Re: Simple speed boost...
I'm also only just down the road from Willowra, a bit less than 2000kms. And I too am an NBN satelitte customer (lucky me!).
Other than the caching suggestions already made - And, in particular, well done to those offering stuff - there's not a great deal else - that's easy - that can be done.
It's slow. Reliable, but slow.
I can offer a couple of mad suggestions ... but I doubt you'll have the stomach, or the community will have the money (or the department/quango will have the budget).
1. Have every household in the community apply for NBN Satelite. Get 50 dishes (or however many) stuck up on the community center roof. Pay for 50 separate ISP accounts on a monthly basis. "Bond" the connections together, so that all of the bandwidth is available to all machines on the network (if you see what I mean).
(and, as someone has said, wirelss network the community, if applicable)
You may need to hang on, until Malcolm has finished thinking about it all ...
2. If there isn't one - and I couldn't find one - set up an ISP dedicated to serving such "Learning Centers". I think (though I can't prove it) that you might be amazed at the speed boost.
(You may well need to do this to do No1 ... I believe "connection bonding" is much easier if the ISP does it - though I think a fancy VPN type thing might work?)
3. There is (probably?) free software available - or fairly easily written - that can speed up downloading large files, across multiple (not bonded) internet connections, (by using the AddRange .NET commands ... asuming relevant servers support it). So it would be possible to download movies and other large files, and store them on the local network for later viewing (without needing to bond the actual connections).
It would also be possible to have those downloads run in off-peak hours, allowing the communitty more bandwidth for adhoc activities during peak hours.
Other than that: A well handled article. It's not an easy subject; and as you found out, there are no quick and easy answers. Well done :-)