Wednesday, 29 March, 2023

New names for Victoria schools; Super Mario wins ice sculpture comp; Fake photos flood the internet; and Mr Pickles the tortoise dad.


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Today’s Quick Links: 

Indigenous map of Australia: on which traditional lands does your school sit?

Indigenous meanings of Australian town names:

Super Maori-o ice sculpture:

Mr Pickles and kids:

Newshounds: fake images of Trump:

Dig Deeper:

Aboriginal placenames: Naming and re-naming the Australian landscape:

This place already has a name – Yolŋu place names:

How to carve an amazing snow sculpture:

AIs could help protect against fraud and misinformation:

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Wollongong, Wangaratta, Oodnadatta and Noosa. Canberra, Kunnunurra, Maroubra and Moree.


So many towns in Australia have indigenous names – and now, starting in 2025 every new school that’s built in Victoria will also be given a name from a First Nations language.


Under plans announced yesterday, traditional owner groups will propose Aboriginal language names and the Education Minister in Victoria will select from those names for any new state schools that are being built. 


Already in Victoria, there are 13 state schools with Indigenous names – including Barrawang Primary School in Wollert from the local indigenous word for magpie, Wayi School in Craigieburn from the local indigenous word for ‘us’ and the Garrang Wilam Primary School in Truganina – meaning eucalyptus home.


Indigenous educators welcomed the initiative yesterday, saying the names given to places are important 


What traditional lands does your school sit on? I’ve stuck a link in today’s episode notes to an excellent map showing Australia broken into its traditional lands, jump in and find out. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Alaska, in the United States, where Super Mario has won the Alaska Snow Sculpture Championships. 

Which is to say an ice sculpture of Super Mario and friends, created by a team from New Zealand, has won first prize in a competition to see who can carve the most creative creation out of a huge block of snow.

The team, calling themselves the Frozen Kiwis, carved a sculpture featuring Mario himself bursting out of a warp pipe, a power-up mushroom, and a towering Bowser’s Castle. And they called the sculpture Super Maori-o as a nod to their cultural heritage. 

Get it?

And yes: of course I’ve stuck links to photos of it in today’s episode notes. 

Each year the Alaska Snow Sculpture attracts the cleverest ice sculptors from around the world … wouldn’t it be ice to be that creative (DAD JOKE ALARM) … ok, ok, ok – I’ll stop trying to be cool (DAD JOKE ALARM) … ah, I kill me.



And so to Houston, in Texas, where the oldest animal in the city’s zoo has become a father for the first time to three of the cutest little critters you’re ever likely to see.

I’m talking about Mr Pickles – a rare radiated tortoise from the African island of Madacasgar – who at the ripe old age of 90 has become a dad for the first time to three cute as a button baby radiated tortoises.

Imagine becoming a dad for the first time at 90 years old? My back aches just thinking about it.

As well as being a cause for celebration at the zoo in Houston, it’s a cause for celebration for the world and for efforts to conserve the radiated tortoise as a species – given that it’s considered to be critically endangered.

And my favourite bit of this story? The names of Mr Pickles three new offspring are Dill, Gherkin and Jalapeno – in keeping with the pickles theme.

And yes, of course, I’ve stuck links to photos and videos of them in today’s episode notes. You’re welcome. 



Every Wednesday, Squiz E the Newshound sticks his snout into Squiz Kids HQ to report back on fishy things he’s sniffed out on the internet. 

And today his nose is twitching up a treat after coming across a lot of fake photos pretending to show former US President Donald Trump in jail.

Last week – you may have come across news stories about how the former President could be in trouble with the law for things he is alleged to have done many years ago.

Almost as soon as that news started to spread, AI images – or images made using artificial intelligence – started popping up on social media. Photos which appeared to show the former president being arrested, photos which appeared to show him in a jail cell. And while some people instantly recognised them as fake – many people thought they were real. I’ve stuck a link to some of them in today’s episode notes.

It’s another example of what’s called misinformation .. which is information that is not true – and which – unfortunately – can be found all over the internet and all over social media.

It’s another reason too why we should always do as Squiz-E recommends and STOP, THINK and CHECK before believing everything we come across online. 

Thanks Squiz-E – you’ve done it again!  


And on the subject of Squiz-E – if you’re an educator and you’re keen for your class to learn to spot misinformation when they’re online – jump on into our free media literacy classroom resource, Newshounds … it’s a fun, eight-part podcast series with accompanying classroom workbook and teacher manual – in which Squiz-E the Newshound teaches kids to be critical consumers of media. 

900 classrooms around the country have already signed up and started to become Newshounds … don’t let your kids miss out! 


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


  1. From which nearby country did the winners of Alaska’s Ice Sculpting Compeition come?
  2. What was the name of Super Maori-o sculpting team?
  3. Name one of the three new offspring of 90 year old tortoise Mr Pickles? 





It’s March 29 … World Piano Day … how good is the piano? If you’re near one today, be sure to tinkle its ivories. 


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Jayla from Ashmont, Isabelle from Karabar, Verona from North Willoughby, Zoey from Flagstaff Hill, Addison and Juniper from Portland, Oscar from North Perth, Emi from Glenelg North, Erlyn from Clyde North, Oliver from Epping, Mason from Knox Gardens, Eddie listening over in Switzerland – and finally to 9yo Kacy from Thailand who’s YouTube channel Art With Kacy is seriously cool, and who sent in a really impressive job application. Love your work Kacy. 


A belated shout out goes to…Myles from East Geelong. 


Today classroom shout outs go to …class 6P and Miss Page at Buderim Mountain State School, class Corvette with Miss Fahy at Oran Park Public School, class 4 red with Miss Clark at St Luke’s Catholic Primary School in Revesby, years 3,4 and 5 with Miss Lewis at Millfield Public School in Cessnock and lastly class 3/4 Burrawan and Mrs V at Farmborough Road Public School in Farmborough Heights.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. New Zealand
  2. Frozen Kiwis
  3. Gherkin, Dill and Jalapeno