Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Queensland paper condemned over domestic violence ‘joke’

Image: Pixaby

TW: domestic violence

A regional Queensland newsletter has been condemned for publishing a ‘joke’ about domestic violence.

Murgon Moments published the joke in its August monthly newsletter.

I won’t go into detail on what the joke was. I’ll just say that implied that domestic violence victims should just keep their mouths shut.

Yeaaah. How anyone thought tbat was a ‘joke’ worth publishing I’ll never know.

Not surprisingly, outrage has been swift. Queensland’s Attorney – General and Women’s Minister, Shannon Fentiman expressed her outrage on social media on Wednesday.

…[it’s] a stark reminder of just how far we still have to go. Already this month, it has been reported that several women have lost their lives due to family violence — that’s just in Queensland alone.

Queensland’s Attorney – General Shann9n Fentiman

Numerous people commented their agreement with Fentiman’s criticism. Commenters said the ‘joke’ was “horrific and unacceptable”. Another commenter exclaimed:

Are you kidding!!???? It wasn’t funny or appropriate in 1963, let alone today. That’s a disgrace.

Another commented:

Appalled and ashamed. My heart goes out to every woman who has read this and had their abuse belittled like this.

Sexual consent activist, Chanel Contos shared Fentiman’s post on Instagram stories. She wrote:

[it’s] genuinely disgusting that an Australian newspaper would publish this.

Sexual consent activist, Chanel Contos

On Thursday, Fentimore confirmed that a complaint against Murgon Moments had been lodged to the Australian Press Council.

Publisher pulls joke and ‘apologises’

I know I’m using inverted commas a lot in this post, but it’s warranted. In response to the outrage, Murgon Moments’ publisher has pulled the ‘joke’ from the website and has offered an ‘apology‘. If you can call it that.

In a now – deleted post, Editor, Leo Geraghty wrote:

To my valued readers, I am sorry you found it offensive. Perhaps it might be better to remove all the snippets that used to be classed as jokes from the Murgon Moments which I have voluntary done for the last 190 issues.

Perhaps doing the copy for print at one o’clock in the morning, I should have been more careful to what I was including instead of including jokes from the 2007 edition.

Leo Geraghty

I find it ironic that Geraghty opened the apology with a common gaslighting statement (“I’m sorry you…”). I’m not saying Geraghty meant to. Just an observation.

Domestic violence is NEVER a joke

Needless to say, donestic violence is never, ever funny. It wasn’t funny in 2007 and isn’t now.

Domestic violence is such a serious issue. According to Australian Institute of Health and Wellness, around 1 in 16 men and 1 in 6 women over the age of fifteen have experienced partner violence.

In 2016, the PSS (Personal Safety Statistics) revealed that 3.6 million Australian adults reported experiencing some form of domestic violence. In more than ten per cent of cases (11.8%), the perpetrator was a partner.

Final point: domestic violence is NEVER the victim’s fault. They shouldn’t just keep quiet if they’re being abused.

To all victims and survivors of abuse, my heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry for the trauma you’ve suffered. I’m sorry for those who’ve had old wounds open because of this story. I genuinely hope you find peace and the support you need.

If you’re in Australia and need help, you can contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

If you or someone you love is in danger, call 000 (or your national emergency number).

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Wren Eleanor and the not – so innocent world of kid-fluencers

Home screen with TikTok and other apps
Image: iStock

People are getting concerned about children safety online.

According to The Australian, concerns over American toddler, Wren Eleanor has Australian influencers question posting their children online.

Wren’s mother, Jacquelyn, has received backlash after inappropriate comments were found under videos of the three – year – old. Videos of Wren eating attracted worrying comments.

Jacquelyn called the comments “disturbing”.

Influencers start questioning posting images of their children online

The scare over Wren has made other influencers think twice about posting their children’s images online. Social media creator, Caleb Finn told The Australian:

[Wren] is going to grow up and the mother claims it’s a digital scrapbook for her daughter to look back on, but if you go on any of the videos, it’s all these older people pining for this baby.

