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What does the World's longest fence and Calrossy have in common?

The Mayo family are a household of six living and working on the dingo fence, while their two eldest children are receiving a Calrossy education. Harvey, 14, and 13-year-old Stella are students of Calrossy’s distance education program called eCalrossy.

Their home base at the Smithville Outpost is a long way from the Country Music Capital, indeed it is a long way from most places. The Mayos live 280 kilometres north of Broken Hill, the closest town. It’s nearly a four-hour drive all on dirt roads.

“Isolated would be one word to describe where we reside,” says mum, Lauren.

“It takes about 12 hours to get to Tamworth and for our two eldest children Harvey, Year 8 and Stella, Year 7, to attend eCalrossy residentials. This is Harvey’s second year attending the school and Stella’s first year,” Lauren explains.

“Despite the travel distance, we feel that eCalrossy gives us our children the best possible education despite our remote location.”

Her husband Dan is the Operations Manager for the Border Fence Maintenance Board and is responsible for the day to day running and the overseeing of all the employees who work on and maintain the dingo fence. The fence which stretches across Queensland and South Australia and skirts around the New South Wales crosses a staggering 5,600 kilometres.

Before attending eCalrossy, all the Mayo children attended School of the Air via Broken Hill.

“They would get a couple of online lessons daily, but most of the teaching and guidance came from myself. This is another reason why eCalrossy appealed to us. All the instruction is provided by the Calrossy teachers online with only the occasional homework question needing to be looked at by either myself or my husband - just as would happen in a ‘normal’ school /home setting,” says Lauren.

The Mayos were deciding  where to send Harvey as he entered his high school journey when they found out about eCalrossy at Ag Fair in Broken Hill.

“For us it provides the best of both worlds. Our children get to stay on the property with us, enjoying the outback lifestyle of feeding animals, swimming in the dam and riding motorbikes whilst still getting a top quality secondary education. Our youngest daughter Odette was born just last year so it has also given Harvey and Stella the ability to stay at home and watch her grow instead of having to be away at boarding school straight away,” Lauren says.

Stella and Harvey agree that eCalrossy is great.

“We definitely prefer eCalrossy from our primary distance education as we get to see our classmates and teachers for most of the school day and receive feedback straight away rather than having to wait,” Stella says.

“I like that at eCalrossy we get all our schoolwork done with our teachers, we don’t just have a quick lesson online then have to go and do it ourselves. We can ask questions as we go,” says Harvey.

The pair are also loving the residential sessions in Tamworth where the practical components of the curriculum are taught, from science and woodwork to PDHPE. They also provide the opportunity for lots of fun.

“Residential sessions are the best! We love being able to meet our peers in person and love doing all the hands on things as well as all the outings!,” says Harvey.

Calrossy also appealed to the Mayos for another very important reason.

“The other benefit for us is that Calrossy provides a Christian education. I attended an Anglican all-girls school in Toowoomba Queensland for my own secondary education and am a licensed Liturgical Assistant for the Anglican Church of Australia. Religion is an important part of our family.”

“It is amazing that these values are represented and embraced by the School.”

“It is our hope that both Harvey and Stella will move onto boarding school at Calrossy, having already become familiar with teachers, students and School values and ideals. Our two younger girls, Evelyn, Year 3 and Odette, 8 months, still have a bit to go but we would not hesitate to go down the same route for secondary school or even earlier with them,” she explains.