Thursday, 18 June, 2020

Theme parks are go; mystery of Swiss gold on a train; surfing the world’s biggest barrel; and Elton John’s surprise FaceTime. 



Laura Macaulay: surf legend

Elton John FaceTimes school kids






Are you ready to get your rollercoaster on? Just as well, because it was announced yesterday that the Gold Coast theme parks are set to re-open as coronavirus restrictions continue to be lifted. 

Sea World, Wet n’ Wild and Movie World are among parks whose gates will be flung open in the coming weeks. Now if only Queensland would let people in ..

And it’s just as well we’ll have the odd theme park to hurl ourselves around in – because Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham yesterday indicated there ain’t no chance Aussies will be travelling overseas any time soon.

Speaking in Canberra, the minister said it was highly unlikely that anyone would be allowed to leave Australia to visit another country – or come to Australia as a tourist from overseas – until at least the start of next year. 

New Zealand is the one country we might be able to visit – as long the number of coronavirus cases both here and there remains low.

In other positive COVID news … researchers in the United Kingdom are hailing as a breakthrough their discovery of a treatment for the coronavirus.

A very simple, $10 drug that is widely available at most chemists has been found to significantly increase the chances of recovery for people who are seriously ill with COVID. How good are scientists!?! 




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in Switzerland – where police are scratching their heads after a most curious package was left behind on a train. 

A parcel containing almost $300,000 worth of gold bars was found on a Swiss train travelling from the town of St Gallen to the lakeside city of Lucerne. 

Despite extensive efforts by the police to locate the gold’s owner, nobody has come forward to claim the package. 

Leaving behind a bag on a train, or even an umbrella or a book – sure. That can happen. But who leaves a parcel of gold ingots behind on a train and then doesn’t go back to find it?

The Swiss authorities have said they will hang on to the gold for five years – but if a rightful owner isn’t found, the gold will become the property of the government.




Western Australia’s Laura Macaulay has become the first woman to surf a wave off the WA coast that is so big and so scary that it’s known to local surfers as ‘the Everest of the south.”

The break, called The Right, is a surf break that is widely considered to produce the biggest, and most dangerous barrel wave in the entire world.

Laura spent months training to ride the wave – including many sessions of extended breath-holding underwater, because it’s common for the wave to pin surfers who try to ride it to the bottom of the sea.

Only a small number of elite surfers have successfully ridden The Right. And now Laura is among them. 

There’s a link in today’s episode notes to Laura’s epic ride. 




When a bunch of school kids in England decided to record a version of the Elton John song, “I’m Still Standing” – they never imagined the superstar himself would ever hear it. 

The high school kids of Telford Priory School in Shropshire uploaded their version of the hit song to Facebook – where it was shared hundreds of times – eventually finding its way to the song’s original interpreter, Elton John. 

He surprised them with a FaceTime call to not only tell them how much he enjoyed it – but also to invite them all to his next concert in the UK.

You see? Put yourself out there – because you never know who might be watching.




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

  1. In which country did someone accidentally leave on a train a parcel full of gold?
  2. Which state of Australia does mega-wave surfer Laura Macaulay come from?
  3. Name the well-known performer who FaceTimed a bunch of English school kids to tell them how much he enjoyed their version of his hit song, “I’m Still Standing”.




It’s June 18 … birthday of Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, and anniversary of the day that Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, back in 1928. 

It’s also International Sushi Day – so if you’re a fan of the raw fish – get involved. 

It’s also a big day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … Lilly from Meadow Springs, Punaika and Phoebe from Melbourne, Jack from Chatswood, Rafael from Balmain, Skye from Queensland, Charlie from Williamstown, Alana from Abbotsford, Matilda from Mount Helen, Tere from Ashmont, Clara from Bowral, Suzi from Woongarrah, Chloe from Randwick, John from Sydney and Siena and Ella from Rowville. 

And some belated birthday shoutouts… Steph from Lowesdale, Adrian from Birrong, Melody from the Sunshine Coast and Kalliya from Abbotsford.

Happy birthday to you all. 

Today’s classroom shoutouts: 2/3 Mint at Bowral Public School, Blackwell Public School, classes 5H, 5W, 6H and 6M at Minnamurra Public School and Lindsay Park Public School.

And a very special shoutout to Tyler from the Sunshine Coast, who is in Queensland Children’s Hospital and is about to undergo surgery, and has been listening to Squiz Kids with his dad every morning. Good luck buddy – we’re all sending you our best wishes for a speedy recovery.  


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Western Australia
  3. Elton John