Waves of Change, Oceans of Opportunity Creating an Education Tsunami

Posted on August 15, 2016

 Federal conference

The 45th annual Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA) Federal Conference was held in Western Australia’s capital city Perth and saw guests and delegates travel from all corners of our nation on August 10 and 11. The message coming from the bush through members is that a tsunami of change is needed to ensure oceans of opportunity are available for the education of country kids.

At the Annual General Meeting, Mrs Wendy Hick, Thorntonia Station, Camooweal, Qld was re-elected unopposed for a second year as President of ICPA Australia. Mrs Hick welcomed representation of the newly elected Coalition Government with Senator Bridget McKenzie (Vic), Mr Scott Buchholz MP (Qld) and Melissa Price MP (WA) in attendance throughout the conference. Deputy Leader of the National Party, Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Local Government and Territories and Minister for Regional Communications, Fiona Nash offered her support via a video message. Minister Nash is looking forward to continuing her relationship with ICPA and highlighted the importance of debate and discussion on issues affecting rural and remote families and keenly awaits conference outcomes, which will inform Government decision makers in this area. ICPA Australia welcomes the high regard that our association is held in with the current Government and look forward to working with them on the pre-election promises that were announced by Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce on June 22, 2016 at the National Press Club.

A highlight of this year’s conference was the launch of the Distance Education Teaching Allowance (DETA) video which raises awareness of the challenges families face in the education of their children in isolated locations. The interest in the short clip has been phenomenal with the film going viral in hours of its release with it having 24,000 views in 4 days. Please view the short video here.

Issues that were presented during the two days of Conference include the failure of the Assistance for Isolated Children (AIC) allowance to keep pace with the cost of boarding; the immense impact inadequate internet access has on families and distance education including the difficulties during the nbn rollout and telephone outages; access to early childhood learning and care needs; 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.

With a newly elected Government, ICPA Australia has meetings and delegations scheduled with representatives over the coming months seeking action be taken from motions debated at this Federal Conference.

For further information and comments please contact:

Wendy Hick, Federal President ICPA (Aust) Ph: 07 4995 3266
Email: FedPresident@icpa.com.au

Nikki Macqueen, Federal Publicity Officer ICPA (Aust)  
Ph: 0417 793 705  Email: FedPublicityOfficer@icpa.com.au


To find out about everything that happened at the 2016 ICPA Federal conference and to view reports, images and videos please click here.