Showing posts from May, 2020

Feed Play Love: Laying the groundwork for a healthy digital family life

The COVID-19 lockdown has, among other things, laid bare our modern lives and how dependent we are on digital technology for just about everything.

Creating boundaries with our children around screen-use just got a whole lot harder.

This period has also provoked questions around the role of education. What is the purpose of school?

Students can find information on everything online but knowledge found there is only really useful when it's integrated with what they know. Integration is supported by conversation. A class environment can provide that, so too, the home.

Last September I recorded this podcast which explores some of the above.

Listen to Feed Play Love: Laying the groundwork for a healthy digital family life here

Mental health: making real productivity gains post COVID

For many of us, forced to work at home or to not work at all, the COVID-19 crisis has driven home the importance of mental health and how work interacts with our sense of wellbeing.

World leading researchers and mental health experts have warned that as the virus subsides, we will see a big surge in the need for mental health care and pain management. A stretched mental health system will be under increased pressure.Young people, hit hard by the closure of schools and hospitality businesses, are going to be disproportionately affected.

So it’s with anticipation then that the Productivity Commission will soon release its final report of its 18-month inquiry into mental health and productivity.

The draft report, released in October, was a good start but the final report will need to be more holistic - with the social determinants of mental health as a guiding principle - to inspire confidence.

The draft report found that the economic costs of poor mental health were shockingly high, am…

Being Coloured - Race and politics in the New South Africa

I am reading the memoir of comedian and television host Trevor Noah, Born A Crime.

Noah grew up in South Africa. His recently published autobiography is a powerful reminder of the brutality of racism that keeps the world's colonised people poor. 
Noah speaks to me at many levels as an Australian who spent the first 6 years in South Africa classified as 'Coloured': a person of mixed race. Noah doesn't paint a flattering picture of the coloured community.
In 2008 I produced a radio doco on my journey 'home', Being Coloured. In it my grandfather observes, "You were what they made you". Apartheid South Africa divided not just its black and white citizens but other race groups. The political system bred violence and pettiness. Its legacy continues.

I travelled back to Durban with my mother, Lillian, to try and discover my ancestry and what it meant during apartheid to be 'Coloured'. Does the label still stick in the new South Africa? The documentar…

The earth is breathing easier. Can it beyond COVID-19?

COVID-19 is doing a lot of the work environmentalists could only dream of.

Major cities and their birds are breathing easier. Across China, smog has given way to the colour blue. Even the snow-capped Himalayas are visible from parts of Northern India for the first time in local’s memories.

Here in Australia, bike sales are up and with fewer cars on the road fewer wild birds and animals are being injured.

Seismologists are reporting that the upper crust of the Earth is quieter. Less transport means much less pollution. Global emissions are now predicted will fall by 2.6 billion metric tons in 2020, the largest fall in history.

At home, many of us are returning to our gardens. There’s a shortage of seedlings at Bunnings. Even apartment dwellers are starting balcony gardens and “grow your own” food clubs.

Might some of the changes wrought by coronavirus last? There are reasons to feel some optimism:

1. In this instance the prime minister has acted on the science. Rather than talking ab…