'Working from the boot of a red falcon':The impact of major fires in four Australian schools

  • Adele Nye UNE


When a major fire occurs in a school, the impact can be felt for years to come. How the school community rebuilds depends on strong leadership and the resilience of the members of that community. This article explores the stories of four Australian schools, two rural NSW schools, Kelso High School and Oxley High School and two urban schools; Lyneham Public School, in Canberra, ACT and St Clair High school in Sydney. The research draws from qualitative interviews with school leaders as well as textual sources such as newspapers, social media and departmental documents. Through a comparative lens, the story of determined principals, teachers, students and parents is revealed. In each case the school emerges from significant misfortune to become a stronger school driven by a shared determination.