Matters of State | Donato a role model for boys in the bush, he also tours Trundle

TOUR: Phil Donato visited Trundle while hosting a tour of the electorate for his upper house colleague and former high school teacher Mark Banasiak MLC. While visiting schools at Trundle, Phil and Mark presented a NSW state flag to the Early Learning Centre.
TOUR: Phil Donato visited Trundle while hosting a tour of the electorate for his upper house colleague and former high school teacher Mark Banasiak MLC. While visiting schools at Trundle, Phil and Mark presented a NSW state flag to the Early Learning Centre.

SCHOOLS: CENTRAL TO COUNTRY COMMUNITY

Last week I hosted a tour of the Orange electorate for my visiting Shooters Fishers and Farmers colleague, Mark Banasiak MLC.

Prior to being elected Mark was a deputy principal of a high school in the Illawarra. Mark has been working hard in parliament, holding the NSW Government accountable for their promises and obligations towards schools and education.

It was a perfect opportunity to visit a few schools in the electorate. I took Mark to visit the Forbes High School, where he got to see the ground-breaking Wellness Hub, which provides a number of external and internal resources, and services to students and family within the school community. It's been successful since its implementation in 2016 and several other schools have adopted their model.

We also visited the Trundle Early Learning Centre where we met with the passionate staff who provide an invaluable service to the Trundle community, caring for and developing children in their pre-school years. While there I presented the centre with a NSW state flag.

I introduced Mark to principal of the Trundle Central School, John Southon. John is a passionate educator and a strong advocate for the Trundle community.

It was beneficial for Mark to see the great school to work program John has successfully implemented and to understand John's vision to provide broader outcomes for his students other than purely academic.

Trundle is fortunate to have John and his team of dedicated staff to nurture their precious kids.

CBP GRANT OPENS

The Community Building Partnership (CBP) Grant is an annual NSW Government grants program, which delivers funding to successful applicants for projects that deliver positive social, environmental, and recreational outcomes while promoting community participation, inclusion and cohesion.

Incorporated not-for-profit community organisations are eligible to apply for grants of between $5000 and $150,000, though the average grant awarded is around $20,000.

Applications are now open and I strongly encourage local organisations to apply for the CBP grant, which is highly successful for applicants in getting funding to benefit their local community organisations.

Get in fast, applications close May 14, 2021 at 5pm AEST sharp.

To find out more and to apply, visit: https://communitybuildingpartnership.smartygrants.com.au/

BOYS TO THE BUSH CAMP

I'm a big supporter of Boys to the Bush, ever since meeting Jared Demamiel in Forbes a few years ago.

Jared and his Forbes team are passionate about positively influencing boys and young men who have become disengaged.

From their Rankin Street HQ they continuously run mentoring programs for boys from Forbes, Parkes and across the broader region.

Boys to the Bush also run regular camps throughout school holiday periods. I had arranged to attend a camp last year, however COVID foiled our plans. I finally managed to join Jared, his team and a group of boys on their recent camp at Wirrinya.

I had a fantastic time on camp, and for the two days I was there the boys were occupied doing what adventurous and energetic boys love doing.

We kicked things off with a spot of cod fishing on the Lachlan at Forbes. Most of the boys managed to land a cod or two, which was a highlight for many of them.

Water activities were a strong feature of the camp, as the boys were treated to riding wakeboards behind a ski boat at the Forbes Aquatic Centre, which brought a smile to the lads.

Kayaking at Wirrinya Aquatic Centre and catching yabbies continued the water theme, while other boys made the most of riding mountain bikes.

Night time activities included spotlight, which is a nocturnal game of hide-and-go-seek, which proved challenging for those trying to find the boys well hidden in the paddock!

Lots of engagement occurred around the campfire and at mealtime where there boys gathered and had some laughs. It was great to chat with the boys and talk with them as a role model.

Local support for Boys to the Bush has been fantastic and evident with many locals coming on board in a number of ways, such as allowing access to private property for fishing and other activities, use of ski boats and other sporting and recreational equipment, providing of food and cooking for the camp, and volunteering of time to help the boys enjoy their stay and re-engage.

Thanks to Jared, Tim, Cassandra, Matt, Warwick and Chris for having me on camp; a huge thank you for what you're doing for the boys in your program.

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