Welcome to the School of Isolated and Distance Education’s celebration of 100 years of distance education in Western Australia. Throughout this Centenary year we will celebrate the contribution of the many teachers who have worked to deliver a quality education to countless rural and isolated students, made possible with the invaluable support of their families.

In 1918, when the Minister for Education, Mr (later Sir) Hal Colebatch, established correspondence classes for outback children, he had little idea of the way in which enrolments in these classes would grow to provide educational programs for rural and isolated students in diverse situations, and that these programs would be so responsive to the changing needs of students in WA.

Western Australian distance education schools have responded to the educational needs of children by creating innovative teaching programs which have always made use of available technologies; from, in 1918, handwritten and manually-typed print materials reproduced on gel duplicators, with two to six week turnarounds of student work through the postal service, to web-based computer face-to-face lessons and the downloading and uploading of lesson materials and student work in 2018.

Please join us in discovering the history of distance education in Western Australia, as our year-long celebrations of the students and staff, past and present, unfold on the SIDE Centenary website.