Adding to Finn’s comment, many of the comments on Wren’s and other children’s accounts appear to be by men.

Concerns for kids on social media isn’t new

The issue of children on social media has been discussed on social media since 2020. This was largely sparked by Myka and James Stauffer, who exploited, then ‘rehomed’ their Chinese – born adopted son.

Canadian YouTuber, Josh Barbour has been particularly critical of family vloggers who use children. He covered the Stauffer case, and has since exposed other family vloggers such as: Cole and Sav Labrant, Jessfam and Ruby and Kevin Franke (formerly Eight Passengers).

His argument has been consistent: children can’t give informed consent. When asked whether children can give informed consent, former Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and professor, Dr Kirk Honda said: “No. It’s obvious”.

In late 2020, Dr Kirk Honda confirmed that kids can’t properly give consent to having their images/ videos shared online

Barbour has exposed what I mentioned above — that young girls’ accounts are often targeted by men. Children such as Everleigh Labrant (Cole & Sav) and Piper Rockelle are exploited and numerous men make inappropriate comments.

Even infants and toddlers aren’t safe. More recently, Barbour has exposed TikToker, Maia Knight and the inappropriate parasocial relationships created between her twin infant daughters and Knight’s audience.

TMI: parents divulge sensitive and traumatic information

Apart from the sexualisation of young children, family vloggers tend to overshare. They divulge very personal information about their children, especially medical.

Barbour has slammed family vloggers who share their children’s sensitive information and traumas to their subscribers. Earlier this year, he slammed Tiffany Nelson for exploiting adopted daughter, JourNee’s traumatic past.

JourNee is twenty – three, but the video was so uncomfortable to watch. JourNee looked visibly uncomfortable.

Tiffany went into detail about JourNee’s living conditions in Russia before being adopted. JourNee didn’t remember it. Barbour was angered by these revelations.

Having adopted sons himself, he knows how information about trauma should be handled. It’s up to the adopted child when they’re an adult. They can access their file, or let it be. It’s not up to adopted parents to disclose the infornation or make it public.

Family vlogging may have sounded cute and fun. But there’s no other way to say it. It’s exploitation. Every day a parent decides to profit off their child’s image or video, they’re exposing them to danger.

Say it with me: kids can’t consent.

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Controversial guidelines suggest medicating children under six for ADHD

Image: timnewman, iStock

New treatment recommendations for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is causing an uproar.

The 2012 Current Clinical Practice advises against using medication as a first resort for very young children.

The guidelines read:

Psychological, environmental and family interventions should, if possible, be trialled and evaluated before starting any medication treatment. If all of these other interventions have not been effective then stimulants might be considered.

Currently, the Therepeutic Goods Administration (TGA) does not recommend ADHD medication for children under six.

However, this could change. There is a push for medication to be the first port of call rather than last resort.

Financial interests

The Australian ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA) admitted on their website that members have financial interests in ADHD medications.

However, Professor and AADPA President, Mark Bellgrove insisted:

…we’re entirely confident that we have taken the necessary steps to minimise any impact of conflicts.

Professor Bellgrove claimed that all researchers were:

…exonerated and cleared of any misconduct regarding their declarations about links to pharma.

Professor Bellgrove may be right. All members of the AADPA may have followed all their laws and guidelines. But the question of whether children under six should be given ADHD medication still remains.

The heartbreaking effects of ADHD

ADHD can be a devastating condition for the sufferer and people closest to them. According to WebMD, untreated ADHD can have a wide range of effects in both children and adults. These can include:

  • Impulsivity can make school and work harder
  • Children may not be able to retain information and fall behind in class
  • Difficulty relating to others; may have issues with sharing, taking turns and reacting appropriately in certain situations
  • Difficulty making friends (and dating in adolescence)
  • May suffer low self – esteem
  • impulsivity may result in frequent injuries
  • Conflicts with parents
  • Risky behaviours such as: alcohol and drug abuse, smoking and risky sexual activity
  • Eating disorders (especially in girls)
  • Depression
  • Being involved in car accidents
  • Work issues such as: being on time and trouble completing tasks

ADHD is no joke. It’s clear that it needs to be taken seriously.

