HAVING a friendly face to talk to and trust at school is worth its weight in gold for many students.
Leeton High School students already have access to a fantastic wellbeing program at their school, which includes a counselling service.
Now they have welcomed Jannette Dundon to the team, who has started recently as a student support officer thanks to a statewide roll out of these new positions.
A student support officer is part of a team who "plants seeds of hope and empowerment" which then aim to inspire students to thrive in an atmosphere of encouragement.
Ms Dundon has worked with the Department of Family and Community Services and is enjoying the transition into the role at Leeton High.
"I work closely with the principal here and the wellbeing head teacher ... because it's such a new position we are working out what the school needs and focusing on the wellbeing of students," she said.
"I've been trying to get out and about with the students on the playground to let them know I'm not a teacher, just a little bit about my role. To let them know I am here to support them, whether they are having a bit of a tough time or even to celebrate the positive things that are happening."
With students at the very centre of the work Ms Dundon undertakes, the idea is to provide opportunities to succeed, engage with parents and the community, encourage students, give them a sense of belonging and much more.
Ms Dundon has many ideas on how to achieve this and is looking forward to rolling up her sleeves.
"There's a lot of exciting things we can be doing with the students," she said.
"We want all of the students here to know they are not alone."
A student support officer also helps to build resilience and pro-social behaviours.
If required, they can also facilitate student referrals to external providers.
"I'm already enjoying my time here, the staff and students are wonderful," Ms Dundon said. "It's a great team here."