IN BRIEF

Domestic violence leave to cost 5c a day

Federation has stated its support for the We Won’t Wait campaign, coordinated by Unions NSW. Unions are demanding the Federal Government support a minimum of 10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave for all workers by legislating to include it in the National Employment Standards.

At October Council, Federation carried a decision to encourage members to actively participate in the We Won’t Wait campaign throughout November.

The estimated cost of introducing a minimum 10 days’ paid Family and Domestic Violence Leave in the National Employment Standards is just five cents per day per worker. A campaign action is being developed for members to communicatie with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during November, highlighting the minimal cost of funding this leave. Information will be sent to schools early in November.

In the meantime, leaflets and posters are available from the Women’s Coordinator and Unions NSW. Sign the petition here.

Whale of a day

The annual Gawura (Eora for whale) migration season is marked by a day of stories and dance inspired by distinctive engravings, carved thousands of years ago into the Vaucluse landscape.

In Aboriginal culture, the Gawura migration signifies revitalisation and birth of a new generation, a unique and ongoing story of connection to country. Sydney Living Museum’s annual Whale Festival takes visitors on a journey to help understand this special story shared by many different Aboriginal communities.

From 10am on Saturday, 11 November, Vaucluse Estate Beach Paddock will host a traditional Smoking Ceremony by Dwayne “Naja” Bannon-Harrison and Welcome to Country by Aunty Vivian Mason, both from Yuin country, to set the scene. The significance of the whale to Aboriginal culture will be revealed through dance performances from Ngaran Ngaran Cultural Awareness and the Djaadjawan Dancers.

Fred’s Bush Tucker, will cook local fish wrapped in paperbark and baked on hot coals to provide a cultural connection to the harbour for the local Birrabirragal people, while inside the Vaucluse House kitchen, Sydney Living Museum’s colonial gastronomer Jacqui Newling will be cooking traditional whaler’s “pot luck” seafood stew referencing Sydney’s early whaling industry.

Children can create their own scratch art inspired by the whale engravings or handle a piece of whale baleen.

Visitors can also take a whale-themed tour of the historic Vaucluse House.

Playing with statistics

ABC’s Splash website has produced an interactive learning resource to enable students from Years 5 to 8 to gain a better understanding of important human rights issues as they explore the latest statistics from respected Australian institutions.

The Choose your own Statistics game, produced in partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission, uses thought-provoking infographics to encourage students to critically evaluate their beliefs and deepen their understanding of the role that data representation plays in building knowledge and influencing decisions about social issues.

Innovative technology enables students to explore the demographics of Australian society on a national and state level and see how the make-up of our country has changed over time.

Through the exploration of 10 topics, students obtain a big-picture overview of the data behind issues such as homelessness, immigration, sexual harassment, the justice system, and our ageing population.

Interactive graphs provide a snapshot of the cultural background, religious beliefs, technology use and education and employment status of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians of different ages and genders.

Statistics are presented using the full range of graphs included in the syllabus requirements of the Mathematics curriculum. Students can customise and publish their own graphs, and all of the data is available for download to Excel to enable further exploration.

The topics included in Choose Your Own Statistics have been specifically selected to address the Australian Curriculum’s Ethical Understanding general capability.

Teachers will find information to support them in engaging their students as they introduce topics from the Geography, History, Civics and Citizenship, and Economics and Business curriculums. The game can be found here.

Museum in a box

The Australian Museum will bring the museum to your school with its Museum in a Box program for educational institutions across Australia.

There are more than 30 different boxes containing real museum specimens, casts, artefacts, dioramas, images, DVDs, CDs, books and resources covering subjects such as frogs and reptiles, human evolution as well as the evolution of Australian animals, dinosaurs, contemporary and historic boxes on Indigenous Australians, marine life and mammals.

The Bush Tucker box explores the creative way Indigenous people respond to diverse conditions and environments. It includes bush food specimens, bush tucker environment posters, and bush tucker activity cards. The Platypus box includes platypus and puggle dioramas, real fur, casts of feet, mouth parts and eggs, and other teaching resources, while the Shark box explores aspects of shark biology and includes specimens, enlarged Great White, Grey Nurse and Port Jackson shark teeth, Whaler shark jaws, acrylic shark skin, and students can create a Megalodon shark tooth.

Boxes are available for loan periods of three weeks. A charge applies to each box loan, which covers booking, handling, maintenance and freight of the box to and from your school. For bookings click here.

Bell sounds out regional schools for mentorships

Under its Regional Teacher Mentorship, Bell Shakespeare offers 30 teachers from regional, rural and remote Australian primary and secondary schools a fully funded, year-long mentorship with the company.

The mentorship, supported by the Australian Government and Teachers Mutual Bank, includes four days of Professional Learning at Bell Shakespeare’s headquarters in Sydney, and ongoing support throughout 2018. All travel, accommodation and Professional Learning expenses are provided at no charge to schools.

Two groups of 15 teachers will spend four days at Bell Shakespeare HQ, where they will receive specialist training in practical and innovative strategies for teaching Shakespeare, the ability to collaborate and network with regional teachers from around Australia, design a Shakespeare unit plan, and see Bell Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra at the Sydney Opera House. On returning to their school, teachers will receive ongoing support from Bell Shakespeare artists and staff, as well as access to in-school and in-theatre programs where possible.

Dates to remember:

  • Applications close: Monday, 27 November 2017, 5pm
  • Successful applicants will be notified by Monday, 11 December 2017
  • Dates of Professional Learning at Bell HQ: 2-5 March 2017 (Group 1), 16-19 March 2017 (Group 2).

Entry is by application and will require the applying teacher to submit a statement of intent, as well as a supporting letter from the school.

If there is a teacher at your school who would benefit from this experience, whether an early career teacher in need of training and confidence, or a veteran in need of fresh ideas, please encourage them to apply.

All necessary information and the application form can be found here.