Saturday Magazine on Joy 94.9FM – Co-Hosting, Education, Homelessness and Journalism

On Saturday the 8th of April, I co-hosted Saturday Magazine on Joy 94.9FM with David McCarthy. Over the course of two hours we discussed a variety of issues, including the latest news in American and Australian politics, trends in education, youth homelessness and support for LGBTQ youth and the trials and tribulations of the AOC election.

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A particular highlight was to catch up with good friend and former schoolmate, Paul Millar, who’s now based in Pnomh Penh in Cambodia writing for a local magazine.

You can listen to a variety of our conversations here:

Teach For Australia – Stories – Educational Disadvantage: An Economic Perspective

This blog post is part of a series related to the SBS documentary Testing Teachers. To find out more about Testing Teachers click here.

I was born in August of 1991. Plenty was happening in the world then, much as it is now. Countries were in the throes of political crises, new technological innovations were challenging the old ways of doing things and The Simpsons were on our TV screens. Unlike now, however, in 1991 Australia was emerging from the depths of a bitter recession, dubbed by our then Prime Minister Paul Keating as one the nation ‘had to have’.

In the prevailing 26 years or so, Australia has been the economic envy of most of the developed world for our unimpeded economic growth and ability to weather events such as the Global Financial Crisis. Despite this being a source of pride for our country, and at that top of any talking points from our treasurers (starting with likes of Paul Keating and Peter Costello and continuing today with Scott Morrison), it is readily apparent that not all Australians have prospered equally. While there are many ways we can measure inequality in our society, one of the most evident means is to see the disparity, in educational opportunities for Australia’s children.

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You can read more at Teach For Australia >>

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.

You can read more at Teach For Australia >>

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.

You can read more at Teach For Australia >>

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

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As I venture to the kindergarten where I was educated nearly twenty years ago to cast my vote, I’ll reflect on the role education has had in my life. Moreover, I’ll take a moment to appreciate the modern marvel that is Australian democracy.

With the benefit of compulsory voting, Australia has one of the most stable and robust democracies on the face of the Earth. But it only preserves this status through an engaged citizenry; one that asks tough questions of its leaders and thinks carefully about the impact of their vote.

To achieve this, we as teachers need to play our role. No matter the result of this election it is our responsibility to engage our students in matters of politics and government and make the case for why they should get involved and vote with interest and enthusiasm.

As political commentator and Gold Logie Winner Waleed Aly said at the start of the campaign, I don’t care who you vote for, just vote, because right now we only have a partial democracy. Let’s get a real one.”

Put another way, democracy is not a spectator sport. Every election is determined by the people who show up.

You can read more at Teach For Australia >>

Portland Observer and Guardian – Secondary school students ask tough questions of Tehan

Following on the from the success of welcoming former Premier Denis Napthine MP to Portland Secondary College in 2014, Dan Tehan MP for Wannon was invited to participate in a forum with the Senior Student Leadership Team and members of the Student Representative Council at PSC in August of 2015.

The Portland Observer and Guardian noted the substance of the students questions and praised their interest in connecting with their political leaders.

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