To Sarah Mitchell, NSW Education Minister:
The article in today's Telegraph where you are foisting off the responsibility of banning student mobiles in schools is an absolute joke.
I have vast experience across all levels of education across this country.
But more importantly I have five grandchildren who are addicted to mobile phones. The two youngest will scream loud enough to wake the neighbourhood if the phones are removed.
I also need to mention I had many years of experience in employment with the CES. Employers' biggest complaints were school kids had no people skills mainly because they hadn't learnt to have a conversation, just talk in text on mobiles.
Successful education is about having good partnerships with students, parents, communities and school staff. Problem is you can't have a partnership without a relationship and you can't build a relationship without a conversation.
It's about actively listening and understanding each other.
School staff need to be listening and doing things with all stakeholders not the 'I know what is best for you' routine.
My advice to you is to stop worrying about the politics of who you are going to offend by banning mobiles in schools and make the right decision now before we lose more generations of children to social media.
Please, please do not wreck this beautiful bush walk with luxury accommodation and so on. It would ruin this wilderness. In fact it would no longer be wilderness.
I have a dream, as the saying goes. I dream that Australia is a world heritage nation, based on the custodianship of our First Nations who spent 65,000 years here.
The South East NSW region has the highest percentage of original bush national park in Australia, according to the recent publication of a map on the internet. The biodiversity of our country extends back to the heritage of the Gondwana era when we were attached to Antarctica.
The post-COVID-19 era demonstrates how rapidly regional Australia is developing. Our pristine region must be maintained. Ecotourism, not the 40s-60s spending their often obscenely high salaries on luxury tourism.
Follow-the-money is not the motto for regional heritage Australia, as the goal for health and wellness. We in the Bega Valley Shire are morphing into the ACT, and appear to be reflecting what could be a pilot project.
Our First Nations deserve a voice that requires different governance. Regions, not states, offer the potential for the federal governance of regions not states. Socially democratic values are strong already in Australia, and our youth are speaking loudly along the new pathways we are now treading.
The Light-to-Light track should partner the values of the Bundian Way - treasure our ecological biodiversity. Open our bush, mountains and coastlines for respectful tourism that will display the incredible creativity of the nations now.
In a few generations they are now a valued part of a multicultural society of many former civilisations.
To the manager, Sapphire Marketplace Bega:
This letter is to supplement and hopefully reinforce the many verbal complaints I have made about the errant trolley problem in the vicinity of your store.
There are no trolley bays at ground level in the open area of Littleton Gardens and it is nothing to see more than a dozen scattered around. Not only are they unsightly, they could well be a danger to the public.
The previous Sunday I noticed a trolley, picked up by the wind, trundling around the car park. It could well have hit a car or, heaven forbid, a person. A disabled person like me would have no hope of avoiding it. Who then would be sued?
At least there are more trolley bays at Coles, which is one of the main reasons I do most of my shopping there. Which brings me to my experience yesterday at the marketplace.
I pulled up at the disabled parking area at the base of the steps to find three trolleys over the gutter and in the bay where I park. I had to leave the rear of my car partly out into the roadway, which in itself is dangerous.
There were more trolleys at the bottom of the ramp and I counted another 11 at various spots around the gardens area.
Why are there not more designated trolley bays? Why is council not more concerned about the welfare of residents and ratepayer? Why does it take an old lady like me to bring it to your attention?
So what is the answer? For a start the centre could get rid of the unkempt garden at the base of the steps and build a proper signposted trolley bay. That might be the beginning of public education, which is part of the problem.
I don't doubt you would meet with some resistance as naturally most councillors would prefer more people to park underground where there are more bays. Sadly for the council, there are many like me who simply do not like parking underground - it is claustrophobic and full of petrol fumes.
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