On War and Remembrance

Since I took up studying teaching, all that half-silly/half-sinister commentary that happens from time to time alleging Australia’s school children are having their brains filled with left-wing propaganda – especially when it comes to history – has become a bit more directly relevant for me. Although it’s pretty clear that fact-free fumigating by some random […]

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The blogging VC

There was an interesting piece on the value of blogging in the Education section of The Australian by Steven Schwartz, the Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University, who started his own blog last year. His straightforward assessment of the interactive benefits of genuine blogging is just as applicable for politics, business, academics or many other fields as it is […]

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Humane Education – public forum in Brisbane

Last weekend’s Courier-Mail reported “a plan to teach animal ethics in schools which aims to reduce the number of shocking cruelty cases being reported across the state.” It is being promoted by Dr Gail Tulloch from Griffith University.  “The ethical argument is that it’s important to extend the circle of compassion out, not just to your immediate […]

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Down Syndrome

Amongst all my activities, I try to meet reasonably regularly with a range of community organisations to help keep me in better touch with some of the issues at community level. Even if there is no immediate issue I can assist them with, it is always useful for me to get a better understanding of […]

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forcing history on schools

Some News Limited papers have reported that “the Federal Government’s hand-picked panel of history experts” will recommend a new three-year, 200-hour course in history which would be compulsory in all schools for students in years 8 to 10. The article states that “the Federal Government has signalled it could withdraw $13 billion in education funding […]

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Failings in education for aboriginal children, and Labor’s latest indigenous statement

Some of the comments on my recent post about substance abuse in remote indigenous communities touched on the issues of empowerment and education. I noticed two stories in the recent edition of the National Indigenous Times one detailing a $181 million underspend by the federal government of moneyear-marked for the schooling of Aboriginal children, and […]

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Government Guillotines the major laws, filibusters the minor ones, then guillotines again

After having to endure the government’s use of very sharp guillotines in the Senate to prevent scrutiny of hugely significant legislative changes in the areas of welfare, industrial relations and civil liberties, I sat through the absurdity of government Senator’s filibustering on non-controversial legislation while they waited to discover whether or not the government can reach agreement on the University student services legislation (usually known as the VSU Bill).

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Toowoomba – student services & sipping sewage

On Wednesday this week I visited Toowoomba, mainly to meet with the Student Guild and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the main campus of University of Southern Queensland. The main immediate issue I was exploring was what impact the government’s ideologically extreme version of VSU legislation would have on services to students. I’ve written on VSU […]

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Cairns – Student Unions and urban (over)development

On Thursday I visited another University campus, meeting the Student Association representative for the Cairns campus of James Cook Uni. They were very unhappy about the potential impact of the planned Voluntary Student Unionism (VSU) legislation, unlike their Townsville counterparts. Ideology aside, it would make for some interesting meeting dynamics when reps from the two […]

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Townsville & Mission Beach

I visited the Townsville campus of James Cook University on Tuesday, meeting with the Vice-Chancellor and also with office bearers of the Student Union. The continual dramatic evolution of the university sector is undoubtedly going to continue. One issue which I wasn’t aware of that is causing some budgetary concerns has been an unexpected decline […]

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Mackay, North Queensland

I spent today in Mackay, North Queensland, mostly at the local campus of Central Queensland University. I was specifically interested in hearing about the possible local impact of the Government’s planned legislation to abolish compulsory fees for student unions and associations, although other issues usually arise. When I arrived in the morning, I briefly thought […]

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