If it wasn't for a 35,000 kilometre solo bicycle ride from London to Australia, Ashley Doncon might not be in the midst of preparing for his first class at Katherine High School.
It was on that trip, the last leg home down the Stuart Highway to Perth, he took note of the long stretches of dry landscape.
It was a complete flip from the skyscrapers towering over London where he was working in advertising.
"It had a beautiful feeling to it," he said
The stark difference of Katherine, the idea of adventure, but also of making a difference is what lured Ashley Doncon, Jake Treloar and Charlie Davidson, three new teachers, to Katherine.
Still adjusting to the harsh heat, only made worse by the lack of rain this season, they've arrived off the back of a 13 week intensive - a crash course cramming all the essentials with Teach for Australia - an organisation which says is "working to confront educational disadvantage".
Over the next two years, they will iron out the finer details of teaching in the classroom, but for now all three say they are confident about being thrown in the deep end this week.
"I was looking for a change from life in Melbourne and I always knew a desk job wasn't for me," Mr Davidson said.
At 28 years old, he said he always knew he wanted to be a teacher.
Previously working for Melbourne's Department of Health and Human Services, he said he was missing dynamics in his day.
"My friends gave Katherine raving reviews, I love nature and moving to a regional town seemed to be the best shake of the snow globe."
He'll be teaching English, Humanities and one class of English as an additional language (one of the more challenging classes which will require creating relevant lessons for a bunch of students who speak a myriad of native languages) at St Joseph's Catholic College.
He will join Jake Treloar, also 28, who was seeking out a connection to nature and a sense of community, of which he says Melbourne, where he was living, was ultimately void of.
"I grew up in Adelaide where there is basically one degree of separation, it is one big country town, so when I found out I got an offer in Katherine I was very excited."
But it was in Kununurra, while working in a hardware store a couple of years back, where he nurtured a love for the outback.
"I was still enjoying research but a career down the track was looking like grant proposals and I decided I didn't want to continue down the path of academia."
While slightly larger than Kununurra, Katherine shares in similarities of beauty and a great need for skilled professionals.
Jumping ship on a nearly complete PHD in Bio medicine he's bringing a wealth of knowledge and passion to the school's science classrooms, where he says he also wants to draw on knowledge from the oldest living culture in the world.
I wanted to share my knowledge and passion of science and try to get more kids involved.Jake Treloar
Self professed to always be up for a challenge, Ashley Doncon is bound for the classrooms of Katherine High, a school known to churn through teachers.
He'll be teaching art and says his biggest challenge will likely lie in navigating a culture worlds apart from his own.
"I'm coming in with a deep lack of knowledge. I have my lens and I'll be trying to learn how the students see the world, what will engage them. It will be a two way learning challenge."
All three will be challenged at some time or other with low attendance rates and an array of education levels.
Mr Davidson already has a combined class, which means two curriculum, two assessments, but it's all part and parcel of moving to a small town and a small school.
For Mr Doncon, the idea of teaching was sown somewhere along his two year cycling journey which took him through 35 countries.
Peddling through places struggling with poverty and instability like Tajikistan, Iran and Pakistan he gave talks to school-aged students and saw education as a key to opportunity.
"The seed was really planted on that trip," he said.
"I saw all of these really interested kids where education, for some of them, was their only opportunity."
He said Katherine was at the top of his list after a stint at home teaching English as a second language.
"There was something captivating about the Territory when I rode through," he said.
"I had been away for a while and hadn't appreciated the beauty of Australia, especially out here."
While they might have only touched down on the tarmac of Darwin airport days ago, all three have plans of diving head first into Katherine life.
Mr Treloar has already registered for the Territory's Million Dollar Fish competition, and says he wants to take some language courses in Kriol, and Mr Condon says he will definitely race Katherine's Ultra Challenge later in the year.
"We're looking forward to getting involved in footy and going down to watch local games, getting outdoors, camping and joining the Film Society," Mr Davidson said.
"We are really excited about the opportunity to be here helping to bridge the gap."
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