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CAIRNS SCHOOL OF DISTANCE EDUCATION – HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY

02 Nov

WATSON RIVER STATION CAPE YORK PENINSULA (pic courtesy of Watson River Stn)

By and large, people who live and work in the more remote areas of far north Queensland are swapping the comforts and choices of life in the big smoke for the beauty and freedom of life in the scrub. There are some things you just make do without. Luxuries like a restaurant, shops, and schools are a long hard drive or an expensive plane ride away.

But kids can’t do without an education. In remote FNQ, many children go to school on the phone – with the Cairns School of Distance Education. The School uses state of the art online and tele-conferencing equipment to deliver education from its base In Cairns to students wherever they are.

SCHOOL ON THE SHORT WAVE 1960s

The School began life in 1972 as the Cairns School of the Air – with lessons delivered over two-way radio. The old short wave or HF sets could cover incredible distances. But the signal was sometimes very scratchy and prone to interference from, among other things, Taiwanese fishing boats. But the School of the Air was a vital link to the outside world for kids and their families, especially when they were cut off by the wet season.

These days, the new technology has made distance education more easy to access. And it will be able to offer even more when the National Broadband Network eventually rolls out to far-away FNQ.

In early December, the Cairns School of Distance Education celebrates its 40th anniversary. They’d love you to get involved. Details at  http://cairnssde.eq.edu.au/wordpress/

AUDIO Click on the red arrow to hear Cairns School of Distance Education staff talk about work and life in what they call “the world’s biggest class-room”.

You heard Andrew Oliver, the principal of the Cairns School of Distance Education, and teachers  Nevis Todd and Dale Brouwer.

Read about the history of distance education in Queensland and the rest of Australia via these links  http://education.qld.gov.au/curriculum/distance/history.html

http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/school-of-the-air


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2 responses to “CAIRNS SCHOOL OF DISTANCE EDUCATION – HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY

  1. amarocksgroup

    November 24, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Some old memories are good and motivational. Hope within this 40 years have grown and furnished better.

     
  2. Kim Coleman

    November 6, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    Hi Richard, the Cairns School of Distance Education 40th Anniversary celebrations now has its own Facebook Page and would love to hear from anyone with a story to tell about their involvement with Distance Education over the past 40 years in Far North Queensland.
    http://www.facebook.com/csde40th2012

     
 
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