Welcome to the Western Downs Branch!
HISTORY OF THE BRANCH
The inaugural meeting of the Condamine Branch of ICPA was held on 4th February 1988, and the Branch was the 58th ICPA Branch to be formed in Queensland. On 5th December 1991 members voted to change the branch name to the Condamine/Western Downs Branch of ICPA, as this more truly represent the branch membership. On the 16th March 2015 members once again voted on a name change for the branch. It is simply the Western Downs Branch of ICPA, as this defines the branch membership to a specific area. Members reside in and around the towns of Condamine, Drillham, Dulacca, Glenmorgan, Jackson and Miles.
The inaugural Executive were:
- President - Mrs Priscilla Mundell
- Vice Presidents - Mr Rober Upton and Mr Tony Campion
- Secretary/Treasurer - Mrs Jill French
- Publicity Officer – Mrs Susan Bell
Past Branch Presidents:
- Priscilla Mundell - 1989
- Megan McNicholl - 1992
- Margaret Barry - 1995
- Lois Coleborn - 1997
- Mary Wright - 1999
- Mary Cook - 2002
- Janice Thomson - 2005
- Roslyn Smith - 2008
- Kristen Coggan - 2013
The Western Downs Branch has an average annual membership of between 20 and 30 member families. These families have children attending the small State Schools in Condamine, Drillham, Dulacca, Glenmorgan and Miles, Boarding Schools in Toowoomba and Brisbane, Universities and other Tertiary Institutions.
Meetings are usually held regularly, and we encourage any interested families to attend our meetings. For more information please contact any of the Branch Executive listed below.
ISSUES OF CONCERN FOR OUR BRANCH:
- Teaching Principals - administrative workload and Principal selection
- Access to specialist teachers – Speech and Occupational therapists, Guidance Officers etc.
- Allowances – LAFHAS, travel allowances
- Financial assistance - to enable rural students to obtain a tertiary education
The Branch has sent delegates to many Federal, and most State Conferences over the years. Delegates have presented motions at conferences which express the concerns and problems of the member families.
As the Western Downs Branch has always been a relatively small one, the ability to host a State Conference has been limited. So it was with much pleasure in 2000, that the members accepted the challenge to assist hosting the Queensland State Conference held in Chinchilla. This Conference was hosted by 5 branches - A/B/C, Condamine, Moonie, Taroom/Wandoan and Westmar/Inglestone.
BRANCH MOTIONS taken to CONFERENCES:
- Transfer and promotion of teachers
- Rural experience for trainee teachers
- Integration of students with learning difficulties in rural schools
- Community input into Principal selection
- Maintaining small school bus runs
- Telephone trial for Distance Education
- ABC cuts to school productions, especially ‘Behind the News’
- Reading Recovery program
- Prep transition year
- Speech and Occupational therapists
- Guidance Officers and Speech Pathologists
- School bus safety issues
- Co-hosted: Mid-year meeting for the ICPA Council in Miles, 1997
- Information stand at local Miles Show
- Student teachers for rural practicums "Accelerated Learning" workshop
- "Road to Tertiary Education" information session
- "Understanding your Teenager" forum by Graham Hyman
- "Peace Builders" seminar
- "PCAP" seminar with Tamara Hanton
- "Stronger Families" seminar
- "Introduction of Prep" session
Branch Fundraising Activities:
- Catering at Open Garden days
- Catering for the annual ‘K’s for Kids Bike Ride for 10 years.
- Caterine at Condamine Rodeo
Despatched the Qld ICPA quarterly magazine ‘News & Views’ during 2007 & 2008.
BRANCH MEMBERS who have served on STATE and FEDERAL COUNCIL:
Megan McNicholl OAM:
- Queensland ICPA Publicity Officer 1990 –1994
- Queensland News & Views Editor 1990 – 1994
- Queensland Vice President 1994 – 1998
- Federal Council Committee 1997 – 1998
- Federal Vice President 1998 – 1999
- Federal President 1999 – 2003
- Queensland ICPA Committee 1994 – 1995
- Queensland Assistant Secretary 1995 – 1999
- Queensland Publicity Officer 1999 – 2003
- Queensland News & Views Editor 1999 – 2003
- Federal Council Committee
- Federal Council Committee
BRANCH RECIPIENTS of AWARDS
- Megan McNicholl – 2001 Australian Centenary Medal for ‘service to rural education’.
- Megan McNicholl – 2007 Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for ‘service to education as an advocate for improved services in rural and remote areas, and to the community by raising public awareness of issues affecting women’.
Branch Life Members:
- Megan McNicholl - awarded in 2002
Federal Life Members:
- Megan McNicholl - awarded in 2009