Improving public perception of Moree Secondary College

Community stories: 25 August 2021

Moree is a major agricultural centre in northern New South Wales, noted for its part in the Australian cotton-growing industry. Community workshops conducted by both Moree Secondary College and Moree Plains Shire Council during their strategic planning forums found public perception of the local high school at an all-time low. 

In YEAR, The newly-formed Moree Secondary College P&C Association has a committee of 12 parents, who work together to improve the facilities, equipment and uniforms for the 400 students at both the junior and senior campuses of Moree Secondary College (MSC). They developed a comprehensive communications plan designed to turn the negative perceptions around and to convey a more positive image of the school. Their aim was to showcase Moree Secondary College as an option for a quality local education, and improve the community’s relationship with the school to ultimately increase enrolments and keep more families in Moree.

A $5,000 Aussie Cotton Farmers Grow Communities grant, funded by the Monsanto Fund, helped to implement the communication plan, funding a multi-pronged campaign designed to change perceptions and raise awareness of the great things about the school, to improve engagement with the school. The campaign included a promotional video, student and teacher profiles, print and web media publications, and community engagement events. Moree Plains Council committed $3,000 to the project, and the College also contributed funding.

The P&C engaged a freelance journalist to write student and teacher profiles that were posted onto social media, as well as media releases covering various school events and articles to celebrate success in arts, sports and academic excellence.

An event was organised to launch the new video. Attended by the Executive Director and Regional Director of Education, Local Members of Parliament, Moree Plains Shire Council Mayor and more than 100 community members, the MSC P&C was able to showcase the achievements of past students. Four shorter videos were also developed to showcase Drama, Hospitality, Woodwork and Metalwork capabilities and achievements at the school.

In reporting on the project, MSC’s P&C representative Kelly James said that the 2019 year 7 and 10 intakes were at record levels.  “It’s hard to know what direct benefit our promotional campaign has had on student numbers, but we believe it has had some positive impact. “The student profiles we’ve shared on social media have been excellent, with many comments often added to a post, which reinforces the dedication of the MSC teachers, the resources available and quality students graduating from Moree Secondary College.”