Monday, October 31, 2016
Sometimes you can't win
When a school took account of an Aboriginal girl's culture, that was "racist". When they did NOT treat her differently that was also racist
The mother of an Aboriginal girl has taken racial discrimination action against her 10-year-old daughter's private school.
The mother, who is also a teacher, lodged a complaint against a teacher and staff member from Ipswich Girls Grammar School with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
She said her daughter was embarrassed when she was told by her teacher to sit outside during a history class because of a YouTube video that showed a dead Aboriginal man,The Courier Mail reported.
The teacher said she was trying to be accommodating of the girl's culture of not naming the dead and gave her the choice to watch the video.
'We, her parents, had never given the school any indication that (our daughter) is unable to participate in any academic or school activities for cultural reasons,' the mother said in a statement.
The teacher also refuted any claims she bullied the student by submitting a card she gave her that read: 'thank you for a great year in your class.'
Ipswich Girls Grammar School denies any claims of racial and cultural discrimination at the school and by the teacher.
However, the parents claim their daughter has been subject to racial discrimination and a culturally insensitive curriculum for the past six years.
In another incident, the mother said her daughter was teased when she did not dress 'like a colonial' for a history class excursion.
The girl's father said the colonial era represented 'massacres, displacement and genocide' of the Aboriginal people.
'Asking an Aboriginal student to dress like a colonial was offensive, racist and discriminatory,' the mother said.
Jockey Michelle Payne's claims of sexism in the racing have been refuted by a UK female jockey
What a whining creature Michelle Payne is. She would have to be a feminist. She was given the greatest privilege in Australian racing -- a winning Melbourne cup ride -- but she still condemned the racing industry as sexist and patriarchal. Where gratitude might have been expected from her she simply delivered abuse. No wonder she has not been offered much in the way of rides since. Who would want to work with such an unpleasant person? Feminists really are unhinged
It is almost a year since Michelle Payne became the first woman to ride a Melbourne Cup winner and famously spoke out about the discrimination faced by women in racing.
But on the eve of this year's race, the UK's first female race-caller, Hayley Moore, said she had not noticed a problem.
Moore, who is also a jockey, in 2011 won a competition for women who wanted to call races, culminating in her calling an event at her favourite track, Ascot.
She has gone on to forge a career as an analyst and commentator and continues to work at her family's stables, where she grew up with her brother Ryan Moore, who is considered one of the world's best jockeys.
An amateur jockey herself, Moore said she was pleased to see Payne win the Melbourne Cup last year, but disappointed with her comments afterwards.
After winning the race on Prince of Penzance, Payne said racing was a chauvinistic sport and the anti-women elements could "get stuffed, because they think women aren't strong enough but we can beat the world."
But Moore said she had not seen any sexism in racing – if jockeys were good enough, they got a ride.
"I completely disagree [with Payne]," she said. "I think that if you're good enough and proven enough, you will get the opportunities," she said.
"Maybe she's come up against situations personally, for herself, but as a whole voice for women, I thought 'unnecessary'.
"I thought, 'can't you reflect on the positive, instead of looking at the negative, the sexism that, in my opinion, doesn't exist because if you're good enough, you'll be used'."
Moore said she did not expect female jockeys to reach equal representation in the top tier of riders.
"I think the cream of the crop will always probably be men, because they always probably will have that little bit more strength," she said.
Moore said women were very successful against men in Olympic equestrian eventing, maybe because there was a strong focus on building up a relationship with one horse, a stark comparison to the world of flat racing where jockeys rode different horses all the time.
Moore is in Melbourne for the Spring Carnival and is working for a racing website focusing on the form of the international horses.
Her brother Ryan will ride Bondi Beach on the big day and Moore got her own taste of the Melbourne Cup in 2009, when she was strapper and track rider for third-place getter Mourilyan.
She has not done much race-calling since her competition win, but hopes to do it again in the future.
Learning the craft, she was grateful for the encouragement of Australia's only female race caller, Victoria Shaw.
Moore said she was keen to do well in the competition to prove it was not impossible for a woman to call a race, although she said did they did face some difficulties men did not.
"Maybe we just don't sound as good as males, particularly when you're reaching the final couple of hundred metres of a race," she said.
