Monday, October 16, 2023

Australia votes No; 16 yo mayors in Malta; big weekend sports wrap; and is Tay Tay bigger than Barbie?


Gang Gang’s Guide To Referendums

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After months of back and forth campaigning, almost a year of speculation and debate, after some 18 million Australians trudged off to schools and community halls to vote on Saturday – the referendum on an Indigenous Voice to Parliament was defeated over the weekend with 60 percent of the country voting No.

As we’ve talked about before, a referendum is a YES or NO question put to the Australian people about whether to change the Constitution – which is like the rule book by which the country is run. 

In this instance: the referendum was asking Australians whether they agreed to change the Constitution to recognise Indigenous Australians and give them a Voice in matters that affect them.

Sort of like how the Student Representative Council works at your school. 

As we’ve learned in the Squiz Kids special podcast ‘Gang-Gang’s Guide To Referendums’ it’s hard for a referendum to succeed. I’ve stuck a link to that podcast in the episode notes.

In the 45 referendums that have taken place in the history of Australia – only 8 have them have succeeded – not least because for a referendum to succeed you need a double majority – which is to say a majority of voters across the country, more than 50% – plus a majority of states – four out of six. All six of the Australian states voted No – with the ACT being the only territory that voted Yes. 

Yesterday, it was an outcome that was being described as deeply disappointing for Indigenous Australians. 

An extra special reason for Squiz Kids to reach out the hand of kindness to their Indigenous brothers and sisters.

In other polling booth news .. our neighbours New Zealand have a new Prime Minister after a general election was held on Saturday. The new PM is a man called Christopher Luxom – whose victory has brought to an official end the era of politics across the ditch dominated by former Kiwi PM Jacinda Ardern.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Malta .. an island country in the Mediterranean Sea in Europe where kids as young as 16 years old are allowed to become mayor. 

What’s a mayor? It’s the person who is head of a town or local council.

And usually it’s a job that’s done by people a little older than 16 .. 

The decision has led to lots of commentary in Malta .. including people pointing out that you need to be 18 to hold a drivers licence  – but under this new scenario, while a 16 year old mayor could conduct a wedding ceremony – they would need mum or dad to drive them to the ceremony.  

Squiz Kids resident teacher Christie has made some excellent Classroom Companion worksheets today tied to this story .. they’re curriculum-aligned and a great way for teachers to extend their kids’ engagement with news and current affairs – if you’re a teacher and haven’t yet signed up to this totally free resource – jump on over to



Wowsers … what a weekend it has been in sport! It’s hard to know where to begin. 

Argentina pulled off a remarkable come from behind victory over Wales to advance to the Rugby World Cup semi finals in France, while New Zealand just scraped together a win over Ireland – sending the Irish packing and the Kiwis into the semi-finals too. 

In cricket: Australia got smashed by South Africa over the weekend and play Sri Lanka tomorrow night in the World Cup in India .. while host country India posted a win over long-time rivals, Pakistan. 

And then there was the rugby league Pacific Test matches, where the Aussies smashed Samoa 38-12 while the Jillaroos, our women’s rugby league team, notched up a win against New Zealand winning 16-10. 



We know Taylor Swift is big, right? But is it possible she’s more popular than Super Mario Bros and Barbie?

That’s the question being asked after the movie of her current Eras World Tour raked in over $160 million dollars as it opened in cinemas this weekend. 

Tay Tay has got a bit of work to do to catch up with Super Mario Bros and Barbie, which both sold more than a billion dollars worth of tickets at the movie box office – but I reckon she’ll do it on her finely tuned ear.

In other news to excite Swifties everywhere – the countdown is on for the re-release of 1989 – the album that made her a worldwide star. She’s been busy re-recording the hits from that album – including Bad Blood, Blank Space and Shake It Off – and will be releasing them on October 27. Hashtag exciting. 



Hey team .. don’t foget to send in your questions to former Aussie PM, Julia Gillard –  who’s agreed to take the Squiz Kids hotseat for a Squiz Kids Q+A. 

You know the drill … send in any questions you – the kids of Australia – would like to ask, and we’ll select the best ten to put to her. 

Thanks to those of you who have sent in questions already … they’re excellent.

And a shout out to  Akhila who wants to know what it was like to be Australia’s first female Prime Minister and why her parents migrated from Wales to Australia – and also to Molly who’s asking if she got treated differently as a female politician and to Olive – who clearly knows a lot about the former PM and wants to know if she still wishes when she was at school she coujld have done woodwork instead of cooking and sewing. Great questions! 

If you’ve got a question you’d love to ask former PM Gillard you better get cracking … you’ve only got until Friday morning to get your questions in … so don’t just sit there – get submitting questions already. Send them to [email protected].


Well – wasn’t that a whole lot of fun? A big thanks to all of the Squiz Kids who came to our very first Squiz Kids LIVE show in Canberra on Saturday … there were science experiments live on stage, we took a trip to Mars, did a live Kids v Adults Quiz (it was a draw ..) had heaps of fun at our daytime disco – AND for a moment there I had a three metre Burmese python called Bernie wrapped around my neck .. check the Squiz Kids Instagram + Facebook for photos .. extra special thanks for those of you who travelled a long way to attend the show – including families from Culcairn, Sydney and even Newcastle! We’ll create a podcast from the live recording – so keep an eye out for that – and we’re already hatching plans to bring the show to other cities .. so stay tuned. 


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

  1. Which team did New Zealand beat in the rugby World Cup to advance to the semi finals?
  2. At what age can people in Malta become mayor?
  3. Which two mega movies is it possible Taylor Swift’s Eras tour movie could topple in the ticket sales stakes?





It’s October 16  … today is World Bread Day .. so enjoy your toast or sandwiches today .. it’s also the first day of Term 4 for school kids in South Australia and Tassie .. hope you enjoyed your holidays .. 


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today and tomorrow… Evelyn and Liam from Abbotsford, Hunter and Georgie from Mount Eliza, Grace from Adelaide, Tamzyn from Parapurdoo, Van from Burleigh Heads, Ryan from Cabramatta, Lily from Albion Park, Daniel from Forster, Hayley from Condobolin, Hannah from Mount Gravatt, Olivia from Cobbitty, Romy from the Central Coast, John from Camp Hill and Cecelia from Middle Harbour. 


Belated shoutouts go to… Josh from Parkside, Ryan from Bradbury, Cooper from Claymore and Taavi (pronounced Tarvey) from Woonona.


And we are returning to the classroom shout outs this week starting with… class HB22 and Miss Black at Woongarrah Public School, class ‘Holden’ and Miss Heart at Oran Park Public School, class 5M and Mrs Roberts at St Matthew’s Primary School in Page, class 2R and Miss Graham at Reddam House in NSW, classes “Wombats, Major Mitchells & Rosellas” at Warragamba Public School and lastly class 4 Diamonds and Mrs Sullivan at Jordan Springs Public School.



The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Ireland
  2. 16
  3. Super Mario Bros and Barbie