The Isolated Children's Parents' Association has welcomed the dropping of vaccine mandates as it prepares to return to the town that hosted its first conference back in 1972.
The Blackall branch hosted the rural education lobby group's first four conferences, from 1972 to 1975, and has always played a key role in its advocacy for the needs of geographically isolated children.
Two of its members, Daphne Rich OAM and Gwen Vail were at the founding meeting of ICPA in Bourke in April 1971, and Mrs Vail was ICPA Queensland's first vice president.
A member of the Blackall branch at the time who went on to be an influential member of the Yaraka-Isisford branch, John Parkinson was elected to the first provisional Queensland council.
Current state president Louise Martin said while there was plenty to celebrate, there was plenty still to be done to ensure kids in rural and remote settings weren't left behind.
"It's exciting news that the vaccine mandate has been dropped and this year's conference can be as normal as it's ever been," she said.
"As well as being a great opportunity to help Blackall celebrate, it's never been more important to be involved.
"A lot of issues are out there - NAPLAN going online, the national curriculum being rewritten, the needs of young apprentices - and the more voices we have, the more traction we get."
Funding for eKindy users will be one of the issues scrutinised, thanks to concerns that it will no longer be prioritised after early childhood delivery methods through state schools was given more funding in the last state budget.
Ms Martin said that mustn't be at the expense of eKindy needs.
"There will always be kids who won't be able to attend schools in towns," she said. "These are the kinds of things we're fighting for, and attending delegations in Brisbane, and why it's so important to support us."
Conference motions are due on April 27.
One of the guest speakers is Seamus Evans, who has learnt to turn his disability, Tourette Syndrome, into his superpower.
"Overcoming adversity is something our families do every day so I know delegates will relate well to Seamus," Louise said.
Alongside him will be Waverley Stanley, who aims to bring generational change for indigenous children via boarding school attendance.
The founding director of Yalari, a not-for-profit organisation, Waverly travels Australia to raise funds and awareness.
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