Thursday, 12 November, 2020

Aussie anthem under scrutiny; the backyard rollercoaster; NSW owns the Origin; and falcon chicks take flight.



Behind the scenes of Murriyang – Parkes’ satellite dish:

Backyard rollercoaster:

Melbourne’s falcon cam:

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Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.






You’ve all stood in a school assembly at some point and sung the national anthem, right? 

Then you may be interested to know that there have been calls this week by some people, including the Premier of NSW, to change some of the words we sing in it.

Specifically, there have been calls to change the line ‘for we are young and free’ to ‘we are one and free’ – as a nod to our Indigenous roots. 

Many Indigenous Australians – and people like NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian – argue that it’s wrong to say Australia is a young nation – when the Aboriginal culture stretches back some 60,000 years and is thought to be the oldest on Earth. 

Arguing for the change, Premier Berejiklian said yesterday: “I think if we say ‘we’re one and free’ it acknowledges that we’re not really young as a continent, but rather that we’re tens of thousands of years old when it comes to human inhabitants.”


It’s a good time to be having a discussion over things like the anthem – as this week is NAIDOC Week in Australia. 

And to mark the occasion, a massive satellite dish in regional NSW has been renamed.

The Dish, in Parkes, is one of the oldest, largest and best-known satellite dishes in Australia. And this week, to mark the beginning of NAIDOC Week, it has been given the Wiradjuri name “Murriyang” – which means ‘home in the stars of the creator’.

NAIDOC Week is an annual celebration of the history, culture and achievement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

The renaming of the The Dish is a nod to the long and proud history of indigenous Australians as astronomers – who studied the skies above Australia long before The Dish was built. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a cool behind-the-scenes tour of the satellite dish.




Each day, we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in California, in the United States, where two brothers have built a rollercoaster in their backyard. 

Modelled on the famous Materhorn rollercoaster at Disneyland, the mini-Materhorn was built during the COVID lockdown by architecture student Sean and his maths-loving brother.

A one person carriage runs on rails through miniature-mountain scenery, with loops and dips and even a black-out section with a fake, red-eyed monster. 

Sean said that instead of allowing himself to get bored during COVID lockdown, he decided to make the most of the down time and use his architecture skills to recreate a rollercoaster from a theme park he loved.

Afterall, if COVID means you can’t go to Disneyland – why not build a little part of it in your backyard?

Now, where did I put those tools of mine?  

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to a video of the rollercoaster in action.




The good people of Melbourne have themselves just emerged from their own very long lockdown – but instead of building rollercoasters -they’ve been busily watching a web-cam live stream of a nest of peregrine falcons perched high on a ledge of a city tower block.

Thousands of Melburnians have been tuning in to the live stream since  three peregrine falcon chicks hatched in a nest in one of the city’s tallest buildings. 

The chicks are now six weeks old and ready to take to the skies … preparing to take the leap off the side of the building and test their falcon wings for the very first time.

Experts say the birds could take flight as soon as tomorrow. So if you want to catch a live stream of extreme cuteness and maybe even witness the moment the birds fly the nest – check out the link in today’s episode notes. 



What a difference a week makes … after being outclassed by the Queensland Maroons in last week’s State of Origin match, the NSW Blues came out firing last night and stormed out of ANZ Stadium in Sydney with a 34-10 win under their belt. 

Man of the Match, Nathan Cleary was widely praised for his precision kicking game – which kept the Queenslanders on the back foot, and helped see the Blues cross the try line over and over again.

With the series drawn at one game all, all rugby-league loving eyes will turn to Brisbane for next Wednesday night’s decider. Blues or Maroons – may the best colour win.




Did your team not win the State of Origin? Or maybe your team did win and you feel like celebrating? Or maybe you don’t give a flying fig about rugby league but like to pick a winner anyway … then get along to and cast your vote for Squiz Kids for the Listeners Choice category. There’s a link in today’s episode notes. You’re welcome.




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

  1. What’s the name given to the week where we celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people?
  2. Which popular theme park in California, home of an oversized mouse, is home to the Materhorn rollercoaster?
  3. What sort of birds are Melburnians watching on a web-cam to see when they fly the nest? 




It’s November 12 … actor Ryan Gosling – aka The Lantern’s birthday .. it’s also the 87th anniversary of the first known photo of the Loch Ness Monster having been taken … spooky.

It’s also only 43 sleeps ‘til Christmas … break out the boughs of holly!

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Arun from Newtown, Lizzie from the Gold Coast, Mason, Lia, and Blake from Brisbane, Declan from Craigburn, Lydia from Melbourne, London from Jindalee, Aiden from Kempsey, Lachie from Sydney, Orlando from Thirroul, Britney from Northlakes, Georgia from Neutral Bay, Alexander from Tamworth, Casey from Castlemaine and Ollie from Adelaide.

Classroom shoutouts… 3/4O with Mrs Ough at Mildura South Primary School, Mrs Bugler’s and Mr Heath’s class at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Coorparoo, class 5JW with Mr Watson from Sunshine Coast Grammar School and 3Blue and team Snickins (Mrs Snell and Mrs Wickins) from St Elizabeth’s in Tarragindi.

And a very special shoutout to Jessica and Isabelle, who are travelling all around Australia in their caravan and listen to Squiz Kids every day as part of their schooling with their parents, who they call Mrs Kind and Mr Cranky.

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. NAIDOC Week
  2. Disneyland
  3. Peregrine falcons