Frances’ elementary school students’ super excited ‘to see family and travel to Adelaide as restrictions with Victoria’s ease



Students at Frances Primary School can see the Victorian border from their oval, and after months of border closures, they are celebrating the easing of restrictions.

After 18 months of restrictions, South Australia relaxed its rules for travelers from Victoria at midnight on Tuesday.

The small South Australian town of Frances is a few miles from the border, and locals are “very, very happy” that travel restrictions have been relaxed.

7th year student William Pfitzner lives 400 yards from the border on the Victorian side.

“It has been quite difficult for us as Victorians because of this border closure,” he said.

“It was difficult for us to have shearers, so we were struggling.”

William Pfitzner says he is “very, very happy” with the changes in border restrictions. (ABC Sud-Est SA: Becc Chave)

William said he now felt “free”.

For sixth-year student Harvey Koch, his family of five decided to move to South Australia in June.

“We have been living with my grandmother for two months and we have been moving to BnB for five months and two days.

“[My sister] Lucy is boarded in Adelaide, so we had to stay on the South African side to take her to school. “

Harvey said his family also had to travel to Adelaide frequently for medical and sports appointments.

Two boys in red uniforms looking down as they work on a project
Harvey Koch (left) and Will Pfitzner hope that easing border restrictions will make their daily lives easier. (ABC Sud-Est SA: Becc Chave)

“We’ve been in Adelaide every weekend for the past six weeks,” he said.

Upcoming family reunions

Student Evie Koch said she was very excited to see her family now that border restrictions have eased.

“It is a great relief for me because now I can see a lot of my family who are across the border,” she said.

A girl in a red school uniform looks down.  class behind her
Evie Koch says she is “super excited” to see her grandmother this weekend.(ABC Sud-Est SA: Becc Chave)

Evie said it had been about a year since she saw some of her family.

“It’s really hard to know that one of my aunts is really sick and I couldn’t see her.

“My Nana is supposed to come down this Saturday and it will be really nice to see her. I’m super excited.”

A group of students in red uniforms gathered around a mosaic
The students worked on a mosaic of Frances to hang in their art class.(ABC Sud-Est SA: Becc Chave)

It was a similar story for Matthew Bird.

“We have a lot of families in Adelaide and Canberra,” he said.

“This school is their school”

Frances Progress Association secretary Mel Jordan, whose child attends school, said border restrictions had “divided the community.”

“There are so many people who are here and have been a part of this community their entire lives, who live on the other side of this invisible line,” she said.

A red wooden sign reading "Françoise primary school" with buildings and basketball court in the background
The township is only a few kilometers from the border with Victoria. (ABC Sud-Est SA: Grace Whiteside)

“It was incredibly difficult for a lot of people.

“There was no doubt what state you came from, you were only a resident of the Frances community.”

Ms Jordan said it was particularly difficult to explain the situation to children.

“This school is their school, it is where they have always attended,” she said.

“It has been very difficult for people to try to explain to them that at different times over the past 18 months they have not been able to come to school.

“They must have missed access to education, they must have missed the social side of seeing their friends or playing sports.”

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to search, up and down arrows for volume.
Play the video.  Length: 7 minutes 23 seconds

Go abroad? Here’s what you need to know

Loading form …



Comments are closed.