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Caveat Emptor: HEA Inc.
A reminder that the HEA is not the 'peak home educating body' it purports to be and only represents its membership and not the broader Australian home educating community. In 2018 a small group of disgruntled members held a private meeting without notice to members and appointed Karen Chegwidden as president.
When the membership and NSW Office of Fair Trading did not recognise this move, Ms Chegwidden sued two of the 2017 committee volunteers together with the HEA's office staff in the NSW Supreme Court, seeking recognition of her position of the association's 2018 president. During preliminary hearings all four defendants were removed from the court action with no case to answer.
Ms Chegwidden then sued the HEA, which was defended by representatives appointed by the association's insurance company. During court-ordered mediation she set aside her claim as president and agreed to the solution members had suggested several times before court action commenced and during the hearings, which was a special general meeting to elect a new committee.
Hundreds of members had left the association after the hostile takeover in 2018, almost half of the membership, leaving it depleted of experienced members willing to take on committee roles. The 2019 SGM saw Ms Chegwidden, with no volunteering experience for the association prior to 2018, elected as president. One of her first actions was to request that the membership set aside one of the clauses of the association's Constitution to retrospectively recognise her as the 2018 president. This motion was defeated.
The HEA is currently run and managed by the same people that thought it was okay to sue four homeschooling mums for no reason in 2018, causing huge distress and financial hardship for their families, and which was widely condemned by our home educating community. It is no longer recognised by many homeschooling support groups across Australia as a trustworthy organisation.
It is hoped that in time, a new committee will be appointed that will recognise the harm done, seek to repair the damage by unreservedly apologising to the four homeschooling mums, and pay the outstanding unpaid wages (recognised by the ATO) still owed to past office staff.
Our home educating community is well served by thousands of free, volunteer support groups across Australia. Through these free support groups home educators stay informed about registration requirements, resources, discounts, and opportunities. They share their stories, building up a body of knowledge that helps to provide quality educational experiences for children. Different support groups provide home educators with the ability to organise activities, excursions, camps and conferences, encourage submissions to government and other bodies.
Please see The Educating Parent Support Groups Directory for a comprehensive list of national, state and territory groups.
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.
Welcome to the World of Home Education
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
The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.
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