Wednesday, 2 December, 2020

Aussie war hero honoured; India’s reptile rope-bridge; counting stars in the outback; and Kavaan the elephant’s happy landing. 



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An 18 year-old Australian sailor stands on the deck of his sinking ship. He helps his crew mates into the life rafts, when a bunch of enemy planes come into view. The planes start shooting – and if they hit the rafts, many lives could be lost. But Teddy Sheean – the kid from Tasmania – straps himself into the machine gun on the deck of the sinking ship and shoots back at the planes. Even as the boat goes under water, he is shooting – successfully warding off the planes and saving his mates in the process. But he is never seen again.

This happened 78 years ago, as Australia fought the Japanese in the second World War. And yesterday, even though he died that day in battle, Teddy Sheean was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery – the highest honour a member of the Australian defence forces can receive. 

Members of his family were in Canberra yesterday to receive the medal on Teddy’s behalf. 

“He sacrificed himself for others,” said Australia’s Governor-General David Hurley. “It is inspirational and it should inspire us.”

Squiz Kids salutes you Teddy Sheean.

Hello Western Australia! And welcome back! There was more good news on the border opening front yesterday when Western Australia announced it would open its borders to NSW and Victoria from next week. And it was a case of cuddles in Queensland too – with lots of happy family reunions at Brissie airport – as Sydneysiders and Victorians were allowed back into the Sunshine State. Seeing interstate family members: best Christmas pressie ever.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today, we’ve landed in India – where animal conservationists have built a reptile rope bridge over a busy road in the middle of a national park to safeguard the many lizards and snakes who live there.

The bridge – made from bamboo and rope – is 27 metres long, sits high above the road surface and is positioned at a bend in the road where lots of reptiles like to cross. 

Park rangers say that truck drivers passing through the park will often brake for elephants or deer or leopard who may be crossing the road – but pythons, monitor lizards and squirrels … not so much.

The team that built the bridge reckon it’s sturdy enough to hold a human. Though I’m not sure I’d want to be on a bridge at the same time as a bunch of snakes and lizards. Take my chances crossing the road, I reckon ..  




Ok. Who’s ready to have their minds blown by some truly awesome space stuff? 

A brand new telescope in outback Western Australia, has just broken a new record – managing to map more than 3 million galaxies in 300 hours. And get this: the Aussie telescope managed to identify 1 million galaxies that had never been seen before! The result is a brand new map of the universe, which astronomers all over the world will be studying for many years to come.

One galaxy can contain billions of stars – and each one of those stars could have a solar system just like the one that our Earth is part of. And this telescope in a lonely corner of Western Australia has just drawn a map of the universe with 3 million galaxies!

I told you it was going to make your brain hurt. 



Kavaan, the world’s so-called loneliest elephant, is about to be lonely no more, after successfully completing his first ever plane flight yesterday and landing in his new home, the country of Cambodia.

Kavaan was rescued from a run-down zoo in Pakistan – where he had long ago lost his elephant best friend, and thanks to an international fundraising campaign – was found a new home in an elephant sanctuary in Cambodia.

How do you get an elephant onto a plane? In a very large crate, is how. The vet who travelled with Kavaan said he was not the least bit freaked out by the plane journey. He now only has one last road trip to go before he arrives at his new home – a sanctuary filled with other elephants. We’ll follow this story all week and let you know what happens when he gets there.




Calling all lovers of Christmas! This is your last chance to chat to a real-life Santa’s elf! 

Sugarplum Mary – one of Santa’s long-time and most trusted helper elves – has kindly agreed to do a Squiz Kids Q+A – and will pop out of the toy workshop next week to answer your questions about all things Christmas. 

Direct from the North Pole – this is your once-in-a-lifetime chance to get answers to all the Christmas questions you’ve always been dying to ask.

But you’ve only got until the end of today to email your questions to [email protected]

Thanks to all the Squiz Kids who have already emailed through questions: we’re sorting through the mail bag now. And stay tuned next week for our very special Christmas Squiz Kids Q+A. 




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

  1. What is the name of the medal that was awarded to Aussie sailor, Teddy Sheehan yesterday?
  2. In which country has a rope-bridge just been built to help reptiles cross the road?
  3. In which Aussie state has a brand new telescope been unveiled which has drawn a massive new map of the universe?




It’s December 2 …. It’s International Day of the Mutt … which is a day to celebrate dogs which are mixed breed … you know, the ones that you pick up at a rescue shelter. 

It’s also only 23 sleeps ‘til Christmas … rockin’ around the Christmas tree! …. 

Plus also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Alicia from Eastwood, Darcy from Crookwell, Cedric from Otford, Sam from Melbourne, Luke from Cannon Hill, Ava from Hadfield, Ryder from Flagstaff Hill, Joshua from West Pymble, George from Balmoral, Kade from Shoal Bay, Rosie from Mittagong, Harvey from Plympton, Maxi from Port Stephens, and Lilly from Woongarrah. 

And some belated birthday shoutouts to… Will from Murwillumbah and Ivy from Preston. 

Happy birthday to you all. 

Today’s classroom shoutouts… class 5JS from Norris Road State School, classes 4RJ and 6L from Wellers Hill State School, Mrs Wardrope and the Thriving Fives from Our Lady of Lourdes in Nollamara, classes 5V and 6F at St Brendan’s Catholic Primary School Mackay, and class 3C from Fairfield Heights Public School.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Victoria Cross
  2. India
  3. Western Australia