Discovering Our Boarders
Fairholme College staff have just returned from a trip to Goondiwindi, Moonie and Talwood where they’ve met with future students, as part of a program to create a better connection with their home.
And, as they discovered, it’s about so much more than just meeting an enrolled student.
“They must’ve had some rain over the past month. It was nice to see a bit of green around. And where else do you stop on a highway to let a herd of cattle cross? I had to stop and take a photo for my own daughter who is overseas. This is Australia.”
Pauline Smith laughs as she shares photos of her most recent outback tour. As both a teacher and member of the Boarding Staff, Pauline knows the benefits of meeting with future students.
“In a lot of cases, we are meeting little sisters of the girls we already teach and take care of. It’s so nice to be able to come back and tell the girls we spent the morning with their sister, and caught up on ‘all the news back home’.”
Pauline travelled with Fairholme teacher, Rebecca Scott, through the Goondiwindi region. The pair believe the visits help reduce the severity of home sickness, and help them to understand the girls’ home lives.
“It is such a pleasure to spend time with these future students. To meet with their parents and see their current school work. It gives us a chance to better prepare for their arrival at Fairholme” says Rebecca.
But it’s the connection they make with small communities and the schools in those regions, that has an impact on both Pauline and Rebecca.
“At these small schools they often invite us to meet all the classes, which is around 20 or 30 children. We have morning tea with them and share educational tips with the teachers. At the end of the day we come away with so much more than the information we need for that one student. We leave knowing a whole community, which gives us a better idea of what these rural girls need and want at Fairholme.”
- Grace Mack at Moonie State School. Her older sister Rachel completed her schooling at Fairholme as a boarder in 2015.
- Keely Petersen with her Principal. She’ll attend Fairholme next year.
- And Emily Mailer showed the teachers around her school. She’ll become a Fairholme Boarder next year, along with her older sister, Georgina.
Next month, Fairholme travels to Dalby, Chinchilla and Taroom.