Advocacy And Activism

Commissioning Australian-first research, School connection for seriously sick kids: who are they, how do we know what works and whose job is it?

Achieving a front-page Canberra Times story, and national media coverage for the launch of our Australian-first research.

Achieving a statement of support from the Prime Minister and the National Children’s Commissioner.

Referencing the personal experiences of parent founding members which inspired MissingSchool’s inception.

Presenting Darcy Gilmour’s plea at the Parliament House media launch based on his experience of school separation through illness and the need for this work.

Presenting the stories of student, Patrick Vann, and his mother, Joanne Chivers, at the Parliament House media launch.

Petitioning with a statement from the Chair and Management Committee members and through question and answers at the media launch.

Achieving a nationally trending media story on the issue and work of MissingSchool through print, radio, and television media coverage.

Representing the issue to the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministers for Education and Health and other state and federal politicians.

Advocating through formal submissions.

Presented to staff of the Australian Capital Territory Education and Training Directorate (ACT-EDT) on the issues and challenges of missing school from the perspective of a kid diagnosed with cancer.

Represented the family perspective on a panel discussion to launch the Victoria Institute report – Young Australians, Illness and Education (authored by Julie White and Karen Rosauer).

Represented the family and child perspective to the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust (Australia)

Presented at ACT Council of Australian Social Services Annual Conference in August 2016

Presented at Sunday Assembly Canberra in December 2016

Presented at National Youth Health Conference in July 2017

Representations made through meetings and phone calls

The Prime Minister’s Office – 12/10/2016

Office of the Commonwealth Minister for Education – 12/10/2016; 22/02/2016

Office of the Commonwealth Minister for Health – 12/10/2016

Office of the Leader of the Opposition – 12/10/2016

Office of the Shadow Minister for Education – 12/10/2016

Office of the Secretary, Social Policy Caucus Committee – 13/10/2016

Office of the Chair, Coalition Education Policy Committee – 14/10/2016

Office of the Minister for Education, NSW – 29/04/2016; 17/06/2016

Senator Katy Gallagher – 04/06/2016

Representations made through correspondence

MissingSchool made written representations to Commonwealth and State and Territory politicians with responsibility for education and health portfolios.

The list of people contacted can be found at Write To Your MP.

Representations to educators and health professionals

Invitation to become a representative on the national H.E.L.P Alliance Committee – 11/03/2016

Commonwealth Department of Education and Training – 21/03/2016

ACT Education and Training Directorate – 28/04/2016

Presentation of the parent perspective at The Grand Rounds Seminar Series -jointly sponsored by the University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne – 05/2016.

NSW Department of Education and Minister for Education’s Office – 17/06/2016

Presented at ACT Education and Training Directorate staff forum on keeping seriously sick kids connected – 08/2016

Discussed an approach to tabling the issue with the Secretary of the Education Council under COAG – 10/2016

Represented the issue by interview to the ACT Students with Disability Resource Allocation consultation led by former Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes – 11/2016

Pursued renewed connection with Commonwealth Education Minister Birmingham’s office – 03/2017

Introduction of telepresence-robots to Commonwealth Department of Education and Training – 04/2017

Sought and achieved agreement from ACT Education Minister and Directorate to participate in small-scale trial of telepresence robot technology to connect sick kids to school when they are absent – 06/2017

Represented Churchill Fellowship Findings to Commonwealth Department of Education and Training – 08/2017

Represent school connection for seriously sick kids through national tele-presence robot pilot to ACT Education Ministry and Chief Minister’s office – 08/2017

Continued contribution to and role on ACT Education Disability Education Reference Group, national Health-Education-Learners-Parents Committee (including informing the development of, and presenting at the H.E.L.P. Conference held in 09/2017), and Sydney Children’s Hospital Kids’ Cancer Centre Parent Advisory Committee – Ongoing

Representations to other public offices

The Governor-General, Her Excellency the Honourable Quentin Bryce, AV CVO — 14/02/2014

Megan Mitchell, National Children’s Commissioner – October, 2015

Ms Dianne Gidlin, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Council of State School Organisations, NSW – 29/10/2015

Mr Ross Fox, Executive Director, The National Catholic Education Commission, NSW – 29/10/2015

Mr Chris Watt, Federal Secretary, Independent Education Union of Australia, ACT – 29/10/2015

Ms Colette Colman, Acting Executive Director, The Independent Schools Council of Australia, ACT – 29/10/2015

Mr Stephen Metcalfe, Secretary, Education Council under Council of Australian Governments – 04/10/2016

Engaged with all major party candidates prior to the ACT Election – before 15/10/2016

The Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove – 13/02/2017

Represent school connection for seriously sick kids through national tele-presence robot pilot to His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and Her Excellency Lady Cosgrove – 12/2017

Representation through the Disability Education Reference Group

Since March 2015, MissingSchool has held a place on the ACT Disability Education Reference Group (DERG). We attended quarterly meetings and gave a verbal submission to the DERG on the findings of our Australian-first research. We petitioned the DERG to advocate for an ACT submission on the matter to the Education Council (under Council of Australian Governments).

Presentation to Disability Education Reference Group on the national launch of the report School connection for seriously sick kids: who are they, how do we know what works, and whose job is it? – 10//11/2015.

Keeping Seriously Sick Kids Connected Forum

MissingSchool and ACT Education and Training Directorate co-hosted a professional development forum for teachers and school leaders on issues relating to school connection for seriously sick kids. MissingSchool presented at the forum.