Schools program challenges stereotypes

Woy Woy Public School Oval

Woy Woy Public School has successfully gained the funds needed for an upgraded oval with the Regional Renewal program’s help.

The $120M stimulus program is a part of the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan, which aims to co-contribute 50-80 per cent of funds for regional school improvement projects.

Principal Ona Buckley said they had applied for various government grants for years prior but had never been successful.

“To be able to be part of this initiative, the school must put forward an amount of funds from their own school budget as well,” Buckley said.

“The upkeep of the oval has been an annual expense for the school budget over many years — it is extremely exciting to now be able to improve the quality.

“The school oval will not be a proper sporting field but a green playing space for all our children.”

Buckley said it had been challenging to grow and maintain the oval’s grass due to it being on a sand base and with constant student use.

The Regional Asset management team will be working with the school to determine the designs, planning, and contractors used.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the program aimed to target local contractors to ensure the stimulus program benefited others in the community.

“Our students in the bush deserve access to the best quality facilities, and I know school communities across regional NSW have been working hard to raise funds for these additional projects,” Barilaro said

“The Regional Renewal Program will see the NSW Government top-up the funds for these projects to be delivered.”

Buckley said initial meetings were soon to take place.

“The school is jumping for joy, and we know our community will be too,” Buckley said.

“We have waited a long, long time.”

Hayley McMahon