New providers to continue services at camp schools and Landsdale Farm

Students and community groups from across the State will continue to enjoy six camp school sites and Landsdale Farm School, with new operators announced on Monday.

Family Support WA, founded in 1996 by parents and staff of Landsdale Farm School, has been selected to manage and operate the Landsdale facility.

The not-for-profit organisation will take over the running of the farm, providing programs and opportunities for students and people with disability by building strong relationships with special needs schools and disability services organisations.

Fairbridge WA has been selected to operate the six camp schools in Bridgetown, Dampier, Geraldton, Kalgoorlie, Pemberton and Point Peron.

The organisation specialises in camp accommodation and outdoor education, and has an emphasis on helping disadvantaged young people.

The Department of Education will contribute $250,000 per year to Fairbridge WA to ensure camping experiences remain consistent across all sites.

In December 2017 the State Government announced the Department of Education would cease funding the ongoing operations of six camp school sites and the Landsdale Farm School facility from 2019.

The announcement comes after funding was provided by the Federal Government to continue services at Moora Residential College last week.

Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery said the reason for the initial cuts to the camps was because it was not a core business of the Department of Education.

“Camp school sites and the Landsdale Farm School facility are resources for schools, not schools themselves, and not the core business of the Department of Education,” Minister Ellery said.

"While they are much loved and valued, they are not solely used by schools.

“They are also used extensively by the public, including sporting and community groups, and in the case of the Landsdale facility, a majority of visits were outside school hours.”

She said Family Support WA and Fairbridge WA are ‘fantastic’ fits for the roles.