Education at top of Mick Dodson’s agenda

Believe it or not, one of the benefits of retirement is being able to watch National Press Club addresses. If you watched Australian of the Year, Mick Dodson’s speech today and didn’t ask what you could do to help meet his simple but seemly unattainable goals then you’re reading the wrong blog:

I’d like to see every Australian child next Australia Day geared up for the start of the 2010 school year.

And I want to be confident that those children are going to get the best education this country can give them. I want it for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and I want it for other children who aren’t getting it now because of where they live, because of poverty and because we’ve failed them.

To take up the challenge, Mick suggested actions we can all take: Continue reading


Hockey – “Australians have never been better off.”

Treasurer Wayne Swan says Joe Hockey’s claim that Australians are richer now than 20 years ago shows how out of touch he is.

The opposition’s new treasury spokesman has said that despite the global economic crisis Australians are wealthier than they’ve been in years.

“The average household wealth of Australians is greater today than it was 15 to 20 years ago, and it is, there is no doubt about that,” Mr Hockey told reporters in Cairns on Wednesday.

“But how do you preserve and grow that wealth? You do that by continuing to provide incentives for people to earn money, by continuing to provide incentives for small business to employ people.”

Mr Swan said the comment spoke volumes about the new treasury spokesman.

“I find it remarkable that Mr Hockey said that Australians have never been richer,” the treasurer said.

“Mr Hockey should go and tell that to those with superannuation who have been hit by the global recession, people in the stockmarket who have seen their shares halve in value as a result of the recession.

“I think what that comment from Mr Hockey shows is how out of touch Mr Hockey and (opposition leader) Mr Turnbull are.”

Flick Crit: The Class

My latest film review on Cinema Takes:

The Class (Entre Les Murs) was up close and personal for me. The scenes in Laurent Cantet’s French language film took me back to the thousands of hours I spent teaching migrant students in very multicultural secondary schools in Australia.

Continue reading

The trouble with Stimulus

The stimulus package has been passed and Australia will be stimulating our economy as much as other economies around the world. Will it work?

There is an assumption about the need for this type of prolific action to either prevent or dampen a recession or worse, a depression in the global economy.

The cure may be worse than the disease. We have been led to believe that stimulation packages and free Government handouts are the only solution to the problems we find ourselves faced with. Investors need to be aware of the potential consequences of this type of action.

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Midweek Mayhem!

Welcome to Midweek Mayhem!

Our middle of the week speed hump thread where we get to reflect upon what was and could’ve been.

The global financial crisis (gfc) is really beginning to hit home now with mass redundancies both here and overseas. However it’s not all bad news. A number of economists have suggested that the worst is now behind us – at least in terms of the performance of sharemarkets. The US market is no around 9% higher than it was in November with speculation that Obama’a stimulus package with further confidence to enter the market.

In more important news I had a salad for lunch. It was nice. However can pasta salad really be considered a salad?

And here’s a funky toon for Julie Bishop…

Taunts turn to violence – bullying exposed‏

Bullying is so widespread it’s hard to know where to begin in addressing the issue.  This thread follows on from yesterday’s thread Bullying so bad bullied students turn to guns

Today, the Daily Telegraph have revealed that a Parliamentary inquiry will begin taking evidence into what to appears to be a growing problem.

Taunts turn to violence

BULLYING victims will be invited to tell their harrowing stories to a Parliamentary inquiry which has begun taking evidence.

Since launching an anti-bullying campaign this week The Daily Telegraph has been inundated with complaints that schools and workplaces have failed to take action against the perpetrators.

Frankly, an inquiry of this sort is well -overdue, in my opinion. Continue reading

Hockey 1, Hockey 2

Was Joe the first pick for opposition treasury spokesperson or not? There are so many stories in the press today detailing how Turnbull actually asked Costello on Sunday (before Bishop fell on her sword) if he wanted the job! Including this story from Dennis Shanahan:

ABC radio last night cited unnamed Costello supporters who said Mr Turnbull’s offer of the shadow treasury job was not a “clean” one.

And this from the SMH:

Senior Liberals say categorically that Mr Costello was asked whether he wanted the shadow treasury when it became apparent that Ms Bishop would be forced out. The latest offer was made on Sunday.

And so Joe is now going to be taunted forever as “number two”, and we all know what number two’s are.