PLS goes WEST! Supporting drought affected NSW communities

Last week 3 members of the Positive Living Skills team successfully completed a week long rural NSW road trip, introducing the PLS initiative to 10 Early Learning Services who are new to PLS, and visiting existing PLS member Schools and Early Learning services and.

What an adventure it's been for PLS Founder Cath Shaw, Early Childhood Specialist Hailey Chant, and Possa Bill!

Thanks to recent Empowering our Communities Government Grant support received from the Western NSW Primary Health Network (WNSW PHN), Positive Living Skills is able to expand our support in Western NSW to another 10 Early learning services in the rural and remote drought affected communities of Broken Hill, Bourke, Weilmoringle, Brewarrina, Coonamble, Menindee, Wellington and Forbes to implement the Positive Living Skills initiative.

'We are so excited to be able to further support educators, children and their families to build their empowerment and resilience,' said PLS Founder Cath Shaw, who has lived many years of her life in rural NSW.

The trio started their week in Menindee on Monday, visiting existing PLS member School Menindee Central, and new PHN funded member Mendindee Children’s Centre, where Hailey was delighted to see that the children had already made Possa Bill his own Special place, where he sits watching them enjoy their day whenever he isn't engaging with them.

Then it was off to Broken Hill where the PLS crew touched base with 3 existing member Primary Schools and two new Early Learning members, Happy Days Preschool and Alma Bugdlie Preschool. Cath and Hails were privileged to get the opportunity in Broken Hill to see a Positive Living Skills lesson in action at Burke Ward Public School. What a highlight!

'It was amazing to see the children engaged in the PLS learning experiences, and the educators too, and we are so grateful to see the positive impact this initiative is making in these communities', said Hailey.

Next stop was Enngonia where Melissa and Jemma from Enngonia Public School and Preschool have been implementing the PLS initiative for more than a year now with some amazing positive behaviour results, then on to Bourke to meet two new PLS members - Bourke and District Childrens Preschool and Childcare, who were both delighted to receive the support and resources, and the team all got together with Cath and Hailey for an interactive discussion and valuable Positive Living Skills session.

Thursday saw the PLS team meet more Services funded thanks to the WNSW PHN. The educational teams from Brewarrina Mobile Children's Services and the Coonamble Family Strengthening Service were grateful to receive their PLS Early Childhood Starter Kits, and have them unpacked by Cath and Hailey.

Friday was the final day of the PLS west NSW Road trip and what a day it was. Cath and Hailey visited Wellington Children's Centre, who is participating in PLS thanks to the Western NSW PHN, and then squeezed in an Interview for the Wellington Times and the Western Magazine, then a visit to the Wellington Preschool and Public School who are loving being part of the initiative.

Principal Darryl Thompson and Stage 2 teacher and Be You School representative Kate Kiss are very pleased to see the Positive Living Skills initiative expand, ‘Wellington Public School started implementing the Positive Living Skills Primary School Wellbeing program across the whole school in Term 2 and I am very happy to say that the program is definitely living up to its name. It’s wonderful to see the Positive Living Skills initiative expand further into the Wellington Community so that more families can benefit from the positive influence the program provides,’ said Darryl.

The 10 Early Learning Services included in this Empowering Communities WNSWPHN funding round are: Bright Beginnings (Forbes), Menindee Children’s Centre, Brewarrina Mobile Children’s Service, Wellington Community Children’s Centre, Bourke and District Childrens Centre and Childcare, Gidgee Preschool (Weilmoringle), Coonamble Family Strengthening Service, and Alma Budglie Preschool and Happy Day Preschool (Broken Hill) All these Services have now gained access to the Positive Living Skills Early Childhood Wellbeing program, giving each service a range of pre-prepared learning experiences with matching resources, all designed to support children, educators and families to build long term habits for emotional wellbeing. Check out our Road trip highlight reel video HERE.

The travellers also got some local media attention during the week with coverage from 2WEB Radio, The Wellington Times and Western Magazine

‘We (and Possa Bill) have loved visiting our existing Positive Living Skills Schools and Early Learning Services, and meeting and supporting our newest members too. It has been such a wonderful experience to see first hand the benefits that children and educators and their families are experiencing thanks to the Positive Living Skills preventative approach to supporting community wellness and resilience, and this was an amazing experience that we will remember always,' said Cath.

For more information about the Positive Living Skills initiative, visit or email us at

Until next time,

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