My take: ADHD should be treated. But get financial interests out of it

Let me say from the outset: ADHD is real. I don’t doubt that it is debilitating for many sufferers. However, the push from AADPA reinforces ideas that many critics of ADHD already have.

Psychiatry has been bastardised by the pharmaceutical industry. Real illnesses, like ADHD and depression are often given Band – Aid solutions, rather than lasting change.

It’s easy to see why.

In 2019- 2020, the Australian Government subsidised A$566million for mental health prescriptions. Under Medicare, Australians still pay a small amount for medication (approximately A$8 to A$60). So pharmaceutical companies are making bank.

I have not been able to find the amount the Australian Government or consumers spend on medications like Ritalin alone. That’s suss.

I’m not saying medication is never the answer for mental illnesses. But the pharmaceutical industry need to forget their financial interests and focus on helping people who are genuinely suffering. And offer real, long lasting solutions.

Do you think children under the age of six should be prescribed ADHD medications? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Categories
Uncategorized

It’s only hours before ‘Neighbours’ ends for good

We are only hours away from the end of the longest running soap opera in Australia’s history.

I watched Neighbours when I was a kid, then quite consistently from 2011 onwards. I missed Scott (Jason Donovan) and Charlene’s (Kylie Minogue) wedding I wasn’t even born). But I saw Toadie (Ryan Moloney) marry Dee (Madeline West). Also his marriage to Sonya (Eve Morey).

And, yes, I did see the marriage between David (Takaya Honda) and Aaron (Matt Wilson).

I saw Madge Bishop (Anne Charleston) die. And Sonya. And Hendrix (Ben Turland).

Storms, family feuds, crime. Drama, drama and more drama. And while some of the plotlines were a bit over the top or silly I couldn’t help but watch the majority of episodes for the past eleven years.

I doubt I’m the only one that has watched it consistently for so long. And I’m sure other Australians have watched it consistently for a lot longer.

Why has Neighbours survived for so long?

The numerous plotlines kept it going. Always something going on in Ramsay Street.

And the characters are largely likable. Who wouldn’t want a friend like Toadie? Or Harold? Or neighbour# like Karl and Susan?

Even the characters people loved to hate were great. Sheila (Colette Mann) or Nicolette (Charlotte Chimes) were endearing (at least in the end).

And the villains? Karma bit them hard. That’s what made it even more gripping!

Some pitfalls

Like everything else in life,vNeighbours hasn’t always been perfect.

Sometimes the plot and dialogue hasn’t been great. For example:

  • Roxy worrying that Harlow was a psychopath (when she had shown no signs before)
  • Leo threatening to sue Therese after the storm at Kyle and Roxy’s wedding, but nothing came of it

Neighbours and the LGBTQ+ community

Neighbours has been overall great in LGBTQ+ representation. Unlike other soapies, Neighbours didn’t kill off LGBTQ+ characters after one or two episodes. And unlike Home and Away (years ago), they didn’t have characters (women) kiss someone of the same – sex once, question their sexuality for a week, then go back to being straight.

Neighbours has kept it’s LGBTQ+ characters in the plotlines. They’ve come out, fought for acceptance and fought bigotry.

There is one pitfall. Why can’t gay or bi women find lasting love? Their relationships are so chaotic. And they don’t last. No women couples married on Neighbours. Why?

Also, is it just me, or does it bother you that the sex lives of gay/ bi was openly talked about on the show, but no one else? That’s just been my thoughts over the past few weeks.

Whether you love or loathe Neighbours, a piece of Australian pop culture history is going to end tonight.

What’s your fondest memory on Neighbours?

UPDATE

Well, that’s it folks! Great ending. Maybe I was a bit harsh in my criticisms before.

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Children encouraged to play card games to gain social skills

Uno has become popular among primary school – aged children

It’s no secret that peoole have worried about children’s wellbeing over the past two years. The pandemic and lockdowns have seen thousands of children completing schoolwork at home. Controversially, this has included children in early primary school.

