Whilst Julia Gilalrd was prime Minister it wasn't remarkable that women to gain the top position, the legislation was past to top up the superannuation contributions of low paid workers, predominantly women and that aged and child care workers were granted pay rises.
What is astonishing is the speed with which the Abbott government has removed women from cabinet, lowered the pay ranks in the public service and reversed pay rises for super and school kid bonuses.
Abbott has shoved women back in their box and jammed teh lid on tight. - billie
The reason that poor kids fall behind rich kids educationally is that there is more money spent on educating rich kids.
in the United States education is funded by school districts, not by the state so kids in good neighbourhoods get a better education.
In Australia even government primary schools in upper middle class areas are better endowed than the poorer schools because the P&C associations are more effective fund raisers and there is more money in those communities.
A glance at the Better Schools website - now missing, shows that south eastern Melbourne had SES of 1195 (top 1200) only 4 schools in victoia had SES around 600. All the schools in western NSW had SES around 600 and Alice Springs had SES of 400.
Gonski aimed to give all pupils the same funding, with top ups for disadvantage. This would have gone some way to providing the social mobility to enable able kids from poor backgrounds to reach their full potential.
I am no fan of entrenching privilege because a society with a small wealthy class and vast poor class has lower GDP than societies with more social equity - billie
Sandiswe - a lot of Australians do understand the importance of the equal opportunity provided to children by a well-funded public education system.
I agree it is important that we build on the system bequeathed us by previous generations. - Dianne
Before I go, I cannot for the life of me understand why Australians does not understand the importance of public education, why argue about the fundamental issue of equal education for all, no if no but it just is. We than in South Africa understood the importance of it, but why not here, a country endowed with so much but want to divide us against each other, and let us now we fight each rather than fight with each other. Do we want to start a Robin Island on education, why lock up some our children on an Island and not the other out, does not make sense. South Africa was a master at divide and rule, it kept them in power for generations, it was called keep the spoils for ourselves only (and the country was so very very rich), until the children 1976, said, enough.
You can now talk to my friend Sheilah, she knows how I feel about it. I cannot stop balling my eyes out. - Sheilah
Dianne it is not Sheilah but her friend Sandiswe, but thank you, we are sisters in arms. Now I have to stop because the tears of joy of freedom and loss of a very very generous compassionate and forgiving person has passed to, as O'Bama said to the Ages. I am now going to join the political fight, much to my husbands annoyance because we have been there, nearly split our marriage. But we need to do because the future of the next generation is at stake and the peace of the last generation. No generation can rest, cause each generation holds hand with the other and we must let go. So I will now have a good pouring of the tears than dry my face and fight on.
By the way, if I may say so here, I also thought the Ms Gillard had marrow in her spine and what marrow she had during the most difficult time, wow. - Sheilah
Lorraine and Annie, how was the way in which Julie Gillard obtained the leadership of Federal ALP any different to the way any other politician has obtained the leader's position? We don't seem to punish others for approaching their leaders and saying "I'm challenging you", which is what every single leader has done in the past, and which is what Gillard did. We didn't even punish Paul Keating when he challenged a Prime Minister, no bleating on about "poor old Bob" etc etc. No we (I mean that term collectively) voted for the ALP to form government at the very next election. How was what Gillard did any more machiavellian than what Tony Abbott, Nick Minchin et al did to Malcolm Turnbull (I would actually say that it was a lot less, but that is my opinion)? Explain that to me and I might give some credence to your argument re: the manner of her ascension to the leadership. While you are entitled to disagree wholeheartedly, with her politics and the policies she championed, you must be prepared to be called out for applying different standards to Gillard's conduct than you do to other politicians who have been in similar positions. Note, up till Gillard, they have been overwhelmingly male. - Jen
My goodness Sheilah you have such experience upon which to draw.
I salute your passion about education.
Education is indeed the key to a healthy society. Every child needs and deserves the equality provided by an excellent education, an education which shows that child how to think. - Dianne
Thank you Sheilah for letting me respond to Kirsten's comment.
