News / Education / Featured / 14th April 2022
Students wellbeing put to the forefront
Coonabarabran High School students now have an area dedicated to their mental health and overall wellbeing.
The new building is aptly named Maarumali and in Gamilaaroy language means, ‘to heal’.
The school’s new addition was opened on Tuesday, 5 April, by the Warrumbungle Shire mayor, Cr Ambrose Doolan.
Fittingly, the opening was accompanied by a smoking ceremony and traditional dance performed by some of the schools Indigenous students and led by Tyson Birtles.
The dance group formed a line and encircled the structure with smoke, and Mr Birtles explained how the smoking ceremony would bring positive feelings toward the building.
Many local Indigenous elders were also present to witness and be apart of the opening.
Coonabarabran High School principal, Mary Doolan said the idea of the building and the services was to provide a holistic approach to students’ wellbeing.
“It’s a happy and supportive place where kids can come and talk and be supported,” Ms Doolan explained.
“It will be somewhere they can come to feel safe and have a sense of wellbeing.”
Within the building students can access a host of welfare services including councillors, student support officers and a chaplain.
Ms Doolan said Maarumali will provide somewhere for confidential conversations, a place to run small group programs and where students will receive cultural understanding.
Cr Doolan was on hand for the unveiling of the building and during his speech he noted how important it was to provide students with such a service.
“I’m very proud of the town and that the school community is able to offer these important services to it’s students,” Cr Doolan said.
PHOTO: The official opening of Maarumali - Coonabarabran High School’s new wellbeing hub.