Monday, 1 August, 2022

Gold rush at the Commonwealth Games; Indigenous voice to parliament flagged; Saving turtles in Sydney; and Bob the Adventurous Pigeon.



Bob the Pigeon:

Tiny turtle who pooped plastic (scroll down for video): 


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A word and a phrase you’re going to hear a lot in the next weeks and months are ‘referendum’ and ‘indigenous voice to parliament’.

And because they have implications for the country you’re all going to grow up to live in: it’s worth taking a moment to understand what it all means. 

The Aussie Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was in the Northern Territory at the weekend, at the Garma Festival – which is a big festival for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 

At the festival, the PM announced plans for a referendum on whether to alter the Constitution to give indigenous Australians a greater say over matters that impact them. A sort of advisory body to the Parliament and government of the day on issues that affect their communities.

A referendum is a vote on whether to change the Australian Constitution. The Constitution is sort of like the rule book by which Australia operates. 

A referendum poses a question – or questions – and every Australian is invited to give a yes or no answer.

In this case, every Aussie over the age of 18 – sorry kids, that’s the legal voting age – will be asked whether they “support an alteration to the Constitution that establishes an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice?”

Now that might sound all very straightforward. But throughout Australia’s history, there have been 44 referendums – but only 8 have been successful. 

Notably, one of those times was back in 1967, when people voted to change the Constitution so that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples would be counted as part of the population. Because if you can believe it, before that date, they weren’t ..

Speaking at the Garma Festival on the weekend, the PM said: “This is an opportunity for us to demonstrate our maturity as a nation, to uplift our whole nation.” 

Adding that he knew there was a risk the referendum would not succeed, he said: “I recognise that it’s a risk, but if you don’t try then you have already not succeeded.”


Each day, we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in England – where Bob the Pigeon has finally returned home after taking an accidental 14,000 kilometre detour.

Bob is a homing pigeon – whose home is in northern England. He set off with a bunch of other pigeons from the Guernsey Islands, in the English Channel – and was supposed to fly the 600 kilometres back home. Except he got lost on the way and ended up in Alabama – in the United States – on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – some 7,000 kilometres away.

His owner thinks Bob might have gotten caught in a storm and landed on a ship that was crossing the Atlantic. When he got to Alabama – he was identified by the bracelet on his leg – and whacked in a special crate and flown in a plane back to England. Where his owner says he will now probably retire from racing.

Bob the Adventuring Pigeon … what a dude.



Gold rush, gold-a-palooza, it’s raining gold … however you want to describe it  – Australia had a cracking opening weekend at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham – and as we went to air this morning – there was a glimmer of more gold heading our way.

Among a host of incredible performances in the pool, Emma McKeon shone the brightest, bagging her 10th Commonwealth Games gold medal – bringing her equal to such swimming greats as Ian Thorpe, Leisel Jones and Susie O’Neill.

In the marathon, Aussie women were invincible .. with Jessica Stenson claiming gold and para-athlete Madison de Rozario taking out her third Commonweatlh Games gold medal finishing first in the women’s t53/54 wheelchair marathon. 


And with gold medal rugby sevens games scheduled for just after this podcast went to air – including our women’s sevens team, who beat reigning champs New Zealand to make the final – Australia’s lead at the top of the medal table looks likely to extend as the Games go on.



A tiny green sea turtle rescued from a Sydney beach and taken to Taronga Zoo’s wildlife hospital has pooped nothing but plastic for six straight days. The little fella was found lying on its back in a rock pool, missing a flipper, and with a hole in its shell. When it was taken to the hospital, the medical staff were impressed that it could swim so well with those disabilities! They were much less impressed though when their patient started to poo nothing but plastic. 

And it wasn’t as if the turtle had just chowed down on one thing. The plastic chunks that came out of its bum were different colours, sizes, and consistencies. Yuck. 

A Taronga nurse said that up to one third of all turtles in the ocean have eaten plastic, and she hopes that the NSW government’s ban on single-use plastic, which takes effect in November, will reduce the number of turtle patients they see. I’ve put a video of the little battler in your episode notes. 


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

  1. What’s the name of the document, starting with ‘C’ that’s like the rule book for how our country operates?
  2. What did a rescued turtle in Taronga Zoo poop for six days’ straight?
  3. Name the racing pigeon who went a teensy bit off course on his way home from the Guernsey Islands.





It’s August 1 … pinch and a punch … it’s every thoroughbred horse in the southern hemisphere’s birthday today .. true story .. so buy a prezzie for a horse if you know one today .. it’s also Aqua Man Jason Mamoa’s birthday – but he’s not a horse. And it’s the beginning of Pawgust – the guide dog association’s major fund raiser for the year … Pawgust .. see what they’ve done there? 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today ..  … 

Tommy from Woodside, Anya from Greenslopes, Tahlira from Ashmont, Grace from Cornubia and Jackson and Umanga (pronounced You-mung-ga) from Queanbeyan South.

A belated shout out goes to Spencer from Sherwood.

And classroom shoutouts today go to Albany Hills State School and a happy birthday to Miss Boulton, Mr Quoldling’s IO Junior Class at Northlakes High School in San Remo, class 4P and Mrs Pie from Carlingford Public School and lastly to Mr Pillage’s year 3 class at Penshurst West Public School


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Constitution
  2. Plastic
  3. Bob