An ode to simpler times

I’ve just spent the weekend with my folks in Sydney, helping them pack up their home of 54 years as they prepare to take the downsize leap.

It’s been interesting on lots of levels (where ‘interesting’ could easily be swapped out with ‘frustrating’, ‘exhausting’ or ‘bewildering’). Not least because I’ve been transported (literally and metaphorically) back to my own childhood.

Boxes full of old school books and report cards, photo albums and memorabilia from the 80s has reminded me of how relatively simple life was for kids and parents back then. For the purposes of this newsletter, let’s call it: pre-internet.

It was something that’s been underscored this week with the Federal Government introducing a range of measures to combat the scourge of family violence. The one that jumped out at me was a determination to introduce ‘age assurance’ technologies “to restrict children’s access to inappropriate material online.”

It’s something the eSafety Commissioner has been calling for, and would require kids to verify their age before accessing age-inappropriate corners of the internet. And while it’s clearly open to abuse (because tech savvy kids can find their way around anything), supporters say it’s a step in the right direction – and in the same way tobacco and alcohol regulation keep most kids at bay, it’s better than doing nothing.

What a time to be alive, eh?

Treasurer Jim Chalmers takes the Squiz Kids hotseat

Kids and fiscal policy go together like peaches and cream, right? Well, maybe not.

But in our continued quest to give Aussie kids a sense of agency over the country they live in – and to get them to engage with the political process – we’re proud to this week present a Squiz Kids Q+A special with Federal Treasurer, Jim Chalmers.

Hundreds of questions for the Treasurer were sent in by Squiz Kids listeners from all over the country – and we chose a handful to put to the man in charge of Australia’s purse strings.

The podcast drops first thing tomorrow morning (Tues) – and contains a range of pearlers: including how the Notorious B.I.G. has helped shaped next weeks’ Budget, why the Treasurer considers himself more of a three-pointer than slam dunker, and why his toenails will be painted with glitter nail polish next Tuesday when he stands in Parliament to hand down the Budget.

But probably the funniest question came from 10 year-old Felix from Brisbane, who asked: “My mum says being the Treasurer is like being the vice captain at school. Wouldn’t you prefer to be school captain?”

Tune in to Squiz Kids tomorrow for his answer ..

Meanwhile, this week on The (Big) Squiz

One of the best things about the way the Big Squiz does news is mixing the light and dark – there’s always a quirky news story or two mixed in with keeping you informed about the latest Australian and international news.

This story about a month-long game of tag in the town of Longreach had us giggling.  A good way to start the week…

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But if you’re up for feeling a little more informed about some of the bigger news stories, check out this Shortcut on managing Australia’s population – sounds dry but it’s a topic that touches on migration, housing, resources, our ageing population and more.

Another one to wrap your ears around is this News Club interview with fashion editor Lauren Sams on the business of fast fashion (think Shein and Temu) – how they manage to offer such cheap clothes, their growing market share and the environmental/ethical concerns. Get amongst it.

On our radar …

We’re up to our eyeballs all day, everyday in all things kids and parenting. So when we see an article or come across a topic we think you might be interested in, we’ll post it here.

Boys won’t always be boys … parenting expert Maggie Dent gave a great interview on the weekend about her own experiences of raising teenage boys. It’s full of interesting insights including “We’ve got to help our boys develop emotional literacy” – and the importance of teaching them it’s ok to be vulnerable.

Journalism is key to media literacy … if teaching kids how to spot misinformation when they come across it online is all important – then so is the corollary. Namely: recognising good journalism when they come across it – as this group of media literacy advocates in Europe point out. As a proud old journo – I couldn’t agree more.

Smile on your dial … 

As our friends at The (Big) Squiz reported today, a couple of professors from WA are researching how and why the Nutbush became a national phenomenum. Specifically: why the first few bars of the Tina Turner classic is enough to fill a wedding/21st/60th/formal dance floor. And why 6,594 attendees at last year’s Mundi Mundi Bash broke the world record for the most people Nutbushing at one time. And yes, that is a verb.

Enjoy your week — and happy Mothers’ Day to all the mums out there! 🌸

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