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.

Costello and Keating

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 >>

The University of Melbourne VOICE Magazine and The Age – Passing on a passion for teaching

IMG_3966 One of the great joys that comes from teaching is the chance to share your passions with your students. While I’ve only taught for 18 months as an Associate of Teach For Australia, I’ve already had many such moments, where my passions have been absorbed and championed by my students. You can continue reading at The University of Melbourne VOICE Magazine >> OR You can continue reading at The Age >> 2015-06-08 - VOICE Magazine - Passing on a passion for teaching-page-001

Portland Observer and Guardian – Students tap into 40 years of experience

It was a great privilege, last week, to welcome a former lecturer of mine from my days as a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) student, Neville Norman, to my Year 12 Economics class at Portland Secondary College.

Thanks to the Portland Observer and Guardian for recapping Neville’s visit. In the article are some excellent reflections by students Jake Edwards and Annique Ray on how Neville’s workshop helped develop their understanding of the 2015 Federal Budget and the role it will play in the VCE Exam.

2015-05-27 - Portland Observer - Students tap in 40 years of experience

ESSA – Election 2013 – Abbott’s agenda up for amendment?

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Whilst the outcome on Election Night was clear – a decisive victory for Tony Abbott and the Liberal-National Coalition – the likely outcome in the Senate where various minor and micro-parties with specific agenda have won seats, has raised myriad questions about the fate of the incoming government’s policy programme.

You can read more at ESSA >>

ESSA – Election 2013 – let’s talk tax reform!

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As I watched ABC’s Q&A Monday episode, The National Economic Debate, I sat despairing at yet another missed opportunity to talk ambitiously about policy reforms in Australia. After an excellent question from the crowd about the merits of reforming the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to broaden its base and potentially increase the rate (whilst concurrently reducing and eliminating other inefficient and distortionary taxes), both Treasurer Chris Bowen and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey manoeuvered their way out of discussing what is a sensible reform. It was arguably the most disappointing element of what was a very entertaining and substantive debate between Bowen and Hockey that covered the breadth of economic issues facing Australia.

You can read more at ESSA >>