GREAT BUNCH: Alice Springs School of the Air students (back row, left to right) Emma Porter, Kyra James, Grace McCormack and (front row) Bailey Brooks, Darcy McKnight, Christopher Goodyear, Malcolm Campbell, Hanna Goodyear with Mel Phillips.
GREAT BUNCH: Alice Springs School of the Air students (back row, left to right) Emma Porter, Kyra James, Grace McCormack and (front row) Bailey Brooks, Darcy McKnight, Christopher Goodyear, Malcolm Campbell, Hanna Goodyear with Mel Phillips. HANNAH MILLERICK

Govie's Muster a vital fundrasier

FOR the past 20 years, show time in Alice Springs has meant more than just a trip to town for governesses working in the Northern Territory.

Since 1997, on the Friday evening of the annual show, the Govie's Muster has been held - an event that now attracts around 400 people.

A governess is a home tutor who supervises and assists children doing their school through distance education.

The role is normally located on remote properties that are long distances away from traditional schools.

Alice Springs School of the Air principal Mel Phillips said she was looking forward to this year's anniversary event, which will be held at the Gillen Club on July 7 from 6.30pm.

"We will have auctions, live music and there will be a mechanical bull,” she said.

There will also be a Wrangler Butt competition for the brave lads and ladies who are keen to enter their bum in a competition.

Mel has been involved with the Govie's Muster for four years now and was proud to state last year the muster raised $20,000 for the Alice Springs School of the Air - vital funding for a school with 144 students.

"As we can't have a school fete for our school, because it's all done through distance education, this is our major fundraiser,” she said.

Station families, managers, owners, ringers, and cooks, as well as livestock agents (and governesses of course) will travel up to 1000km to join the event.

There will even be some govies making the trek from Oodnadatta in South Australia.

Organising the night is a mammoth feat.

"We actually plan the night over a six-month period,” she said.

"So one govie might be 1000km away but they are still organising all the merchandise.

"We get together on our video conferencing tool the kids use for their education.”

She said it was a true joy to watch country families meet and have a wonderful night.

"The kids just love it. It's a real family event.”



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