Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ANZAC Biscuits

My lightbulb moment happened when I collected the post.  Six glossy pages about ANZAC Day from Rowan Ramsay - the Liberal Member for the seat of Grey.  He sends something similar each year - to re-enforce his personal commitment to the British colonial view of our history.  At least he hasn't yet erected a billboard.

It's a six page glossy brochure with "must have" information - like how to make an ANZAC biscuit and the history of "The Dawn Service".  It will have cost a pretty penny - but nothing is too good for the people of Grey.

Not for him the alternative view of our history.  Like many Liberals Rowan chooses to emphasise our nation's colonial roots rather than those of our Aboriginal heritage.  And an unnatural and extreme Liberal focus on ANZAC Day is all part of that little charade.

It's surprising really - given that Grey has such a large population of indigenous Australian's.  Perhaps they already know how to make ANZAC biscuits.

There are important things happening on the other side of politics that far outweigh these feeble attempts by the conservatives to re-activate the history wars and to distract us.

In my view - nothing is more important for the nation - than the education of our children - and that is why Gonski is special.  The Gonski Review was the most comprehensive investigation of the way schools are funded in Australia in almost 40 years.

David Gonski found Australia is investing far too little in education and in particular in public schools.

As a consequence, too many students are missing out on the resources they need and there are growing gaps in the achievements of students from different backgrounds.

Now I know that many Liberals don't get it - which is why they prefer to glorify failed battles from 100 years ago - but if you want a real future for your kids and for the nation then you should support the Gonski recommendations.

A big first step was taken today with Liberal Premier Barry O'Farrell getting on board.  Congratulations NSW.

And recently I had a mate tell me a story about how he tests school leavers for apprenticeships.  One of his maths tests is to calculate the noggin length between two wall studs - each of 35mm width and spaced on 600mm centres.  Simple mental arithmetic produces 565mm - but that was unable to be calculated by most in a recent test of 5 kids.

And that Virginia is a practical example of why Gonski is so important.

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