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Sugarcane country growing more resilient students

2023 is shaping up to be a year for resilience-building and wellbeing for the sugarcane community of Mirani, 38 kilometres west of Mackay in the Pioneer Valley.

Inspired by the impact The Resilience Project (TRP) is already having on both primary and secondary schools in the Valley, Mirani State High School is the latest adopter of the program with the support of Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN).

However, the implementation of the program within the school is not a competition about who in the region does it best, rather a clear sign that schools are working together to benefit the mental wellbeing and development of the next generation of Valley residents.

Mirani State High School Wellbeing Coordinator Jennifer Lade said prior to their school’s implementation of the program, they worked with other local schools to gather feedback about the positives of the program and any issues they may be experiencing.

"I feel that through connecting with a program which is embedded in many of our primary schools, our students will engage more with the content, and the principles have been embedded throughout their learning experience from an early age," she said.


This week, we had the pleasure of welcoming Ray Thompson, former NRL Cowboys player to introduce and launch The...

Posted by Mirani State High School on Wednesday, October 26, 2022

"This will create a seamless transition into our senior wellbeing program.

"I was able to visit one of the schools to watch a TRP lesson in action and was impressed with the level of engagement from all students.”

Cowboys community engagement programs officer Ray Thompson visited Mirani State High to introduce the program to staff and students through a series of immersive presentations, introducing program pillars of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness.

The school is aiming to establish a common language between staff and students that provides a platform to building consistency in tackling wellbeing, resulting in happier and more resilient students.

A region-wide implementation of The Resilience Project adds to the culture of the Valley through its students, staff and wider school community with many of Mirani State High School’s teachers flagging local sporting groups and organisations as further vehicles for cementing the program’s teachings.

Mirani State High School principal Matthew Horton said he hopes the whole community will get behind his school’s implementation of The Resilience Project, with the support of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys playing a pivotal part in engagement.

“As much as it is for the students, I’m hoping we can reinforce the relevance of the program with parents, particularly those who are active in local sporting clubs,” he said.

“With increasing awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing in the context of sports performance, we’re excited to be working with the Cowboys to link this to our school and broader community.”

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys are delivering The Resilience Project to 46 schools in 7 locations across North and Far North Queensland, reaching over 7,500 students in 2022 with the support of Northern Queensland Primary Health Network, Collinsville Community Association, Navarre Minerals and the Whitsunday Suicide Prevention Network.

Acknowledgement of Country

North Queensland Cowboys respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.