In democratic systems, top down and bottom up is the most effective way to get to scale and to drive a positive systems cultural shift. Inspirational, determined political leaders can drive policy. But widespread systems implementation needs investment over time and beyond political cycles. South Australia’s State of Wellbeing agenda, emerging out of Martin Seligman’s visit as an Adelaide Thinker in Residence in 2012/13 continues to drive systems change towards wellbeing in schools, corrections, emergency services, private companies, the public sector and community. Painstaking, collaborative, on message scientific delivery, through messy complexity, using its vector approach, the SAHMRI Wellbeing and Resilience Centre is a leader and activating agent in generating investment, driving bi-partisan approaches, triggering new policy and developing and supporting hundreds of champions, who lead the hard work of systems change in organisations, large and small, in cohorts across the life course. With the announcement of the Ministry of Health and Wellbeing and a new SA Wellbeing Centre within the new Liberal Government, wellbeing in South Australia is now mainstream. This is the story of the ripple effect at work towards positive systems change, in a state with 1.4m people, in which the ripple became mainstream policy.