Teachers’ References

Arthur has been the keynote speaker for our Year 12 Orientation Camp for several years in a row.  Arthur was a captivating and insightful speaker, sharing the wisdom
gained through his life experiences in a way that held the students’ attention, challenged their thinking and encouraged them to focus on achieving real success.  The students responded to his passion and enthusiasm. They appreciated his honesty and were inspired by his genuineness.  Arthur used the image of a four-legged stool to help the students understand the need to keep all aspects of their lives (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) in balance and many students stated that this image was one of the most helpful things he said.  Arthur was not simply a ‘performer’.  He was generous with his time and willingly spent more than a couple of extra hours talking with individual students on a one-to-one basis after his official seminar was over.  I am more than happy to recommend Arthur as a motivational speaker for students entering their VCE years.

     Alacia Biggs – VCE Co-ordinator, Chairo Christian School

Arthur’s presentation was a terrific success.  All staff who attended were very impressed
with the way that Arthur connected with the students, particularly the boys.  I spoke to a number of the students and they all had very positive comments to make about the
session.  We will certainly use Arthur again.

     Deidre Lockington – VCE Coordinator, Roxburgh College

Arthur addresses our VCE students chiefly about decision making.  He leans heavily on his own life experience to get his message across and this works extremely well and  gives him credibility.   Arthur holds the interest of our students for a session that lasts about 100 minutes.  Every year, without exception, students (and staff) emerge from his session talking about the issues he has raised.  Arthur is evocative, and at times
provocative.  He varies his delivery in every possible way so that the 100 minutes is like a good movie that takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride.  There are always lots of students who want to stay back and speak with Arthur after the session – testimony to someone who has what it takes to engage teenagers in their late adolescence.  I
would recommend Arthur Bolkas very highly to any school and would be happy to speak to those contemplating hiring him.

     Ross Down – Sandringham College (VCE Campus)

Through the honest portrayal of his extraordinary life, Arthur was able to awaken the adult motivations and aspirations required to carry students not only through the journey of VCE but to empower them to consider and journey from a more adult perspective.  Arthur maintained the audience to the end, captivating them by his wit and easy-going
nature as he continually engaged and challenged them.  It was a very ‘real’ life experience that the VCE students found memorable.

     Julie Damianos – The King David School

I have been teaching 36 years. One of the most important activities which my career staff and myself undertake is to advise and encourage students in Year 12 in planning employment and further education when they leave school.  A high point for the whole year level is a day-long program that culminates in a presentation designed to inspire students to tackle the issues involved in transition.  Arthur has made this presentation on 5 occasions with remarkable success. Students hang on his every word, they stay back to talk to him as do teachers.  Arthur is a charismatic speaker with a strong ethic. He speaks to young adults about what is really important in life – about values and what
makes for a successful life. Arthur interacts with individual students in the  audience and answers their questions.  He is genuinely concerned for the well being of youth and he articulates extremely well. Arthur is more than an inspirational public speaker; he is a man of exceptional integrity, and has a profound understanding of the human condition.  In any long term involvement in education Arthur stands out as an outstanding man of good character.

     Robert Foster – Reservoir Secondary College

The students at Mount Scopus found Arthur’s encouragement to place the demands of VCE within the broader perspective of holistic care, long term goals and personal values to be inspirational. They appreciated his honesty, dynamic delivery and ability to relate so well to young people.

     Christine Jolly –  Mount Scopus Memorial College

 Arthur’s value to today’s youth goes beyond any measure in my opinion.  He has been the most valuable presenter in my 15 years at this college.  No one delivers the crucial messages that Arthur does with his unique talent and rapport with the kids.  Our students are testament to the impact Arthur has had on them time and again.

     Myra Andrews – Lalor Secondary College

St. Michael’s Grammar School has used Arthur Bolkas over a number of years, varying from addressing large groups of students as a speaker and motivator, through to doing workshops and seminars with smaller groups, including leadership groups.  His work is outstanding, always leaving the students enlightened, empowered, and motivated.  His work and approach is always of the highest standards of professionalism. Our students have found him quite inspirational.

     Mark Morrison – St Michael’s GrammaSchool

Arthur Bolkas has been a guest presenter at our ‘Success at Year 12’ program for a number of years. His inspiring and empowering story is a highlight of this two day program.  Arthur challenges the students on a number of different fronts throughout the presentation.  His theme ‘Success = What?’ holds the group spellbound. The students are keen to ask questions and participate where required.  Arthur’s preparedness to share his personal story with young people demonstrates that he has genuine compassion for today’s youth.  He is optimistic about the future and during his presentation, provides a framework for youth which they can use to make better life choices.  I have no hesitation in recommending Arthur as a positive, stimulating
and entertaining presenter. Tallangatta Secondary College is keen to continue
our association with Arthur into the future.

     Duncan Livingstone – Tallangatta Secondary College

A man of experience, education, and sensitivity, Arthur motivated students to work to achieve their best, persuading each person that life and the individual is precious and that life is to be lived well, not wasted.  Arthur understands adolescents, and this is a
rare quality in adult motivators.  Arthur mostly teaches us how failure can be transformed into success through fascinating stories, all true, and all reaching out in a lesson we can carry for the rest of our lives.  I personally learned a great deal from Arthur, and after thirty years in Education (many working as a counsellor with young people) and ten years of formal tertiary studies, to make this claim is significant.

     Kristina Bratich – Glen Eira College

Arthur is an outstanding speaker and presenter.  His delivery is excellent, his modulation superb, his capacity to relate to an audience, outstanding.  He is humorous at times and deadly serious at others. He is able to blend his message with whatever signals he is receiving from his audience in the most effective fashion. He uses, but does not labour, his own personal life story, which he and his audience can draw upon for inspiration.  He is refreshing, provocative, thoughtful and caring and is amongst the
finest presenters I have come across.

     Mr Ray Willis – (former) Principal, Melbourne High School

Arthur is a very impressive individual.  In his talks he shares his life’s journey and takes students through an emotionally charged experience.  His words are thought provoking, challenging and highly motivational.  I recommend Arthur Bolkas highly.

     Pitsa Binnion – Principal, McKinnon Secondary College

The students at Mount Scopus found Arthur’s encouragement to place the demands of VCE within the broader perspective of holistic care, long term goals and personal values to be inspirational. They appreciated his honesty, dynamic delivery and ability to relate so well to young people.

     Christine Jolly – Careers Counsellor, Mount Scopus Memorial College

Arthur is an outstanding presenter.  He is rich in life experience and has a wonderful way of relating to young people from all walks of life.  He keeps our Year 11 students spell-bound each time he speaks to them.  When he talks, people listen! I recommend him unreservedly.

     Mr Peter Ford – Head of Senior School, The Peninsula School

Arthur is an inspirational speaker, and I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to meet him.  In all my years of teaching I have never seen students speak so openly to a guest speaker and actually been prepared to wait back just for the opportunity to express their appreciation.

     Sandra Fletcher – Chief of Staff, Westbourne Grammar School

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