Boarding student, 12, locked out of Sydney school
THE ongoing border closure could cut short 12-year-old Goondiwindi girl Bridie Cover's prized scholarship at a prestigious Sydney school.
The high-achieving Year 7 student received a Yalari Indigenous Scholarship to Kambala School in Sydney's Rose Bay, where she is the only boarder from Queensland.
Bridie's parents Darren Cover and Dale Mailman brought their daughter home early to scrape in the day before mandatory hotel quarantine started.
Mr Cover said his daughter could return to NSW, but she would have to either stay indefinitely or spend her school holidays alone in quarantine.
"She's stuck doing schooling online, which she's had a bit of a gutful of by now, so it's been a hectic initiation into boarding school," Mr Cover said.
"We really want her to get back to school - it's her first year there.
"She's only in Year 7, it's giving her so many opportunities which aren't available locally."
Ms Mailman said they aimed to get Bridie back to Kambala School for Term 4, despite no guarantees of a change in border protocol.
"We normally drive her to Moree and put her on the plane to Sydney airport there, but we aren't allowed to do that either without quarantining ourselves," she said.
"It's a lot for someone so young to deal with, but we'll just have to hope changes come into place by the time the Christmas holidays come around."
Member for Southern Downs James Lister was sympathetic to Bridie's plight, and pushed state parliament to get an exemption for her and other NSW boarders.
"The directive says students travelling to Queensland are exempt from needing to quarantine, but it is silent on Queenslanders who have kids going to NSW," Mr Lister said.
"I gave a speech in parliament, and I've written a few letters, but it's just been a slow process - we need to crack the whip and get our issues under the CHO's nose."