Last week I did my once a term tour of the schools “further out”. Plan was Toowoomba – St George – Dirranbandi – Cunnamulla – Wyandra – Charleville – Augathella – Mitchell – Roma - Toowoomba, but Dirranbandi was cancelled because of seasonal influenza. This was probably a good thing, because the stretch between Dirranbandi and the highway is gravel, and they’ve had a bit of rain.
The country looks fantastic – best I’ve seen it in three years, because of the rain, although some of the improvement is superficial. There are birds everywhere, and even the noxious weeds are putting on a brilliant show. On the St George – Cunnamulla stretch (290k driven first up on Tuesday morning) I saw every hopping running crawling creature known to man – and I few I couldn’t identify. Highlight was four wild piglets snuffling around by the side of the road with no sign of parent. Possibly parent had been cleaned up either by a vehicle or someone “piggin”.
There were goats, all looking sleek and healthy, and a few emus. As usual, I encountered lots of roos of all shapes and colours, but universally well-camouflaged by either shadow or scrub. I avoided them all – not always the case.
The bush kids are always entertaining, and their teachers and parents inspirational. It continues to amaze me that Ed Queensland has such a battle finding teachers for these areas. Young teachers looking for the best possible start to the noblest profession can do a lot worse than to head bush for a year or two. Quality of life is great, given the improvements in all sorts of communication technology, and there is the best possible opportunity to learn, because of the supportive professional community out here. It’s far superior to city schools, where sharing and mutual support is the exception rather than the rule.
The shot was taken on the road near the Nebine waterholes, about 20k West of Bollon.