Mirnukaru Hedland Attendance Strategy to benefit from Roy Hill bus donation

Article by Alexander Scott courtesy of the North West Telegraph & the West Australian.

Officer in Charge of South Hedland Police Station Snr Sgt Gordon Armstrong, Roy Hill general manager port and rail Simone Willshire, Kariyarra Elder Sally Mack, Maureen Kelly and Cassia Primary School principal Narelle Ward

A mining company has donated a new 22-seater bus to help improve school attendance in the Port Hedland community.

The Toyota Coaster bus will be used as part of the Mirnukaru Hedland Attendance Strategy which picks students up from their homes in Port Hedland and South Hedland every morning and drops them at school.

Launched in 2019, the service was developed by government agencies and schools in collaboration with the Hedland Aboriginal Strong Leaders and Elders, to support vulnerable and at-risk youth and re-engage them with school.

As part of the program children are transported to Cassia, Baler and South Hedland primary schools and Hedland Senior High School and in its first six months saw 55 students return to school after long absences.

It came after a parliamentary report, published in 2018, revealed 16 per cent of Pilbara children were not enrolled in school

Roy Hill announced on June 29 it had agreed to assist with the provision of a $140,000 bus.

Roy Hill chief executive Gerhard Veldsman said the donation is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to supporting local communities.

“Education is so vitally important, and the Mirnukaru Hedland Attendance Strategy is a brilliant community partnership supporting students and their families,” he said.

“Roy Hill is pleased to be working with local community groups to provide this positive outcome.”