NSW Ambulance has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first emergency service in NSW to reach gender parity within its workforce, with women now constituting over 50% of its personnel. This development is seen as a crucial step in ensuring that the workforce reflects the population it serves, promoting workplace gender diversity and fostering an inclusive environment. NSW Health Secretary Susan Pearce praised the milestone, highlighting the benefits of gender diversity in healthcare. NSW Ambulance Chief Executive Dominic Morgan expressed gratitude to the women who contributed to this achievement, emphasizing the importance of skills and experience in employment rather than gender.
Sleepout supports those in need
LOCAL communities in NSW participated in the 2023 NSW Vinnies Community Sleepout recently. The event aims to raise funds and awareness in support of St Vincent de Paul Society’s services. Over 60 participants in Western Sydney braved the winter night, hear from local Society members, and support four Vinnies Support Centres in Harris Park, Blacktown, Emerton, and Penrith, aiding those at risk of homelessness. The Society has experienced increased assistance requests over the past year, driven by housing costs and rising living expenses. Donations for the event can be made at www.vinnies.org.au/communitysleepout.
School principals grapple with stress
AUSTRALIAN schools are grappling with a crisis in principal recruitment and retention due to stress, burnout, and increased workloads. Monash University’s Faculty of Education is conducting a three-year study, funded by the Australian Research Council, to understand how these challenges affect principals in public schools. The study will create a publicly accessible website to showcase anonymous stories from principals, shedding light on the emotional intensity of their work. Researchers aim to improve leadership preparation by addressing the emotionally draining aspects of the job, ultimately reducing turnover, enhancing teacher retention, improving student outcomes, and fostering social cohesion.
Data improved for social housing
THE NSW Government is enhancing transparency in the social housing waiting list by providing more current data. Previously, data on the waiting list was only published annually, rendering it outdated. Now, both the general and priority waiting list data will be updated monthly, offering stakeholders and applicants a more accurate understanding of housing needs. Quarterly updates on median waiting times will also be available, a significant improvement from the previous annual updates. This initiative aligns with broader NSW Government efforts to reform the social and affordable housing sector and combat homelessness and housing insecurity.
Research into food tracking apps
NEW research commissioned by MyFitnessPal, a global nutrition and food tracking app, indicates a shift in Australians’ protein consumption habits. Despite the popularity of expensive protein snacks like bars and shakes, the study found that Australians are increasingly opting for cheaper alternatives. A significant 33% of respondents mentioned reduced consumption of protein bars and shakes, while another 36% reported decreased intake of red meat, likely due to a 14% increase in beef prices from 2021 to 2022. The research also revealed that only 10% of Australians regularly track their macros, highlighting the need for better nutrient awareness.