There is no recording of the Inaugural meeting of the Broken Hill branch. Peter Beven's recollection is of the meeting occurring in December 1971 at the North Mine Hall in Broken Hill with Wally Mitchell (Bourke) assisting in getting the branch off the ground.
An interesting aspect of Broken Hill branch in its early days was that the members lived on both sides of the state border. The second meeting held at the Broken Hill club on the 28th January 1972 was mainly concerned with the collating of a questionnaire which had been sent out to all member families and prospective members seeking the number of children being educated in the bush and the cost involved.
The 1972 AGM was held at the School of the Air in October of 1972. Inaugural committee was Andrew Findlay - President, Murray McQuine - Secretary, Elaine Lever - Treasurer and Helen Crossing and Peter Beven as Vice Presidents.
In the secretary's report, mention was made of attending the Federal Council meeting in Bourke in April and the NSW Executive Council meeting in Cobar in June where a levy of 50 cents per financial family living in NSW was set to finance the running of this Council.
Murray McQuine retired as Secretary as he had left the district and Peter Beven was elected to the position. Much of the Executive meeting on the 11th November 1972 was taken up drafting a submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Science and the Arts. This submission was typed and copied by the University of NSW with 25 copies forwarded to the Senate Committee.
At the February 1973 Committee meeting, there was mention made that there was no discussion of delegates to the Bourke Conference because of poor radio reception.
July AGM correspondence notes that the ICPA organisation had moved to a new phase. Individual branches were no longer required to write to Ministers as this was now to be done on a State and Federal basis. Correspondence sent and received was essentially between the local branch and the secretary of the NSW Executive council and the secretary of the Federal Executive Council.
In 1974 delegates to a Conference were paid $40 in what was called a partial reimbursement of travel expenses. At the 1980 branch meeting it was decided to adopt Wilcannia's rules for funding delegates in that all expenses must be paid by the branch, the delegate could donate back if he/she desired.
Branch member Rob Seekamp was elected to State Council in 1988 and at the 1994 Hay State Conference Rob became President, leading ICPA-NSW for four years. In 2003, Rob was re-elected to Council for one more year in order to see the Satellite project for Distance Education finalised. Rob served a remarkable 16 years on State Council. Rob was awarded Life Membership of ICPA-NSW in 2005 and was also a Branch Life Member.
Sadly Rob died in an aircraft accident on his property near Broken Hill on 20th June 2010. Broken Hill branch is deeply saddened by Rob’s passing.
Branch Life Member
Mr Rob Seekamp (deceased)