What started out as a one year plan has turned into a long-term lifestyle for one local teacher.
Caritas College principal Damian Smith said he only ever intended to work in a country town for one year before heading back to the city.
He said he grew up "living and breathing country life" and wanted a taste of living in the city, but the job market had other plans for him when he graduated from university.
"I thought I had worked too hard at uni to play the TRT (temporary relief teacher) game," Mr Smith said.
"A job in Roxby Downs caught my attention and I thought I'd put my hat in the ring for that one."
Mr Smith said he had a fabulous time as an educator, and the support he was shown by both the school and the community kept him around.
"I only ever intended to go for one year," he said.
"It pulled me in to stay for another year, then another, then another.
"What started off as a one year trial has turned into a 15 year adventure that continues to roll on and I love it."
Before he knew it, he had stayed in Roxby for six years and had developed a loyalty to country schooling that made him want to give something back.
Mr Smith went on to be the principal of the catholic school in Peterborough for over seven years, ending up at Caritas College at the start of 2018.
He said something that has stuck with him in his time as an educator in country towns is the deeper relationship rural teachers have with the community.
Part of that, he said, was the "degree of humanity" he found in getting to know people's stories beyond just their names and their faces.
"I find it very meaningful that you see so many of your students and their families outside of a school setting and they see you," he said.
"School doesn't become a transactional endeavour where you drop your kids off and pick them up at the end of the day.
"It means much more to them and it means much more to us."
Mr Smith said it was a similar situation for the students.
"I think it's a great space for young people to learn who they are and to be a part of a community," he said.
"And just to develop some worldly views in a very safe and nurturing way.
"I'm very passionate about living and working in the country, it gives you so many opportunities to build meaningful relationships with students, staff and the broader community."
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