Tuesday, 7 December, 2021

Queensland borders open early; Java’s volcanic eruption; Sam Kerr proves she’s the GOAT; and dogs get cash for pigeons.



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It’s the early Christmas present thousands of Australians were waiting for.

As Queensland yesterday teetered on the edge of achieving an 80 percent double-vaccination rate, its Premier Annastascia Palaszczuk announced that the opening of the sunshine state to the rest of Australia would be brought forward by four days. 

Queensland’s borders will open to the rest of Australia from next Monday. (CHEER) — bringing to an end months of isolation from the rest of the country.

The borders will open only to fellow Aussies who are vaccinated – and there’s a bunch of COVID testing rules that will still apply for people travelling to Queensland from other states – but the good news? All those Christmas holiday plans of long days by a tropical beach, or Christmas reunions with long lost families and friends look like they’ll actually happen. Oh happy day! 

And it’s a bit of an early Christmas early mark for NSW school kids today, as teachers and principals in that state will go out on strike for the day.

What does it mean to go on strike? It means to not show up to work as part of coordinated effort with your colleagues – to draw attention to an issue you believe needs fixing. 

In this case, teachers and principals in NSW are going on strike in an effort to increase the amount they get paid for the jobs they do, and to protest what they say is a shortage of teachers in the system.



Each day we give the world globe a spin, and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Java – the main island of our near neighbour Indonesia – where the search and rescue effort is well and truly underway for survivors after the Semeru volcano erupted at the weekend – sending a huge cloud of ash into the sky and pyroclastic flows down the mountainside.

Pyroclastic what? A pyroclastic flow is a mixture of lava, volcanic ash and hot gases that moves really quickly down the side of a volcano and is extremely dangerous to any living thing in its path.

More than 1300 people from surrounding villages have been evacuated as local authorities carefully watch for more volcanic activity as they set about the difficult task of trying to find people who have been reported missing. Entire villages have been buried in volcanic ash – with the search effort expected to stretch well into next week.

Mt Semeru is one of about 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia – which sits on what’s called the Pacific Ring of Fire .. which is pretty much what it sounds like. An arc on the face of the globe where tectonic plates meet and there are lots of volcanoes and earthquakes.

As it happens: this week’s Squiz Kids Subscriber content features a deep dive on why and how of volcanoes and earthquakes. Search Squiz Kids on Apple Podcasts and sign up for your free trial.




Sam Kerr – that worker of miracles on the football field – has earned her place among the greats of the beautiful game after lifting her team Chelsea to an FA Cup final win at the weekend, scoring not one, but two magnificent goals.

The talented striker from Western Australia – who, fresh from playing for the Matildas here in Sydney and Newcastle, flew back to England to play for her club team Chelsea in the biggest match of the FA Cup competition – thwacked her first goal into the back of the net – and in a moment of football poetry, scored her second goal with a beautifully timed chip over the goalie’s head.  

After the game, our Sam was named player of the match – to have her face plastered all over the front pages of UK newspapers the next day.

Yeah .. I have a serious girl crush on Sam Kerr … 




Have you been paying attention to 2021? Think you know more about what happened this year than your mum or dad? Then why not test once and for all who’s smarter – by signing up to our Squiz Kids summer holiday bonus content .. the perfect accompaniment for long road trips or lazy school holiday days at home by the pool.  We’ve got a whole summer planned of kids v adult quizzes – quizzes about space, animals, sport, music and even the very first Squiz Kids Christmas Quiz.

Plus a whole bunch of cool Shortcuts: deep dives into fun topics from Marvel movies to Roald Dahl and Kid Laroi. Just visit Apple Podcasts, search for Squiz Kids and sign-up for the free trial. And make sure when your kids head back to school they do so with a head full of fun facts. You’re very welcome.




Who knows a dog that likes to chase seagulls? Actually, maybe it’s quicker to ask who DOESN’T know a dog that likes to chase seagulls… And it turns out that dogs who are really good at it can make serious money. The Sydney Opera House, and the restaurants surrounding it, are paying almost $200,000 per year for a seagull-chasing paw patrol! 

On busy days, specially trained border collies and kelpies—breeds known for being particularly smart—walk up and down the Opera House concourse with their humans, chasing seagulls away and keeping people’s fish, chips, and drinks safe. They’ve been doing it for four years, after mechanical hawks and food covers failed to fight off the gulls. The cost of the canine salary is split between the restaurants, bars, and Opera House, and apparently it pays for itself… meaning that the amount that it was costing to refund stolen food and spilled drinks was MORE than the cost of the Seagull Patrol. Louis, it’s time you earned your keep… let’s go to Sydney! 

Hey – and did you know the word salary comes from the word salt – from a time when people used to get paid in it? You’d know that if you were a Squiz Kids for School member – because that’s what today’s activity sheets reveal. Teachers: sign up for your free trial of our excellent new in-classroom resources at squizkids.com.au.



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

  1. Name the Aussie footballer who scored two goals to help her club Chelsea nab the FA Cup final?
  2. What’s the name of the island of Indonesia on which the erupting Mt Semeru sits?
  3. What kind of birds have dogs been employed to chase away at the Sydney Opera House?




It’s December 7 … it’s National Letter Writing Day and National Fairy Floss Day in the US … I feel like one of those days might be more enthusiastically observed than the other … hmmm

It’s also only 18 sleeps ‘til Christmas !! Jingle those bells! 

Plus it’s a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …Molly from Bowning and Gabby from Doolandella.

And because this is our last week of Squiz Kids before the school holidays, we’re going to dedicate the final four podcasts to giving happy ‘early’ birthday shout outs to all the Squiz Kids celebrating birthdays between next Monday and December 31 … and as a special treat, we’ll do them to the birthday reggae tune …. you ready? Hit it …. 

Happy “early” birthday to the following Squiz Kids…Levi from Gosford East, Esha (pronounced Eeeesha) from Donvale, Kaiden from Ashmont, Shyna from Oran Park, Matt from Edithvale, Symi from Bolwarra, Harrison from Pemulwuy, Lucy from Thornleigh, Aleeyah from Dubbo, Aiden from Albany Hills, Yusuf from Queanbeyan, William from Mortdale, Maybelle from Mansfield and Liliana from Essendon.

And a special shoutout to Molly from Coburg, from your auntie Manda and everyone here at Squiz Kids – we hope you’re feeling 100% soon. 

Classroom shout outs today go to…class 5P at St Francis Xavier Primary School in Geraldton, to all the students at Geraldton Grammar School and to class F10 and Mr K at Hammond Park Primary School.  Also a classroom shout out to the year 6 students at Bertram Primary School and lastly to Miss Meany and class 3/4 green at Holy Trinity School in Canberra. 

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Sam Kerr
  2. Java
  3. Seagulls