Bega District Letters the Editor

Out of touch

I suspect that Dr Andrew Laming has had as much exposure to the day-to-day challenges of the teaching profession as his colleague Julia Banks has had trying to exist on $40 a day (‘Teachers need fewer holidays, more work: Coalition MP Andrew Laming’, BDN, 1/5).

While Dr Laming pontificates at the expense of taxpayers from the comfort of his leather armchair, he actually has little or no idea of the real challenges that confront the more than 300,000 teachers each day across Australia.

Particularly those who don’t have the luxury of permanent employment or the benefits that come with that, including paid annual, sick and long service leave, not to forget job security, access to continuing training and the opportunity to fully develop their skills and optimise their contribution by having the privilege of meeting the educational needs of the same class each day.

Instead of wondering how he can wring more water from the already dry washer that is the teaching profession, maybe Dr Laming could investigate the nepotism that has infected the public school system since school principals have been given direct responsibility for hiring and firing?

As for the easy time that Dr Laming believes teachers enjoy, perhaps he could spend a few days walking in the shoes of your average casual primary school teacher, often only ‘booked’ to work the night before, while regularly being expected to prepare work and pay for the resources they use, while also being expected to be grateful for the privilege.

And if they happen to be among the older casual teachers, they often get to enjoy the privilege of observing younger teachers, often with little or no experience, being offered permanent employment or contracts, while they are reminded that one of their most important responsibilities is to “mentor” their younger colleagues.

I doubt Dr Laming and his colleagues would know a real teacher if they tripped over one.

Fraser Buchanan, Merimbula

Target Iran

Imagine you’re an Iranian. First the US overthrows your elected government in 1953 to get your oil, and replaces it with a puppet dictator who rules ruthlessly for 26 years.

Then, in 1980, the US supports a massive eight-year attack by Iraq that kills half a million Iranians.

Next, the US, for decades, denies your country’s “inalienable right” under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes, imposing crippling sanctions.

To top it off, the US then breaks its agreement to finally allow you that inalienable right.

And all the while, the US conducts nuclear sabotage, cyber warfare, and all sorts of covert destabilisation, while hyper-hypocritically accusing your country of sponsoring terrorism.

You’d hang your head in disgust and despair. As should the world.

Paul Strutynski, Buckajo

Thanks to community

On behalf of the Leukaemia Foundation, I would like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to Bega District News readers for their incredible support of this year’s 20th World’s Greatest Shave.

The extraordinary people who shaved, cut or coloured their hair plus all their generous sponsors have now raised close to an incredible $5million in NSW alone. This will help the Leukaemia Foundation continue to provide its vital services that will make a genuine difference to local families facing blood cancer.

These services include free accommodation, transport, emotional support and disease specific education to Australians and their families as they find their way through some of the darkest days of their lives.

Approximately 20,000 people have taken part in this year’s milestone campaign and have shaved or cut away an estimated 7000kg of hair, helping to create wigs for cancer patients.

Thanks to our partners at Sustainable Salons Australia, for the first time shorter hair will now also be used to create ‘hair booms’ which will be used to soak up potential oil spills at sea.

Bill Petch, CEO Leukaemia Foundation

It was a very special Mother's Day for Bega's Una Umbers with five generations gathering to celebrate. Read more below

It was a very special Mother's Day for Bega's Una Umbers with five generations gathering to celebrate. Read more below

Mother’s Day

It was a very special Mother’s Day for one family who enjoyed a gathering of five generations on Sunday.

Pictured above are Una Umbers, 94, of Bega, Margaret Scarlett, 70, of Bemboka, Catherine Barry, 50, Felicity Mclean, 25, and Toby Mclean, 4, of Wagga. 

Felicity says a fun fact is Una became a grandmother for the first time at the age of 45 in 1968, and history repeated itself when Catherine became a grandmother as well at 45 years of age in 2013, 45 years later!