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Milbrodale @ The Coalface

The students, teachers and visitors to Milbrodale Public School are better protected under covered walkways, thanks to a joint donation from Yancoal Australia’s Mount Thorley Warkworth (MTW) mine and Glencore Coal Australia.

With many people walking through the school gates daily, the school recognised there was a need to build a roof over the walkway to shade guests coming in and reduce the risk of people slipping over in the wet weather.

The $39,000 joint donation from the mines combined with $5,000 funding from the school covered the design, materials and construction of covered walkways, which now shelter students, staff and visitors as they enter the school and classrooms.

Damien Vaughan, Principal of Milbrodale Public School was thrilled with the upgrade.

“Our school consists of around 17 families who are from the local community in Bulga and Milbrodale.

“We pride ourselves on the fact that we are a modest school with one of the highest attendance rates for small schools in 2023. We are grateful for donations and external support to help make projects like this come to life.

“With so many visitors daily, we were keen for something to shelter everyone at the front gate entry and as they walk between the buildings.

“Only the other day, it proved its worth with students remaining dry as they entered the school gates while it was raining. Subsequently, at pick up, parents could wait undercover and be protected from the rain and when it heats up in summer they’ll be protected from the sun.

“This gives us better peace of mind and the project has been a win from a health and safety perspective.

“Parents, students and visitors have all commented on how it has also enhanced the look of the school and we are now working on a wellbeing project with the students where they will paint the poles.

“We are very thankful to Glencore and MTW for their funding to enable the construction of the covered walkways. They will help keep our school community shaded and protected for many years to come.”

Milbrodale Public School is a small school in the Hunter Valley with a dynamic, innovative learning environment. Student wellbeing is a high priority at Milbrodale and all activities and programs are centred on making the students well rounded and upstanding citizens in the community with shared values and culture.

MTW General Manager Cris Shadbolt was pleased to help fund the upgrade.

“All children deserve a comfortable and safe school, giving them the best opportunity to learn. We are happy the students can now remain dry or better protected from the heat as they go about their day at school.

“Our Community Support Program is designed to help make a positive difference to the people that live in our local community and this project has the potential to be enjoyed by hundreds of children and school staff in the future.”

The donation was celebrated at a whole school assembly with afternoon tea recently. There is also a plaque on one of the walkway beams acknowledging the mine’s contribution.

Glencore Coal Australia Social Performance Manager, Craig Strudwick, said the upgrade highlights the positive outcomes that can result from collaboration between industry and community.

“Through our Community Investment Program, we can help create lasting positive impacts.

“We take great pride in supporting our community, and the knowledge that students, parents and teachers are now protected from the elements.”

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