The Cobar branch of the Isolated Children’s Parents Association (ICPA) is in danger of folding after the branch failed to get a quorum at their annual general meeting on Saturday.
A not for profit group made up of volunteer parents, ICPA works to ensure that children living in rural and remote areas have access to an appropriate education.
Outgoing Cobar branch president Vanessa Reschke said distance is a major barrier to accessing education for geographically isolated students and also a major cost to families.
“ICPA is for people living in isolated and remote areas and obviously we qualify here in Cobar,” Mrs Reschke said.
She said families who have children who attend school in Cobar or those who travel away to boarding school, may be able to access funding through ICPA.
“You have to meet certain criteria to access funding for the allowances,” she said.
The ICPA also acts as a lobby group.
Members can raise issues with their local branch which can be taken to state level for action.
State conferences give members, through their branch delegates, the opportunity to bring issues affecting rural and remote access to education for debate and a vote.
This sets the policy agenda for newly elected councillors to pursue for the coming year.
Last year the Cobar branch volunteered to hold the 2017 ICPA State Conference which is expected to attract up to 200 visitors to the town.
“It takes a reasonable amount of work to organise a state conference,” Mrs Reschke said.
“And obviously you work very closely with the state council but it’s a matter of having enough members and branch motivation.
“We’re a very small branch,” she said.
In addition to delegates from the 30 branches across NSW, the two day conference also attracts staff from a range of departments related to education and health for children.
“Politicians, local members and state members, Department of Education, early childhood services and representatives from boarding schools will attend,” Mrs Reschke said.
“It’s a great way to show off and showcase your community,” she said.
However if the Cobar branch is not able to elect a new committee at a re-convened annual general meeting this Friday, then the branch will fold.
Mrs Reschke said families will still be able to join as “lone members” to access the services of ICPA however the opportunity for Cobar to host the state conference would be lost.
See advertisement on Page 21 for details of the branch’s re-convened AGM.