Around 30 families set up camp at Central Highlands Regional Council’s McIndoe Park Function Centre for a week as part of the Capricornia School of Distance Education’s mini-school.
The students had previously been blocked from using their normal camping facility the ‘Outstation’ in Emerald by the Department of Education.
Mayor Kerry Hayes said while it was an unconventional use of the facility council was glad to step up to support the children and their families.
‘Council is just so happy that these kids and their parents or carers could enjoy this week of mini school together,’ Mayor Hayes said.
‘It’s critically important that we value children schooled in remote locations.’
Council had previously written a letter of support for the Capricornia School of Distance Education Parents and Citizens Association to highlight the need for an appropriate resolution
‘Ironically we keep talking about mental health and then the decision to exclude these families creates the exact situation that makes these people feel like don’t have any level of support,’ Mayor Hayes said.
‘I do hope that the department comes up with a solution that reconsiders the use of the Outstation that recognises its value to the kids and their parents.’
Four times a year students, their smaller siblings, parents and governesses get together to share experiences and get to know each other face to face.
It’s not just the children and parents that benefit from the time together. Georgina Paschke is a former childcare worker that followed her dream to explore life in the bush by taking on a governess role.
She teaches two children and cares for a baby on a remote property and says the time together is vital to get reassurance that you’re not alone in the ups and downs of your work and life.
‘It’s just great to be talking and catching up with all the other governesses and just relaying stories on how we are finding teaching in this environment because it is so different,’ Ms Paschke said.
‘It’s also just great to be together and see the kids enjoy it and it’s just a great week.’