As a retired principal and teacher I’m glad that Liberal MPs have accused students of “rioting" over climate change. It keeps the spotlight on the issue.
Far from "rioting" the students were applying their education - critically thinking about relevant issues, engaging with others and taking responsible action.
That’s not an opinion but policy as outlined in the Values We Teach document which applies to all key learning areas in schools (excerpts below):
“RESPONSIBILITY: Being accountable for your individual and community's actions towards yourself, others and the environment...
FAIRNESS: Being committed to the principles of social justice...
DEMOCRACY: Accepting and promoting the rights, freedoms and responsibilities of being an Australian citizen...
...In the process of learning students develop: ...ecologically sustainable practices...
Outcomes of schooling: ...being active citizens of Australia and the world...
Social outcomes: Schooling is also about the future. Our community looks to today’s students to determine the world of tomorrow...”
It’s a shame that we don’t have such a mandatory document to apply to the federal government’s decision-making processes because the current government (through inaction on renewable energy and deforestation) is contributing to a global existential threat.
The intelligence, concerns, activism and wit of the striking students should be listened to, not mocked.
David Gallan, Tathra
I ref to editorial “Christmas decorations brighten up our lives” (BDN, 20/11).
While I was pleased to read a Faifax paper’s upbeat (albeit tacit) acknowledgement of Christmas (unlike the total aversion to the subject characteristic of over-zealous politically correct commentators), I was bemused with the perception that the event is reduced to a debate “whether Christmas is more about the celebration of giving or just plain consumerism”.
While there is an element of giving in the story of Christmas, I’ll maintain that it would not be about either of the above notions, if it wasn’t for the underpinning Christian celebration of the birth of Christ. That’s what it is really “about”. Although that must be irritating for non-believers, it might be also wonder provoking to all.
So, while the entire editorial avoids any reference to Christianity, it has opened a door to putting Christ back into Christmas.
Dave Richard-Preston, Bermagui
From little things
I doubt Professor Deborah Lupton would have ever thought her Bega Primary and Bega High School days would have led to a meeting with Danish royalty, and an honorary doctorate from the Copenhagen Uni. Congratulations Deborah from all in your little home town.
Valerie Little, Tathra
In response to Harriett's Swift's letter (BDN, 27/11), it is unfortunate that she has sought to create controversy based on an unpublished report by the University of Canberra that is subject to peer review and possible change.
Forest and Wood Products Australia is interested in understanding the range of views that exist about forest management and to establish indicators of social licence to operate.
As a society, we have now spent nearly three decades trying to achieve consensus around socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development across urban and rural Australia. All economic activity has an environmental and social impact and thus has varying degrees of social licence to operate.
However, there is currently no universally accepted methodology to measure social licence or how this concept can help facilitate consensus.
Sadly, we live in an increasingly polarised society, and this is particularly evident when activists like Ms Swift seek to opportunistically exploit unpublished research to further their stated cause.
Ric Sinclair, managing director, Forest and Wood Products Australia
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