Monday, 21 November, 2022

World Cup kicks off today; Kangaroos and Jillaroos on top of the world; the Year Sixers who gave back; and the chimp hug that stopped the world.



Chimpanzee mum reunited with newborn – VIDEO



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If you’re a lover of football – of the round ball variety – I don’t need to tell you that today marks the start of an important couple of weeks of serious sports spectating as the FIFA World Cup kicks off in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar.

Football – or soccer as its’ also known – is the most popular sport on the planet. More people play it and follow it than any other sport in the world – and while hundreds of thousands of football fans will travel to Doha – the capital of Qatar – for the big event – many millions more will tune in to the event on their televisions or devices or listen on the old-fashioned radio.

With the possible exception of the Olympics, there’s no bigger international sporting event in the whole wide world.

And while this World Cup in Qatar will be historic … it’s the first time the event has taken place in a Middle Eastern country … it’s also been dogged with controversy, as we’ve discussed a few times on the podcast already.

That’s a fancy way of saying that the competition itself has been overshadowed by issues around staging the event, including concerns about the way migrant workers building the stadiums have been treated by host country Qatar.

Migrant workers are people who leave their home country to find a job. And in Qatar – which is a small desert country mostly made up of sand dunes, with a population of about 3 million, so the entire country has about the same number of inhabitants as Brisbane. Reports say 85 percent of those 3 million people are migrant workers – from countries like India, Nepal and the Philippines – and that they don’t have the same rights as, say, workers here in Australia do.

When the whistle blows tonight on the first game: Ecuador versus Qatar, all eyes will be on the scoreboard – as 32 teams battle it out to be named the best football playing country in the world. 

There are 8 groups – Australia, ranked 38th in the world, has to win games in its pool against Denmark (which is ranked 10th) and France which is world number four – and defending World Cup champions. So, you know, it’s a hill to climb.

And a reminder that Amanda and I have produced an excellent Squiz Kids Shortcut on the World Cup – available to all our Squiz Kids for Schools + Apple subscribers  – links to both in today’s episode notes.

The Aussies play France early on Wednesday morning.

Let the games begin.



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Kansas in the United State  – where a mother’s love for her newborn baby has been captured for all the world to see. 

We’re talking about a chimpanzee called Mahale .. who had a baby called Kucheza last week in Sedgwick Zoo in Kansas. The baby chimp needed to stay in hospital for a couple of days – meaning mum had to wait to cuddle her newborn.

And in a video captured by the zookeepers, and which has gone viral on the internet, when mother and baby are reunited – it’s enough to melt the heart of even the hard-heartest of humans. And so of course: as a reminder to every mum out there of how kids can get under your skin, and a reminder to every kid out there who takes their mum’s unconditional love for granted – I’ve stuck a link to the video  in today’s episode notes. Because it’s a Monday and it’s getting towards the end of the year and I’, feeling tired and emotional ..  





Speaking of tired and emotional – that’s what Aussie footy fans will be this morning after a weekend spent burning the midnight oil to catch all the grand final footy action on the other side of the earth.

And a big shout out first up to the Kangaroos – the Aussie men’s rugby league team – who defended their World Cup title at the weekend, once again winning the competition with a convincing victory over Samoa. The 30–10 score line didn’t quite tell the story of the heroic effort the Samoan side put in: making an appearance in the their first major international grand final for a very long time. 

The Jillaroos – the Aussie women’s rugby league team – made altogether easier work of their grand final opponents, New Zealand, winning the women’s rugby league World Cup by a whopping 54-4. 

The Wallabies – the Australian men’s  rugby union team – did their darndest, but just couldn’t beat the world number one team, Ireland yesterday morning, going down 13-10.

Closer to home, the Aussie mens cricket team have sailed to an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the One Day International series against England after winning in Sydney on Saturday night by 72 runs. We’ll take that …




When you have some free time after school, what do you like to do? Play video games? Go outside and kick the footy? Watch telly? 

Well, how about shaving your head for charity instead? Or creating your own walkathon to raise money for abandoned animals?

On Friday, Squiz Kids had the very great privilege of attending the awards ceremony for the Fred Hollows Foundation Humanity Award for 2022, where we heard about the extraordinary ways that six very special year sixes have given back to their communities. 

Fred Hollows was an eye doctor who got into medicine not to make money, but to help people… and it’s estimated that one million people can see today because of his extraordinary work. Like Fred, the six winners of the foundation’s Junior Ambassador awards saw a problem in their community, and decided to help fix it. 

And so, we send a massive Squiz Kids Salute to Tyler in WA, for his walkathon to save animals; Zoe in the NT who traded her hair for donations to the Leukaemia Foundation; William in Queensland, who sells his own art to raise money for research into his brother’s rare genetic disability. Amelia in SA and Matilda in New South Wales, have helped lots of people in so many ways I can’t list them … And then there’s Matilda in Victoria, a journalist since the age of 8, who donates all the money she makes from her newspaper that explains the big issues to young people. That sounds VERY familiar. 

So the next time you have a few hours spare… and you see someone who needs helping, or a problem that needs fixing… be like Tyler, Zoe, Amelia, William, and the Matildas. Do something. 



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

  1. Which team does Australia play first in the soccer World Cup on Wednesday morning?
  2. What’s the name of the World Cup winning Australian women’s rugby league team?
  3. Which South Pacific island team lost to Australia but were still winners for having made it to rugby league World Cup final in England yesterday morning?




It’s November 21 … only 33 days until Christmas … remember, he’s making a list and checking it twice … it’s also the birthday of cartoon favourite Tweety Bird – who turns 80 today. 

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

Alfred from Kingsley, Jamie from Doncaster, Jackson from Sydney, Timothy from Caringbah, Arlo from Lane Cove West, Maxi from Bundanoon, twins Sophie and Sally and Branson from Cronulla, twins Dania and Mariam from Ivanhoe, Idris from Marayong and Arian from Melbourne.

Belated birthday shout outs go to Matilda from Bronte, Lara and Sashwanth from Harrisdale, Phillip from Melbourne, Tilda from Bronte, Celine and Toby from Ivanhoe and Lara from Ashmont – and apologies Lara for missing your shoutout last week. 

And today’s classroom shoutouts go to .. class 6F at  Indooroopilly State School and happy significant birthday to their teacher Mr Colston, class 6N and Mrs Norgate at The Springfield Anglican College, class 6 venus from Chester Hill Public School, class 3G and Ms Galluzzo at Epping West Public School, class SP1 and Mr Blythe at Saint Pius X School in Warrnambool and lastly to class 5K at Cronulla Public School and congratulations to class mate Sophie H who competed in the national athletics championships in Brisbane last week.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. France
  2. Jillaroos
  3. Samoa