Official Opening of the 48th State Conference of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (Queensland)
Elected Representatives, Charters Towers Mayor Liz Schmidt; Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association Patron, Mrs Patricia Mitchell OAM, Federal President, Mrs Wendy Hick, and State President, Mrs Tammy Irons; Association members, distinguished guests.
I am honoured to join you today to officially open the 2019 conference of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association of Queensland.
You are a highly effective and respected lobby group of which our State is immensely proud.
Having spent time living in regional Queensland, I appreciate the unique challenges of accessing education and other opportunities for young people whose families reside outside our urban centres.
Parents show enormous determination in overcoming such obstacles, and the resilience you demonstrate is just one of the many reasons you are so greatly admired.
The first Queensland ICPA branchwas formed at Cunnamulla in 1971 followed by Kinden, Dirranbandi and Bollonsoon after.
This long history of advocating for equal educational opportunities for all children, regardless of their geographic location, has undoubtedly transformed many lives.
This Association is, without question, a Queensland icon.
Its unwavering support for small remote schools has brought about countless improvements, not the least of which is the access, since 2013, to e-kindy - an initiative now firmly entrenched in the distance-education syllabus.
The theme of tonight’s conference dinner is ‘Connection to yourWorld’.
I assume you all have your costumes on standby!
But, personal interpretations of that theme aside, we should consider that connection is, of course, at the very heart of the Association’s mission - for few things connect you more to the world than education.
Conferences are also a means to connect.
There is a tremendous social atmosphere at these gatherings, offering attendees a chance to create and re-affirm friendships, both new and established.
I thank all delegates and stakeholders for their attendance, many of whom have travelled great distances to be here.
I also commend the current ICPA Queensland State Council for the continuation of these highly valuable events.
The opportunity to share experiences, to consolidate information and ideas is essential to the continued success of distance education in Queensland.
I am delighted to officially open this, the ICPA 48th State Conference and wish you all an inspiring and informative experience.