To build up wellbeing and social skills, some primary school teachers are using strategies outside of traditional subjects like reading, writing and arithmetic. The card game, Uno has proven a hit by the children.

‘Brain breaks’ — in addition to recess and lunch — are also being implemented.

Teachers are using these techniques to address effects of lockdown on children’s development.

New South Wales’ Primary Principals Association’s vice president, Michael Trist has highlighted effects on children’s development.

We know children have missed out on some of those basic building blocks for their social skills and the resulting mental health benefits those social skills bring.

Trist is optimistic that lost and under-developed social skills can come back and improve:

Just like a student who arrives at school with limited literacy can make up ground, so can a child who arrives with social deficiencies.

These techniques are being used not only to increase social interaction, but to also build prosocial behaviours. In locations that had the harsher lockdowns, challenging behaviours and emotions have increased.

Play – based learning is essential to early development

Image: Pexels

In the early 2010s, Australia’s Labor Government introduced reforms to early childhood education.

As a result, the Early Years Learning Framework was established.

In early childhood education (daycare – Preschool), play-based learning is seen as an essential part of childhood development.

According to the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF):

Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. When children play with other children, they create social groups, test out ideas, challenge each other’s thinking and build new understandings.

Belonging, Being and Becoming: Early Years Learning Framework, p. 5

Play is recognised as, not just important for identity, but also prosocial skills in children.

So, it makes sense that it would help primary school – aged children who may have regressed in some of these skills over the past two years.

Mental health, especially among children and young people, has been such a hot topic over the past two years. Having children in organised play can only help increase children’s mental wellbeing.

It’s not just about reading, writing and arithmetic

In mainstream media, there has been concerns raised over writing, reading and mathematics standards. Concerns have only heightened since the pandemic.

While skills in reading, writing and arithmetic are important, I think it’s good that social skills, play-based learning and rest are also being highlighted.

It’s good for children’s mental health. And that’s important for learning.

Children may need to be eased back into school life again. I think relearning social skills using games is a great first step.

What do you think? Should all primary/ elementary schools develop play – based programs and extra breaks? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Early childhood educators call police on parent over LGBTQ+ curriculum complaint

Pencil and blocks on desk in childcare centre
Image: iStock

An early childhood centre has clashed with a parent over teaching LGBTQ+ topics.

According to Daily Telegraph, an anonymous parent claimed a staff member at Roseville Kids Care, Sydney, contacted police after the parent complained about ‘gender ideology’ being taught at the centre.

The issue the parent allegedly had was children as young as five learning ‘radical gender theory’. Children were learning about terms such as: non – binary, pansexual, lesbian and asexual. Children also coloured in Pride flags.

The parent said:

I visited it and was shocked that there was a giant out-size ‘pride’ flag. It was the biggest flag in the room, far bigger than the Australian flag. When I went in there was an entire wall describing different sexualities giving definitions of things like ‘pansexual’ and ‘lesbian’.

A number of photos taken by other parents show pride flags that were coloured by the children.

Should educators teach children about LGBTQ+ topics?

The actions from Roseville Kids Care has received support and criticism

Sydney psychologist, Clare Rowe said that LGBTQ+ concepts were too adult for young children to grasp.

…they simply do not have the mental faculties to process layered, complex information.

Rowe put the onus of teaching about gender and sexuality on the parents.

Director of Foundations of Western Civilisation Program for Institute of Public Affairs, Dr. Bella d’Abrera has condemned the centre.

Parents should be extremely concerned that they are entrusting their very young children to an after care centre which is indoctrinating them with radical gender theory.

However, Roseville Kids Care does have some supporters. CEO of the Network of Community Activities, Pauline Kane argued:

It’s about raising children with inclusive attitudes.

Kane claimed primary – aged children often raised questions about topics such as transgenderism. Those questions should be answered.

Is five too young to learn about LGBTQ+ topics?

I can see both sides. Yes, young children need to be protected from adult concepts they can’t grasp. Ideally, parents and caregivers should be able to approach topics like gender and sexuality in a way that’s age appropriate.

