The 46th Annual State Conference of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA) of NSW will be held in Mudgee on March 14-15.
ICPA is an organisation that has its roots firmly embedded in rural and remote Australia. It was founded in 1972 in Bourke NSW, following closure of the Bourke Hostel that provided much needed accommodation for children living on remote properties to access education. The mission of the newly formed Association then, as now, was access to education.
The Association has a Federal Body (or council) and all States and Territories (except Victoria and the ACT) have their own autonomous bodies (or state councils). Branches are located in various rural and remote areas of Australia, which members subscribe to. For those people who have no local branch nearby but wish to join the association, there is the facility to become a “lone” member.
Branches are the policy setters of the Association. This means that Branches bring their issues to either the State or Federal Conference for debate on the conference floor. If the motion is passed by a simple majority vote, then that issue becomes the policy for the State or Federal Council for that year. Access to education for geographically isolated students is always difficult and a major cost to families.
The conference will feature some very distinguished guest speakers with His Excellency, General, The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d) Governor of New South Wales giving the keynote address with Mid-Western Regional Council Mayor, Des Kennedy, welcoming delegates to the district.
The Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association has achieved a lot in the last 46 years, particularly in raising awareness of the issues faced by geographically isolated parents in accessing an appropriate education for their children. As educational standards are raised and educational outcomes and expectations increase, so too does the work of ICPA continue as it continues the demand of Governments, equitable access to a high standard of education. It is for this reason that ICPA is just as, and if not more, relevant now than it was in 1972.
The conference is being held at The Parklands Resort and Conference Centre.