Class cancer bullies

Children’s cancer charity Camp Quality reports a “huge problem” of children diagnosed with cancer who return to school after treatment and find themselves crushed by school bullies who call them “baldy”. Hundreds of parents and schools call the charity each year for help. Teachers spotting problems can book a free performance of the Camp Quality puppet show, which teaches pupils how to be supportive and understanding of kids living with cancer. Now in its 25th year, the show has been seen by 4 million pupils — 230,000 in the past year alone. One puppeteer said: “After our performance [a] little girl with cancer returned to her classroom and — without saying a word — quietly took off her wig to reveal her head to show she had no hair, just as Kylie does in the play. A young boy walked up to her and said: ‘I think you look really pretty like that’.” Go to for help.

Scholarship for women

All financial women members of the AEU are encouraged to apply for the 2014 Rosemary Richards Scholarship, worth $10,000 each year. Entries must be in by Friday April 24, and proposals may include: a work-shadowing arrangement or a mentoring arrangement; research or study; formal and/or informal training and development (e.g. attendance at a conference); design and implementation of a discrete project. Entries must be endorsed by the member’s Branch Secretary. Rosemary Richards was a proud feminist, unionist and educator who played a crucial role in shaping the AEU’s feminist principles. Details from

Teenage writing prize

High school students aged from 13 to 18 have until Friday May 9 to submit entries for Written Portraits, a national annual writing competition that showcases young talent and provides a creative platform for the expression of a teenage emotions. Entries must be 800–1200 words and address the topic: “People, Places and Things that Inspire Me”. There are two prizes of $500 each in two age groups, and the winners’ schools will receive $5000 towards their literacy program. Winning entries and others will be published in the 2014 Written Portraits anthology. Details at and

Teachers bank wins

Teachers Mutual Bank was named in New York as a 2014 World’s Most Ethical Company by the Ethisphere Institute, a US-based independent research centre promoting best practices in corporate ethics and governance. “For us, it [ethical business] is not a bolt-on: it’s at the very heart of our strategy,” said Teachers Mutual Bank CEO Steve James.

Last year the bank reached Gold status (90 per cent) in the annual Corporate Responsibility Index published by London’s Financial Times. It won the “Best Bank in Socially Responsible Performance category” in the Asia-Pacific Banking and Finance Awards and was recognised by the London Benchmarking Group (LBG) as a global leader in community investment: TMB’s community investment of 4.1 per cent of pre-tax profits was seven times higher than the Australian-New Zealand average, 12 times the finance services sector average and 2.4 times the global LBG average.

Talk tough on trade

You are invited to hold a local meeting to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. AFTINet has prepared a guide for organisers with useful resources and action points. In signing the TPP Australia could hand control of our industrial, health, copyright and media legislation over to multinational companies. Get more detail at

Run for our own

Stewart House is one of the chosen charities for this year’s Manly Fun Run, to be held on Sunday May 18 from 8am. Plus, people can use the fun run for their own fund-raising purposes, so a group can nominate Stewart House again, or their school. How? Decide which charity you want to raise money for, register on, get together as many participants as possible, get each one to recruit sponsors — and go for it! The run (or walk) is from Manly Beach for 2km, 5km, or 10km (the latter to North Head and back) and is the fifth year Manly Rotary has organised this major community fundraiser.

They gave a Gonski award

The “I Give a Gonski” campaign has won the ACTU’s Best Communications Strategy at the ACTU Awards. ACTU President Ged Kearney said the Australian Education Union’s Gonski campaign had provided a new path to campaigning for schools funding reform. “It has reached beyond targeted constituents and has strong support from communities right across Australia,” she said. The Best Workplace Campaign award went to a group of Finance Sector Union members who managed to reverse a decision to send more than 500 ANZ call centre jobs offshore.

Redefine disability on a t-shirt

International t-shirt design competition YoorallaTEE this year wants artists to create a design that challenges the image and perception of disability and gain recognition for their work and share a total of $7000 in prizes. The competition, now in its fourth year, attracted 1800 entries from around the world last year, and submissions for this year close on Thursday April 24. Go to for details. You may submit any number of entries.

The 1960s — A Decade that Changed the World

Take a trip down memory lane and explore the colourful history of the 1960s. With WEA tutor Burkhard Jahnicke discuss and view the popular culture of that period — music, art and cinema, the youth movement and some major political events of this fascinating and turbulent decade. Saturday May 10, 10am–4pm at WEA House, 72 Bathurst Street, Sydney. Tickets $86 for Federation members ($94 others), quote code 42WK021 when booking. Phone (02) 9264 2781 or go to

Introduction to The Artist’s Way

Did your desire to paint, write, sew or sculpt get pushed aside for practical life choices? Everyone is capable of artistic expression but this often is lost in day-to-day existence. Using Julia Cameron’s ground-breaking book The Artist’s Way as a guide, WEA tutors Russell Edwards and Yoko Kawatata take you through exercises from the written to the physical, the whimsical to the serious, to unleash your creativity. Mondays from May 12 (seven meetings), 5.30–7.30pm at WEA House, 72 Bathurst Street, Sydney. Tickets $162 for Federation members (others $179), quote code 42HM064 when booking. Phone (02) 9264 2781 or go to

Exploring Old Tokyo

Compare the Edo period map of Tokyo with today’s city and then explore the streetscape of Japan’s old quarters. Referring to woodblock prints of city quarters such as Nihonbashi, Yanaka, Asakusa, Ueno and Ginza, learn how to navigate these areas of Tokyo today, with an eye for history and more insight into how this great city has grown. WEA tutor John McBride offers many other practical insights such as how to travel to Tokyo and enjoy its food, museums and other historic sites along the way. Tuesday June 10, 6.30–8.30pm at WEA House, 72 Bathurst Street, Sydney. Tickets $35, quote code 42HM129 when booking. Phone (02) 9264 2781 or go to