I don’t agree with young children getting involved in Pride culture. I didn’t like what some children have allegedly been exposed to in Pride parades this year.

While I don’t totally disagree with it, I don’t see why young children have to know what the Pride flags are. I’m happy with five- year – olds to know that; sometimes two women love each other like mummy and daddy do. Same with men, etc.

Likewise, when a child is being raised by same – sex or gender non – conforming parents, then bring it up. Children should be able to know that families are different.

Children should be able to explore their identity, including gender. Before anyone hits the roof, many children have a concept of their gender from a very young age.

So I’m in the middle. Little children don’t need to be exposed to Pride culture. However, it’s not a bad thing to teach children that it’s OK to express their gender the way they see fit. And some men love men and some women love women. Pride? That can wait until they’re older.

What do you think? Should young children learn about Pride and LGBTQ identities? Let me know your thoughts below.

Petition calling for Clarence Thomas to resign from Supreme Court surpasses 1 million signatures

Herald Sun did short video detailing tge call for Clarence Thomas to be impeached.

Anger over the overturning of Roe vs Wade is still hot. Now, there are calls for Justice Clarence Thomas to be impeached.

A petition on MoveOn has surpassed 1 million signatures.

The petition accuses Thomas and other Supreme Court justices of:

…effectively taking away the right to privacy and bodily autonomy that’s been considered legal precedent for the past 50 years.

The petition repeats the fears that Thomas is pushing to overturn rights to contraception and LGBTQ+ rights, including same – sex marriage.

Thomas is also condemned for voting against compell8ng the release of Donald Trump’s records regarding the January 6 riots.

His wife, Virginia Thomas is accused of:

…actively urging the White House to overturn the election results both leading up to January 6 and after the deadly insurrection.

The ultimate argument for Thomas’ impeachment is:

He has shown he cannot be an impartial justice and is more concerned with covering up his wife’s coup attempts than the health of the Supreme Court.

Why did people sign the petition

As I finish writing this post, 1,167,503 people have signed the petition. Reasons for people signing the petition include:

This justice is hardly about justice and has a political agenda. That is not the job. Keep the Supreme Court politically impartial and protect American freedoms!!

Gerson P

Because their religion is not my healthcare and has place [sic] in the medical field.

Jaysa L

The supreme court [sic] has lost touch with their established purpose. Just because they are ‘supreme’, does not mean they have supreme power.

Jac B

For every woman

Sara G

Are attacks on Thomas partly motivated by race?

Not surprisingly, conservatives have condemned attacks on Thomas as racist. ‘Black liberal’ on Medium also think race has played a part.

Last week, Medium writer known as ‘My Lovely Suque’ wrote an article titled Dear White Women, Clarence Thomas Didn’t Kill Roe. You Did‘.

In the post, the author blamed white women for allowing Republicans to run the Senate. Ultimately, this led to a conservative majority in SCOTUS.

The author stated:

…Roe was reversed because of white women. Because they consistently vite against pro – choice policies.

My Lovely Suque

Justice Thomas couldn’t shoulder the blame for overturning on Roe v Wade. My Lovely Suque acknowledged this:

It was not reversed because of one Black man. It was reversed because millions of white women voting against women’s reproductive rights generation after generation.

Will the call to impeach Thomas work?

While I haven’t looked too much into the claims against Justice Thomas, I have my doubts.

It feels like Brett Kavanaugh all over again. Meaning, accusations are made on weak evidence and will get dismissed. I could be wrong, but that’s how I feel for now.

Let me make one thing super clear. I am not a fan of Justice Clarence Thomas. He makes me nervous for LGBTQ+ Americans and those seeking to access contraception and other rights. Americans are potentially in for an uphill battle.

However, I also think Justice Thomas is just the object for people’s rage. He’s an easy target.

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Little Charlie Mullaley’s death is a good reason for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be suspicious of authorities

TW: this post deals with extreme child abuse and death

*Quick note: Warning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander – names of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait people wilk be mentioned. However, the perpetrator will be referred to as ‘scumbag’. It’s what he deserves

Charlie Mullaley was a darling little boy. Devastatingly, in 2013, his life was cruelly cur short by his evil stepfather.

