Thursday, 12 October, 2023

Australia votes on the Voice; Fake snake in South America; Fat Bear Week crowns a winner; and dogs go to church.



Gang Gang’s Guide To Referendums

Fake snake video:

Fat Bear Week winners:


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Unless you’ve been living under a rock … and if you have, i hope your back’s ok, because that sounds really uncomfortable – you’d be aware that there’s a referendum happening this weekend on something called an Indigenous Voice to Parliament.

That means every Australian of voting age, so – over the age of 18 – will be asked to respond YES or NO to the question of whether we should alter the Constitution to create an advisory body for First Nations Aussies to offer their ideas to the politicians in Canberra

It’s kind of like the School Representative Council at your school – where a bunch of students are invited to tell the principal the sorts of things they’d like to see happen at the school from a student’s perspective.  

Schools, community halls, government buildings all over the country – and in lots of countries overseas – will be open for voting this Saturday as the nation casts its vote – and maybe picks up a sausage from the sausage sizzle on the way.

It’s a big event for the country – and there will be lots of news around about it over the weekend. Unfortunately: there will also be lots of misinformation – meaning Squiz-E the Newshound will be having a very busy weekend – sniffing out fake news and other online rubbish. Misinformation – as those of you who have already done our free media literacy podcast for primary school kids will know – is information that is not true, very often spread on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Stories that aren’t true, videos that aren’t real – all created by people to try to make you think and feel and react a certain way. So – remember this weekend, above all weekends, to STOP, THINK and CHECK – as Squiz-E says – before believing everything you see, read or hear on the internet. And tell your parents too!

Oh – and if you want to bone up on referendums – then you should definitely check out Gang-Gang’s Guide To Referendums – a two-part podcast we produced with the Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra – where Gang-Gang the Cockatoo finds out all about what a referendum is and how it works. Links available in today’s episode notes or you can find it on our website – 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in … South America … which is apparently the setting of an online video that’s been viewed more than 87 million times.

On the subject of Newshounds, Squiz-E and fake online content – this one is a doozy.

The video which has been widely shared on Instagram and TikTok shows a man running away from a massive .. and I mean massive python which is chasing him down an alley way. We’re talking Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets style big … 

I’ve stuck a link to it in today’s episode notes. 

But as Squiz-E the Newshound reports: various fact checking websites have examined the video and found it to be a fake. 

  1. Because it’s obviously been digitally edited; b. because pythons don’t move that quickly and c. because if it was real, proper news websites would have done stories about it. 

Another reason to always be on the look out for fake stories and videos when we’re online. And if your classroom wants the join the more than 1,700 around the country who have started the Newshounds pilot program – our free eight-part media literacy podcast and classroom resources – get your teacher to sign up quicksticks at




Ladies and gentlemen … we have a winner!

After weeks of intense competition – following months of each contestant stuffing their face with as much food as possible … a winner of Alaska’s Fat Bear Week was crowned yesterday … and she is one mighty contender. 

Grazer is a proud mum of multiple bear cubs and the first female winner of the prestigious get-fat-quick eating competition. 

In the end it came down to two gloriously fat furries – Grazer and Chunk – a great big male bear. 

Put to an online vote, there was a clear winner however – with Grazer attracting more than 108,000 votes to Chunk’s 23,000 … that my friends is what we call a landslide victory. 

So take a bow Grazer – if you can get past your own enormous belly – and now go and enjoy a well-deserved hibernation living off all those extra kilos you’ve packed on. Squiz Kids Salutes you.




Do you have a dog? What will they be getting up to this weekend? A run in the park? A swim at the beach or down in the creek? Sleeping at your feet – or in your bed? Maybe your dog will be heading off to church on Sunday. 

Because that’s what more and more pooches around the country are doing since churches started inviting owners to bring in their furry friends to have them blessed by a priest or minister. 

Last week marked the feast day of St Francis of Assisi – the patron saint of animals – which saw lots of churches invite pet owners to attend with their four legged friends. A chance, according to the churches, for dogs to come along and be blessed – and thanked for all the great work they do being faithful companions to us humans. I say woof to that .. .




Hey team .. did you hear the news? The next high-profile guest to take the Squiz Kids hotseat is none other than Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. 

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 awesome. And a shout out to 7yo Lincoln in Geraldton, WA, who wants to ask the former PM what footy team she follows, whether she’s been to Geraldton and whether she likes cashews.

Teachers: this is a great chance to get your classrooms thinking about questions they would ask an Australian Prime Minister .. questions like: how did it feel to be Australia’s first female PM? What does it take to become Prime Minister? Is it a job she would recommend? What was the hardest part of being Prime Minister and whether she’s a Taylor Swift or Harry Styles fan. You know. All the important stuff. 

But look lively … you’ve only got until next Friday to get your questions in … so don’t just sit there – get submitting questions already. Send them to [email protected].


Hear that? That’s the sound of me packing my suitcase and getting ready to fly to Canberra this weekend to take to the stage for the first ever Squiz Kids LIVE show! (CHEER)

Tickets have been selling like hot cakes .. so I can’t wait to meet each and every one of you as we bring to life on stage all the best bits of the podcast .. did i mention there’s going to be a real life snake and tortoise thanks to our friends at Canberra Zoo? And a cool science experiment live on stage thanks to Questacon ? And a daytime disco? Be sure to bring your dancing pants ..

It’s all happening on Saturday – which means if you want to be part of a live podcast recording – then you better get your tickets quicksmart!  

Come with your family, come with your friends – get your teacher to organise the entire class to come with special group booking discounts – because it’s going to be super fun. 

Tickets are available via our website, – or via the link in our episode notes . And yes: we are planning other shows for other capital cities in the new year – so stay tuned for those … 


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

  1. What unusual place have dogs been going with their owners this week?
  2. A fake video of what sort of snake chasing a man in South America has been doing the rounds of TikTok?
  3. What’s the name of the bear that won this year’s Fat Bear Week?




 It’s October 12  … the first game of netball’s Constellation Cup happens tonight in Melbourne – as Australia takes on New Zealand … c’arn the Diamonds!

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Victor from Sydney, Harriet from Junee, Maddy G from Mildura, Nina from Abbotsford, Hunter from Orangeville, Ariana from Jindalee, Ruby from Burpengary, Abbie from Melbourne and Liya from Middleton Grange.

A belated shoutout goes to… Aiden from Tarragindi and a special belated shout out to Molly from Newcastle (who, is very excited about travelling down to Canberra to the Live Show this Saturday – can’t wait to meet you!)

And we are still working our way through the belated shoutouts for those Squiz Kids who celebrated a birthday during the recent school holidays –  including… 

Kusalya from Oak Park, Ava from Tarrington, Liam and Ally from Junee, Isaac from Bardon, Charli and Luella from Mount Gravatt, Eden from Tanah Merah, Riley from Molendinar, Addison from Bolwarra, Zahra from Brisbane, Arlo from Cammeray, Harry from Rosemount, Sofia from CAversham, Grace from Albion Park, Charlotte from Victoria, Hunter from Campbelltown and Cecile from Dulwich Hill.  

Classroom shout outs will resume next Monday… 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Church
  2. Python
  3. Grazer