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Showing posts from April, 2018

'I believe you and I will care for you': After the Royal Commission

So big has been the impact of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that one denomination, Anglican, in this part of Australia — the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn — has paid out four million dollars to victims over the past three years.

Without alarm, the man who was until Easter Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn told me the compensation costs would only increase.

We conducted an ‘exit interview’ in the weeks before he stepped down.

“What we want to do is be generous and kind and Christian,” he told me. “We've got facility with our various agencies to draw down money when necessary.”

Stuart Robinson is in no doubt that a national redress scheme is essential, but says it’s just one approach. “Parallel to that, we will be working with people for whom that won't work,” he says. “A one size fits all approach is not the best - there have to be different entry points for people to be cared for.”

“We are working with individu…

Rising education inequality should worry us all

In the opening pages of Aldous Huxley's famous dystopian novel Brave New World we are introduced to the Social Predestination Room.

On a tour of the room, a supervisor rubs his hands and points to the hatching embryos. Babies will emerge as "socialiased human beings, as Alphas and Epsilons," especially grown to be less intelligent.

A keen student asks why the temperature and oxygen levels are set where they are. "Ass!" says the director, "Hasn't it occurred to you that an Epsilon embryo must have an Epsilon environment as well as an Epsilon heredity".

I was reminded of the explanation while reading What Price the Gap? Education and Inequality in Australia, a new report from the Public Education Foundation (PEF).

It finds that inequality in educational outcomes actually increases as Australian students move through their school years. In other words, disadvantaged students become more disadvantaged over time.

Examining six years of testing data fro…