Teach For Australia – Stories – A Schoolhouse Divided?

Much like most aspects of American life, the education system is inherently political. Whilst from an Australian perspective it may not have seemed as though education was at the forefront of discussion in last year’s Presidential Election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the future of America’s highly decentralised system of schools has occupied the dialogue of many in Washington of late.

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This stems primarily from the contentious Senate confirmation of President Trump’s Education Secretary Nominee, Betsy DeVos’ in mid-January which culminated in a historically close 51-50 vote to send her to the Department of Education. Secretary DeVos faced questions about both her understanding of educational policy issues and her qualifications for the role as a billionaire donor to political causes.

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Teach For Australia – Stories – An Educator’s Explainer of the 2016 US Election

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The American people have a tremendously powerful decision to make on November 8th. In electing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to be the next President, they will be voting for starkly different visions for the future of the United States, with the future of America’s schools and colleges at stake as well.

With the polls suggesting a close race to the finish, and the role the American leadership plays in our world, do encourage any and every American friend or family member you know to go vote.

Their vote matters. For all of us.

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Understanding Trump

As part of an initiative of Trinity Grammar School, Kew’s Library in Term 2, 2016, I delivered a ‘T Talk’ entitled, UNDERSTANDING TRUMP. Modelled on the well-established format of the TED Talks, I delivered a presentation to staff and students on the unique candidacy of Donald Trump’s.

In sharing my passion for American Politics, I sought to explain how the political system, Barack Obama’s presidency and the psyche of the average American voter have combined to transform a reality TV show host into a would-be President of the United States.

My sincere thanks to Dr. Curtis Watson, Director of the Tudor Centre for Contemporary Learning at Trinity Grammar School, Kew, for the opportunity to share my passion for American politics and its influence upon our lives among hundreds of fellow staff and students.

The Melbourne Globalist – The 2014 Midterm Drubbing – Where does America go from here?

President Obama meets with congressional leaders in Washington

Whilst there will be much debate about the true meaning of the Barack Obama Presidency, one thing that can’t be questioned is the decisive nature of the American voting electorate. Despite winning two resounding Presidential Elections in 2008 and 2012, President Obama has overseen some of the most emphatic losses in Midterm Electoral history. With the 2014 Midterms, Republicans netted 8 more seats in the Senate (to reclaim the majority for the first time since 2006), 12 seats in the House of Representatives (to take their majority to approximately 36; their largest majority since 1929), 3 governorships and countless state legislatures.

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Portland Observer and Guardian – Students celebrate achievements at presentation night

As the 2014 school year came to a close, I was privileged to give the keynote address at the Portland Secondary College Presentation Night. In encouraging the students to give more of themselves in the service of others, I reflected on my experiences of being inspired by President Barack Obama’s two Inaugurations, in 2009 and 2013, both of which I was fortunate enough to attend.

Thanks to the Portland Observer and Guardian for covering the event and for celebrating the efforts and success of the students throughout 2014!

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The Melbourne Globalist – Can Clinton Connect? Scoping Up the 2016 Democratic Primary

Clinton, Biden

Since leaving her post as Secretary of State in early 2013, Hillary Clinton’s path to her current status as the runaway favourite for the Democratic Party Presidential nomination for the 2016 election has been remarkably smooth. She joined in the work of her husband’s foundation, got in on the paid speechmaking circuit and published a well-received book, encapsulating her experiences as the United States’ chief diplomat. With speculation about a looming candidacy, Clinton has repeatedly demurred such discussions, stating that she will decide at a later date. As elaborated by many political commentators, the infrastructure awaiting a Clinton candidacy can only be described as formidable for any potential competitor.

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The Melbourne Globalist – One Year On and Three Years Out: American Politics in 2013

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As the academic semester came to a close, I sat down with the University of Melbourne’s Dr. Timothy Lynch, one of the foremost experts on American politics on the Australian academic scene. Currently the Director of the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, at The Faculty of Arts, Dr. Lynch teaches a variety of subjects on American politics and contributes to a variety television and print media with expert commentary.

Over the course of a half-hour interview we discussed a variety of issues that reflected upon the current state of affairs in Washington, the fracas that was the Government Shutdown, President Obama’s increasingly challenging second term and concluded with us casting our eye to 2016 and who may contend for the White House.

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