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AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM MSCA – PART 1

Why MSCA Was Established

Montessori Schools and Centres Australia (MSCA) formed in 2019 at a time of great uncertainty about the future of the then national peak body, Montessori Australia Foundation (MAF). Several open forums involving the heads of schools and centres throughout Australia were held in 2018 and 2019, from which we were issued with a clear mandate. This directive from school and centre leaders was to have a not-for-profit peak body that: comprised a strong democratic governance structure; was representative of the whole Montessori community; and would adhere to the practice of honesty and transparency. Another important aspect of this mandate was to have a membership-based organisation where you would have your say and an opportunity to vote about the future direction of services to be delivered by that peak body.

At the time of MAF’s collapse, the community were particularly concerned about the Montessori National Curriculum (MNC) so MSCA worked to secure the assets with the intent to protect the rights of the MNC contributors and make it freely available for all. When we learned of the liquidator’s decision regarding the MAF assets, representatives of MSCA met with the successful purchaser, Mr Hani Ghali. We offered to work together with him to establish a joint organisation for the community, based on the community mandate. Unfortunately Mr Ghali was not interested in the governance structure we proposed and he subsequently formed the Montessori Australia Group Pty Ltd (MAG). If agreement could have been made at that time we would not have two national organisations today.

MSCA recognises the many positive programs and services developed by MAF over its 14 years. Immediately upon forming MSCA as a new peak body, we set out to learn from both the strengths of the organisation, as well as the faults that may have led to its eventual demise. We believe an organisation’s strength and sustainability relies on its values, principles and the strong foundational structure of governance. We are extremely confident and excited about what we have created in MSCA for the Montessori community in Australia. Our organisation has been set up with a governance structure that accords with the principles of the community mandate; as a not-for-profit, democratic, representative, member-based peak body where directors are elected from the community each year.

MSCA was formed at your request and as such we are working for you and the future sustainability and authenticity of Montessori in Australia. When necessary, we will advocate for appropriate procedures, integrity, and the rightful protection of community documents such as the MNC. When things happen in our community that go against our principles, we will speak up about it and represent you, your rights, and your needs.