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HEA in the NSW Supreme Court 2018 - Petition

Driven by concern for the continuing existance of the Home Education Association Friends as a result of it being taken to court by three individuals (plaintiffs) and being placed 'in dispute' by the NSW Office of Fair Trading members and friends have put together the following petition (full text of the petition below).

The association is in dire financial straits as a result of the actions of the group acting to take it court and the creators of the petition believe that continuing court action, regardless of the eventual outcome, will cripple the association to the extent that it will be unable to pay its bills and thus cease to exist.

If you were or are a member of the Home Education Association please consider joining Moving Forward HEA. This group was started as a avenue to discuss non-court solutions to the dilemma facing the association.

Petition to SAVE the HEA from Supreme Court action

Discontinuance of Karen Chedwiggen's Supreme Court Action Against the HEA to Allow a Free and Fair AGM

From: Members and Friends of the Home Education Association Inc.

To: Karen Chedwiggen, Teresa Latimer, Ruth Easton, Alicia Parker, David Walters, Katherine Watson

We, members of the Home Education Association and concerned home educators in Australia, ask you to cease your hostile action against the HEA in the NSW Supreme Court: Further Amended Statement of Claim attached to Minutes dated 22 Oct 2018: Karen Chedwiggen vs HEA CN 2018/222324 filed 18 Oct 2018

? On 5 May 2018 you together with a group of members and non-members held a private meeting at which you claimed to have appointed a committee to control and manage the affairs of the association: Minutes 5th May 2018.

? This meeting did not meet the constitutional or regulatory requirements of an annual general meeting for an incorporated association: HEA Constitution, paragraphs 26, 27, 54, 56.

? You acknowledged that as improper notice had been provided and voting had not been completed, a committee had not been elected to position, that your group is a temporary measure awaiting a proper election: Email to members 6 May 2018.

? Yet you claimed and continue to assert you are "legally the committee": Minutes 8 May 2018.

? The Office of Fair Trading NSW does not recognise your authority as the HEA's committee and has labeled the association as "in dispute". Letter from Office of Fair Trading 18 May 2018

? You acted to commence legal action through the NSW Supreme Court (Civil), joining the HEA as Plaintiff 1 suing individual members and administration contractors to seek an order from the court declaring that you are the valid committee and that the meeting you held was a valid AGM: Minutes 28 May 2018.

? You repeatedly state that the cost of legal action will not come out of HEA funds: "[court] costs are being covered by committed individual members who prefer to remain anonymous" Karen Chedwiggen, email to members 25 June 2018; "There are no strings attached, the members seek nothing in return. The HEA funds have not been used, and there is no intention to use them" Karen Chedwiggen, email to members 18 July 2018; "There is no intention to use HEA funds" Karen Chedwiggen, email to members 21 July 2018.

? You further amended the statement of claim seeking that costs plus interest on costs be paid from the HEA funds: Further Amended Statement of Claim attached to Minutes dated 22 Oct 2018

? You acted to amend the statement of claim before the court several times between July and October, during which time all defendants named by you were discontinued or dismissed from the case, causing considerable delays and cost to members extending the time the association is dysfunctional to 7 months since the private meeting 5th May 2018: Original summons 18 July 2018

? You further amended the statement of claim removing the HEA as Plaintiff 1 and placing the HEA as a Defendant 5 (the only defendant), so that you are suing the association, seeking orders that your group be recognised as the valid committee and your meeting as a valid AGM: Secretary's Report dated 9 Sep 2018 for 10 Sep 2018 Minutes, Secretary's Report dated 22 Oct 2018

? You acted to freeze the association's bank accounts ending pre-approved auto payments voted on by the previous committee until a new committee was properly elected, resulting in an inability to pay bills, mounting debts, compromising services and the loss of member benefits: email to members 28 May 2018, HEA FAQ#4, 22 June 2018

? Using an old password without authority to do so, that should have been handed over and retired when the previous administration contractor resigned in February 2017, you altered the content of the HEA website to portray yourselves as the association's validly elected committee misleading the public that the HEA was functioning as it should, and redirected all communication leaving the association no longer knowing its own business, compromising the insurance protection for members. See http://www.hea.edu.au/about/hea-committee ; email to members 11 July 2018

? You continue to ensure that access to the association's membership database and website by volunteers and contracted administrative team is denied: email to members 18 July 2018

You claim that your actions as a group are aimed at "saving the HEA" and yet the association is now:

a) unable to pay its bills;

b) unable to continue regular services;

c) unable to continue to provide the same level of insurance protection previously enjoyed by members ( https://www.facebook.com/HomeEducationAssociation/ 25 Nov 2018); and;

d) has suffered a drop in membership;

e) unable to meet its reporting obligations to government bodies;

f) unable to support home educators across Australia.

As unpaid bills continue to mount, including payments to continue to provide important features such as insurance cover, the uncertainty regarding the future of the HEA grows.
Despite your claims that continuing court action is the only option, you rejected a proposal put forward by members to hold a new AGM. A written and verbally negotiated option offered at court in person by the first defendant 31 July 2018; 1 August 2018 email to members; 21 July 2018 email to members

We, members and friends of the association, ask that you:

1. Ms Chegwidden and your purported Committee discontinue the case against the HEA,

2. Ms Chegwidden and your purported Committee immediately withdraw your assertion to represent the Association as President and committee with the Office of Fair Trading NSW,

3. Ms Chegwidden and your purported Committee refrain from obstructing the membership from conducting free and fair elections to appoint a new validly elected committee;

and further to this we ask that given the damage wrought upon the association:

4. To accept the proposal made by members - for the past presidents and vice president to form a quorum of 3 to hold the adjourned AGM and allow the HEA to function normally again with a validly elected committee.

5. That no member involved in the current dispute nominate and stand for election:

? This includes Karen Chegwidden, Teresa Latimer, Ruth Easton, Alicia Parker, David Walters, Katherine Watson as initiators of the court action suing the association; and

? the following people listed in the original Statement of Claim served to the Supreme Court 19 July 2018: Myfanwy Dibben, April Jermey, Tamara Kidd, Kerry Wennersten (all discontinued or dismissed defendants); and Karen Chegwidden, Vivienne Fox, Karleen Gribble (current plaintiffs); regardless of guilt or innocence.

We want our association back, working with integrity, and dignity for the benefit of all home educators across Australia.

Sincerely, Undersigned Members and Friends of the Home Education Association.



Petition to SAVE the HEA from Supreme Court action

If you were or are a member of the Home Education Association please consider joining Moving Forward HEA. This group was started as a avenue to discuss non-court solutions to the dilemma facing the association.

Other articles in this series regarding the HEA:

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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

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