Kirsten, until you have walked in the shoes of Apartheid South Africa (maybe you did as a White South African I cannot say), you probably would not understand as to why we say thank you to Madiba (I am just a little bit sad that we do not acknowledge Winnie Mandela's my God this woman had marrow in her spine) role in keeping Madiba's memory alive, may be that is for another day and I can say, her journey was hard, in spite of all the hateful stuff written about her. I do not excuse her though but I understand. But this time is Madiba's time. He journey to Walter Sithulu, Govin Mbeki and all the others. I am sure that they will fight injustice, inequality and racism up there if they find it up there.
My mother worked on the injuries during the Sharpville massacre, it was horrible and we as kids were scared, very scared can you imagine young kids feeling seeing all those injuries and not know what is happening. When things settled down my parents thought we should go to Cape Town, big mistake, that is when we as kids found our voice, that we need join the struggle welcome to South Africa 1976, all hell broke lose. It was very hard not to hate, very hard trust me. The carnage during that time, children were shot and killed some as young as 8 years old (Sandra Peterson), clearly remembered. But as Madiba say only though love can you move forward, hate keeps you a prisoner and it is a prison I had to fight hard to stay out off, thanks to my mum and aunty and many others in particular my teacher Mr Britton who said do not cloud your mind it is too valuable an instrument for the new South Africa.
Madiba showed us that racism, inequality and sexism is evil. An insult to human dignity. It flies in the very essence of a free democracy. There can never be a democracy if these things still exist.
We, my family experienced the horror of a Robin Island imprisonment when my cousin James Marsh went to the island prison at the age of 17 picked up at school and not even his mother (my mother's sister) knew until the BOSS (bureau of State Security) came to her house in the middle of the night to search it, not telling her where he was. That is when she found out that he was on Robin Island. We understood. That was the day my aunty died and lived in the land of the living dead and she died a couple of years ago Madiba came to thanks to a "mother's" sacrifice.
No we do not venerate him, but we do say thank you for holding up a clear mirror and vision of a what South Africa and maybe the world should be, keeping the faith and as my mother said "let the dead open the eyes of the living". Let Madiba's passing open our eyes to racism, sexism, inequality and indignity every where it is suffered, let us stand with our indigenous brothers and sisters and say "we understand Madiba's message", with our gay brothers and sisters with those that is not sharing in the wealth of this world (poverty is an injustice), we understand. These are not just issues for South Africa alone but it is for everybody and every where they exist. we cannot be free unless we are all free and stand tall as Madiba did because if not, we are too busy building Robin Islands to keep the "other out of the away" a very expensive exercise.
So please Kirsten, allow me to say "thank you" my way, and if you can find it in your heart just say "thank you Mr Mandela for holding a mirror up for me I may not have known is there" and may be just may be see a bird fly free out of it's cage.
My message to my new home Australia is, do not let our children be given second grade education this is not South Africa where they wanted to prepare us for servant work and farm workers. We deserve only the best for our children, educate the brain and the mind will fly to new worlds, as Envogue use to sing "free your mind and the rest will follow". The journey on climate change better education and equality, fairness and dignity for all Viva Madiba, we Salute you - Sheilah
A Double Dissolution does sound rather nice, doesn't it? BUT, this is probably just what Abbott and Co are angling towards. I hate to say this, but the majority that voted for the Liberals will probably vote for them again if a general election was called within a couple of months, because they (the Liberals) are doing loosely what they said they would do - get rid of the NBN / carbon tax. Murdoch and the far right would love to stick the boot in to Labor again by appealing to the lowest common denominator as they did the time before. Bill Shorten is still somewhat of an unknown factor (Note to Bill - WAKE UP!!) and the new faces in the Labor party need to prove themselves to the Australian public. In the meantime, issues like this will manifest themselves at a sickening rate. Get used to it Australia - it has only just begun. - Mumplum
Oh faceless Kirsten, as Adam Hills would say about you, "you're a dick" and as I would say about your comment, "everyone is entitled to their opinion, some should keep it themselves"
Disparaging towards you? Absolutely!
As for the 'carry on about this man', it's clear to see that you don't see and I bet you aren't sight-impaired - might be time for you to slap yourself into reality with a wet fish (a dead, smelly one preferably) - Disparaging? Absolutely! But you never know, you may find your inner sighted person who turns out to be okay.
Sandy Gandhi - Sandy Gandhi