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Supermarket giant bringing resilience to Biraban PS


They’d been learning the skills to building resilience from within their own workplace before the team at Coles Toronto partnered with The Resilience Project to bring the positive mental health program to Biraban Public School this month.

Popular among AFL and NRL clubs, elite athletes and workplaces, The Resilience Project focuses on Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness (GEM) as tools to help people experience positive mental health.

After learning that one in four primary school students and one in three secondary school students are likely to experience mental ill-health this year, the team at the lake-side retail store donated boxes of fresh fruit to the students to complement their learning.

Store support manager Eliza Curtis said Coles was proud to provide pupils with an opportunity to learn Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness.

“At Coles, we know first-hand the positive impact of The Resilience Project, that’s why we’re incredibly proud to be able to provide this opportunity to a local school,” she said.

“Here at Coles Toronto, our team members have been doing the GEM program since 2020 and the wellbeing journals have helped them to get through the challenges of COVID-19.

“We hope the students and teachers from Biraban Public School will enjoy and benefit from the program as much as we have.”

The Resilience Project aims to help pupils build resilience and develop strategies to cope with the stresses of life both in and outside the classroom.

In the school program, GEM is embedded in the community through engaging presentations to students, parents and carers, reinforced in lesson plans, teacher resources and digital content.

Biraban Public School teacher Melissa McDonald said the program had been well-received by teachers and pupils alike since it was introduced.

“The Resilience Project has been an excellent addition to our school. The program is fun and engaging and the students are finally excited about Social Emotional Learning,” she said.

“It’s provided a student-friendly approach to Social Emotional Learning and the whole-of-school consistent messaging of the program means that students and teachers are all talking the same language when it comes to wellbeing.”

The Resilience Project founder and presenter Hugh van Cuylenburg said partnering with Coles would enable the program to be delivered in more schools across Australia.

“The research is clear – the more positive emotion we experience, the more resilient we will be. This is why we focus on cultivating positive emotion through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness,” he said.

This year, The Resilience Project wellbeing program has been delivered to more than 600 schools and 300 early years services across Australia and New Zealand.

Hugh van Cuylenburg, The Resilience Project founder. Credit: Pat Brunet / Event Photos Australia

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