Ken and Sheena - Living the Dream! travel blog

Telegraph Station Alice Springs

Telegraph Station

This is the 'Spring' that Alice Springs was named after but it...

The 'Spring' that isn't a spring

View over Telegraph Station from nearby hill

Few wallabies keep an eye on us as we wander through the...

Small cemetry where some were buried - as these people were in...

View over Alice Springs from Memorial Hill

What a lovely caravan park – we feel like we are in paradise. We have grass instead of red dirt and the abolition block is so clean and spacious. We have not had too many complaints about the places we have stayed in but this one is definitely one of the better ones.

This morning we had a wander around town having a look in the shops and in a heritage building called the residency. This was the Governor General’s house and among their distinguished guests were Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. It was so funny because apparently they had to renovate the building because there was no way Elizabeth or Phillip could possibly share a bathroom with anyone else so they had to close in part of the wrap around verandah and turn them into his and her bathrooms. Ken wanted me to let you all know that he touched the light switch that Queen Elizabeth also touched.

In the afternoon we went out to what was the Alice Springs Telegraph Station from late 1800’s to about 1935 and then became a residency for half caste Aborigines until they had to be evacuated due to the war. This was a fantastic experience as we have been reading the book ‘ Alice on the Line’ written by Doris Bradshaw who lived at the Telegraph station for 9 years as a child so visiting the Station really made history come alive for us. The other bonus for us was that there was a guide who was one of the Aboriginal children who had lived there at a later time (one of the ‘Stolen Generation’) which gave us a further insight to the area. He was such a character and so positive about the time he spent there – as he said if he had not been taken from his 15 year old mother and brought there he would not be alive today and would not have had the opportunities he had had.

After we returned to town we were walking through town when all of a sudden Ken uttered something then off he went – where to I had no idea. Once I caught up with him he explained that he had seen a car pulling a trailer with signage on it advertising the Alice Springs Steiner School. Ken accosted the young man driving and asked him where the Steiner School was. On the way home we stopped in there and a man (who turned out to be the Business Manager of the school) showed us very proudly around the school. They were in the middle of replacing the transportables currently in place with rammed earth buildings and whilst they were definitely an improvement I was very saddened as I felt as thought the Steiner principles were not really being adhered to in these new buildings. All of the new rooms had stainless steel bench tops and the cupboards underneath were steel framed with laminex sides and doors. One of the rooms we were shown was the Playgroup room and it was HUGE – did not at all feel like our rooms at PWS. And in Class 1 they had friezes above the very small black boards showing the alphabet in capital lettering - almost poster like and the blackboard work was very poor. I realize (yet again) how wonderful our Steiner classrooms are and how lucky we are to have staff who know and value the reasons behind why the classes are designed and set out in the way that they are. And if this was just the classrooms how were the lessons being presented to the children? - made me very homesick for PWS (Perth Waldorf School)!!! And not just me – Ken felt the difference too. We understand that given the distance this school is from anywhere it must be really hard to acquire appropriate materials but there still seemed to be some fundamental things missing.

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