Release type: Media Release


Celebrating 50 years of advocacy for access to education


Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie
Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education
Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience

The Australian Government will invest $100,000 over two years for the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA) to continue its longstanding advocacy role in improving education opportunities for geographically isolated families.

The ICPA volunteer group started in Bourke, NSW, 50 years ago and has grown to represent more than 2,500 geographically isolated families across Australia.

Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communication and Regional Education Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, congratulated the ICPA on its 50 years’ service to regional and remote communities, ensuring that children’s educational needs are not disadvantaged because of where they live.

“The Australian Government thanks the ICPA for helping to provide a voice for geographically isolated families, and for informing evidence-based policy targeting the complex and diverse needs of regional and remote students,” Minister McKenzie said.

“Our Government is working to reduce the disparity between regional students and their metropolitan counterparts. ”

“The advisory group led by Dr Denis Napthine that developed the National Regional, Rural and Remote Tertiary Education Strategy found that those living in regional and remote areas are less than half as likely as those in the city to obtain a university degree by the time they are 35.”

“The Government is committed to ensuring our regional and remote children don’t miss out on educational opportunities because of where they live and our efforts have been targeted to address that inequity.”

Since 2016, the Australian Government has invested more than $1 billion in programs to improve education opportunities for regional and remote students.

From 2020-21 to 2023-24, $400 million will be spent to support regional and remote students to attend university, including:

  • $177.8 million over four years for a new $5,000 Tertiary Access Payment to encourage and assist outer regional and remote school leavers to access tertiary study immediately following Year 12.
  • $146 million over four years to increase Commonwealth Grant Scheme funding for regional university campuses by 3.5 per cent a year.
  • $6 million over four years to establish a Regional Education Commissioner to oversee the implementation of the Napthine Review recommendations and measures and report to the Government on progress of regional education.