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.
- Travel restrictions have been in place between South Australia and Victoria for 18 months
- Some families of Frances say they chose to move to South Africa because crossing the border was too difficult
- Students at Frances Primary School said they were delighted to be able to see their family members again
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.
âIt has been quite difficult for us as Victorians because of this border closure,â he said.
“It was difficult for us to have shearers, so we were struggling.”
William said he now felt “free”.
For sixth-year student Harvey Koch, his family of five decided to move to South Australia in June.
âWe 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.
âWe’ve been in Adelaide every weekend for the past six weeks,â 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.
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.”
It was a similar story for Matthew Bird.
âWe have a lot of families in Adelaide and Canberra,â 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.
âIt 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.
âIt 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.”
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