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Community supporting Steph’s veterinary dream

Friday 10 January 2020

A regional South Australian student’s dream of becoming a vet is one step closer thanks to the support of teachers from schools hundreds of kilometres away. 

Stephanie Redden feeding animals in regional South Australia

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Stephanie Redden studied Stage 2 subjects in Biology, Chemistry, English, and Mathematical Methods at Streaky Bay Area School. 

The 18-year-old was taught by teachers from Tumby Bay Area School, Cleve Area School, and Open Access College for Chemistry, Mathematical Methods, and Biology respectively. 

For Chemistry and Mathematical Methods, Steph was taught once a week via video conferencing, while her teachers made the near 600km round-trip to her school once a term for face-to-face meetings. 

This arrangement is part of the Eyre Peninsula Schools Local Delivery program – which provides students in all schools across the Eyre Peninsula access to a wider range of subjects than what’s offered at their own school. 

“On any given day I would have a maximum of two lessons, and on Wednesdays I would have no lessons at all, so I studied alone for 28 lessons, but I knew that if I wanted to be a vet I had to do it,” Steph said. 

“I would have lessons via Skype and sometimes it was good because I had the rest of the week to work on the work I had been given, but it also challenging if I got stuck, I would have to re-watch the video lessons. 

“But the teachers from Cleve and Tumby Bay were great, our relationships developed over time and they were helpful and upbeat. 

“While it has been a huge challenge, it’s also great that I could study these subjects at Streaky Bay without having to go to another school. You have to follow your goal, it’s been hard but I have got there.” 

Karen Box, Streaky Bay Area School’s SACE coordinator, said local delivery was an excellent model for Eyre Peninsula students because it supports secondary schools to work together to deliver a more comprehensive SACE curriculum. 

“Steph has become very familiar with the local delivery model over the last two years and has shown great commitment and tenacity to this collaborative way of learning from outstanding teachers, from other sites on the Eyre Peninsula,” Karen said. 

“Students not only get to see their teachers each week on the screen, but also meet them at least once a term, face-to-face, to support their learning.” 

Steph hopes to study a veterinary course at the University of Adelaide, as she works towards her dream of becoming her local community’s vet.