Wee Waa Public School students Dominic Avery, Jeremiah Green, Demi-Renee Cruickshank and Maecee Smith recently composed acrostic poems for the school’s Grandparents’ Day.

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The students’ outstanding creative and literary talents are exactly what the Isolated Children and Parents Association is looking for when it comes to its 2019 ICPA Namoi Branch Poetry Competition.

Country kids are being urged to let ‘their creative minds run wild’ and enter poems about rural education.

“Namoi ICPA encourages all students to get involved and enter the poetry competition no matter how or where you are educated – this includes home-schooled students, distance education, students at schools in towns and children of Namoi branch members across our region,” said ICPA member Nicole Piper.

ICPA represents all children being educated in rural Australia from pre-school to primary school and high school to tertiary education.

The poetry competition is a fabulous opportunity for students to stretch their imaginations and there’s also a great incentive – a cash prize of $150.

A generous amount of money that could be used to purchase a school uniform, school supplies or books.

There are two categories – a primary school and a high school section and students need to have their entries in by Wednesday November 27, emailed to icpanamoi@gmail.com

The entry can be any form of poetry, and the limit is one entry per child.

ICPA’s Namoi branch boasts 42 members and the branch plays an integral role in campaigning for the NSW voluntary lobby’s overall goal of achieving equity of access to education for all students who live in rural and remote Australia.

ICPA believes that all students, irrespective of where they live, should have the opportunity to receive a good education and one that will enable them to strive in all aspects of life.

“ICPA is so important because our representatives have the ability to fight on behalf of all our children for equal access to education,” said Mrs Piper.

“You want your child to be able to reach their full potential across a range of areas, so they are prepared to go out into the world.

“You want them to be able to adapt and move with the rapidly changing world we’re living in.”

ICPA’s NSW President Claire Butler recently released a statement about how important it is for a child to have access to good educational resources especially during the current drought.

The statement followed the ICPA-NSW State Council held in Sydney that included 31 meetings with stakeholders and all sides of politics.

Councillors took the issues of their 700 strong NSW members and offered solutions to what people need right now.

“Farmers sold their livestock a year or more ago thinking the drought would break and they would be back in the business soon,” said Mrs Butler.

“Twelve months later they have no livestock, no income and now they are drawing on the money they set aside to buy that livestock back – this could spell a mass exodus of good honest country families from the bush once this drought breaks.

“We presented to all sides of politics and to many stakeholders the need for the NSW Government to understand how hard it is to keep afloat in this persistent drought and at the same time educate our children.

“The NSW Government loans only work if you have capacity to borrow – and if your bank is happy to let you have a second mortgage.

“Many have hit that wall so the time has come for real help.

“It’s time to seriously consider the solutions that ICPA-NSW are offering.

“Bush people like to pay their bills, they are extremely proud, but they need help – now.”

One such solution presented in the ICPA statement was income contingent loans, where people can ‘borrow from their future’ (similar to HECS) and manage peaks and troughs using their income over a number of years.

ICPA memberships for 2020 are about to open, please contact Anna Sevil for more information icpanamoi@gmail.com – due to the drought the membership rate has been reduced to $44 per family.