Like several other boarding schools, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Brisbane makes a huge effort to visit boarders’ parents in their homes.

Story by Ken Eastwood

If a teacher makes a 1500-kilometre round-trip to see the parents of a student, you’d think the child might be in serious trouble. But Lesa Fowler, geography teacher at St Margaret’s, Brisbane, loves visiting the homes of her remote students just to get an understanding of where they live and what home life is like for them. It’s part of her job as head of boarding to endeavour to visit new, old and prospective school parents during the school term, be they on remote stations out of Mount Isa, Narrabri, Moree or Burketown. The girls remain in school while she visits with another senior member of staff, such as the principal or deputy.

“You go out to properties and the girls love it, because you get to see where their home is and what happens at home,” Lesa says. “Sometimes you’re actually sleeping in their bedroom, so it’s a bit of a role reversal. Quite often they’ve got their pets there, so you get a photo with their dog and show them when you get back to school and it makes that connection.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #110

Outback Magazine: Dec/Jan 2017