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About Katherine School of the Air

Katherine School of the Air (KSA) has been operating for over 50 years, starting from teaching on radio frequencies to a completely digital platform. KSA celebrates the very historical moments that have occurred over the last 5 decades! Have a look below.


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. Student 35, Principal and 1 Teacher

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

3.KSA on radio.jpg


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

Issue and marking of correspondence sets commenced with a student count of 267

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.

1977 - New KSA Building.jpg


Official Opening of the new building is held on 15th August with Honourable J Robertson the Minster for Education carrying out the opening ceremony. On-air visitors for the ceremony were HRH Princess Alexandra, her husband Mr. Angus Ogilvy and Governor-General Sir Zelman Cowen.

1978 - Building Opening.jpg


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

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 comments. 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. 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. 217 Students, Principal and 16 Teachers.

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 digital and data team

192 Students, Principal and Assistant Principal.

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 Farnhamm sang "Your The Voice" 

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. Mini schools/camps were introduced as well as the annual camp.

1991 - Tourist Established.jpg


Year 6 and 7 Excursion Victoria & Tasmania Discover Tour was the first time most students had seen snow. Students 253, Principal, 21 Teachers and 9 Administration staff.

1994 - Tasmania Excursion.jpg


First Swim School week is 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 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


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

248 Students, Principal, 11 Primary Teachers, 5 Middle Years Teachers, 4 Flexible Learning Teachers, 1 Community Engagement Teacher, 3 Tutors and 7 Administration Staff.

2012 - Flexiable Learning Unit.JPG


Celebrated 50 years in distance education.

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

2016 - 50th Anniversary.JPG


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

2017 - Linked Learng Projects.jpg


Sattelite 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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