Pretty mountains, an open sky and animal sounds are just a few of the things Year 7 student, Ava, enjoys about living in a remote area.
Ava lives almost 7 hours from Melbourne on two farms. One in a locality called Goongerah, and one in Dellicknora.
With the closest small shop at least an hour’s drive away, Ava’s family try to be as self-sufficient as possible.
The family has chickens and ducks that lay eggs and they also produce their own vegetables.
‘We grow potatoes, cabbages, apples, pears, leeks, plums, berries, lettuce and onions. Dad and mum both make sauerkraut and dad has invented “leekkraut” – it’s similar to sauerkraut but with leeks.
‘We also make a lot of jams and preserves and mum makes some yoghurts and cheeses from the cows’ milk,’ enthused Ava.
Living so remotely means there are very few other children living close by. Her daily companions are her sister and pet dogs, cat and peacock.
Ava enjoys connecting with other VSV students through class lessons and VSV’s Games and Book clubs. She is also an active member of the Student Representative Council.
Ava and her family make a four-hour trip each weekend to Canberra so Ava can see her grandparents and friends, and attend iceskating/roller skating, swimming and circus classes.
Now in her second year at VSV, Ava said that one of the challenges of online learning in a remote location can be unreliable wifi and mobile reception.
‘Sometimes I need to walk around with my phone to find the best spot to talk to my teacher,’ she explained.
While Ava is now very comfortable with online learning, she said that in the beginning she thought, “how do I do this?”
‘It can take time to get used to new technology, but my teacher and my mum and dad helped me a lot with it,’ she said.
‘It’s important to be patient with yourself when you learn something new.’
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