BRYCE Voll's trip to school is not for the faint-hearted.
It involves a seven-hour drive, equating to about 600 kilometres, from Normanton to Cairns followed by a flight from Cairns to Rockhampton, or often Cairns to Brisbane.
It is a sacrifice the Year 7 boarder and his parents are willing to make to give him the best education possible.
This week, May 14 to 20, marks National Boarding Week and it highlights the commitments of country and rural parents, like Bryce's, to give their children every opportunity in education.
For his parents, Sandra and Andrew Voll, managers of Oakland Park Station, an 85,000-hectare beef grazing operation at Normanton in the Gulf, sending their son Bryce to St Brendan's College as a Year 7 boarder is all about opportunities.
"When you are living in small remote community like ours, often your children don't have a lot of interaction with others, and we wanted to make sure our children have every opportunity to experience other things,” Sandra said. "We love Normanton State School and education is hugely important, but the diversity of opportunity and the extra-curricular activities like Cattle Club and Rodeo Club are why we chose St Brendan's College.
"Bryce is loving boarding. He's already been out with a mate and he's enjoying his involvement in Cattle Club and Rodeo Club.”
As part of his Cattle Club activities, Bryce recently attended the Caves Show near Rockhampton and took out a second place ribbon in Junior Paraders, and will also travel to other central Queensland shows including Biloela, Ridgelands and Mt Larcom.
St Brendan's College principal Nick Scully said it was these opportunities for personal development that brought rural students into regional areas.
"St Brendan's College has a reputation for providing a strong education, but it is our focus on the development of the whole person, and the opportunities we give our young men to experience a range of activities and develop a sense of belonging and family that we pride ourselves on,” Mr Scully said.