Our history

An organisation of influence

The Australian Parents Council (APC) has survived and thrived over the past 50 years by remaining true to its grass roots origins of being a parent-led organisation of influence.

Over the years, APC has achieved many goals for parents in the education sector. We have provided strong parent voices and views ‘from the cubby house to Canberra’, yet have remained non-party political and open to all parents, whether of a religious faith or not.

Our strength is that we remain an inclusive organisation working hard for the benefit of all children and young people, not just those in non-government schools. APC remains sensitive, but not beholden to, the particular interests of schooling authorities, schools, principal and teacher associations, and unions. We work by collaborating and developing partnerships in schooling that bring about increased educational outcomes and learning that enhances the social capital of school communities.

The Australian Parents Council passionately advocates the needs and aspirations of parents and pursues policy, practice, programs, partnerships and collaboration that maximize schooling outcomes for all Australian children.

One of Australia’s great social movements

The Australian Parents Council was born in 1962 and has become one of Australia’s great social movements.

Monday 16 July 1962   Parents of more than 2,000 Catholic school students presented their children for enrolment at government schools in Goulburn NSW to highlight the injustice which Catholic parents in Australia suffered in the distribution of public funds for schooling.

22 July, 1962 –  The enormous nation-wide publicity generated by their action led to a meeting where the following was moved:

‘This Meeting approves and authorises the setting up of an Australia-wide Federal organisation which shall be non-party political and non-denominational whose chief objectives will be:

i. To maintain the campaign for freedom of choice without penalty for all parents in accordance right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children, and

ii. Recognising that our schools are an integral part of the Australian education system – lend full support to other citizen organisations in their efforts to improve Australian education standards generally.’

23 July 1962  The Goulburn Evening Post wrote :

“The most momentous news from last night’s meeting of Catholic parents and friends … was not the motion that sent over 2000 pupils back to their desks today. That was described as only the ending of the first stage in the historic stand made by Catholics for a share in the taxes paid by all Australians and distributed for educational purposes. The important decision from the 3 hour meeting, attended by more than 900 people, was the launching of a militant organisation, nation-wide in concept, which will have as its sole objective the realisation of this claim”.

25 August 1962 –  More than 200 parents from across Australia met in Goulburn to decide the details of the new national organisation. The Australian Parents Council for the Advancement of Education was formed, with this significant addition in the formal motion of establishment:

‘ Realizing that independent schools are an integral part of the Australian education system – to lend full support to other citizen organisations in their efforts to improve Australian educational standards generally.’

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