The Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association of Australia had its beginning in the NSW outback town of Bourke, in April 1971. Families were struggling with drought and the consequences of such an event, and most importantly, the effects of the drought on the education of their children.

pat-edgleyThe late Mrs Pat Edgley, MBE, called a meeting to save the Bourke Hostel, which serviced families in the outlying district, from closure. Out of this has grown an amazing organisation, with branches of ICPA springing up all over Australia, and eventually its national overarching body – ICPA (Aust). In its years as a volunteer organisation, ICPA has achieved much for families and children who are isolated from education. ICPA will continue to strive for equity of access to an appropriate education for these children.


Achievements of ICPA:

  • Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme (AIC).

    This is a Federal Government allowance, established under the Australian Labor Party by the Hon Kim Beazley Snr MP, then Minister for Education, and is paid to parents to help support their isolated students as a distance education student, a living away from home student, or in establishing a second home so students can access education.

  • Establishing allowances in each state, funded by State Governments.
  • Establishing itinerant teaching services to assist in overcoming the tyranny of distance for distance education tutors and students.

  • Supporting retired educators volunteering to assist families to educate their students in remote and isolated homesteads.

  • Impetus behind the Country Areas Program (CAP).
  • A leading role in improving telecommunication for isolated families, including current technologies used for delivering distance education.

  • Respect and credibility across all political parties and government departments.

 ICPA Federal Conferences

The Federal Conference is one of the most important events on the ICPA calendar. It brings together members from around Australia who will put motions, usually of a federal nature, forward on behalf of their branch for consideration. These motions will be debated on the floor, voted on and if carried, form our policy and set the direction for our organisation. Conference is an opportunity to hear speakers talk on a variety of issues. Invited guests will be present and an opportunity exists to meet and network with these people. Another important part of conference is the Annual General Meeting at which Federal Council will be elected for the following year and the association's annual financial reports tabled.

Federal Conference moves from state to state on a rotational basis. The location of Federal Conferences within each state is not a matter for Federal Council to decide, rather, it is the decision that all members, voting at a conference on behalf of their branch, make whilst allowing for accessibility and affordability, to ensure branch delegates and observers can attend conference. Hosting the federal conference in a different state each year offers members the opportunity to be involved and attend without it being too far away.

Where have past conferences been?

1990 Dubbo, NSW 1991 Port Augusta, SA
1992 Toowoomba, Qld 1993 Kalgoorlie, WA
1994 Alice Springs, NT 1995 Broken Hill, NSW
1996 Adelaide, SA 1997 Roma, Qld
1998 Broome, WA 1999 Katherine, NT
2000 Griffith, NSW 2001 Adelaide, SA
2002 Charleville, Qld 2003 Hobart, Tas
2004 Perth, WA 2005 Canberra, ACT (NT hosting)
2006 Sydney, NSW 2007 Adelaide, SA
2008 Hobart, Tas 2009 Longreach, Qld
2010 Fremantle, WA 2011 Darwin, NT
2012 Griffith, NSW 2013 Glenelg, SA
2014 Launceston, Tas 2015 Brisbane, Qld
2016 Perth, WA 2017 Alice Springs, NT
2018 Canberra, ACT    

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