Friday, 24 March, 2023

An emotional day in Canberra; the seeds of life in space; beach rescue bravery; and learning leadership from a horse.


Squiz Kids is hiring! See the job ad here:


Today’s Quick Links: 

More details on the Voice to Parliament: 

Tasmanian Rural Women’s Award recognises horse-learning entrepreneur Melissa Dunaim:

Meet the brave beach rescuers:


Dig Deeper:

Full press conference announcing the Voice referendum wording: 

The “Yes” campaign website: 

What we know so far about “No” campaigns: 

Full scientific publication on uracil found in space:

Seven horse facial expressions and what they mean:

Understanding your horse’s body language:

Greeting customs from around the world and how to do them properly:

Classroom Companion

Teachers! Want to access free, curriculum-aligned classroom resources tied to the daily podcast? Sign up to be a Squiz Kids Classroom and download the Classroom Companion each day. Made by teachers for teachers, differentiated to suit all primary school ability levels. And did we mention it’s free?


Get started on our free media literacy resource for classrooms

Stay up to date with us on our Squiz Kids Instagram!  


Got a birthday coming up and you want a shout-out? Complete the form on our Squiz Kids website. Link: SHOUT OUTS or / send us an email at [email protected]




In an emotional address to the nation yesterday, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese revealed the final wording that will be used in the upcoming referendum on an indigenous voice to Parliament. 


We’ve talked a fair bit about the voice since the PM announced last May, after he was elected, that his government would work towards changing Australia’s constitution in order to recognise our First Nations people, and establish “A Voice to Parliament” – basically, a way for indigenous Australians to provide advice and expertise to the politicians making decisions about them. 


There are a few concepts here that we should probably go through. 


The constitution is essentially Australia’s rule book—it sets up how our government works. The only people who can change it are us, the Australian people – a majority of citizens, in a majority of states, have to approve any change to the constitution. And a referendum is HOW we decide whether to approve the change. It’s basically an election, with the exact same question being asked of every Australian. 


It was the wording of this question that was released yesterday. Here it is: 


A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.

Do you approve this proposed alteration?


So… why did this make our PM, and the indigenous people with him yesterday, emotional? Because Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have been asking for decades to be recognised and listened to. For them, just getting to the stage of finalising a referendum question is a historic step forward. I’ve put a link to the full press conference in your episode notes – you might need to pause and discuss every now and then with an adult, but it’s an excellent primary source to explore. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Japan, where scientists have made an extraordinary discovery about how life may have started on earth. And it’s all to do with asteroids. 


For a long time, scientists have wondered whether life could have started on earth after meteors – which are broken-off pieces of asteroids and comets – brought the components of life with them when they crashed on our planet’s surface. Evidence of organic compounds has been found on meteorites, but it wasn’t clear if those compounds came from space, or had contaminated the meteorites once they landed. 


But Japan’s space agency has made history by collecting the first ever samples from an asteroid that’s still flying through space, sealing the samples, and then bringing them to Earth for analysis. And they found organic compounds, including something called uracil, which is a component of RNA. RNA is a compound that is found in all living cells. It’s nothing less than a building block of life. 


Not surprisingly, researchers now want to know how common it is for compounds like these to be floating around in space. Happily, NASA is delivering samples from another asteroid in September. I’ve put a link to the original research paper in your episode notes … not because I expect you to understand it, but because it’s good media literacy practice to include original sources. 




Have you ever heard of a talking horse? Neigh! See what I did there… 

We all know that horses can’t talk, but they are excellent at communicating with their bodies. A flick of the head, a stamp of the foot… And a Tasmanian businesswoman, Melissa Dunaim, is using horses to teach business people to communicate better with humans! She’s been so successful that she has won the 2023 Rural Women’s Award for Tasmania. 

Melissa says it’s all about “learning the horse’s body language versus expecting him to understand and adhere to yours.” [NEIGH] And why is this important for business people? Herds of horses are a bit like teams of people. They want to feel safe and have a strong, understanding leader. But every horse, and every person, is different. Leaders need to share their message in a way that suits the individual, to help avoid confusion and build a great relationship. 

We could probably all learn a lesson from that. 




Two young women from New South Wales’ north coast have won national bravery awards for their quick thinking and heroic actions in saving the lives of two 11-year-old girls caught in a strong surf rip.  


Elyse Partridge and Bella Broadley were having a picnic with friends at Angels Beach, near Ballina, when they heard screams. The girls were struggling to keep their heads above water, the beach was not patrolled by lifeguards, and the adult who brought them couldn’t swim.  It was almost dark, and the surf was extremely rough. Bella and Elyse, aged just 17 and 18 at the time, jumped into action, grabbing an esky lid to help with floatation, and swimming their hearts out to save the girls. Bella and Elyse were two of the 66 Australians who received bravery medals from the Governor General this week … and Squiz Kids also salutes you. 



This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. Building blocks of life have been found in a sample taken from what?  
  2. What kind of flotation device did two brave swimmers use in their beach rescue? 
  3. What is the name of the kind of vote that changes our constitution? 





It’s March 24 … one day before the New South Wales state election, and you know what that means… democracy sausages! Get on down to your local primary school polling station and check out the cake stall, too. We’ll update you on Monday about the result. I’m talking about the political result, of course, although if I eat something EXTRA delicious, it could be considered newsworthy. 


It’s also a Friday – and you know what that means .. lots of birthday shout outs for today and the coming weekend … which means we need to get our reggae on … hit it 


It’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today…Alex from Oak Park, Juno from Newrybar, Jack from Gilmore, Sophia from Ulverstone, Penny from Erskineville, Annabel from Chatswood, Oscar from Canberra, Lucy from Drouin, Patrick from Ballarat, Riley from North Clyde and Finlay – an Australian expat listening in Canada. 


A belated shoutout goes to…Maddy from Albion Park.

Not forgetting all the Squiz Kids (and there are a lot of you)…who are celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend… Massah from Munno Parra, Layla and Noah from Junee, Phoenix from Paraburdoo, Ben from Barrack Point, Jasper from Holbrook, Sophie from Maylands, Hunter from Rathmines, Clementine from Wangaratta, Isaac from McDowell, Misha-Dawne from Broken Hill, Haylee from Woongarrah, Nell from Botany, Isla from North Manly, Leo from Elermore Vale, Alexander from Balwyn North, Tilly from Yarrawonga, Campbell from Perth and Daniel from Hawthorn.

And a special classroom shout out to class 3-6M at Bradbury Public School in Campbelltown and a happy birthday to Mrs Montgomery today. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. An asteroid
  2. Esky lid
  3. Referendum