Wednesday, 20 July, 2022

Australia’s big fail on the environment; Hawks tackle seagulls in Scotland; Suspicious schooling in Russia; and Sam Kerr’s gaming surprise.



A taste of Sam Kerr’s skills: 

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More national parks and more protected zones in our oceans are just two of the commitments made yesterday to help protect our environment, following a report which found that Australia has lost more mammal species to extinction than any other continent in the world.


Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek – who you might remember talked to Squiz Kids before the recent election – yesterday said her new government would look to set aside 30% of Australia’s land mass for national parks, and 30% of our oceans for marine protected areas.


Earlier yesterday, a report card on how well we’ve been protecting the environment was handed down. And let’s just say, it’s not the kind of report card you’d want to bring home. 


The State of The Environment report, which is released every five years, found that Australia has lost more mammals than any other continent in the world, because of climate change, habitat loss, invasive species – like feral pigs and feral cats – pollution and the continued spread of our cities into the bush. 


Bushfires, drought, and land-clearing have all taken a toll too, according to the report.


But all is not lost, say its authors. Efforts by everyday Australians to protect the natural habitat of our native animals, to eradicate invasive species, and to change our behaviours to help reverse climate change can all play their part to turn things around. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in Bonnie Scotland … back on the golf course where Aussie Cameron Smith just won the British Open, to be precise – where birds of prey are being used to control seagulls. 

The Old Course at St Andrews, which is what the golf course is called, is renowned for its rowdy seagulls – who have been known to steal people’s food – and worse, poop all over them. Gross. 

So to keep the gulls at bay – which means, to keep them away – organisers of the British Open golf tournament brought in four birds of prey … two hawks and two eagles – to perch menacingly about the place and scare off the smaller, noisier, messier birds. 

Which reminds us of the dog teams that are employed at the Sydney Opera House to scare off chip-seeking seagulls … and the hawk who keeps watch over Wimbledon to keep their seagulls away…

Seagulls: keeping working animals employed, all over the world ..



It’s Wednesday… time to welcome back Squiz-E the Newshound! He’s had a lovely holiday and is excited for Term 3, aren’t you mate? Usually, Squiz-E helps us sniff out misinformation on the internet, but this week he’s found some very stinky disinformation in thousands of Russian schools. Disinformation, of course, is the word for intentionally spreading something that you know is untrue: and the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has insisted that all public schools start teaching HIS version of what’s going on in the war in Ukraine. Mr Putin, of course, is the person who ordered the Russian invasion of Ukraine and who refuses to call it a war. He’s now ordered teachers to deliver pro-war lessons; and to tell kids that they can’t believe any news about the war that comes from outside Russia. Of course, he  controls the Russian  news, too.

So basically, President Putin is telling kids NOT to stop, think, and check – and instead to believe whatever he and his government tells them. And that goes beyond the war with Ukraine … essentially, schools are being used to turn Russian kids against other countries like America and Australia. It’s times like these that we can feel very grateful to live in a place where we’re allowed to disagree with our government, and express our opinion. 



You gotta hand it to Sam Kerr … she just keeps kicking goals. 

Yesterday it was revealed Sam will be one of two cover stars of the 2023 edition of the super popular FIFA video game.

Sam – who comes from Fremantle, is our very own Matildas captain and she plays for Chelsea in the prestigious English soccer league.  She was chosen to be on the cover alongside French soccer superstar, Kylian Mbappe .

Sam is the first woman in the history of the FIFA video game to appear on the global cover of the game.

And given that its estimated 9 million people bought and played FIFA ‘22 around the world, and some 25 million have purchased and played FIFA ‘21 – it gives you an inkling of just how huge a deal this is. 

Sam Kerr … Squiz Kids Salutes you ..



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

  1. What sort of pesky, squawking, swooping birds are being scared off a golf course in Scotland?
  2. Which Aussie soccer superstar is now a FIFA 2023 global cover star?
  3. In which country has the school curriculum been changed to include disinformation?





It’s July 20 … today is World Refugee Day .. a refugee is someone who’s been forced from their home country against their will, by things like war or natural disaster  … we recently did an excellent Squiz Kids Shortcut on Refugees, and today’s Squiz the World is all about Sri Lanka, which is where some refugees have come from. Both are available to all subscribers of our Apple Podcasts specials and, of course, to our Squiz Kids for Schools subscribers – links to free trials of both are in today’s episode notes. 


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today…. twins Ava and Declan from Shoal Bay, Lulu from Yass, Isabella from Woongarrah, Ivy from Wallsend, Izzy from Labrador, Abeeha from Kellyville, Aaron from Melbourne, Alexis from Revesby and Clara from Hawthorn.


And because so many of you celebrated your birthday over the school holidays … we are going to continue to work our way through these belated shoutouts all this week – including today… Tyler from Broken Hill, Lewis and Allesandro from Exeter, Ella from Balalbeama, Taylor and Daniel from Springfield, Sienna from Chapel Hill, twins Lucy and Esme from Heidelberg, Nate from Albert Park, Darcy from Cannon Hill, Emily from Stanmore, Eve from Hinton, Millie from Woodford, Johann from Ashford and Matilda from Milthorpe. 


Classroom shout outs go to Clarence class at Sturt Public School in Wagga Wagga, class B8 and Miss Grant at Craigburn Primary School, all the students in the Joshua Centre at the Flinders Community Christian College in Tyabb and lastly a very special birthday shout out to Mrs Abbott at Mt Carmel School in Yass – one of our awesome Squiz Kids for Schools Subscribers!


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Seagulls
  2. Sam Kerr
  3. Russia