This paper aims to explore the experiences of newly qualified teachers and their supervising principals who work in schools situated in various high-poverty areas of Queensland, Australia. It is informed by data collected in the context of an Australian teacher education program, Exceptional Teachers for Disadvantaged Schools (ETDS). Now in its third year, this program was designed to prepare highly skilled pre-service teachers to work in schools that have large numbers of students from disadvantaged or low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds. Addressing the oft-stated need to prepare high-quality teachers for low SES schools, high-achieving undergraduate education students were invited to participate in two years of specialised curriculum to prepare them for the schools that need them the most, which are also the schools that are often difficult to staff. Pre-service teachers in this program do all their teaching practicum placements in challenging or complex schools. In 2011, some of this cohort did their practicum teaching in schools with large numbers of Indigenous students and several went on to teach in remote communities after graduation. These graduates and the leaders of the schools they work in are the primary informants for this paper.