Thursday, February 24, 2022

Gender ideology endangers Girl guides

Admission of homoxsexual scoutmasters into the Boy Scouts led to a slide in membership there. Something similar seems set to happen with Girl Guides. It is a loss for young people who might have benefited from those organizations. Parents will undertandably want to keep their children safe from sexual predation

You could barely imagine a more ludicrous scenario. A female CEO sacked without process. From Girl Guides. For questioning why Girl Guides admits males.

And a political and media culture that sees nothing wrong with this.

The firing of former CEO Karyn Lisignoli by Girl Guides WA should send a shiver down the spine of every Australian. It shows that even in the most obvious situations where the safeguarding of young girls should be the top priority, it is forbidden to question the radical left-wing ideology that males have a right to identify into any female space.

As Ms Lisignoli told The Australian: ‘There is a reason why there are certain situations in which we say men can’t be present. Do parents know when they send their nervous and shy 12-year-old girl to Girl Guides that she might be camping in a tent with a biological boy of the age of 15?’

This is more than simply a fair question for the leader of an organisation with young girls in its care. In the eyes of most Australians, it would be downright negligent not to ask questions and inform parents about the presence of young males on a Girl Guide camp with their daughters.

30 per cent of Australian women experienced physical or sexual violence before the age of sixteen. 97 per cent of sex offenders are male. The reasons why we separate girls from boys in activities like an overnight camp is as clear as crystal.

Ms Lisignoli’s dismissal for raising this issue sets an abhorrent standard for the next CEO. To avoid being sacked, the new appointee will either be a person who is happy to place a teenage boy in a tent with a young girl without the knowledge of her parents, or a person who knows that this goes against every safeguarding principle in the book, but is prepared to stay quiet about it to preserve their employment.

In any other circumstance, a female CEO being sacked for trying to protect girls in her care would be on the front page of every paper in the country. Yet what do we hear from left-wing media and the taxpayer-funded broadcaster? Silence.

It’s time for us as a nation to grow a backbone before it’s too late. The sensible majority is being continually dictated to by a vindictive mob – a mob that will gladly harass women out of a job for raising basic safeguarding questions about protecting young girls. Spineless institutions and businesses are happy to play along if it keeps them out of the gun. Australia has barely finished digesting a Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and already we are back to organisations choosing to prioritise their reputation above reducing the risk to children in their care.

Hundreds of Australians have contacted me over the last two years raising concerns about the risks of this uncritical adoption of gender ideology in their professions. They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, psychologists, nurses, elite athletes and coaches, academics, scientists, and public servants. People widely respected in their fields and from professions highly valued in the community – yet all believe that speaking out against the new elite orthodoxy could well end their career. I’d be lying if I told them they were wrong.

Activists demanding total subservience to their ideas now have the tools to enforce that compliance as media, government departments and universities sign up to their ideology. They can have you fired, they can stop you getting jobs or appearing at events, they can have you dragged by a left-wing media outlet. Or they can have you hauled before an archaic and draconian anti-discrimination process, as happened to me 18 months ago and which is continuing to happen, in secret, to others around the country.

Unless you’re one of the activists revelling in having this power over your fellow Australians, you should be very concerned about how a small minority has been given the tools to punish Australians for non-compliance with their views.

Three years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine someone losing their job for saying males shouldn’t be in the Girl Guides. If we don’t take a stand for common sense now, nobody can tell you it won’t be you in their sights next.


Covid and government in Australia: illogical panic

Numbers weren’t meant to be complicated. We use them daily, yet when it comes to Covid and our health they often appear mired in confusing technical terms. This article seeks to demystify the situation using over a million positive test results published by NSW Health this year whilst remaining relevant across our great country.

It is evident from the graphs that we have passed the natural peek of cases and are experiencing a normalising trend. Countries including England, Denmark, and Norway have removed limitations, even though it is winter in the northern hemisphere. It makes me wonder why our government seems quick to impose but slow to remove restrictions.

Around 13 per cent of the NSW population have tested positive to Covid thus far. We have a total vaccination of 84 per cent which is higher than the national average of 81 per cent. Across the population, the chance of surviving Covid is 99.90 per cent.

Former Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr. Nick Coatsworth recently said Omicron is clearly no more dangerous than influenza for those who are young and healthy.

According to the Department of Health surveillance report, the chances of death from Influenza is around 0.2 per cent (five year average 2014-19), which supports his conclusion.

Government and health experts have repeatedly portrayed the influence of Covid in an overly dramatic manner – choosing to generate fear over hope. I have discussed this further in another article. According to the data, however, an average person below 70 – or someone in good health – has little more to fear from Omicron than they have from seasonal influenza.

