Ann Kempe

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Ann Kempe
Posted about 2 years ago
"School of the Air"
Hello again Mary I am pleased to be of assistance. Boarding School is often an essential part of Australian rural school life. We have a population of only 23 million and most of the people live in the cities situated (usually) on the coast of each of the states. There are also larger regional cities across most of the states. The rest of the population lives in sparsely settled areas with great distances where no one lives and no schools are available. So many parents living in the more remote parts of our country are forced to send their children to boarding schools which are situated in the big regional cities and the capital cities of each state. These schools often provide very high quality education and excellent living spaces and support for the children - including sporting and other non-school activities. They are often managed by religious organisations like the Catholic Church. Life at boarding school was not very good in my childhood days (many years ago!!!). It was lonely and sometimes frightening and we where often very homesick to the point of not functioning very well academically. However on the positive side, the experience gave me a strong sense of autonomy and self-reliance. I am stronger for the experience. I found I had many life-skills and could look after myself well even at a very young age (10 years old) and this helped a lot in my later life. For example in my nursing profession where I have needed a strength of character to deal with difficult situations sometimes. So all in all - it was a great experience. regards Ann
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Ann Kempe
Posted about 2 years ago
"School of the Air"
Hi I received all my primary school (the first 5 years of school) using School of the Air. We lived in central Australia (1500 km from the nearest city of Adelaide - in the state of South Australia. This was in the 1960's. My parents managed a huge cattle station (in US you call them ranches I think). We had a governess - usually a young woman who had just left school). Every two weeks we received a package of educational material - texts, instructions etc and the governess would ensure we worked through these. We would write out the answers to the school lessons and then everything would be posted back to the central office of School of the Air (in our case to Port Augusta). All School of the Air students also communicated with their teacher every day by two-way radio and had a one hour "lesson". All this has now radically changed. There are sat-phones, computers, the internet and Skype. People still hire personal governesses (or men equivalent) and there are mobile school teachers who fly around the out-back and visit children in their home school. It is still an essential part of Australian outback life. Most children are sent to boarding school in the cities after 6-7 years of home school using School of the Air (as I was). They usually only see their parents 4-5 times a year thereafter. Here is a link to SOA - Pt. Augusta http://www.openaccess.edu.au/about_us/port_augusta.html I am grateful for this experience as there was no other option in those days. I hope I have been of use to you.