Dr David Short – Careers Guidance Counsellor
Australia’s Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel promoting the value of studying STEM subjects.
Imagine it’s March 1942. It’s the depths of the Second World War and you’re a Kindergarten teacher in the inner suburbs of Perth.
These are anxious times. The nation is reeling from news that the skies above Darwin have been darkened by the bombs of Japanese forces, claiming the lives of more than 200 people. An invasion feels more like a probability than a possibility.
Days earlier, the war has come to your doorstep with Japanese fighter planes attacking the Western Australian coastal town of Broome. In response, the Government has ordered the closure of all kindergartens in Perth and Fremantle.
A meeting of the Kindergarten Union is called. The topic on the agenda? In such extraordinary times, how can children continue learning when they need to be kept at home?
After hours of intense discussion and debate, a new and innovative method of reaching out to young children is proposed. An educational radio program for the children of Western Australia will be developed. It’s also announced that auditions will be held for the position of host.
A few days later you’re sitting in a room at the ABC studios in Perth, awaiting your audition. You’re nervous and you should be. Today is a big day.
They call you in. You try to keep your expression calm and your voice reassuring. Just like in the classroom. When the audition ends, you feel a ripple of excitement permeate the room. “You’re a complete natural,” you’re told. The job is yours.
On 23 March 1942, Margaret Graham began ‘Kindergarten of the Air’, the first program of its kind in the world. Every day, at 9:30 am, parents were advised to clear a good sized space in front of the wireless and help their children with activities as directed by their unseen teacher.
The program’s popularity led to it being delivered nationally in 1943, and later emulated in the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States.
Today, we again find ourselves in a moment of great challenge; a moment that is re-shaping the way we live, the way we work, and the way we teach and learn. And yet, it’s important to recognise that this situation is not somehow unique or hopeless.
The story of ‘Kindergarten of the Air’ reminds us of the incredible drive and ingenuity of this nation. What was true then can also be true now. We can make change work for us and turn a moment of adversity into an opportunity.
Learning from the lessons of the past to reach beyond standard approaches and promote new strategies, new techniques, and new technologies. From the radio age to the internet age. From the wireless to the web.
Online learning can be our own instrument of communication to help children learn and grow outside the classroom.
Echoing its pioneering past, the ABC is once again broadcasting educational shows, offering free videos, interactive resources and games mapped to the Australian curriculum through its education portal.
The online SPECTRA program is on hand to encourage and excite students to do science activities, experiments and projects, all of which are developed and administered by the Australian Science Teachers Association.
When I commenced my term as Australia’s Chief Scientist, I did so with a vision to expand educational opportunities and outcomes for all our children. Central to that goal is promoting clear, simple, and consistent advice to students and parents about the value of studying fundamental STEM subjects.
Ensuring our children have the tools and guidance that they need to explore and discover, while building a solid foundation for their, and our nation’s, future.
On my first day in the job, I was handed a thick book. It was a list of extracurricular programs available to students through third party providers. It was a good idea but, being a printed book, the medium limited the message. It was time-consuming to search and, of course, it was out of date even before we hit print.
The solution was obvious: an online portal. It would turn a temporary one-time compilation into a living two-way link.
We gave it a name: The STARportal. Australia’s first national portal for STEM activities. A searchable database that connects parents, students and teachers with local and online STEM activities in real time.
Giving young people the opportunity to solve real world problems, using well-developed, high-quality, tested activities. A world of inspiration right there at your fingertips.
Our challenge may be new. The technology with which we meet it may be new. But what this moment calls for is recalling the enduring lesson of our history.
Invoking the spirit of Margaret Graham to show the world, once more, just how resilient and resourceful Australians can be.”
Author: Dr Alan Finkel is Australia’s Chief Scientist.
2021 Year 12 Entry Requirements
To ensure Year 12 students are not disadvantaged by the current circumstances, Bond University will be accepting applications from Year 12 students based on their first semester results. These special entry requirements include all undergraduate programs, with the exception of the Bond Medical Program. You can read more on our dedicated webpage: https://bond.edu.au/future-students/study-bond/how-apply/undergraduate-admissions-criteria/2021-year-12-entry
Bond University scholarships for 2021
Bond’s scholarship program offers many full-fee and part-fee scholarships as well as cash bursaries. Most scholarships can be used for any single or combined program (except for the Medical Program). Visit the Scholarship webpage https://bond.edu.au/future-students/study-bond/how-apply/scholarships for more information, to download the scholarship brochure and to access the application tips. Scholarship applications https://bond.edu.au/future-students/study-bond/how-apply for Year 12s must be lodged online using the Bond University application form.
Central Queensland University (CQU)
Graduating high school and starting university is an exciting time for Year 12 students and we understand there is a lot of information needed to navigate this transition. That’s why we’re here to help at our Year 12 Parent webinar https://www.cqu.edu.au/events/event-items/information-session/year-12-parent-webinar Tuesday, 16 June from 4 to 5 pm.
Parents, students and teachers are encouraged to attend as we guide guests through each step of the transition and arm you with the information and resources you need.
The webinar will include information on:
• Opportunities for students after high school
• Making career choices
• Where to find course information including entry requirements
• How to apply
• Alternate pathways
• Course fees
• Scholarships, and
• What comes after application
As part of its Economic Response to the Coronavirus, the Australian Government is supporting business to manage cash flow challenges and to keep apprentices and trainees employed through a new Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy.
A 50 per cent subsidy for wages paid to apprentices is available to small businesses, including those using a Group Training Organisation, to help retain existing apprentices and trainees.
Employers of any size who re-engage an apprentice or trainee that has been displaced from a small business may also attract a wage subsidy.
The apprentice or trainee must have been in-training with a small business as at 1 March 2020.
Subsidies will cover wages paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Businesses will be reimbursed up to $7,000 per quarter, up to a maximum of $21,000, per eligible apprentice or trainee. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020.
For further information on how to apply for the subsidy, including information on eligibility, contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.
Further information on: https://www.employment.gov.au/supporting-apprentices-and-trainees
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