Cairns State High School
Cairns State High School launched the Peer Support Program at the start of 2018. The Executive Principal, Chris Zilm, was aware of the impact of the program in other schools and was keen to embed it into the fabric of Cairns State High School.
The Peer Leaders were very enthusiastic about the roles they had taken on and felt that the skills of leadership and facilitation they had learnt and used during the process would also support them with other areas of their lives inside and outside of school. The school’s coordinators noted that this was the first time that some of the students involved had engaged in leadership, and the program’s structure enabled them to experience great success in their roles.
Cairns State High will continue to implement Peer Support in 2019 after having critically evaluated their first year. Anecdotally, schools have a greater chance of success in keeping The Peer Support Program alive if more staff at the school are trained and involved. Cairns State High School have recently trained another two additional teachers to work alongside the coordinators.
The positive experiences of the students at Cairns State High School have been shared with neighbouring schools, and several of them will also be adopting The Peer Support Program in 2019.