of the Region
Gladstone High School is a small country High School in the Mid North of South Australia. Enrolments are currently approximately 215 students (year 8 to 12) drawn from a large rural area including the communities of: Redhill, Merriton, Narridy, Georgetown, Gladstone, Yacka, Wirrabara, Appila, Stone Hut, Crystal Brook, Gulnare and Laura.
Drawing students from an area of approximately 1200 square kilometres, Gladstone High School is in the centre of a largely agricultural region that focuses on cropping.
A decline in cereal prices worldwide has led local farmers to look to diversify to maximise income from their properties. Enterprises such as ostriches, oilseed and more recently olives and grapes have been explored. Most farms are family farms and have been in the family for several generations. Increased mechanisation of farms has led to a number of smaller holdings becoming unviable for cereal production.
One of Australia's premier wine growing regions (the Clare Valley) is located only 75 km south of the school. Conditions in the Clare Valley are not ideal for red wine grape production however weather and soil conditions in the Southern Flinders region are particularly suited for red wine grapes. The expansion of grape growing has provided additional avenues for employment, with growers finding it increasingly difficult to source locally trained labour for picking and pruning.