The little boy was raped and tortured for fifteen hours. He sustained injuries all over his body from head to his feet.

Before the horrific attack, his mother, Tamica Mullaley was bashed on a street in Broome, Western Australia. The perpetrator was the same scumbag who took Charlie’s life.

Encounter with police

Things went from bad to worse. Police officers found Tamica sheltering in a neighbour’s carport. She was covering herself with a sheet and was bleeding.

As she was calling out for her father, the officers pressed her for a statement. Tamica spat and swore at the officers and was apprehended and put in the back of a paddy wagon.

Her father, Ted Mullaley begged police to take Tamica to hospital. The officers finally caved and Tamica was taken to hospital.

Ted Mullaley told SBS’ See What You Made Me Do, that Tamica would have died from her injuries without immediate medical intervention.

Despite pleas from the Mullaley’s, Charlie was left with his stepfather’s cousin.

Ted went to the hospital to pick up Charlie. But he was gone. He’d been taken by his stepfather.

That’s where little Charlie’s fate was tragically sealed.

We Mullaley family offered an apology

Nearly a decade later, Tamica and Ted finally received an apology.

Justice John McKechnie said that Charlie’s murder was one of the worst he’s encountered.

Attorney General, John Quigley offered an apology to the Mullaley family:

On behalf of the government, of WA, to Tamica and Ted, I am sorry for the way you were treated by the government and the WA police, both before and after losing baby Charlie.

Charlie Mullaley and Cleo Smith: two completely reactions from police and media

The Mullaley family contrasted the treatment of Charlie to Cleo Smith, a then – four – year – old who was kidnapped in WA last year.

Cleo’s disappearance got both national and international coverage. Police were on the case immediately and no resource was spared.

Was Cleo’s disappearance in the headlines because she’s white? I can’t say that for certain. But, I can’t blame the Mullaley family for feeling that way.

How are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people suppose to trust institutions?

Often, Aboriginal and Torres Strait people are howled down for bringing up racism.

Experiences of ATSI people are too often dismissed. We like to think racism – especially institutional racism – doesn’t exist.

But it clearly still exists. There seems to be still racial prejudice within law enforcement. This needs to be dealt with and snuffed out.

The media isn’t without fault, either. Where was Andrew Bolt when Charlie Mullaley was kidnapped and murdered? Rita Panahi?

To their credit, Sydney Morning Herald have at least written about the case. So has news.com.au.

And SBS should also get credit for their episode of See What You Made Me Do. But I think everyone else needs to do better. Much better.

We need to treat all missing children and domestic violence victims the same. All victims deserve justice.

Rest in peace Charlie. 💙

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

Roe vs Wade has been overturned

US Supreme Court
Image: iStock

It’s happened. The Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe vs Wade on Saturday (Friday in the US).

The ruling means states have a right to restrict or outlaw abortion. Kentucky, Louisiana and South Dakota have ‘trigger laws’ that came into effect straight after the ruling.

A further twenty -three states are expected to outright ban or severely restrict abortion within a month.

Public reaction

The ruling has caused celebration and outrage.

Conservatives like actor, Kevin Sorbo and commentator Matt Walsh see this as a victory:

However, it’s also caused a lot of outrage. TikTok content creators in particular have been vocally outraged about the ruling. People are worried that this is only the start (more on that later). They have also pointed out pro – lifers’ hypocrisy.

Protests have taken place in Detroit, Michigan and Washington D.C. Protests erupted outside the Supreme Court straight after the ruling

Pro – lifers have celebrated.

Former president, Donald Trump told Illinois pro- life rally attendees:

The Court handed down a victory for the Constitution, a victory for the rule of law, an$ above all, a victory for life.

Donald Trump at Illinois rally

What else is at risk?

People are still fearing the fate of interracial and same – sex marriage. My stance hasn’t changed.

I believe that interracial marriage will always be safe. If SCOTUS tried to overturn it, they would become an unfunny joke around the world. Plus, there are African – American justices that are in interracial marriages.

