Gunnedah High School hosted a special guest on Thursday.
His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of NSW, walked the school’s corridors, meeting students and learning about their various learning programs.
The governor took particular interest in the Girls Academy initiative, which was launched at the school in March.
Governor Hurley met with students from the academy and academy facilitators, Kylie Milsom and Blanche Biles. Also present was the governor’s wife, Linda, and Public Schools NSW director (Wollemi network), Mark Young.
The governor said Girls Academy founder, Ricky Grace, had visited him at Parliament House to speak about the program, and encouraged him to see it at work.
“I said, when we go to the country, if we can fit it in, we will,” Governor Hurley said.
“It’s good to see it’s working in the school itself and it’s also a networking thing as well.
“I think it’s good for building support networks for young girls in their maturing years; to have a space where they can have a quiet time or a listening ear and help in talking about issues. Also spending time with like-minded girls.
“I think all of those things help. Teen years are turbulent for all of us.”
Mark Young praised the work of the academy’s facilitators.
“When they’ve got good staff that can mentor and help them, if they've got mature staff they can talk to, it can help point them in the right direction and help them make the decisions that are best for them,” he said.
Program manager Blanch Biles said she felt very positive about the governor’s visit.
“It was a wonderful experience to have them come and we really appreciate that they took the time out of their day and spoke to the girls,” she said.
“The girls really enjoyed it.”
Ms Biles said Governor Hurley surprised an academy student with a gift all the way from Canberra.
“The governor presented Bella with a jar of his own honey from the Parliament House,” she said.
Ms Biles said every time the governor meets a student named Bella or Isobella, he gives them honey because the honeybee were brought over to Australia in the 1820s on a ship named Isobella.