Student Reflections

My teachers over the 2 years I spent at The River School have changed my life and I just want to say thank you to all of them.

I think the reason The River School came into my life was to find me but when I think about it, I feel like The River School came into my life just to give me an idea of who I am, because we’re always finding out new things about ourselves.

We are all unique and different and that’s what makes life awesome and meaningful because we are always meeting new people and none of them are the same and that’s what makes The River School great – because they accept us for who we are and you can be yourself.

An extract from Hayden’s Graduation Speech 2020

Hayden Miller

Graduated Year 6, 2020

Thanks to my wonderful mum I was able to attend the River School for my entire primary schooling. For me, The River School facilitated the necessary openness and focus on different types of learning and intelligence that I needed to feel valued and grow as a person both academically, emotionally and creatively. I found support and inspiration from some wonderful teachers, especially Ann Donoghue and have lasting friendships with some of my piers. I still have fond memories of creek time, climbing the ice-cream bean tree and running up that bumpy oval! 

After the River School I attended Maleny State High school where I focused on visual arts and music. I am now in my fourth year at the University of Queensland, studying a bachelor of arts, majoring in Anthropology and Art History and a Diploma in Global issues. Last year I was given the opportunity to travel to Mexico for a semester of student exchange. I am currently taking some time off from my studies to work as a gallery/studio assistant at IIkuntji Artists, an Aboriginal art center located in Central Australia. Thanks to The River School and the wonderful community of Maleny, I was, and continue to be inspired and supported to turn my dreams into reality and think outside of the box!

Nisa Ritchie

Graduated Year 7, 2006

My combined passion of animals and sports really thrived at the River School from the abundance of freedom and support. This gave me the confidence to pursue whatever I wanted and I am now a volunteer at Australia Zoo hoping to work with the reptiles. 

Bradley Stanley

Graduated Year 7, 2009

I came to the River School halfway through year three. The move was a decision made by my parents and me with the hope of a more harmonious school environment than my previous. I remember feeling instantly welcome in my new classroom and that feeling never left. As a peer group, we had many different interests and areas of achievement and yet I never felt inadequate or unsuccessful. I believe during my time at the River School, each child was considered a leader. My strengths were acknowledged and nurtured which allowed me the resilience to persist within the areas I found more difficult. I was never afraid to fail because I was willed to see my worth as a human as much as a student. Within that environment, I felt safe and secure and I think for a kid to make and reach their goals, that’s where it all starts.

These days, I’m working towards a career in Psychology with a focus on geriatric mental health.

Daphne Wootton

It taught me everything a primary school is meant to: self confidence, respect for others, virtues, how to play, have an open mind and how to love. Now I’m studying physics at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. 

Ivy Fischer

I was fortunate enough to be able attend the River School through my formative years as it helped to form who I am today. 

With all the freedom and acceptance to be whoever we wanted without any discrimination, having both great teachers and a supportive community to help when needed gave me all the skills to move to Brisbane city where I attended high school, whilst here I realised I had a passion for flying. 

Coming from somewhere which taught me I could be anything if I put my mind to it, I ended up pursuing a career in aviation and becoming a pilot.

I am now working down in Tasmania working for Par-Avion as both a charter pilot and flight instructor. I get to enjoy some of the best views in Australia on a daily basis and I love my job.


My time at the River School taught me that we all have a place as equals in this diverse world, and that we can all contribute to bettering it with our unique skill sets. My teachers instilled in me the courage to live authentically and continue my career as a Police officer during the times that I’ve felt at odds with my colleagues and organisation. I don’t think I’d have as strong a sense of self if I’d gone to another school.

Mairead Devlin


We have had the pleasure of two of our children attending Warrior Camp (Year 6 River School Camp) over the last two years.  It is hard to put in words how amazing and life changing this Camp is. The experiences they go through and the knowledge and skills they walk away with are many and so important.

Their understanding of themselves and others, along with their confidence and emotional literacy grew beyond measure.  James, Kirsty and their mentors are truly champions of change and growth and their passion and skills are plain to see.

This Camp helps to fill a gap in Western culture, where we no longer have or celebrate 'coming of age' with our young people. We cannot recommend Kirsty and James and this Camp highly enough.

Sarah Biddlecombe


With heartfelt love and gratitude we say goodbye to The River School.  We will cherish our time spent at The River School and all the experiences and love the school gave to our whole family.

The Elysee Family


Our son’s experience at The River School for grades 5 and 6 changed his life. The love, kindness and wisdom he received from the incredible staff led to a beautiful transformation where he felt safe, happy and free to be himself. To quote him in his graduation speech, “I’d like to thank my teachers for the best two years of my life.”  We are so grateful.

Belinda Pendergast


Quick Links

Latest school events

There are always so many exciting and enriching events and activities happening at The River School. Take a look at some of the latest news from around school and beyond...

Contact Information

The River School
251 Bridge Creek Road  (PO Box 411)  Maleny QLD 4552
Primary School: (07) 5494 3559
admin@riverschool.com.au (Primary School)

Early Childhood: (07) 5499 9359
rsecc@riverschool.com.au (Early Childhood)


Latest school events

There are always so many exciting and enriching events and activities happening at The River School. Take a look at some of the latest news from around school and beyond...

Contact Information

The River School
251 Bridge Creek Road  (PO Box 411)  Maleny QLD 4552
Primary School: (07) 5494 3559
Early Childhood Centre: (07) 5499 9359