Ahhh holidays. A time to reflect, recharge and gain some much needed clarity and perspective (for part of them anyway). It definitely doesn't mean my musings switch off though so here we go with another post.
I was recently watching the news. If you hadn't heard, there has been a huge audit into Australia's aged care facilities after it's been found many elderly patients are not receiving the proper care and attention they deserve (because I love a tangent, this could be a whole other post on its own. As a person with a grandfather in a nursing home, it infuriates me that this stuff is happening)
Back to the point. I'm watching the news and the Health Minister Greg Hunt was discussing the issue. Almost immediately my ears pricked up. Where had I heard that name before? After a short time I realised it was the same Greg Hunt that used to be Environment Minister back in 2016. I know this because my Stage 3 class wrote persuasive letters to him in a bid to end deforestation. We received a letter back which had the kids and I extremely excited.
My mind started ticking. Environment Minister turned Health Minister. Happens all the time. Politicians jump from one role to another and back again, apparently having enough in-depth knowledge and expertise to successfully carry out both roles. This got me thinking about how unfair this all is. It would be the equivalent of me assuming I could teach Year 12 Mathematics because I am primary school trained. Better yet, it essentially means I could become a lawyer with the same education degree. Law and education have nothing in common but neither do health and the environment. It can't be just me who finds this laughable right? How can a primary school teacher use the same degree to be a lawyer? It's simple. It's not possible. Just as a lawyer cannot start primary school teaching simply because they want to. Why is it so easy for our politicians?
Why is it completely acceptable for a politician to jump from one ministerial role to another? I am certain Greg Hunt did not have expert knowledge related to the environment and I am even more certain that he doesn't have expert knowledge around the pertinent health issues experienced by Australians today. And yet he is trusted to make these decisions and no one questions it. I can bet you everything I own that if I were to take on a Year 12 maths class or become a lawyer, I would need to provide evidence that I am educated and trained in those professions.
Following on from these musings, I tuned into Q&A the other night on the ABC. The episode's focus was on education and pulling apart the faults of our system. Right up my alley! My favourite part was when Tony Abbott was bought up. Ahh Tony Abbott. Or should I say new special envoy on Indigenous Affairs. In other words, a made up job too! No qualifications, no track record of working in indigenous communities, no expert knowledge around indigenous issues but handed a pity job on a platter. Does anyone else get as mad as I do when you think about Tony and Greg getting a ridiculous pay check to achieve all of nothing?
Faults of the system, you ask? Well, having an Education Minister that has never stepped foot inside a classroom as a teacher is a big one. Daniel Tehan, our current Education Minister is not a trained teacher and has no idea. Plus, I had to Google who our education minister even was because they change so often. I had never heard of this guy. Thank goodness for Gabbie Stroud who was on the panel representing teachers. She is an advocate for teacher mental health and recognises it is the system letting teachers down, not that teachers just can't handle the profession. I went out and bought her book Teacher. I just started reading the first few pages and I can already tell I am going to like it. Perhaps our new minister could change things up a little and sit down with Gabbie if he truly wants to make a change. It is time for the everyday teachers that have gone back to casual teaching because it all became too much to have a say. It is time for those teachers who have left the profession entirely to have a say. It is time for those teachers struggling everyday to have a say.
So welcome Daniel. Here's hoping you won't be as hopeless as your predecessors. Oh and don't forget to call him the Honourable Daniel Tehan. Because politicians above anyone else deserve that title. Maybe my students should start calling me the Honourable Mrs S. Now that has a better ring to it, don't you think?