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HEA - Two wrongs do not make something right

It is very hard to ignore wrongdoing in our home education community. My health tells me to walk away, leave it alone. My sense of righteousness says two wrongs do not make something right. It simply makes two wrongs.

In May 2018 a group of disgruntled HEA members members' meeting and appointed a committee, without giving legal notice to all members. This act placed the association in crisis and led to it being listed as 'in dispute' by the NSW Office of Fair Trading. Calling themselves the 'interim committee' a group of members then supported the initiation of legal procedings against four home educating parents.

At no time were they officially recognised as the association's committee: not by the NSW Office of Fair Trading and the NSW Supreme Court.

Early in 2019 the plaintiffs - Karen Chedwiggen, Vivienne Fox and Karleen Gribble - and the sole remaining defendent the HEA, represented by its insurer, mediated a settlement which allowed for an SGM to be held electing a management committee.

At the SGM a committee, comprising one of the plaintiffs and the members of the group previously calling themselves the 'interim committee' was elected. One of their first actions as new official committee was to propose and pass that an extraordinary meeting of the association be held - to ask members to pass a special resolution to do what the NSW Supreme Court and NSW Office of Fair Trading did not - retrospectively recognise the members' meeting held without legal notice on 5 May 2018 as an AGM.

This resolution asked members to "set aside" (ignore) Rule #54 of the Constitution.

Given that this same group of people had spent 2018 stridently arguing the incompetence of the 2017, accusing them of breaching and ignoring the association's committee, this resolution is unbelievably ironic. But it isn't the first time this group of members play fast and loose with the HEA's consititution.

They ignored the constitution in May 2018. To remedy the problems that arose from that action, they supporting joining the association as a plaintiff in an action in the NSW Supreme Court last July, and then in October supported joining the association as the sole remaining defendant.

They had no authority to act on behalf of members in taking either of these actions.

And the fact that members are now being asked to vote on this special resolution confirms that this group were and are aware that they at no stage did they have legal authority during 2018 to act on behalf of members. Members are being asked to retrospectively give them that authority.

The arrogance of the 2019 current committee to ask members to affirm that it is acceptable to ignore the association's constitution and legal responsibilities is beyond belief.

To be honest, I'm glad I'm not a member, glad I am not being asked to validate something the plaintiffs agreed to dismiss in a NSW Supreme Court mediated settlement.

Two wrongs do not make a right. It simply makes two wrongs.

UPDATE: the motion at the extraordinary general meeting was defeated - the 'interim committee' were not recognised by the membership as the 2018 committee. This is three times this group of people have had their claims to represent the members as a committee denied - first by the Office of Fair Trading, then by the NSW Supreme Court and finally by HEA members.

Despite this they continue to act and behave and produce newsletters and information to their members and the wider home educating community that present themselves as having had the authority of a committee. When are the members of the association going to say enough is enough and call for a spill, put an end to these disrespectful shenaningans?

The Other Side is a Facebook group that gives members who are disturbed and concerned by the litigious behaviour of the current (2019 and 2020) committee. If you are is interested in reading some of the court documents relating to the conduct of the HEA committee of 2016, 2017, 2018 so called "interim committee", 2019 and 2020 you can request to join The Other Side. The information on the HEA website continues to misrepresent the facts.

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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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