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Friday, 6th April 2018

Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier and Southern NSW Bronnie Taylor joined Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad in Cooma today to announce funding for a new school nurse position to be based at Monaro High School.

The new full-time position is part of NSW Government’s Wellbeing and Health In-Reach Nurse Coordinators pilot program aimed at improving education, health and social outcomes for young people in regional NSW.

Mr Barilaro said two new nursing coordinator positions would be trialled in Tumut and Cooma over the next two years, thanks to $520,000 in funding from Snowy Hydro Ltd.

“There are fewer things more important than the health and wellbeing of our kids and this new nursing position in Cooma will be a frontline position, making sure we identify the needs of our kids and in turn respond with care and appropriate services they deserve,” Mr Barilaro said.

“While this position is based at Monaro High School and will be an invaluable resource for students and their families, the role will also provide support to students in the surrounding region.

“This generous funding from Snowy Hydro is whole-heartedly supported by the NSW Government. We want this trial to succeed so we can roll this program out to communities right across regional NSW,” he said.

Mrs Taylor said the partnership between Snowy Hydro and the NSW Government to employ dedicated Wellbeing and Health In-reach Nurses (WHIN) is part of a two-year trial that has been extended to Cooma to make sure kids in Southern NSW have the skills they need to build a resilient future.

“Mental health and wellbeing is vital for our students to be able to reach their full potential and succeed throughout their education,” Ms Taylor said.

“We know that health and social issues can make it difficult for children and young people to attend school and engage with the curriculum.

“It is crucial that we continue to invest in the mental health and wellbeing of regional students and ensure we protect the most vulnerable students in our classrooms.

“This plan will see essential health services as well as preventive and early intervention services made more accessible on school grounds,” she said.

Snowy Hydro’s CEO Paul Broad said he was pleased to be a corporate partner for the pilot program.

“This initiative is closely aligned with the company’s core values of safety and wellbeing,” Mr Broad said.

“We’ve been a proud member of the Snowy Mountains community for almost 70 years. The health and wellbeing of not only our workforce but their families and wider community is important to us,” he said.

The Snowy Hydro Nurse Coordinators will form part of a NSW pilot program which includes a WHIN Coordinator in Young, Cooma and Tumut. NSW Health is investing $280,000 in total to the position in Young over the next few years.

Snowy Hydro’s funding for the two-year program is from June 2018-June 2020. The two nurses are expected to be in schools by June in this school year.