"You do find yourself genuinely getting excited, so your voice does go slightly high pitched and then it's not as enjoyable to listen to."
Laws to ban boat people from Australia
The federal government wants to pass laws to make sure no asylum seekers who tried to come to Australia by boat, even those found to be refugees, can ever enter the country.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says the government will enshrine in law what had been a long-standing policy, going back to Kevin Rudd's second prime ministership in 2013.
"This is a tough message we are sending to the people smuggling syndicates and those who pay people smugglers to try and enter Australia," she told ABC TV today.
"They will not be settled in Australia and they won't be visiting Australia."
The laws are expected to apply to any asylum seeker sent to Nauru or Papua New Guinea's Manus Island for offshore immigration processing.
The planned ban would apply whether or not they were found to be genuine refugees and will even extend to tourist visas.
Labor frontbencher Brendan O'Conner, who was reluctant to back the plan without seeing the legislation, says "it is a very vexed area". "With any legislation you want to look at it, see whether in fact it is fair and reasonable and is consistent with our own commitments internationally," he told Sky News.
Mr Turnbull later told reporters the laws would apply to anyone sent to a regional processing country since July 19, 2013 - the date Mr Rudd declared "asylum seekers that come to Australia by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia".
Mr Turnbull expects Labor and its leader Bill Shorten will support the laws, saying they are "entirely consistent with his party's stated public position".
Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek said it was too soon to determine if Labor would support the bill. "What I'd say is it's a distraction from Peter Dutton's hopeless mismanagement of his portfolio," she told reporters on the Gold Coast.
"It is extraordinary that, three years on, the government has not found third countries to resettle those people who are in limbo on Manus Island and Nauru." She said Mr Dutton needed to find a permanent resettlement option for these people left in limbo.
Data prompts debate on welfare and jobs
Cabinet ministers believe new figures showing thousands of parents on family benefits are financially better off not working demonstrates the need to rein in welfare spending.
But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has refused to directly say whether people should not be paid more on welfare than if they work.
"I agree with the principle that the welfare system should always encourage people to get into employment," he told Neil Mitchell on 3AW radio on Friday. "We're dealing with people's lives here."
Mr Turnbull says the government needs to ensure it's providing the right level of support in a fair and compassionate way, but there must also be incentives for people to find work. "The best form of social welfare is a job."
Data obtained by The Australian newspaper shows the top 10 per cent of those on parenting benefits - about 43,200 people - received at least $45,032 in 2014/15.
"We do have a generous safety net, but also, people need to be part of our society, part of our community, working and making a difference," cabinet minister Christopher Pyne told the Nine Network.
One of the government's first measures to change the system is a $96 million Try, Test, Learn fund for trials of intervention programs to help welfare-dependent young families.
Mr Pyne said it was designed to help families, especially single parent households, to get back into the workforce with training.
"Ninety six million (dollars), I can tell you, to try and do that, is a drop in the ocean compared to the billions of dollars that we are trying to save by having welfare reform, which the Labor party is blocking in the Senate with the Greens," he said.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter, who is leading the welfare changes, told The Australian depriving people the incentive to work was in no one's interest.
"It is morally incumbent upon us in that in developing policy ... and in making the welfare system fairer we look at mutual obligation and the requirement to prepare for, search for and accept work," he said.
Ahead of a meeting with his New Zealand counterpart in Sydney, Treasurer Scott Morrison said the existing system is saying to people: "you will take home less if you actually go out and get a job".
"It is a crying shame that some Australians would have to take a pay cut to get a job in this country because of the way our welfare system works," he told reporters.
Mr Morrison said the Try, Test, Learn fund was based on a similar model in NZ and was about finding the right answers to stop people being welfare-dependent.
But Labor leader Bill Shorten is worried people can't find work.
"If you want to do something about welfare, have a plan for jobs," he told reporters in Wollongong.
"I'm concerned that we've got a government in Canberra which isn't fair dinkum about ensuring that people on welfare get the opportunity to get good, blue-collar jobs."
Mr Shorten said the coalition was trying to distract from its own problems by demonising people who recieve a pension and putting them in the "sin-bin".
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