Pictured: The team of professionals behind Alithia (plus our amazing Web Designer who is not featured here)! We have loads of helping hands locally and across Australia.
After 12 months of research, brainstorming and discussions with other interested parties, Talula Hughes held an information day in July 2016 and from there a committee was formed. Alithia became Incorporated and a registered charity.
We wrote to NESA (at the time called the Board of Studies) of our plans, spoke with the HEA (Home Education Association) and sought advice from lawyers, insurers and others who's experience would help. Expenses for setup and yearly costs were estimated. We were lucky to have the president of a preschool email us an exact costing list for a full year, itemised with every pencil and aspect we would need covered. We had meetings with builders and researched options of an undercover area (we are mostly based outdoors) and storage for facilities (shipping containers etc). We have thought of everything from Yurts to mud brick to a bus with a fold-out trailer (the ultimate mobile classroom).
To learn about our vision go to: alithialearning.org.au
The website has logistical details on the "about page", an outline of what a day at Alithia Learning will look like on the page "whats on offer", and further information on the culture we are creating on the "philosophy" page and "communication" page. It is time to re-think how we approach education and support all those that are looking for an alternative to school.
2017: We created our branding! We were blessed with a visit from a top UK marketer at our branding meeting who helped us to word what it is we are doing, to visualise images and colours, to collaborate on a shared vision. We sent our ramblings to a copy writer at News Corp who worked with us pro-bono.
A significant help in creating our vision was that a committee member that worked in sales, had researched others that fit with our philosophy, found Philanthropic funders websites and had helped us to understand what people were looking for (the lingo to use).
Another help was the information from a company that helps "social entreupeners" set up charities and businesses. With templates on Marketing , Business Plans, Action Plans and questions that made us think from an investors perspective. (Evolve Network: evolvenetwork.com.au).
A local company supported our vision and created our label on a pro-bono basis (thank you Design Writers in Nambucca).
One of our committee members is an amazing web-designer and put together our website (Edit: launched Nov, 2017).
We held our first social gathering so we could start "workshopping" what the kids need and experiment with approaches. We took photos and footage for our online presence. The children formed connections and we offered activities that involves others in the community.
The social gathering went so well, we organised to meet monthly and to bring in more talent to hold workshops, building on our knowledge.
We began teaming up with researchers, education experts and building a network of supportive professionals, which is a continuous journey.
Our current focus is on building a network across social media and launch a small crowd funding campaign so that we can cover our small set-up costs and have resources to start revenue.
Plan for 2018: Focuses for 2018 include continued fundraising and networking, finding staff, setting up the facility (working with council approval), getting legalities and insurance finalised, opening registration which will begin with an Open Day Festival.... as well as continuing offering Play Days and Workshops for families.
Plan for 2019: Alithia Learning launches with one paid facilitator and one administrator in January 2019.
Join us on our journey!
Resources to help others setting up a charity in NSW:
Incorporation: Alithia is incorporated which means it is its own legal entity and the committee can change (this is also the legal status of our local preschool and community gardens). To become incorporated in NSW, 5 responsible people are needed and a constitution (rules that govern the group) is required. A form to register a name also needs to be filled in (fees apply).
For more information and to apply go to: www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Cooperatives_and_associations/Incorporating_an_association.page
Constitution and Charity: There are many templates for a constitution which can be edited to fit your needs. If you are applying to be a charity, the Purpose / Aim written in the constitution must meet one of the charity requirements (such as "advancing education").
To see this list and to find out what else is needed to apply go to: www.acnc.gov.au/ACNC/Register_my_charity/Who_can_register/What_char_purp/ACNC/Reg/Charitable_purpose.aspx
We sought free legal advice from Justice Connect: www.justiceconnect.org.au
ABN: Before applying for charity status, your incorporation needs an ABN. This is a free and an easy process done online: abr.gov.au/For-Business,-Super-funds---Charities/Applying-for-an-ABN/
Hope this helps!
*Disclaimer: this is not intended as legal advice, please read through the responsible websites carefully.
From the Blog
Alithia Learning runs a range of child-led programs designed for 5 to 12 year-olds. The defining characteristics of our programs are positive communication and freedom to learn.
News and events are announced on our social platforms.