Prior to the pandemic, experts were saying that the two major groups affected by severe Covid viruses were the elderly and obese with related illnesses. Everyone ages, but we can try to improve our health.

Rather than leading the country and encouraging us to join in on dropping some weight whilst doing some exercise in keeping with the old ‘Life be In It’ ads, governments restricted our movement and made us fearful to go outside. We joke about the extra ‘Covid Kilos’ but it has made us more vulnerable to disease. Just some of the ways policies have compromised our health include:

Vitamin D deficiency
Increased body fat
Increased alcohol consumption
Increase in sedentary lifestyle
Increased Cortisol levels

Cortisol is part of our ‘fight or flight mechanism’ induced during high-stress events and designed for short bursts. The problem is our bodies have been experiencing long and sustained periods of stress due to constant fear-inducing messaging, policies, and health orders. The Mayo clinic attributes overexposure to Cortisol in response to prolonged stress to an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, and weight gain – all increasing chances of an adverse reaction to Covid and other diseases (Mayo Clinic, 2022).

Contracting Covid and being obese has a multiplier effect of three for hospitalisation according to the CDC (CDC, 2020) and between 1.5 and 9.48 of fatality according to multiple studies. An Australian study by Bette Liu, Paula Spokes, Wenqiang He & John Kaldor found that obesity, in the presence of diabetes and chronic lung disease, increased the risk of ICU or death by a factor of 5.34 and concluded by recommended targeted prevention strategies.

We are individually responsibility for our health decisions, but governments have intervened with our ability to make such choices freely and hence have a proportional responsibility for the outcomes.

I was critical in 2021 when the NSW CHO Kerry Chant said that Covid was her sole focus. As the peak health bureaucrat her responsibility is for all aspects of health. What about cancer, depression, obesity, diabetes, and other diseases? What if the focus on one aspect created a larger burden on our overall health and hence became counterproductive?

Are the Covid vaccines beneficial?

According to this data, the benefit of vaccination is a multiplier effect of 1.5. So if you are 55 your chance of dying increases from around 0.028 per cent to 0.042 per cent – still well below that of influenza. Along with this benefit also comes risks of adverse reactions, unknown long-term effects, and some ethical questions about their development.

There also appears to be more benefit in eating healthy and regular exercise – particularly outdoors. So, why have the lines to the local KFC been the longest I have ever seen? Why haven’t our leaders and experts been promoting being healthy? Is it because they find it too complicated to motivate us? Or is it that the fear generated has made us more malleable for compliance? A favourite word of our premiers in 2021.

Perhaps we would do well to remember Senator Rennick’s speech to the Federal Senate on November 21, 2021:

‘The government overreach of the state premiers in destroying our civil liberties has gone too far. This is no longer about health but is rather about politicians wielding power for the sake of power instead of doing what they should be doing and protecting the people.’

I cannot find compelling evidence supporting the government intrusion and mandates into our lives. If it is there, it has been well hidden behind secretive health orders. Encourage vaccine uptake to vulnerable groups but, more importantly, encourage a healthy life balance and in doing so maybe we can turn a national weakness into a strength.


‘Clear’ need for STEM boost to prepare job-ready graduates

The billionaire founder and chief executive of logistics software outfit WiseTech, Richard White, has called for a major boost to STEM education in Australia, declaring he’ll “tell anyone who listens” that the nation needs to improve its outcomes for primary and high school students.

Amid an ongoing battle for tech talent, WiseTech on Wednesday posted an 18 per cent increase in revenue to $281m for the first six months of the financial year, while earnings before interest taxation depreciation and amortisation jumped by 54 per cent to $137.7m.

The company also upgraded its EBITDA growth guidance by 10 per cent to 43 per cent, representing EBITDA of $275m to $295m.

Its net profit climbed a whopping 74 per cent to $77.4m.

Mr White said that WiseTech’s string of acquisitions in recent years was beginning to pay off, and that its CargoWise product in particular had been up a strong performer, with its revenue up 33 per cent year-on-year.

WiseTech’s software helps simplify logistics solutions for businesses.

It noted that despite the overall positive outlook “uncertainty around future economic and industrial production growth and/or global trade may lead to alternative outcomes” and “prevailing uncertainties relating to sovereign and geopolitical risk may also reduce assumed growth rates.”

The executive, a former guitar tech for AC/DC, said that for both WiseTech and Australia’s technology sector more broadly, Australia needs to boost its education efforts and pump out more job-ready graduates.

