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About Katherine School of the Air

Katherine School of the Air (KSA) has been operating for over 55 years, starting from teaching on radio frequencies to a completely digital platform. KSA celebrates some of the historical moments that have occurred over the last 5 decades!


Building History 

KSA History Timeline


The first School of the Air gymkhana was held at Victoria River Costello yards on November 26th.

the event attracted 40 riders with a crowd of over 150.The gymkhanas’ were run annually until 1981.

Principal, 1 teacher and 35 students.

1972 - Gymkhana photo taken 1978.jpg


Katherine School of the Air was situated at Second Street, Katherine. The studio commenced operating on 14th June, 1966 but first radio contact was not made until 12th September when Mr. Ron White, Teacher in Charge, contacted Theresa Chegwidden of Mount Wells Battery.

Principal and 8 students.

3.KSA on radio.jpg


Aerial patrols commenced with Mr. Ian McIver as Teacher/Pilot.

Issue and marking of correspondence sets commenced.

Principal, 11 teachers, 3 staff members and 267 students.

1974 - Lady in Print Room.jpg


The new school building on Giles Street adjacent to Clyde Fenton Primary School was completed and occupied.


Electives were introduced.

Principal, 13 teachers, 5 staff members and 236 students.

1977 - New KSA Building.jpg


The official opening of the new building is held on 15th August with Honourable J Robertson the Minster for Education carrying out the opening ceremony. 

Principal, 10 teachers, 5 staff members and 200 students.

1978 - Building Opening.jpg


Mother Teresa (Sisters of Mercy - Calcutta) visited KSA and spoke to children on-air and answered their many questions.

205 students.

1981 - Boy on Radio.jpg


The home loan video scheme commenced.

Singapore and Malaysia were visited as the first overseas excursion. 

211 students.

1982 - Video Home Loan.jpg


Studio video production commenced.

Trial programs start around satellite communication. First Inschool is held which included the first school Sports Day. 

200 students.

1983 - Sports Day.jpg


“Mail Bags” mailing service is introduced and is sponsored by the Connellan Trust.

Principal, 15 teachers and 180 students.

1984 - Mail Bags Introduced.jpg


Pope’s Flying Visit – Pope John Paul II spoke to three Katherine School of the Air children from the plane as he flew to Alice Springs.


Principal, 16 teachers and 217 students.

1986 - Pop's Flying Visit.jpg


Grades 6 and 7 Excursion to World Expo Brisbane. School of Air is transmitted from the Expo site.

Building extension was added to house the IT team.

Principal, 17 teachers and 192 students.

1988 - World Expo.jpg


KSA fundraising venture "Bourke to Broome Bash" were held up at "Quarantine Checkpoint". KSA patrolled "Quarantine Checkpoint" at the Victoria River Crossing. Mr John Farnham took the "Quarantine Inspection" in good style, paid his donation. Peter Brock and other drivers spoke to KSA students on school radio set-up on site. John Farnham sang "Your The Voice" live over the radio.

The birth and debut of the KSA School Song, written by Terry Underwood.

1989 - Quartine Checkpoint.jpg


The KSA Tourist Room was established allowing visitors to the school to view teachers conducting On-Air lessons.


Minischools/camps were introduced as well as the annual camp.

Principal, 17 teachers, 7 staff members and 201 students.

1991 - Tourist Established.jpg


Year 6 and 7 Excursion to Victoria & Tasmania was the first time most students had seen snow.

Principal, 21 teachers, 9 staff members and 253 students.

1994 - Tasmania Excursion.jpg


The first Swim School week was held at the end of Term 4 and included a Christmas concert.

1995 - First Swim Week.jpg


The 30th Anniversary of Katherine School of the Air is held.

1996 - 30th Anniversary.jpg


27th January the second day of Term 1 the town of Katherine was flooded. A meter of water ran through the school. Teachers taught from their homes in the unaffected area of the town. School resumed as normal on 9th March.

1998 - Katherine Flood Salli Thomas Kate Haddow.jpg


 The official opening of the new library, mailroom and print room building was carried out in December.

2000 - New Buidling Opened.jpg


The Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) Trials begin.

2003 - IDL Trials Begin.jpg


A temporary IDL studio is set up. Radio lessons gradually begin to fade out and are ceased at the end of the year.

2005 - Student on Computer.jpg


The new Interactive Distance Learning Studio is officially opened in March.

2006 - IDL Studio Opened.jpg


Top Classroom opened.

The Prime Minister Julia Gillard was joined by Minster for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett MP, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills, Senator Chris Evans, Member for Lingiari, Warren Snowdon MP and NT Minister for Education and Training, Dr Christopher Bruce Burns.

2011 - Top Classroom Opened.jpg


The Flexible Learning team is introduced due to the need to cater for Middle Years students.

Principal, 16 teacher, 5 flexible learning teachers, 3 tutors, 7 staff members and  248 students.

2012 - Flexiable Learning Unit.JPG


Celebrated 50 years in distance education.

The time capsule was dug up and viewed with a new capsule being laid by current students.

Principal, 17 teachers, 2 tutors, 5 staff members and 170 students.

2016 - 50th Anniversary.JPG


Linked Learning Project course material is launched for Preschool to Year 6.

2017 - Linked Learng Projects.jpg


Satellite technology upgraded.

Microsoft Teams trial begin.

2019 - Satellite Installations.JPG


The main studio used for teaching online lessons is retired. The studio had been in operation since 1977.

Teaching areas are upgraded to facilitate new video conferencing software and the ability to teach any where. 

Microsoft Teams is implemented across the school.

2020  - Studio is retired.jpg


Technology upgrades enables teacher to conduct lessons from anywhere.

2021 - Teaching on Teams.JPG
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