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On Thursday 8 September, Wollemi hosted its first R U OK Day. Deputy Headmaster, David Vassallo, shares his account below.


This was a day that focussed on mental health and wellbeing within our School Community. The key emphasis was to encourage our staff and students to stay connected and to check in on one another by asking the simple question, “R U OK?”.

It was a great day in which energy and enthusiasm abounded. The school became a sea of black and yellow, as both staff and students dressed in the colours of RUOK to show their support of this worthwhile cause - we even had two bananas and one Pikachu! At recess, students enjoyed a break with a mate - sharing a Kit Kat together and a chat. A big thank you to Woolworths Mount Druitt who kindly donated over 250 Kit Kats to the cause!

Throughout the day, students engaged in a range of activities. There was a talk from our School Counsellor to the Secondary School about how to recognise if someone is struggling and what steps they could take to help. Students also took part in age-appropriate workshops which developed their skills in key areas to help equip them to ask are you OK? such as listening skills, spotting the signs, where to seek help and how to check-in.

The highlight of the day for many was the R U O K chalk murals. Each Primary class decorated one concrete square along the College carline. It was so great to see the energy, creativity and cooperation of all our Primary students as they worked together to produce these fantastic murals.

Our Secondary students also demonstrated their creative flair, with their own mural drawing competition at lunch with a pizza prize on offer for the best mural. Inspired by the theme of the day (and I suspect the lure of a few slices of pepperoni pizza), the pedestrian path into the school was awash with a sea of secondary students. What was so pleasing to see was the camaraderie and friendship on display.

Our staff also were not forgotten on this day. They too enjoyed a focus on wellbeing with a coffee cart delivering great coffees and donuts to our teachers, as well as a delicious Chinese-fusion lunch…and of course Kits Kats. A day like this could not have been a success without the help and hard work of a number of people. Special thanks go to Mr Koury, Mr Williamson, Mrs Badr, Mr Johnson, and Mr Tolentino for pitching in. 

Finally to all our staff and students for their energy, enthusiasm and support on the day. The importance and success of the day were captured so aptly by one of our secondary students when asked what he thought of the day, said, "I think it's awesome that the school came together for R U OK Day. It's great that we can spread awareness for something that was once a taboo topic. I personally have a few mates who have been through some really tough times, so learning how to talk to them about it has been really helpful. I hope Wollemi looks to do this again in the future, I thought it was a really great day."

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