Where There's a Will Foundation founder Pauline Carrigan unveils exciting new plans for 2019

INFORMATIVE: Aberdeen Public students Angus Sullivan, Charlotte Wells, Summer Dowell and Toby Singleton with WTAW founder Pauline Carrigan.
INFORMATIVE: Aberdeen Public students Angus Sullivan, Charlotte Wells, Summer Dowell and Toby Singleton with WTAW founder Pauline Carrigan.

THE Where There’s a Will (WTAW) Foundation has achieved so much in such a short space of time.

And, Upper Hunter residents can expect to witness another big 12 months for the not-for-profit organisation as it embarks on its fourth year of operation in 2019.

“WTAW has some fantastic things planned – and we’re thrilled to be able to share this with everyone,” founder Pauline Carrigan said.

“It’s the energy, commitment and generosity of the Upper Hunter that continues to drive the team to help prioritise wellbeing for this community.

“The success of our initiatives and projects is due to the support of this community.

“Based on the milestones reached so far and the ripple effect into the community, more and more people and groups want to join us or follow our lead.”

The Yellow Cottage in Scone was the first pre-school to join the Visible Wellbeing (VWB) Project.

Through the strength of what they have achieved, WTAW is delighted there will be an Early Childhood Visible Wellbeing Project that encompasses all early learning in the area.

“More than 15 early childhood groups will begin training in Term 2 of the academic year,” Mrs Carrigan said.

“The project they will undertake has been specifically designed for the Upper Hunter by Professor Lea Waters and her team, assisted by Kirsty Hails – director of The Yellow Cottage.

“Meanwhile, schools in Singleton have quietly watched on to see what has been unfolding in the 21 schools within the Visible Wellbeing Project over the past year and are ready to follow our lead.

“Eleven schools in Singleton are getting ready to take on the VWB journey.

“The combination of Singleton and early childhood to the VWB Project will mean the Upper Hunter boasts more than 50 educational institutions embedding wellbeing into their schools.

“This is an Australian and world first.

“As our children transition through their formal education, they will learn and understand the importance of their own strengths, their own wellbeing, and that of their peers and families.

“We’ll have a community that speaks one common language setting our youth up with skills and knowledge to cope with the challenges of life.”

Mrs Carrigan also urged residents to save the date, September 17, in their diaries.

“WTAW and our schools will host a Visible Wellbeing Showcase to share our VWB journey with the community,” she said.

“St Alberts College (Albies) in Armidale has also chosen WTAW as their charity to support for 2019, while celebrating their 50th year.

“Charity committee co-presidents Jack Inder and Ashley Flint have already set about implementing some positive psychology strategies for their cohort of more than 300 residents.

“WTAW is looking forward to attending many of the Albies events throughout 2019.

“Later in the year, we’ll also introduce a Family Facilitation Project that is based on the book The Strength Switch by Professor Waters.

“This initiative will see parents and carers provided with opportunities to understand the work that is being achieved in the schools and introduce this into their homes to reinforce the importance of wellbeing and good mental health.”

Mrs Carrigan praised Muswellbrook High School’s Samantha Fragar, Aberdeen Public School’s Shelby Lewis and Kelly Pearson, too.

“A huge congratulations must go to all three of them, who have been accepted into the very prestigious Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) at the University of Melbourne for 2019,” she said.

“Positions in this course are highly sought-after and it says much about the calibre and passion of these ladies that they’ve been accepted into the course.

“We’re thrilled for what it means for the students under their care and for the knowledge that can be shared with their colleagues.

"I’m also delighted to announce that local businessmen, Scott Shann and Andrew Parry-Okeden, have recently joined our Board of Directors."

This story A big year ahead | VIDEO first appeared on Hunter Valley News.