However, like I said in an earlier post, I think Obgerfell vs Hodges may be on shaky ground. There’s even some fears that anti – sodomy laws will come back.

While I think the latter is absurd, I think LGBTQ+ Americans’ rights are at risk. It wouldn’t surprise me if Obgerfel vs Hodges is reversed. Next of kin laws, family laws (adoption, etc) will be vulnerable.

And what about trans and non – binary people who seek gender – affirming treatment? Given the endless debate on trans issues, it wouldn’t surprise me if their rights end up beibg infringed upon.

If SCOTUS is pro – life, how about rethinking the Second Amendment?

Text reads Second Amendment
Image: iStock

The overturning of Roe vs Wade was about control, not lives. If it was about lives, how about sensible gun regulations? How about preventing primary (elementary) school children from being massacred?

How about buying back AR15s and other semi and automatics? I’m sorry, but abolishing Roe vs Wade and doing nothing about endless gun violence doesn’t make sense to me.

What about health care, social safety net, etc?

The covid pandemic hit the US hard. More than one million covid deaths have been recorded. Approximately 300,000 have been directly linked to covid.

Furthermore, thousands die each year due to not having access to healthcare. So, what about universal healthcare? I mean, it’ll save lives. So, taxes should fund universal healthcare, right? 45,000 a year die from a lack of healthcare, (I think. Don’t quote me on that).

We’ll have to wait and see the full impact of this ruling. But to me, it’s clear, this is largely about control, not preserving life.

Categories
Opinion/Commentary

New South Wales and Victoria’s premiers promise free pre – K

Children eating at a table in childcare
Image: Pexels

In two Australian States, early childhood education could get a shake up.

The Premiers of New South Wales and Victoria are promising free Pre – K for four – year – old children. It will take place five days a week.

Victoria’s Premier, Daniel Andrews plans to implement the change by 2025. However, NSW Premier, Dominic Perrotet won’t implement the change until 2030.

In a joint statement, the premiers said:

It will mean that, in the next 10 years, every child in Victoria and NSW will experience the benefits of of a full year of play-based learning before the first year of school.

The premiers also claim that free Pre – K will not only benefit children, but also working parents.

Pre – K will take place in preschools in both states.

NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning, Sarah Mitchell said the policy was… “the right thing to do for our kids”.

Australian children need better in education

According to Sydney Morning Herald, Australian children aren’t doing well in education.

Australia ranks 32 out of 38 OECD countries in child well – being. Australia ranks 39 out of 41 European Union (EU) and OECD in education outcomes.

Standards in literacy, numeracy and science have been declining over the past decade.

Early childhood education is shown to improve education outcomes. Children can experience these benefits across their schooling.

Education psychologist, Claire Rowe expressed concerns to Andrew Bolt about making Pre-K compulsory.

However, she did point out one positive. Children who come from dysfunctional families will be able to find security and attachment with early childhood educators.

Children who live in poverty will benefit greatly from free Pre – K.

The economic burden early childhood education had on parents

One reason why there’s a push to make Pre – K free is to release the burden from parents. Too often, the cost of early childhood education cancels out any financial benefit of working.

So offering some relief to parents makes sense.

Will it be compulsory?

According to the ABC, neither premier is planning to make Pre – K compulsory. Of course that can change in the future. Frankly, I doubt it ever will be.

Good start, but more needs to be done

I think this announcement is a vote grab for next year’s state elections. Having said that, I don’t have anything against free Pre – K. If it helps children and unburdens parents, then great.

However, I think there are bigger issues facing early childhood centres nationwide. Like children left hungry or given poor quality food in early childhood education centres.

So, let’s get the standards of quality early childhood education up again. Make sure that all early childhood education centres are properly staffed.

The governments need to make sure all early childhood education centres have the resources – including funding for food – that they need.

Let’s not have early childhood educators buried in endless paperwork. Just allow them to nurture and educate the children. And, of course, they need to be paid properly.

What are your thoughts on free Pre -K? Good idea? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.