Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Big day for Bluey .. and the Budget; Australia’s top chook; clamping down on influencers; and it’s raining raccoons in Texas.



Today’s Quick Links: 

Pictures of the cold snap:

Kangaroos hop through the snow:

Raccoons in the classroom:

Joelene the chook:

Dig Deeper: 

ACCC report on social media and influencers:


Kids + Media Survey Results:

Squiz Kids Book Club:

Classroom Companion:

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Get started on our free media literacy resource for classrooms

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Surplus, surplus, surplus, budget, budget, budget … two words you won’t escape from hearing repeated over and over today.

And that’s because – as Joni told you yesterday – Australia’s Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down the Federal Budget last night – which is an outline of how much money the Australian Government has stashed away – and what it’s going to spend that money on in the year ahead.

Are you ready to get your maths heads on? 

Back in October, the Federal Budget was in deficit to the tune of $37 billion. That’s negative 37. But last night – six months later – the Treasurer reported that the Budget is 4 billion dollars in surplus. That’s positive 4. 

Why the turnaround? Because for the first time in 15 years, the government has raised more money than it has spent. 

Money will now be going into programs to help people battling the cost of living – and those are another three words you’re going to hear a lot today. Last night’s Budget has promised – among other things – help to pay electricity bills, help for some 11 million Australians to visit the doctor and more money to help out single parents.  

In total, almost $15 billion dollars was committed to help Australians deal with the rising cost of living. 

And just think how impressed your parents will be when you bring up these talking points over dinner tonight …  

The budget may have dominated headlines yesterday –  but the really big news of the day was the Bluey – which was named the number one streaming show in the United States. It’s a remarkable achievement for the blue heeler from Brissie whose conquest of the world seems to gather pace with every day that passes. (WOOF) – see, even Squiz-E is excited.




Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops .. and today we’ve landed in Texas, in the United States, where raccoons have been falling from the sky in a school classroom. 

Don’t you just hate it when you’re trying to concentrate on your maths and a raccoon falls out of the ceiling? 

That’s what’s been happening at McCallum High School in the city of Austin, where raccoons have been a pest for over a decade.

Despite numerous attempts over the years to convince the raccoons to move out of the school grounds – the pesky little critters keep coming back – wandering through hallways, peeing in classrooms and falling through ceilings. 

I’ve stuck a link to some photos in today’s episode notes. 

Maybe they’re just really keen to get an education? A reading and writing raccoon? Why not?



While we’re on an animal roll, it would be wrong of us not to drop in on a very serious search that has just taken place for Australia’s most beautiful chicken.

Now, I’m not much of a fan of chooks .. they’ve always struck me as weird creatures. But every animal is beautiful in its own way – and apparently if you’re a chook owner, you come to fall in love with them.

Which may go some way to explaining why an annual competition to find Australia’s Next Top Chicken attracted more than 70,000 votes in an online poll this year.

The winning chook? That would be Joelene – whom her owner describes as an ordinary looking brown chicken – but who has such a large social media following already that she cleaned up when it came time to voting.

I’ve stuck a link to photos of Joelene in today’s episode notes. 

Joelene’s owner says she has so many followers that not only is she ‘eggstraordinary’ but is also considered something of a ‘henfluencer’ (DAD JOKE ALARM) – and yes, that definitely deserves the dad joke alarm.


Oh will you look at that .. it’s the Classroom Companion Clarion – letting us know that Christie The Incredible has created today’s excellent set of classroom worksheets tied to this story in the podcast. And rather fittingly, she tells me, today’s worksheets dive into the world of puns. 

And congratulations to teacher Tammy Farmer from Caddies Creek Public School in Sydney .. winner of a $250 gift voucher for referring her colleagues to sign up to Squiz Kids Classroom – where our daily classroom resources are posted every afternoon to help teachers with lesson planning.

If you want to join the thousands of teachers who use Christie’s excellent resources – visit and sign up where it says ‘Squiz Kids Classroom’. Be sure to nominate who referred you and they too could go into a draw to win a gift voucher. 

Because we like to give .. 



Every Wednesday, Squiz-E the Newshound pops his snout into Squiz Kids HQ to report back on fishy things he’s sniffed out on the internet .. and his nose is twitching today following reports that 80 percent of social media influencers are failing to tell their followers when they’re being paid to promote something. 

Ok – let’s break this down. An ‘influencer’ is the name given to a person who has so many followers on social media that they are occasionally paid by a company to promote their product. For instance, a soft drink company might pay a social media influencer to say nice things about their fizzy drink – in the hope it makes their followers buy it.

And that’s fine .. as long as the influencer makes it clear to their followers that they are being paid. Because – think about it. If you were being paid to talk about something, it’s likely you will say something positive about it. And that may or may not be your honest opinion about that product.

To fix this situation, there may soon be rules in place to force influencers to reveal when they are being paid to say nice things – so that people like you and I can make an informed judgement about whether to believe them. 

It’s a good reminder to always do as Squiz-E the Newshound says … which is to STOP, THINK and CHECK before believing everything we see, read or hear on the internet. 

And if you’re a teacher or parent who’s keen for your kids to spot misinformation on the internet – check out Newshounds – our FREE media literacy resource for primary school classrooms. Sign up at – or via the link in today’s episode notes. 


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

  1. What sort of animals have been falling through the ceiling of a Texas school?
  2. What percentage of influencers promote products without telling their followers they’re being paid?
  3. What’s the name of the most beautiful chook in Australia?




It’s May 10 – today is National Clean Your Room Day in the United States … which is a national day that I 100 percent think we should have here too .. what is it with you kids and your rooms?

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today ….Max from Yass, Beau from Rosebery, Jace from Floraville, Porsha from Gulgong and Angles from Grovedale. 

And a belated shout out to Hayley from Windsor and Sophia from Baulkham Hills.

Classroom shout outs go to… Year 4 with Mrs Heffernen at MacKillop Catholic College in Warnervale, Wingara class with Ms Emma at the Montessori School in Gymea, class 6 Banksia and Mrs Torrisi at All Saints Catholic College in Liverpool, class 3/4C and Mr Cattly at West Wallsend Public School, class 2L and Miss Winnie at St Anthony’s Parish Primary School in Canberra and lastly to class 3/4M and Miss McFarlane at Mount Riverview Public School.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Raccoons
  2. 80 percent
  3. Joelene