Monday, 23 November, 2020

Mask-off Monday for Victoria; US Air Force tracks Santa’s sleigh; Wallabies just hold on; and China’s moon mission.



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The sweet taste of fresh air in the great outdoors will pass over the lips of Melburnians today – without having passed through a face mask – as the state of Victoria happily lifts a bunch of strict lockdown restrictions.

Face masks will no longer have to be worn by Victorians whenever they leave home as the state’s chief health officer, Brett Sutton, even went as far as to declare community transmission of COVID-19 had been stopped in its tracks.


Christmas down south also just got a whole lot more festive with a ruling to say that households can welcome up to 30 people to their home – which, let’s face it, is about as many as you’d want to have to cater for.

Whilst noting that Victoria has now had 23 days in a row of no new cases, a plan was laid out for people to start returning to their offices for work, large sporting venues to start to welcome people back to the stands and increases in the number of people allowed at skateparks, public pools, trampolining centres – and even escape rooms. Because what better way to celebrate release from lockdown than voluntarily locking yourself up? 

Victoria: you’ve done it tough these past few months. Take a bow. And while you’re there: a deep, luxurious, maskless inhale of as much outside air as you can gulp down. 

And it wasn’t just Victoria that will be celebrating an easing of COVID restrictions today: with the NSW-Victoria border also opening up again, and our friends in South Australia starting to resume something like normal life. The emergency six-day lockdown that came into effect on Thursday, was lifted as quickly as it was imposed – after it was decided it was no longer necessary. The bad news? That week-long holiday you South Australian Squiz Kids thought they were going to get from school? Yeah: it’s not happening. You’re back in the classroom today. Woo-hoo!



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops … and today, we’ve landed in Colorado in the United States … a mountain-filled state in the country’s west where air force personnel at a military base are preparing for their most important job of the year: tracking Santa’s sleigh.

The base is called the Peterson Air Force Base, and each year, the staff on duty Christmas Eve have the heavy responsibility of tracking Santa and his reindeer via satellite as they make their way around the planet delivering gifts.

The air force base offers a dial-in service on Christmas Eve for any kid wanting to keep track of Santa’s progress. And this year, the phone centre will be staffed by socially-distancing volunteers, fielding phone calls from kids all over the world. 

According to the air force base website, its satellites “use infrared tracking to follow the heat emitted from Rudolph’s nose, while very occasionally they send fighter pilots up to escort Santa’s sleigh through rough weather. 

You better watch out! 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to the Santa Tracking Dial In Service. 




Those Pumas have gone and done it again … staged another upset on the rugby pitch this weekend keeping Australia’s Wallabies to a 15-all draw. 

‘Disappointed’ was a word that seemed to be used a lot by the Australian coach at a press conference after the match – as Wallabies captain Michael Hooper sat stone faced beside him. The Argentinian side however were pretty pleased with themselves. Fresh from their stunning defeat last week of the New Zealand All Blacks, the boys in blue and white are on something of a streak. Going into the Tri-Nations Tournament as underdogs – having travelled from their home in South America and quarantined to be here, and with several players having contracted COVID to boot – the Pumas have been the surprise package in the competition – much to the delight of their fans. 

Though whether the All Blacks let them continue that streak when they meet again next weekend is what big people might call debatable. Which is a polite way of saying: not likely. 




The Moon is about to get just a little bit more crowded rwith news that China is set to launch a moon probe this week, hoping to collect rocks from an ancient lava field 384,000 kilometres above our heads.

The Chang-e 5 rocket ship, named after the Chinese goddess of the Moon, is expected to lift off from China sometime in the next couple of days. 

It will travel to a part of the moon that has never been visited before. An ancient lava field that’s called the Ocean of Storms. How cool is that name?

Once there, it will collect rock samples to bring back to Earth for scientists to study. 

It’s the first time the Chinese have attempted a mission like this one – and if its successful, they will be only the third country in the world to have collected moon samples – joining an exclusive club that so far only has the United States and the former Soviet Union in it.




We did it! We won! We won the gold award for Best Family Podcast at Saturday night’s Australian Podcast Awards – and we couldn’t be more proud.

An enormous thanks to all of you excellent Squiz Kids listeners – without whom we wouldn’t be here. 

When the trophy arrives, I’ll take a photo and stick it on our Instagram page. Because it belongs to you all of you as much as it belongs to us.

Thanks also to everyone who took the time to vote in the Listener’s Choice Award – where we placed in the top 20. A remarkable achievement.

Props too to our parent podcast, Squiz Today – a daily news fix, just like this one, but for adults. They received a prestigious bronze medal in the network category, placing them in the same company as big hitters like the ABC. Woo-hoo to that!

If you’re a big person listening to this podcast and you like the cut of its jib, can I just urged you to dip your listening toes the Squiz Today daily podcast, and while you’re there, sign-up to its associated daily news email – by visiting

I’ve popped a link in today’s episode notes. Trust me. You’ll thank me. 




Hello mums, dads, teachers and carers of Squiz Kids … just a quick reminder to fill out the Squiz Kids listener survey if you get a chance. 

It’s super easy to do – and the more feedback we get from you on what’s working and what’s not – the better we can make this podcast for the little people in your life. 

Oh – and kids – a quick reminder: this one’s just for adults. Thanks. 

Survey link: 




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

  1.   What will no longer have to be worn outdoors by Victorians from today?
  2. Whose sleigh and reindeer will be tracked by an air force base in Colorado on Christmas Eve?
  3. Which country is expected to send a rocket ship to the Moon this week?




It’s November 23 … birthday of former Olympic swimmer and Survivor winner, Shane Gould, as well as the birthday of pop singer Miley Cyrus.

It’s also only 32 sleeps ‘til Christmas … he’s making a list, and checking it twice … 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Emma from Wollongong, Chloe from Nundle, Emily from Adelaide, Bailey from Redcliffe, Christopher from Albany Hills, Pearl from Box Hill North, Addison from Currimundi, Ryan from Castlemaine, Joanna from Willoughby, Parker from Evanston, Evie from North Ringwood, Hannah from Jindalee and Eshaan from Parramatta.

And some belated birthday shoutouts to…. Sav and Ailish from Sydney, Harrison from Murwillumbah, Tyler from Lysterfield, Milla from Brunswick West, and Stefan from Carlingford. 

Happy birthday to you all. 

Today’s classroom shoutouts… Year 4 with Miss Luttringer and Miss Grava at Our Lady Of Lourdes in Baulkham Hills, Year 6 at Settlers Farm Campus, Year 6 at Ivanhoe Primary School, and Mrs Barr and  K/6 Bahamas at Caringbah Public School. And a very special shoutout to grade 5 at Capella State Primary School with their teacher Mrs Jackson, who is moving away next year. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Face masks
  2. Santa
  3. China