In March 2017, Deborah Schiel Zaini started a group on Facebook looking for like-minded parents and teachers. Parents and teachers in Innisfail who wanted alternatives to the State and Catholic/Christian schools available in the area.
The Innisfail Forest School Incorporated association was created in May 2017 (IA56913) and was registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission ABN 30 658 029 240.
In June 2017 Mel Bowman-Finn helped to secure a site for our school at Dundee Park, Mission Beach; Julie Abbott, Elizabeth Cockroft and Despina Parakas joined our group soon after and helped to prepare our application to the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board (NSSAB).
Our incorporated association was renamed ‘Cassowary Coast Community Campus Inc‘ in July 2017.
Beck Altaffer, Dianne Cole, as well as Melissa Thomson from Gooragan Steiner and Allan and Jenene from ISQ assisted us along the way and in March 2018 the NSSAB granted accreditation to The Rainforest School (formerly Cassowary Coast Community Campus) for primary education on the school site located at Dundee Park, Mission Beach.
The Cassowary Coast Region stretches from Innisfail in the north to Cardwell in the south. It includes the townships of Tully and Mission Beach. The estimated resident population is 30,000.
Cassowary Coast Community Campus Inc aims to establish one or more small community schools in the Cassowary Coast Region, inspired by Montessori, Steiner, Forest Learning and Nature Play philosophies.
Our schools will be run by teachers and parents directly involved with the school and governed by members of the local and school community.
Our schools will remain small with student numbers capped around 30, ten students per mixed-aged group, per teacher/teacher-aide, like a large extended family. Should there be demand for expansion, another small campus will be established in a neighbouring town rather than increase the size of the main school.
Our school buildings will ideally be small sustainable buildings, independent in water and waste services, and power supply; and will be set in an acre or more of regenerated/remnant rainforest, essential for our outdoor education program.
Visit https://trs.qld.edu.au/ for more information about our first school.