’s Executive Masters in Positive Leadership and Strategy programme in Madrid, Spain. Originally an equity analyst and dealer-broker on the London Stock Exchange, she has worked as a management consultant with Deloitte and KPMG in the UK and NZ, where she conducted European market analysis and organisation reviews before going on to specialise in management assessment and development.

As the only trainer from Australia/New Zealand selected to deliver the University of Pennsylvania’s ground-breaking Penn Resiliency Programme, she has worked alongside Prof. Martin Seligman and Dr. Karen Reivich training educators at leading schools in Australia and the UK (Geelong Grammar School, St Peter’s Adelaide and Wellington College). Denise’s work supports the wellbeing of hundreds of schools around NZ through direct presentations, NZIWR™’s team of trainers and published resources.


Talking Points
Resilience strategies that really work: Insights from a recovering pessimist
Building resilience during challenge and uncertainty: How to go the distance, avoid burnout, and emerge stronger
Workplaces that work for performance and people: Keeping your staff motivated and in your business.
Taking wellbeing out of the ‘too hard basket’: Start small to make important gains
Resilience & wellbeing: Staying strong through challenging times