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.
The 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. ICPA Tasmania Inc represents those families living within Tasmania.
THE TASMANIAN STATE COUNCIL is a constitutionally elected council of office bearers: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Officer, Lone Members Officer and up to 5 councillors, who have general control and management of the administration, affairs, property and funds of the State Association and has general control of the branches within the state.
The Tasmanian State Council and branches, lobby for members whose children are geographically isolated who are engaged in early childhood education, attend a rural school, boarding school or school term hostel, travel by bus or private car to school, attend school via distance education or attend a Tertiary institution, TAFE or College.
Tasmania has hosted three Federal Conferences: 2003, 2008, and 2014. Our state conference held in 2015 is our third and our state conferences are biennial.
ICPA has achieved much for families and children who are isolated from education and 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.