Teachers, healthcare professionals, and police will be provided extra support to relocate to the regions as the first initiative being rolled out as part of a $30 million investment by the NSW Government to help attract, prepare and retain key workers in regional NSW.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the Welcome Experience will be piloted in eight locations including Broken Hill, Walgett, Coffs Harbour, Muswellbrook, Goulburn, Griffith, Corowa and Bega next year with the goal of rolling it across more locations in 2024.
“The bush is renowned for its hospitality but moving to a new town can be daunting, especially with a family,” Mr Toole said.
“That’s why the NSW Government is upping the ante with this new program to ensure key workers who provide so much support to our communities are given the best possible support to relocate and feel welcome.
“There is nothing more valuable than local knowledge, especially when you are moving somewhere new. This service acts a bit like a concierge – people are matched with locals giving them the opportunity to ask questions about healthcare and childcare services and even which area of town might best suit their family.”
Nationals Minister for Regional Health and Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said this service introduces key workers to a friendly face before they make the move to regional NSW.
“From the moment our key workers make the decision to move to the bush, they will be partnered with locals who will make the transition so much easier,” Mrs Taylor said.
“From being on hand to assist in navigating their new community to helping create social connections or even accessing vital services such as childcare, healthcare or helping their partners find a job, this service will make a huge difference.
“This is about ensuring our communities have access to quality services that are staffed with key workers, who feel welcomed in the areas they live and work in.”
Nationals Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the NSW Government will work closely with Councils, community organisations and other local service providers to ensure the service is personalised to each area.
“The Welcome Experience will not only benefit essential workers and their families but also the community as a whole by improving safety, education and healthcare outcomes for the wider region,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Not only do to we want teachers and other key workers and their families to feel welcomed, but we also want them to establish a sense of belonging and feel right at home.”
The Welcome Experience forms part of Our Vision for Regional Communities and Action Plan 2023-2025 – a NSW Government initiative outlining immediate priorities and long-term strategies to make regional NSW an even better place to call home.
More information about Our Vision for Regional Communities and Action Plan 2023-2025 is available: www.nsw.gov.au/ourvision.