“This is something I‘ve been clear on for more than a decade,” Mr White said. “I want Australia to lift education, particularly digital technology education, and I’ll tell everybody, from politicians to industry leaders and everybody, that we need to do better.

“In primary school, and in high school, we need to get students in to digital technologies and into STEM so that when they arrive in the workforce they‘re highly skilled in the technologies for the future, rather than focused on what they might perceive as an interesting career but that is not necessarily the future.”

WiseTech shares closed up 4.2 per cent to $44.58.

The company has been caught up in the recent choppy market valuations, but Mr White said that businesses with strong fundamentals will have no trouble weathering the storms.

He added that while the recent acquisitions have been important for WiseTech’s success, he’s concentrating now on “not getting distracted by shiny objects’’.

“It’s important that we focus on really sticking to our knitting, and making this business’s core capabilities better and better,” he said. “So to be frank, the next year is about more of the same and being as good as we can.”


Australian parents turn to religious schools as public enrolments slide

Australia has recorded its most significant shift in school enrolments since 2008, with 6,388 fewer Australian students in the public system in 2021 — meaning less funding for state schools while private schools will see a windfall.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) annual schools report, the number of public primary and secondary students fell by 0.2 per cent in 2021, with low-fee independent Islamic and Anglican schools in the suburbs picking up the most new students.

The move from public schools was greatest in primary years, with 0.8 per cent of students leaving.

Overall, independent schools grew by 2.2 per cent across Australia, or 30,101 extra pupils.

The ABS said Australia's closed borders and the first net loss of migrants since 1946 was influential in the trend, with new arrivals generally guaranteeing growth at public schools.

Public schools receive $14,776 per student in a combination of state and commonwealth funding, so a drop of 6,388 students means $94,389,088 less for public schools. Meanwhile, funding to the private sector, which receives $11,724 on average per student, is expected to rise by $352,904,124.

It's money that will be gratefully received at schools like the Australian International Academy, a fast-growing Islamic school with three campuses in Sydney's outer western suburbs.

Principal Mona Abdel-Fattah started the school a decade ago with just 19 pupils. Today, there are 611, with more joining at the start of every year.

"It's almost a hundred a year, and at the moment, there are classes where we cannot accept any more students," Ms Abdel-Fattah said.

Ms Abdel-Fattah said the attraction for many of the young families in the area was the extra moral guidance and shared faith.

"A big attraction at our school is the Islamic environment. It's the identity, the care, the compassion," she said.

Islamic schools see huge growth as families prioritise values
Nasha Mohammed moved her 13-year-old daughter Lujain and 10- and six-year-old siblings Layan and Alfarouk from the state system to the Islamic school at the start of the year.

Mrs Mohammed made the decision because her daughter was entering high school and she wanted to prioritise values.

"I wanted her to be around people who pray the same way, are brought up the same way and have the same priorities and same ideas," Mrs Mohammed said.

Mrs Mohammed had a great experience at the public school her children attended last year, but as a busy mum decided to move Layan and Alfarouk as well.

"I wasn't really sure but I thought as a parent I thought it would be easier to drop them off in the same spot and pick them up at the end of the day," Mrs Mohammed said.

Lujain Mohammed said the smaller class sizes allowed her teachers to give her more attention.

"They know more about students' health and wellbeing," she said.

Nationally, Islamic schools have enjoyed enormous growth, with the number of students tripling over the past 15 years.

Last year's Australia Talks survey found parents at independent and Catholic schools had the highest rates of parental satisfaction, leading to calls for an investment in the public system.

Pressure on public schools expected to grow after recent baby boom
Leading International education expert Pasi Sahlberg, from the Gonski Institute at the University of New South Wales, said it would not be the last tough year for public education.

"Governments need to take the responsibility to make sure that the neighbourhood public schools [are] always good enough … for all children," Professor Sahlberg said.

"When this doesn't happen, for example due to insufficient resourcing of these schools, I'm afraid we are going to see trends similar to education statistics published today also in the future."

Professor Sahlberg and other education experts expect pressure on the public system to grow after a recent baby boom.

"This means new schools and many more teachers that need to be available as these numbers grow," he said.

"It is important that the governments will invest in their public infrastructure and human resources to secure a good school and trained teacher for every child."

Independent schools across Australia have welcomed the figures.

In New South Wales, the growth means that for the first time independent schools have more students than the Catholic sector, which set up its first school in Australia in the 19th century.

"This record growth now makes the independent school sector the second largest in NSW and reflects the confidence and satisfaction of parents from across the socio-economic spectrum," Association of Independent Schools New South Wales chief executive Geoff Newcombe said.




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