here's the thing - as i see it.
We moved 18 months ago from sydney to darwin & had a LOT of concerns about similar things as you do... however, it is a fabulous opportunity for the kids (& of course you), living in a new state, seeing the amazing sites that Katherine & the surrounds has to offer, they are just things that most kids dont get to experience. It's not like Katherine is a destination that you would choose for a family holiday!
As my siggy says, we are about to take a posting now out to Jabiru & this scares the life out of me, cause it seems that we are going more & more remote... argh. I cant imagine being rained in for 6 weeks at a time & not being able to leave... but it all adds to the adventure & life experience that we are trying to create for our kids. We want them to learn that there is so so much out there in the world, not just their immediate surroundings & that you dont have to be tied down to one job, one house, etc etc for the rest of your life. We want them to learn to take every opportunity as it rarely knocks twice. That is why we are taking the posting to live in Kakadu, how many people can say they have lived in a national park??
As for the schooling - yup, i find it substandard to the eastern states, but we just make sure that we do additional activities with DS on weekends etc. When he wants to play games on the computer, we have a deal, that he plays 1/2 hr of the maths programme (or whatever one he chooses), which is a game anyway, then he can play what he wants. He usually gets pretty wrapped up in them & plays longer than the 30 mins anyway... LOL I guess tho, that it depends on the teachers as well. There will be loads of kids that live on base & families that have had the same concerns as you, but you know what, all schools still have minimum standards that they need to adhere to. There are also privaate schools that you can send them to if you dont like the public system when you get there.
Dont kid yourself - the climate is SH!!TE, during the wet season, but the dry is beautiful & Katherine is less tropical thean darwin anyway. It only took us the 1 wet season to climatise & this wet season has been A LOT easier to deal with.
I didnt struggle with the actual isolation of the community as such, more the isolation of being away from the familiarity of friends & family & by about month 3, was incredibly home sick. But i also got past that with the help of some amazing people that also have no family around them. We have become this really weird extended family, that pick each others kids up from day care, etc etc. Just like home, but these friends dont know any of my history (can be a good thing... LOL).
To be honest, i hate darwin & cant wait to get back to an eastern state, but the experiences that we have given our kids since being here far outweighs how much i hate it.
does this help?
IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO! LOL
i am more than happy to answer any questions that i can for you!!