Thursday, 2 September, 2021

 Making friends in the world; Antarctica’s new ice-breaking boat; Scooter Patterson owns the Paralympics; and how cockies use cutlery. 



Australia’s new ice-breaker

Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson

Cockatoos with cutlery: 

Wildlife Photographer of the Year:


Squiz Kids Instagram:

Got a birthday coming up and you want a shout-out? Send us an email at [email protected]

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





If you happen to be on Sydney Harbour this week and noticed that the sails of the Sydney Opera House are lit up with the Australian and American flags – you might be wondering what it’s all about.

It’s because this week marks the 70th anniversary of a thing called the ANZUS Treaty. ANZUS is spelt A-N-Z-U-S … and it stands for Australia, New Zealand, United States. What’s a treaty, I hear you ask? A treaty between countries is an agreement between them to cooperate. To look out for one another. To have one another’s back if anything bad happens.

And since 1951 when the ANZUS treaty was signed between our New Zealand and American cousins, our three countries have always looked out for one another. Because, if you imagine the world being like a big school playground – it’s good to know you have people who will always be on your side, no matter what. 

Later this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will have a phone call with US President Joe Biden to commemorate the signing of the treaty – and reassure one another that the friendship between our two countries is still strong. 

And that’s your geopolitics lesson for the week…  



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in the Netherlands – where a $1.9 billion ice-breaker has begun a six week journey, bound for Australia.

What’s an ice-breaker? That’s the name given to ships that sail into frozen waters — they’re specially built so that they can cut through ice shelves. Amazing huh?

This one is called the Nuyina – which comes from the Tasmanian Aboriginal language palawa kani – and means ‘southern lights’. 

And in six weeks’ time when it arrives in Hobart, where it will be based, it will start work as Australia’s brand new floating lab for scientists to go back and forth to Antarctica to conduct really important research.

I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to a story about the ship – including video which shows how big and impressive it is – and a neat comparative drawing of the Nuyina next to the boat it is replacing, the Aurora Australis – which has worked as an ice-breaker for 30 years and is ready now  to have a well-earned rest. 




Aussie Paralympian Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson says he is considering hiring someone to answer his phone and reply to text messages after winning a bronze and silver medal in the swimming pool in Tokyo.

The athlete from Cairns – whose nickname Scooter comes from the fact he gets around on a tricycle – has built up a huge fan base following his regular appearances on the TV coverage of the Games.

And after winning his medals, and winning a whole lot of Aussies’ hearts,  he’s had so many people phoning him to congratulate him and messaging him on social media that he joked yesterday it was going to take a day to get back to everyone. 

Scooter – who was born with a condition called diastrophic dysplasia, which means he hasn’t grown in the same way most of us do – has been on the Australian Paralympic team for 13 years. 

These medals are the first he’s won at a Games – and he reckons he’s over the moon. And so are all his friends and family in Cairns. I’ve stuck a link to a video of Scooter’s story in today’s episode notes.




In a week where the Queensland and UK governments have declared a ban on plastic knives and forks for us humans, a bunch of cockies in Indonesia are showing how it’s done using tree branches as cutlery to pry open sea-mangoes. 

Scientists studying a flock of Goffin’s cockatoos noticed the birds making tools from tree branches to pry out the mango seeds. There’s a video in your episode notes for you to witness this delicate balancing act. 

Lots of animals use tools to help them find and eat food – orangutans in Borneo have even been known to make a sort of canoe to help them collect water plants. 

And if that’s not enough of an animal fix for you today … can I just suggest you check out the glorious images from the Wildlife Photography Awards … from narwhal shrimp in the Mediterranean Sea to cheetahs swimming across a flooded river and a gecko in a fight to the death with a tree snake – they’re awesome. I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes. Perfect for a bit of home-schooling internet trawling today … 




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

  1. Which city in Far North Queensland does Craig ‘Scooter’ Patterson come from?
  2. The capital city of Tasmania, where our new ice-breaker is headed, is named what?
  3. Other than Australia, which two countries are part of the ANZUS Treaty?




It’s September 2…. World Coconut Day … did you know that when it’s burned, the outer husk of a coconut is a really good mozzie repellent?

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

Wilson from Fairfield Heights, Vraj from Glendenning, Patrick from Taralga, Finn from Crookwell, Emma from Roseville, Talulah from Hunter Valley, Tilda from Sydney, Zara from Dee Why, Cooper from Rosemeadow, Jemina from Harden, James from Perth, Evelyn from Doncaster East, Roma from St Kilda East and Lucy and Harry from Coogee.

And a belated birthday wish to Elise also from Coogee. 

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Victoria, Canberra and NSW are in lockdown – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms …. 

To Lachie from Canberra who is doing an amazing job homeschooling and a big happy birthday from your Dad.  

Also a herogram to Mr Ainsworth at Westport Public School in Port Macquarie for being a marvellous teacher from Grade 6 Grevillea class. 

Archie and Woody at Kentucky Public School would like to send a shout out to all the kindy, year one and year twos in Miss Patterons class who are currently homeschooling. 

Herograms also go to 3/4T and Mrs Tritton at Mt Riverview Public School, Class 1/ 2 Orange at Roseville Public School and Year 3 and Mrs Pass at North Ainslie Primary School. 

Alisa sends a shout out to her caring teacher Ms Hosa and her class 2H at Antonio Park Primary School in Mitcham and lastly ​​a home learning shout out to Clara and Amelia from Ballan  – your mum is really proud of you working hard in your 7th lockdown. 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Cairns
  2. Hobart
  3. New Zealand & the United States of America