Sutherlands in the 2020's

In July 2000 the Sutherlands Hotel was closed. Later on it was bought by a migrant from Germany. After renovations to its buildings, fixing up the tennis courts and adding a pool, it reopened. Many people came to enjoy the fantasic food and the relaxing ambience. People once again stayed overnight or longer for a restful break.

In 2001 the first environmentally friendly house was completed. It had been constructed using recycled materials, such as straw bales and bore pipe. Instead of using power supplied by ETSA and other power suppliers, they used alternate energy, i.e. wind power, water turbine and solar panels etc. In their house they had a schoolroom, which had a computer for each of their children, who were enrolled with the Open Access College. They built the house themselves with the help of their neighbour.

Somewhere between 2003 and 2004 other families moved to Sutherlands. They built environmentally friendly homes and used alternate energy. This was due to many reasons, which included savings in building costs, less impact on the environment and cheaper running costs.

In 2005, the Government cut back further on Public Schools funding for schools with under 500 students had funding cuts.This is due to more people attending Private Schools. Public Rural Schools had to make choices, whether to afford more books and new equipment or school buses. Meetings where held and the parents preferred to go without buses and decided they would car pool. In Sutherlands parents tried hard and in 2010 the Government decided to cut back on schools with fewer than 1000 students. Eudunda School closed down. More Public Boarding Schools were opened up. The nearest Boarding School was the Burra Community School, which was 80 km's away. Parents in Sutherlands had three choices for enrolling their children under the Public School system.

  1. Nuriootpa Primary or High School, which meant the children had to get up at least 6:00 am to get on a bus and would not arrive home until almost teatime.
  2. Burra Community School, which meant boarding and not having their children at home with them from age 5.
  3. Open Access College, distance education that meant a parent had to supervise their children or employ a Governess.

42% of Sutherland's parents chose to enrol their children in the Open Access College and to supervise them themselves.

In 2015 all the parents in Sutherlands had their children enrolled in the Open Access College. This was due to high achievements of the children in Sutherlands the last 5 years who had been enrolled in the Open Access College.

In 2016 the Open Access College designed a learning system. The VR learning system, which was on a device that looked a bit like glasses that you couldn't see through. It had a microphone that came down from the glasses so you could talk. You had to wear thin gloves which had electrodes. They were all wired up to your computer, and through the Internet, you were connected to the college. Some families in Sutherlands volunteered to test the system.

In 2020 the Open Access College designed a way that you did not have to be hooked up to your computer. You had a box at your waist. This was trialled again in Sutherlands.

In 2021 all of Sutherlands Open Access College students were using the VR (Virtual Reality) learning system. When you were on-line you felt and saw everything that was in your own work area. You could alter your work area. You would do your own work on what you saw and felt was paper but was really nothing, and write with what you felt and saw was a pen but was really nothing. You work was only visible in Virtual Reality or on a computer. It was only accessible by yourself, your supervisor and teacher. All your work was automatically sent when you said "Send". There was no set time for your to be on-line, except for when you are doing your lessons. You had to do a minimum of 15 hours for junior primary, 20 hours for senior primary, 25 hours for junior high and 30 hours for senior high. This included all your learning time. Your teacher could drop in at any time of the day to check on you or your schoolwork. You had a group lesson 3 times a week and you were all (approx. 10) in what looked like a classroom. You would play games, do group activities or do schoolwork together etc. A lot less was expected of supervisors.

In 2022 people celebrated Sutherlands becoming the first suburb to be hooked up to Virtual Reality learning for students of all ages.

In September 2026 a group of educators from all over the world came to see how Sutherlands Open Access College students coped and rated compared to other ways of Education. These students rated extremely well. One student, from senior primary, had been looking through the Open Access College archives of websites that had been created by students. He found a site on Sutherlands in the 1920's. From going through it, he had discovered that 100 years ago, to that month, a group of teachers took part in a "School of Method". He mentioned this to the observers and said how it was funny that a group of educators now from all over the world had come to observe and see the benefits from a new method of learning.