The Parents and Friends Federation of Western Australia Inc. was founded on the 18th March 1954 when 14 Parents and Friends’ Associations joined together to form a constituted Federation. By the end of the year, 28 schools were affiliated and this number steadily increased.
P&Fs then, were integral to the running of the schools, indeed through organised meetings and events, essential funds were raised to build and maintain schools and the voluntary effort of parents ensured the small parish schools remained viable. There was no government funding to support the schools and all funding came from parents and parishes.
Advocating for state aid became the focus for the Federation’s activities and a small but significant gain was made in the early months when the state government granted some subsidies for radio and visual education equipment. In 1956, a more substantial gain was made when supplies such as paper, pads and spelling books were made available.
Over the last 59 years, successive Councils on behalf of parents whose children attend Catholic schools, have continued to call on both state and federal governments to provide funding equity for children not only in our schools, but also in non-government schools generally. Of course, a broad range of issues have been taken up by the Federation that affect schools, parents and their children, through representation on many committees and in stakeholder organisations.
Whilst funding advocacy is a priority for the Federation, the role of the organisation has grown to provide parental representation at all levels of education bureaucracy and associated stakeholder organisations and essential advisory services to parents and school parent communities in Catholic schools across the State.
It now represents the parents of some 70000 students in 127 Catholic schools in WA.