GUNNEDAH GABA NGAYA—HEALTHY FOR LIFE PROMOTION DAY
Mr KEVIN ANDERSON
(Tamworth) [10.56 a.m.]: I inform Parliament House and my colleagues of a fantastic town in my electorate, Gunnedah, and an event I attended recently, the Gaba Ngaya—Healthy for Life Promotion Day at the Gunnedah Public School on Wednesday 6 June. The Gaba Ngaya—Healthy for Life Promotion Day was about bringing together service providers, schools, principals, teachers, students, parents and community members from Gunnedah to have a yarn about the services that are available in Gunnedah. There were sports drills and healthy activities with the Country Rugby League [CRL] and Australian Rugby League [ARL] development officers in attendance. There was also bush cooking and lots of other activities. The main purpose of the promotion day was to develop and target service delivery gaps in Gunnedah and outreach communities and to develop a crucial link between service providers and the local Aboriginal community.
The promotion day was held at the Gunnedah Public School, which is a great school under the stewardship of the Principal, Charles Jones. Out of the school's 135 students, 70 per cent are Aboriginal students. The promotion day was very worthwhile as it concentrated on education right across the community. A person who plays an instrumental part in the Gunnedah Public School is Wayne Griffiths, who is the school's learning support officer. I congratulate Wayne for organising the Gaba Ngaya—Healthy for Life Promotion Day. Wayne talks to the kids, is involved in community liaison, visits classrooms, talks to parents groups and organises the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee [NAIDOC] Week. Wayne is something of a mentor and rock star at the Gunnedah Public School. When I was greeting the kids as they were going into the school hall for the promotion day it was high fives all round and "G'day, Wayne." Everybody was really pleased to see him. Wayne does a sensational job.
The promotion day was about bringing together service providers and community members to ensure that the local Aboriginal community members know where to obtain the help they need. They are advised about the programs and services that are available. The day is designed to increase awareness of program design, to increase individual social inclusion and to encourage individuals to become active members of society. It is also focused on improving the health, social and emotional wellbeing of the Indigenous community. Many health-related agencies and service providers from throughout the region attended the event. They came from Gunnedah, Carol, Curlewis, Mullaley and Boggabri to get together at a healthy, positive event and, most importantly, to showcase ideas, knowledge, information, education and feedback on a wide range of health and social issues such as anti-smoking, weight management, diabetes, disabilities, aged care, youth, animal care, child protection, domestic violence, cancer, handwashing and so on. The list is endless. Ultimately, children require healthy role models, environments and attitudes to flourish educationally and personally.
Gunnedah Public School was the perfect location for the Gaba Ngaya—Healthy for Life Promotion Day. It allowed the children, the parents and the community to access this fabulous positive event, and everyone definitely benefited. The school is progressing very well. Recently, under the auspices of the Minister for Education, the Hon. Adrian Piccoli, the Government announced that nearly $120,000 had been provided to upgrade the school's toilet block, which had been in disrepair for many years. I made representations to the Minister and he promised to see what he could do. The funds were subsequently provided earlier this year. The work has now been completed and the block looks fantastic. I congratulate the school community on getting behind the project. Gunnedah Public School is a great school and I commend Wayne Griffiths and Charles Jones for holding this sensational educational day, the Gaba Ngaya—Healthy for Life Promotion Day. It is about giving our kids the very best possible chance to succeed in life. If we inculcate those positive messages at an early age children are set up for life. Congratulations, Gunnedah Public School. It was a pleasure to attend this special day.