This blog is written by Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Posts appear Monday & Wednesday.
The rural/urban divide is as pronounced in Australia as elsewhere.
There was a time when what I knew about Australia came from Crocodile Dundee movies. Aussies were good-natured straight shooters. Tough and self-sufficient, they saw the world clearly. They had no time for politically correct nonsense.
Alas, that was mostly fantasy. It turns out Australian journalists, politicians, and government employees are eerily similar to their brethren in the US, Canada, and the UK.
This class of people care about the same stuff. The problem is that the average person, especially those living outside major urban centers, considers that stuff ridiculous.
I’ve recently discussed the shameful conduct of James Cook University which, despite pesky ideas such as tenure and academic freedom, unlawfully fired a physics professor who voiced concern about Great Barrier Reef research (see here and here).
In the run-up to Australia’s federal election this Saturday, another news story illustrates that politics is as bonkers in that part of the world as elsewhere. Brunswick East Primary School, in Melbourne, has obliterated Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
The school’s newsletter, authored by principal Janet Di Pilla, announces that those occasions will henceforth be known as ‘Acknowledgment Days’ in order to be “as inclusive as possible” and to show that “we no longer subscribe to a binary world.”
Di Pilla further issued a public apology: “I am sorry that in the past we have offended some members of our community and I hope that this acknowledgment goes some way to address any hurt which has occurred in the past.”
Where did this woman, who is paid with tax dollars, get the idea that her job is to apologize for imaginary historical wrongs?
The students who attend this school are aged 5 to 13. In addition to having consulted parents, Di Pilla says she has spoken to “about ½ the students” regarding this matter. Really?
Perhaps her attention should have been elsewhere. An organization called BetterEducation compiles data about Aussie schools, ranking them according to performance.
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