Stronger Brains is a not-for-profit organisation using proven scientific techniques to heal our most vulnerable children, so they can lead better lives.

What if many of our social issues such as domestic violence, substance abuse, eating disorders, mental illness, juvenile delinquency, unemployment, and crime, stem not from poverty, poor education or bad luck, but from unrecognised trauma on the brain?

The brain, like any organ, needs to be strong and healthy in order to function properly. However, scientists have identified that in early childhood, the experience of abuse, neglect or trauma, can mean that the brain lacks strong neural pathways. This means our children are unable to access the part of their brain, essential for learning, decision making and controlling emotions. They’re labelled ‘slow’, ‘difficult’, ‘troubled’ and ‘delinquent’. This leads to quitting school early, turning to crime, drugs, or forming abusive relationships. They die younger, and their children are more likely to end up on the same life trajectory. This cycle costs society untold amounts, but there is a solution.

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Our Solution

Through the science of neuroplasticity, we are able to use a multi-disciplinary, personalised approach to developing stronger brains in children, leading to a vastly better and more resilient society.

Widespread implementation of these techniques would have untold social and economic benefits globally, reducing the pressure on the numerous public and private services that try valiantly to assist people whose lives are impacted by childhood trauma.

We have seen the transformative effects of neuroplasticity to change lives, and we are passionate about giving every child the opportunity to live a productive and happy life. Using scientifically developed techniques from around the world, we are able to strengthen the neural pathways to the brain’s Executive Function, and in doing so, harnessing self-control, logic, understanding, focus, and empathy.

Who We Are

  • Wendy Haigh Director

    Wendy Haigh is an experienced business executive who has a breadth of experience across the social services sector, state and federal government and professional financial services. She has held senior executive positions in health, education, science and technology. She serves on a number of boards and committees and presents nationally on Social Benefit Bonds.

    For several years, Wendy served as the Executive Director of Social Investment for The Benevolent Society, Australia’s oldest charity and one of only two Australian organisations to have successfully launched a Social Benefit Bond.

    Wendy has worked closely with governments, corporates, banks, investors and other NFPs to build capacity and the market for impact investing in Australia. She is currently Deputy Chair of the Capital Working Group of Impact Investing Australia. Wendy is a Chartered Accountant and a Member of the Institute of Company Directors. She has an honours degree in accounting from the UK and has successfully completed executive education courses at both Harvard Business School and Stanford Graduate School of Management.

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  • Prof. Michael Merzenich Director

    Professor Michael Merzenich is a world-renowned neuroscientist and pioneer in neuroplasticity. He is a professor emeritus at the University of California, San Francisco where he led the cochlear implant team. In 1999 he was honoured by election into the United States National Academy of Sciences for his research on brain plasticity and in 2008 went on to be elected to the National Academy’s Institute of Medicine, making him one of a very select few to have been elected to more than one of the National Academies.

    Michael not only does the research but applies it to the real world. In collaboration with others, he formed the company Scientific Learning, based on Fast ForWord software. His second company, Posit Science, is working on a broad range of behavioural therapies including the brain-training application, BrainHQ.

    Michael is the author of ‘Soft-Wired’ and has published more than 200 articles. His work is often covered in the media, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time and Newsweek and he makes regular appearances on television. In Australia his work was featured in the ABC documentary ‘Redesign My Brain’ with Todd Sampson.

    In 2016 Michael won the prestigious Kavli Prize in Neuroscience for his ground-breaking work in discovering lifelong brain plasticity, and applying its principles to improve the human condition.

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Get In Touch

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