November 22, 2014

In it’s breadth it overshoots and impinges on the basic rights of dedicated and thinking parents such as myself

I am the mother of three girls. Since the youngest was 2, I have been a solo parent and their primary care giver. I am grateful for the assistance I receive that has allowed me to do this and though it has been within a very limited budget, I have done a surprisingly good job to make sure they are well loved, fed, clothed, housed, educated and cared for. I also work part time around their needs to support us as well as I am able. They are surrounded by a great community and wider family that supports me in this role. As a result they are healthy intelligent happy children.

As a family we have chosen the Steiner curriculum over the state option as it better supports our views on learning and the development of a healthy, well-rounded individual. We have also largely avoided medical intervention in their health where possible and have instead focussed on building their immune systems – they eat mostly only fresh organic food free of pesticides and fertilisers, are unvaccinated and have never needed antibiotics or any other prescription medicine. They don’t watch TV or have computer games and eat processed or sugary foods only on rare occasions. I very rarely need to take them to the doctor as any illnesses they tend to get are mostly minor.

As it stands now, with the girls at ages nine, 11 and 13 years, they are a credit to us and to the choices we have made around their education. We have to work pretty hard to keep them at home on the odd occasion they are unwell or over-tired as they are so keen to be at school. They express genuine interest in the learning they receive and are growing in confidence and ability all the time. We work hard to support this choice in education as it receives little in the way of government funding. The children are also aware of the level of dedication coming from their teachers who work very hard to deliver this curriculum on salaries well below par with state equivalent.

I am strongly opposed to the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill in that it curtails the rights of parents such as myself to freely decide on an education and health approach that is in line with what they know in their hearts to be the best for their children..

I do understand the need for some children to be better supported in these matters but this bill does not target those children. Instead in it’s breadth it overshoots and impinges on the basic rights of dedicated and thinking parents such as myself.

Yours Sincerely,