Staff prioritise wellbeing ahead of return to school

More than 500 staff from the Port Macquarie-Hastings region have come together to reconnect before students return for Term 3. Kristi Pritchard-Owens reports.

Two men seated on a stage. Two men seated on a stage.
Image: NSW Department of Education Secretary Murat Dizdar adresses 500 school staff at Port Macquarie's Glasshouse.

Five hundred principals, teachers and non-teaching staff from nine schools in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region kicked off Term 3 with a day of inspiring speakers and a focus on wellbeing.

Among the highlights was an opportunity to hear from NSW Department of Education Secretary, Murat Dizdar.

“I’m enormously proud that you have come together as schools in our region serving public education,” Mr Dizdar said.

“The power and purpose of collaborating in education should never be underestimated.

“Sharing practice across the Hastings Valley Public Schools and the network helps lift the quality of leadership and teaching practice.”

Staff participated in activities prioritising wellbeing through collaboration and heard from human rights advocate, former Socceroo and one-time Kadina High student, Craig Foster, and comedian and TV presenter, Craig Reucassel.

War on Waste host Mr Reucassel, who attended Bowral Public and Bowral High schools, also ran a workshop with student leaders, to build confidence and acknowledge their contribution to schools.

“I am constantly amazed by the energy and problem-solving capabilities of young people,” Mr Reucassel said.

Director, Educational Leadership for the Hastings network, Andrew Kuchling, said the activities allowed school staff to reconnect in a relaxed way before students return for Term 3.

“Many staff have worked tirelessly in the background to bring this day together, with a singular focus on improving the individual experience for every student enrolled in our schools,” he said.

“Our teachers and staff make the difference in the lives of children and young people, so today the focus is on sharing the learning journey with teachers and support staff from across the region.”

The Hastings Valley Public Schools group was established more than five years ago. It has cultivated a collaborative environment to ensure a seamless transition for public school students into high school.

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