In early February 2019, North Queensland experienced an unprecedented flood event which impacted over 3,000 properties, including a total of 61 state schools.
The hardest hit of these state schools was Oonoonba State School in the Townsville suburb of Idalia, which accommodates close to 500 students from Prep to Year 6.
Following the floods, Oonoonba State School operated on a ‘school within a school basis’, so that students stayed within their class groups at either Wulguru State School or William Ross State High School while rectification works were carried out.
Just 2 months after the Townsville Floods, Oonoonba State School students and staff returned to their classrooms thanks to the completion of essential work to repair and restore the school for the start of Term 2, 2019.
These works included the removal and installation of new wall linings and installation, replacement of flooring and air-conditioning units, installation of new fencing, resurfacing multi-purpose courts, repainting over 130 doors and refilling 5 sandpits.
The support of the local community made it all possible with local trades people, staff, parents and officers from the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Public Works coming together to support the school.
In addition, the Department of Education also provided critical disaster funding assistance for students and school staff impacted by the floods. Funding was made available for school staff and families at all affected North Queensland state schools to assist in replacing essential educational resources.