Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association postpones 50th celebrations
COVID-19 lockdowns have forced the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association of Australia to cancel what would have been its 50th anniversary national conference in Queensland next week.
Organisers announced this week they had made the “difficult decision” to postpone the milestone event, which was scheduled to be held in Longreach next Wednesday and Thursday.
“The possibility of proceeding with the event at this time is untenable given the ongoing and new lockdowns, restrictions and developing situations associated with the pandemic,” ICPA said in a statement.
“A large portion of our member base, branches and guests are unable to travel or attend in person due to current restrictions or are reticent to attend due to the possibility of future restrictions or border closures.
“In the interest of our members, stakeholders and the regional, rural and remote communities we represent, the federal conference will go ahead at a later date.”
ICPA stopped short of confirming a date, saying only that it would reschedule “as soon as possible” and continue to post updates on its website.
ICPA is a voluntary, not for-profit organisation dedicated to ensuring the educational needs and aspirations of geographically isolated Australian children are not disadvantaged because of where they live.
It was established in 1971 and has grown to represent more than 2500 families and individual members across rural Australia, including primary producers, small business owners, schools and other organisations.
This year’s national conference was expected to attract more than 200 past councillors, delegates and guests to consider motions and discuss issues both current and longstanding.
These included the need to increase assistance for isolated children, implementing a distance education teaching allowance, and the need for a uniform approach to COVID-19 border restrictions for interstate boarding school students.
Special 50th anniversary activities planned for the event included a panel presentation featuring early ICPA pioneers.
Retired solicitor turned poet and TV star Rupert McCall was to be the keynote speaker.
Other stakeholders expected to attend included various politicians and representatives from The Outback Alliance, NBN Co and Telstra.
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