Seek the Best, Kalgoorlie School of the Air



  • Mr Charles Prideaux conducted a survey of the potentiality of a Kalgoorlie School of the Air. The results found were a total of 60 potential students.
  • RFDS Kalgoorlie commenced necessary modifications to Base installations in readiness for an immediate start.
  • Late 1961, The Education Department agreed to the formation of Kalgoorlie School of the Air.


  • 2nd March 1962 – The Kalgoorlie Miner announced the commencement of school activities. “School of the Air was introduced to children in the vast outback area over the Royal Flying Doctor Service radio network yesterday morning. Speaking by radio from a school room in Kalgoorlie, a teacher enrolled about 25 students on stations within a radius of 250 miles from Kalgoorlie. The active school work will not start until this morning as yesterday’s session was used to enrol students and outline the aim of the school of the air by teacher Mr Peter McGaughey.”  
  • The Kalgoorlie School of the Air began in a small wooden building in the grounds of Kalgoorlie Central School.
  • The school was officially opened by the Honorable Mr E. Lewis, Minister for Education and the Director-General for Education, Dr T. L. Robertson.
  • The first outposts were -
    Badya, Bnjaworn, Gibb Rock, Yindi, Credo, Edjudina, Gindalbie, Forrest, Melrose, Menangina, Mt. Monger, One Tree Outcamp – Edjudina, Ora Banda, Ora Banda Battery and Youangarra.
  • The original School Creed -
    This is our school, let peace dwell here.
    Let the room be full of contentment.
    Let love abide here, love of one another,
    Love of mankind, love of life itself and love of God.
    Let us remember, that as many hands build a house,
    So many hearts make a school.


  • Work sets were previously marked by the WA Correspondence School, this now became the responsibility of Kalgoorlie School of the Air.


  • Kalgoorlie SOTA became an autonomous school, Mr Ernie Tyre was appointed as Head Master.


  • New transmitting and receiving equipment was installed and lessons were broadcast to 58 children from 30 families scattered over an area of 200,000 square miles for 3 hours per day.
  • A new partition wall was built around the broadcast console to make the inner studio virtually soundproof. A glass panel and an extension speaker were included so visitors could watch and hear the teacher’s and children’s voices.


  • There were a record number of 80 students in attendance for the first broadcast of the year.
  • 3 teachers were appointed due to the growth in numbers.


  • Completely new broadcasting equipment was installed by the Royal Flying Doctor Service Council.
  • Sir Alec Douglas-Home, the British Foreign Secretary visited the school.


  • Library book numbers grew to over 2000.
  • The school magazine “Looking Around” was compiled and printed in Kalgoorlie for the first time.


  • Depressed economic conditions prevailed in the pastoral industry and disastrous drought conditions saw a reduction in school numbers. Only 39 students enrolled.
  • Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret and Lord Snowden visited the school.


  • The S.S.B. (Single Side Band) radio was introduced, communications were greatly enhanced.
  • Rolf Harris visited the school for the first time.


  • Work sets were still being sent out from the WA Correspondence school, Kalgoorlie SOTA developed and supplemented the correspondence courses in each subject area.
  • 36 Kalgoorlie School of the Air children attended the first Muster camp at Point Walter with all the other Schools of the Air.
  • Pre-School of the Air was developed and introduced.


  • Cassette players and film projectors were made available to families by the WA Correspondence School to enrich lessons. Tapes and film strips from most subjects were available, including supplementary reading and maths.


  • Kalgoorlie School of the Air moved to a new school building on Hampden Street, South Kalgoorlie.


  • Kalgoorlie School of the Air became completely autonomous as a school, in its own right, and ceased to be a part of the WA Correspondence School. A link remained with lessons being written by the correspondence school staff.


  • School of the Air teachers had an increased level of involvement in the development of the program of work the children followed in their day to day lessons. Teachers were able to add to, delete, update, enrich or alter lessons in any way they felt was constructive or an improvement.


  • Televisions, video recorders and educational tapes were made available for distance education families.
  • Sir Zelman Cowen and Lady Cowen, Governor General of Australia visited the school.


  • Rolf Harris visited the school for a second time.
  • Test Cricketers Dennis Lillee, Rod Marsh and Terry Alderman visited the school.


  • Sir Ninian Stephens and Lady Stephens, Governor General of Australia visited the school.


  • Kalgoorlie School of the Air commemorated 25 years of education in the outback. Mr Ian Taylor MLA, Honorary minister for Health unveiled a plaque which read “Seek the Best”.


  • Junior’s camp was introduced.
  • 3 Kalgoorlie SOTA students were given the opportunity to travel to Japan with North Kalgoorlie Primary School.


  • 29th January 1991 – Kalgoorlie School of the Air made the long-awaited move from Hampden Street South Kalgoorlie to the Lorna Mitchell Centre in Boulder.
  • School upgrades were made, 2 air conditioners were added, vertical blinds were put on all windows and repairs were made to the floors and cracks in the walls.
  • A new telephone system was installed, providing teachers access to phones in their own rooms.


  • Students from year 5 upwards were equipped with Apple Macintosh Computers and modems to link their home computers with the computers at school.


  • Home tutor seminar was cancelled due to potential bush fire threat.
  • Electives were offered for the first time with chess, photography, knitting, cartooning and first aid.


  • Morris Gleitzman visited Kalgoorlie SOTA.
  • The library became automated with 1600 books entered into the system.


  • The school made the change from Apple Macintosh to IBM computers.


  • Kalgoorlie School of the Air celebrated 40 years of education in the outback.
  • The 1st magazine was produced in colour.


  • Satellite internet was introduced, dishes and hardware were installed but radio was not completely stopped as there were teething problems with the satellite.


  • West Coast Eagles Drew Banfield and Jaymie Graham visited with the AFL Premiership Cup.


  • Online lessons were moved from the old Sat Web system to Centra.


  • A school classroom building was built.
  • A Richter magnitude 5.0 earthquake caused damage to the school building and major damage to other historical buildings in Boulder.


  • Kalgoorlie School of the Air celebrated 50 years of education in the outback.

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