Inclusion through school community in the Shoalhaven


Trial and evaluate the impact of reducing barriers for families to access health and wellbeing services on student learning and wellbeing outcomes. The long-term aim is to reduce generational poverty in the Shoalhaven region.

Measure of success

Efficacy of Our Mia Mia wellbeing hub in facilitating access to health and social services and fostering collaboration between health professionals and educators to improve student learning and wellbeing outcomes.

All measures

  • Stakeholder perceptions – school staff, service providers, the Aboriginal community, parents and students.

  • Family health and wellbeing

  • Attendance

  • Suspension

  • Behaviour

  • Learning

  • Wellbeing

Partner schools

  • Nowra East Public School

  • Shoalhaven High School

  • Greenwell Point Public School

  • Falls Creek Public School

  • Culburra Public School

  • Callala Public School

  • Wayeela Cooinda Preschool (NSW DoE preschool within Nowra East PS)

  • Lyrebird Preschool

  • Clipper Road Children's Centre

External partners

  • Our Mia Mia Wellbeing Hub

  • Dr Mark De Souza, Dr Brendan Jubb, Dr Daniel Tait, Dr Stuart Haggie, Paediatricians

  • Dr. Antonio Mendoza Diaz and Charlotte Burman, UNSW / Ingham Institute

  • Noah's Inclusion Services


Providing access to health and social services has helped boost learning outcomes for disadvantaged students in the Shoalhaven region.

Occupational therapy, psychology and speech pathology are some of the most popular services being accessed by students under the program, which allows families to self-refer or be referred by a staff member to access allied health care that partners with their child’s learning goals and is available on school grounds.

Early community feedback has credited the program with better integrating health and education, increasing the accessibility of services and engaging with locals to create community buy-in.

Bringing together two highly regulated environments in school and health has been occasionally challenging for staff, but along with parents and students they have reported feeling empowered and supported by the new partnership.

Data has already shown improved attendance and lower rates of behaviour issues and suspensions among at-risk students.

“Since we've started under the innovation program, over 700 appointments have allowed students to come in and access services,” said Kristie Goldthorp, the Principal at Nowra East.

“Our attendance for students who have been accessing the service in June was 71 percent, but through accessing Our Mia Mia, it’s moved up to 88 percent. We’re very pleased with that,” added Andrew Leslie, coordinator of Our Mia Mia.

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