IN BRIEF

Lessons in travel

Ask your year 9 geography students to become virtual tourists at the sites of Australia’s famous natural wonders and learn how real tourism is affecting these places. “What effects do people’s travel choices have on the places they visit? What implications might this have for the future of these places?” the ABC asks. There are teachers’ notes and videos on the site.

Send an APHEDA Christmas card

Two cards with striking Indigenous designs.

Send some peace, spirit and solidarity at Christmas with Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA’s three new festive season card designs — good value at $12 for a pack of 10. There are two stunning Indigenous designs from the Warlukuiangu artists collective, a traditional dove and an exclusive little number from the pen of Walkley Award-winning artist First Dog on the Moon. Choose from among seven different packs of cards at www.apheda.org.au/getinvolved/1319592526_9384.html and salute Brenda the Civil Disobedience Penguin’s poem in the First Dog on the Moon card: “Workers all stand proud and free/ and thank all unions gratefully/ for time off with your family/ at Christmas.”

One Hunter school gets breather

A primary school in the Hunter will be closed down, dashing hopes that it might be saved through a joint Christian Democrat-Greens motion passed on October 15 to force Education Minister Adrian Piccoli to release all documents pertaining to the proposed closure of schools with low enrolments. The move followed months of concerns raised by both parties on behalf of Wollombi PS and Martins Creek PS over the lack of transparency and clarity in the process. “The NSW Upper House has sent a clear message to the NSW Government that they can’t unilaterally decide to close down schools without genuine consultation, sound justification and a transparent process,” said the Greens co-mover of the motion, Dr John Kaye. Despite this, it was announced on November 13 that 162-year-old Wollombi PS will be closed down at the end of the year. "This is chequebook planning," said Dr Kaye. "It's putting costs ahead of welfare outcomes for young children."

Retirement seminar

More than 50 Federation members contemplating retirement attended a seminar at Carlingford Bowling Club on October 19. Welfare Officer Carol Howard presented valuable information for teachers to consider. Feedback included requests for similar events. The seminar was hosted by Parramatta, Ryde-Macquarie and The Hills teachers associations.