There’s lots to love about regional life. From the fresh air, space and natural beauty to the people and their incredible work, we have a great deal to be thankful for.
That doesn’t mean regional life comes without its challenges, however. And, for children in some regional public schools, the sheer scale of distance can mean opportunities their counterparts at well-funded schools take for granted can sometimes be unattainable.
A determination to bridge this gap was the motivating factor for re-establishing the P&C (parents and citizens) Committee at Uralla Central School. The P&C had been dormant for some time; however, parents, including Lucy Byrnes, recognised the importance of a functioning P&C, and relaunched the committee for 2023.
“Students and staff in a small regional school like Uralla Central School regularly have to travel to access even a portion of the opportunities that other more well-funded schools have access to on their doorstep,” she explains.
“This travel is both expensive and resource intensive, so the financial support we can offer helps lift our students in many ways.”
The Importance of Creating Opportunities
Through a combination of P&C fundraising initiatives and support from Regional Australia Bank through our Community Partnerships Program, the Uralla Central School P&C has been able to raise significant amounts of money, creating opportunities for students that otherwise would have been passed over.
“A recent highlight was a trip to Dubbo taken by the Uralla Central School Touch Football, Rugby League and Netball teams, which was only possible after a donation of over $6,000 by the P&C,” says Lucy.
“Twenty seven students took part in a very successful event, which saw the Under 16s Touch team claim gold, the Under 16 Netball team finish third, and the Under 16s Rugby League team win a silver medal.”
Lucy says that experiences such as the sporting trip to Dubbo provide more than sporting achievements.
“Through the money raised by the P&C, the students are able to be involved in opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them, and they are able to broaden their life experience far more than would otherwise have been possible.
“All of this stands them in good stead for when they leave school, supporting, we hope, stronger educational outcomes.”
Any P&C committee relies on the time and energy of parents and community members, and Lucy says donations from the Community Partnership Program make an incredible difference.
“There are only so many cupcakes we can make and sell!” she laughs.
“As the trip to Dubbo this year demonstrates, it will take, at times, significant sums to address the challenges facing our community, and so the support of programs like the Community Partnership Program is instrumental in bridging the gap for our community.”
And, thanks to strong support from the Uralla community, the work of the P&C is set to grow – and Lucy stresses more help is always welcome.
“Our school, the students, teaching staff, parents, and administration staff are all valued members of our community, and we constantly see how much they should be applauded for their efforts and achievements. Sharing a positive story is a great way to get involved and support the work of the P&C".
“When we get out as a P&C, we love the opportunity to talk with the community about our school, and we appreciate that everyone is so supportive of what we are doing. Whether it is a cup of tea and cake or a sausage sizzle, it all helps put some dollars in the bank.”