Outgoing President's Plea -- Education must be equitable for isolated students.

Posted on July 24, 2015

Media Release -- Monday July 19, 2015

Gathering under this year’s theme “Go the Distance - Pride in the Past, Focus on the Future”, branch representatives will travel from as far afield as the Kimberley in the north west of the country, Alice Springs in the Centre and Walgett in western New South Wales, to attend the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA) annual federal conference, which gets underway on July 29 in Brisbane, Queensland.

President of ICPA Australia, Judy Newton, stated the two day conference would be officially opened on Wednesday morning and the appearance of the inspirational Rob Cook, cattleman and Nuffield Scholar from the Northern Territory, is certain to be a conference highlight.

Mrs Newton, indicated her final message as President, would note that until recently, the victories in the battle to reduce educational barriers associated with isolation and remoteness during the last four years, have been few. However, with the announcement of the Federal Government’s 2015-16 Budget, which aims to promote regional growth and deliver the foundations to support strong families, strong community, strong businesses and a strong economy, improvements should be seen in access to education for tertiary students and indicate an optimistic future for rural education.

Mrs Newton said increasing financial pressure on rural families has resulted in a greater than usual number of motions being presented by branches this year. They focus on five main issues the rural community believes need to be addressed right away: the failure of the Assistance for Isolated Children (AIC) allowance to keep pace with the cost of boarding; the immense impact of the lack of nbn access on families and distance education; the call for extension of the AIC to include four year olds beginning their formal education; the pursuit of the Distance Education Teaching Allowance (DETA), to recognise distance education tutors for providing what the government cannot and the provision of a Tertiary Access Allowance (TAA), to improve rural university participation.

Presenters at conference include Ms Catherine Marriott, ICPA’s new DETA Ambassador, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Communications, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, National Broadband Network’s Executive General Manager, Mr Gavin Williams, and Telstra Country Wide’s Executive Director, Mr Andrew Coull, will address the current rural communication crisis firsthand with delegates. Conference goers will learn about the latest developments in the Australian Curriculum and news on NAPLAN testing going online from Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Chief Executive Officer Robert Randall. Jill Rigney, from “The Right Mind “, will present her workshop "Performance is Personal" on Day 2.

For further information or comment, please contact:

Judy Newton, Federal President, ICPA Australia

Mobile: 0409 682 832 email: FedPresident@icpa.com.au

Jane Morton, Federal Secretary, ICPA Australia
Phone: (07) 4695 8513 Mobile: 0400 074 174 
email: FedSecretary@icpa.com.au

To find out more about the ICPA Federal Conference in Brisbane click here.