The James Martin Institute for Public Policy was delighted to host an interactive workshop on 23 June 2022 with policymakers, experts and school principals on how to boost resilience in rural and remote education in NSW.

Recent floods, bush fires and the COVID-19 pandemic posed significant challenges to NSW schools in rural and remote areas. With more disruptions on the horizon driven by climate change and other forces, exploring ways to increase the resilience of schools is more critical than ever.

Schools also enable the broader resilience of their local communities, fulfilling vital social and civic functions.

Against this backdrop, the workshop brought together 25 policymakers, school principals, researchers, community stakeholders, and emergency response experts.

NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning The Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC opened the workshop by highlighting the importance of learning from recent disasters.

“This is a great opportunity to hear from you to understand […] what we are doing that’s working and what more we can do,” Minister Mitchell said.

A key outcome of the day was identifying challenges and opportunities for rural and remote schools, while suggesting strategies to boost their resilience.

Drawing on their first-hand experience and expertise, participants also generated valuable insights and shared important lessons from recent disasters.

JMI will publish a summary report of the workshop in the coming weeks. The report will also contain potential lines of inquiry for further work that emerged from the conversations.

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