My name is Emma Thompson and I am a Tasmanian HEA Member.
I signed this petition because I do not feel our homeschooling community is a safe place anymore.Tweet
I feel that the conflict of the past is continuing to hurt and harm the homeschooling community. We need to move away from a conflict driven committee and focus on building a future for all homeschoolers across Australia. This cannot happen while both the threat and reality of legal action hangs over every homeschoolers head.
My heart aches for the Volunteers and Office Administrators who were first threatened with Supreme Court Action, and then claimed against when that threat eventuated in 2018. While the court case against them ceased by mutual consent orders, the emotional and financial stress has continued to this day for all those homeschooling families.
I constantly think, “What if that was me?”
I volunteered on the Constitution Subcommittee set up by the 2017 Committee. In the ensuing conflict, I was frequently attacked as if I had nefarious reasons for wanting to help the association better its constitution.
Now, I cannot Volunteer for the HEA as my life partner is terrified that we will be taken to the Supreme Court and made bankrupt.
This must change. Our community needs to become a safe and supporting harbour for all homeschoolers again.
My membership is due to expire April 2020. If the following happens, I can renew it:
- NCAT action is immediately withdrawn.
- An SGM is called that is run by an independent chair.
- The current committee vacate their positions and allow for fresh elections.
- An apology is given to the Volunteers and Office Administrators who were wrongly claimed against in the Supreme Court of NSW.
- An apology is issued to Stuart Chapman for being improperly removed from his elected position on Committee.
- The Office Administrators get paid their entitlements. Entitlements that were legally established by the 2017 Committee, ones that the members of the current committee changed, without legal authority as employers, when they sued HEA Inc. and its staff as ordinary members in a private action in the Supreme Court of NSW.
- All monies spent by the 2019 Committee to fund their legal cases is returned to the association.
I urge you to share this petition among all homeschooler across Australia to help protect them. Most homeschoolers are unaware of the risks posed by being a member of HEA Inc. They believe that the benefit of insurance and subscriptions are harmless and have no idea about the emotional and financial toll of defending yourself in the Supreme Court of NSW. Most members have no idea that their membership fees fund legal action against other homeschoolers.
What other Homeschoolers are saying
Members, Past members and concerned homeschoolers are not OK with a small group of HEA members using the legal system and the courts to abuse homeschooling families. This is not what we stand for or accept in any form. Especially when it is used as the first option, even before a discussion is had to try and resolve differences.
When all this started I stopped renewing. This is not on!Past HEA member
I refuse to become a member until I see representation from HEA that resembles my core values as an educator. Eg: conversations rather than legal proceedings.Past HEA member
I am waiting to join, once all this nonsense is over I will consider becoming a member.Concerned Homeschooler
I’m not a member because of the mess that it’s in now with all of the litigation and fighting. I don’t feel as if there is enough of a benefit in joining to overcome the huge obstacle of this drama. Drama that I feel can only be taking away time and energy from promoting the defined objects of the association.Past HEA member
Do you believe that homeschoolers should sue homeschoolers?
Do you believe that the Objects of Association – designed to support homeschoolers, promote home education, and build support networks – includes using membership money to litigate against homeschoolers?
No, it shouldn’t.
The current HEA committee are using HEA membership funds – your annual subscription to the association – to instigate legal action against a homeschooling family owned and operated business right now. Is this how you want HEA money to be spent?
The legal action through NCAT should be immediately dropped.
ENOUGH is ENOUGH.
Please join me and other members and tell the 2019 Committee to stop misusing the legal system to financially ruin homeschoolers and sign our petition.
The people running the HEA have made many decisions that have brought the association into disrepute within the home educating community. Membership has halved: as many as 600 members have not renewed since May 2018.
These people, purporting to represent the HEA without authority during 2018, and now as the 2019 committee, have acted without transparency to the membership.
Let’s get our association back on track and operating professionally, for the betterment of ALL home educating families again. Sign and share the above petition and give ALL members a chance to resolve these disturbing issues.