My name is Brigitte Haider. I live in Vienna, Austria. I studied Economics and Business Administration, but after a short period as university assistant I have been caring for my children and engaging in various volunteering activities.
I accompanied the whole school career of my daughters, now 24 and 26, in numerous parents’ associations on all levels: from class to school, regional and national level. I raised the voice of parents in various educational councils and other bodies.
My first contact with EPA was in the 90s of last century, when I joined an EPA conference in Vienna. I was deeply impressed by the variety of topics, personal engagement and motivation of the participants and the pleasant atmosphere in the discussions.
In 2005, a very difficult time for EPA, I was delegated to the EPA GA by my national association. I was elected EPA’s vice-president and finished my second term in 2009. My main concerns during this time were to strengthen the EPA network, to find new members – especially in the Eastern part of Europe – and to make the voice of parents heard on European level as important stakeholder in education.
My favourite issues are
• Participation: of parents as well as of school students. I’ve been active in parents’ trainings as well as in empowerment trainings of students’ representatives. (This Viennese project was nominated for the ALCUIN award.) With the support of our members I generated a research on “Participation in School in Europe”.
• Health Promotion and Health Prevention: As parents’ representative I was invited to develop the programme of the “Healthy School” by the Austrian Ministry of Education in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. This was the starting point to follow this issue also on European level, e.g. in the SHE network. On national level I support the Parents’ Health Platform, winner of the ALCUIN award 2012.
After I had to resign from the EPA board regarding to the statutes I was asked to continue as EPA’s project manager to support the board, keep contact with the members and partners and provide the continuity of EPA’s activities. In my activities I benefit a lot from “my personal network” of partners – parents, teachers and experts whom I met during the past years.
Please, do not hesitate to contact me! I’ll try to help you in any case.