Episode 8: Education Cuts in Western Australia

Episode 8 of the (un) Common Sense Podcast is now available! This week’s episode focuses entirely on the Barnett Government’s cuts to education in Western Australia. Luke speaks with local Society and Environment Teacher Mark, about the implications of these cuts. Topics discussed include:

  • The role of an Education Assistant in the classroom environment
  • The importance of Education Assistants to special needs students
  • Likely impact of losing 500 Full-Time Equivalent Education Assistant jobs
  • Peter Collier & Colin Barnett back-flipping on pre-election promise there would be ‘no job losses’ in public sector.
  • Risk of super-sizing schools
  • Importance of culture and community within a school
  • Likelihood of further cuts to Education under a Liberal Government

[powerpress]

Continue reading Episode 8: Education Cuts in Western Australia

75 Ideas to Transform Australia (Response to the IPA)

Interesting to read conservatives at the Institute of Public Affairs suggesting the Liberal National Party coalition needs to ‘be like Gough‘ if they get a full majority of power in both the lower and upper houses of Parliament at the upcoming federal election.

Of course, they don’t mean the LNP should suddenly back-flip and start actually supporting free education and healthcare for Australian citizens or any of the many other positive, progressive policies brought about during the brief Whitlam era. Instead they only encourage transforming the country with the same speed and vigour Whitlam did, but this time to the detriment of the average tax payer, for the benefit of the super rich.

You can see the full list of 75 suggested changes on their website, but I will share a few of those I think clearly represent the dangers of current extremist policy trend among ‘conservative’ circles in Australia.

  • Close Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
  • Halt construction of the National Broadband Network
  • Privatise Australia Post
  • Privatise CSIRO
  • Privatise Medibank
  • Privatise SBS
  • Privatise the Snowy-Hydro Scheme
  • Privatise the Australian Institute of Sport
  • Repeal the Fair Work Act Continue reading 75 Ideas to Transform Australia (Response to the IPA)

I (tentatively) Support Teaching Economics in Australian Schools

Today I read an article by Timothy McDonald about debate around proposals to teach basic economics to primary school students in years five and six.

I was intrigued by the article, as I have been self-educating in the field of Economics and am left wondering how I, a clever student, finished my schooling with out ever having to obtain any serious knowledge of economics.

It is a wonderful idea to teach Australian primary school students the basics of economics. I fully support that. But the question is who will decide what we teach them? Continue reading I (tentatively) Support Teaching Economics in Australian Schools

What are Australian values?

This is the first post in a series I intend to write about the Australian constitution and the possibility of it being modified in an earmarked referendum. The issue at the fore of said referendum is the recognition of Indigenous and Torres Strait islanders as the original inhabitants of these lands. But also raised are a series of wider questions which have prompted debate about contemporary Australian values.

The youmeunity.org.au project, which I was made aware of via some Indigenous activist friends on twitter, inspired this post. I want to get involved with this project, but I feel unqualified and unprepared. I am unsure what is needful from an Indigenous perspective, though I do have questions and ideas of my own regarding the constitution. Sometimes I feel like the constitution is a foreign document, written by people whose ideals are far away from the world in which I currently live, people who couldn’t have prepared for issues like the censorship of online content.

Where to start then, in this series of posts about Australian values? I guess for me the obvious place to start is with what I think Australian values are.

Continue reading What are Australian values?