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Déjà vu ! Key HEA committee members resign due to entrenched culture of bullying
I've reported before on how the bullying culture within HEA led to chaos resulting in a very damaging and stressful court case in 2018/19 (see links below). It is no surprise to the hundreds of former members of the HEA who walked away from the association in disgust back then that nothing has changed!
And according to the November HEA Committee Report just released, it seems the cause hasn't either. In fact, the déjà vu nature of the current conflict within the HEA has many past members shaking their heads, saying “don't say we didn't warn you!”
It is completely ironic that those instrumental in harassing and slandering former volunteers at the HEA are now suffering similar abuse to that which they were once content to condone and dish out.
Both the president Karen Chegwidden and vice president Tere Latimer have resigned, claiming that “good governance is impossible” and that they “can no longer continue to volunteer … when as a board we cannot enforce any of the policies we have put in place… cannot continue to take the legal responsibilities of the HEA under those circumstances”!
It doesn't help that Ms Chegwidden as a member of the party that refused mediation suggested by past and founding members five times, insisting on taking the HEA to court instead, was instrumental in ensuring the association's current inability to secure essential volunteer indemnity insurance.
Committee members are particularly vulnerable without indemnity cover, especially when it is already known there are constitutional breaches which could also have the potential to break the NSW Incorporations Act.
Tere Latimer in her resignation letter as vice president admits “[Vivienne Fox] ignored … many other policies and rules over the past 8 years.”
And HEA secretary Ruth Easton, states, “ The Committee had tried to work with Vivienne for about 3 years but she steadfastly refused to follow the rules” and that a resolution “to remove [Ms Fox's] right to volunteer for the HEA in order to protect the Association from further harm” was thwarted.
Ms Easton continues: “As a part of good governance the committee needs to be able to sanction members/volunteers appropriately. Without this the Association is left vulnerable” expressing fears that the association “can be torn down and … closed down.”
Remaining volunteers and committee members should think twice before sticking around – especially when the president and vice president have already abandoned ship!
According to the now ex-president Karen Chegwidden, the association is now “held ransom by a small group of manipulative people.” Not the democratic support organisation it purports to be.
It is way past time for Ms Chegwidden to apologise to homeschooling mums Myfanwy Dibben, Kerry Wennersten, Tamara Kidd, and April Jermey for suing them without just cause in 2018/19, and for the HEA committee to make good on its debts and pay the $37,000 in outstanding wages to former office employees. With a bank balance in excess of $119,000 it can surely afford it!
Beverley Paine, HEA member 2003-2004, 2007-2018, regular volunteer, served on committee and various subcommittees, state chapter foundation member, newsletter editor, magazine editor and producer. She revoked her life membership after a hostile takeover of the association by a small group of members in 2018.
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Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
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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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
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