Jo Callaghan

Jo Callaghan

My time in the Teacher Flying Squad was packed with adventure. From nightly thunder and lightning shows in the Kimberley to prospecting for gold in the Midwest – I had the most incredible year!

Jo Callaghan shares some of her stories about working in the Teacher Flying Squad. What will you experience?

Term 1, 2022 – Derby District High School

My first placement was in Derby, a small coastal town 2 hours from Broome. It was my first time teaching a combined Year 3 and 4 class and the Derby District High School staff were really supportive. They supplied me with a detailed plan and had specialist teachers available to help. The school is a part of the Kimberley Schools Project and this experience allowed me to broaden my skills and learn new teaching strategies to meet the learning needs of my students.

Aboriginal art and cultural items including boomerangs and didgeridoos that are on display at the Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre in Derby.

One of the exhibits at the Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre, Derby.

Outside of school, I took every opportunity to explore the incredible wildlife, flora and local history of the Kimberley. I spent my evenings watching amazing lightning and thunder shows unfold across the sky. I drove to Broome to see the famous ‘Staircase to the Moon’ and went fishing for the first time in my life. I caught a barramundi!


Image shows the outside of the Sun Pictures outdoor cinema gardens in Broome, at night. The building is made from corrugated tin and has a double triangular peaked roof. Between the peaks is an illuminated sign that says "Sun Pictures". The lower half of the building has signs, movie posters and a double wooden door on the left to enter.

Sun Pictures outdoor movie cinema in Broome.

Terms 2 to 4, Meekatharra District High School

Next, I was off to Meekatharra District High School, teaching a combined Pre-primary and Year 1 class. As an early childhood educator, I really enjoyed being able to meet and teach the youngest students at the school.  

When I arrived at the school, I had 2 days of professional learning about teaching the school’s literacy program. I was given the opportunity to be a part of school planning with the staff and tasked with purchasing new early childhood learning resources. It felt good to be able to use my years of teaching experience to make a positive contribution to the school community.

I went to Karijini National Park on a long weekend to experience stunning gorges and waterfalls. I took weekend trips to explore landscapes and waterholes. Meekatharra has a rich history of gold mining, starting back in the 1890’s. I tried my luck at prospecting and even found some gold!

Natural landscape formation in orange rock called 'London Bridge'. A tree stands in front of the bridge on the left hand side and there are some large orange boulders on the ground. Through the arch of the bridge, the view to the horizon is fairly flat with small trees and shrubs. The sky is a brilliant blue.

London Bridge, one of the amazing natural formations in the Midwest region.

I was really enjoying teaching and living in Meekatharra, so I was glad when I was asked to stay for the rest of the year.

If you want to travel across WA and meet some unique people along the way, join the Teacher Flying Squad. I had the chance to learn about the history and culture of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and expand my teaching practice. There are so many opportunities to experience new things, both professionally and personally.

Get started on your own adventure. Apply now for the Teacher Flying Squad.