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Damon Meredith
Life is for living, so make the most of it.
Life is for living, so make the most of it.

Damon Meredith's posts

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Seaplane in Strahan

I love places like Strahan, a little former fishing and logging village on the North West of the Tasmanian coast. The city centre is right on the harbour and there's only about six houses on the main street.

This seaplane was out on the water early this morning and I really liked the way the picture came out.

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"Education has to educate the entire child and not just meet some economic target."

We had #education legend Sir Ken Robinson on the show yesterday. If you aren't one of the 300 million people who have seen his famous TED talk on how schools kill creativity, I highly recommend watching it here (

I was planning this segment for over three months - and our main host Andrew O'Keefe fell sick on the morning. Watch what happens about 30 seconds in...


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My major journalism story on intensive farming was published on ABC Rural today.

Animal activists say Australian farmers are mistreating animals in factory farms, but how truthful are their claims?

#farming   #intensivefarming   #factoryfarming   #feedlots   #cattlefeedlot   #animalactivists   #animalliberation   #food   #agriculture  

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I love this picture made by someone on Reddit, called 'Science VS Religion'.

What do you see?

Is it...

...a nativity scene or two Tyrannosaurus Rex fighting over a watermelon?

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Every time we do something on climate change I get hundreds of comments questioning everything from the science to the seriousness.

This segment is for those disbelievers.

#climatechange   #climate   #climatescience   #sun7  

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Great map showing the size of Australia compared to other countries.

(I shudder to think what Russia would look like. Fun fact: Russia has a greater surface area than Pluto does).


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Filmography 2013

I do like this fellow's video mashups. This is 300 of this year's movies combined into a single storyline.

Failing on education

My opinion piece on why the government’s mark-down of #Gonski hits public schools hardest.

I was educated at a public high school. There were 120 other kids in my final year and together we shared a community sports field, one small library of about ten bookshelves and a science department that could afford Bunsen burners and not much else. Despite these first-world hardships I recently graduated university with a Distinction average and am working for one of the largest commercial television networks in the country. So is education really linked to school funding?

The review panel headed by David Gonski certainly thought so. The Gonski report was commissioned to try and address the huge education gap that has emerged in our nation. Australia has one of the largest disparities between high- and low-performing students among all developed countries. Our top students are remarkable but they’re leaving the rest of their peers behind.

This divide falls neatly into the stereotype of public versus private schooling. Parents who want their kids to do well are prepared to pay to see those results. Conversely, parents who have priorities other than education will send their children to schools where the aim is to pass, not to excel. Our schooling system endorses a dichotomy of education disparity.

Public schools are naturally at a disadvantage because they can’t pick and choose their students. But they also have to educate more with far, far less. The MySchool website confirms public schools on average have 25% less income than their private counterparts, but educate 66% of Australia’s students. Australia spends above the world average on private school funding and below the world average on public school funding. It’s a model that encourages the education gap we’re seeing in test results today.

One of the aims of Gonski was to create equality in school funding. It would guarantee every student (and therefore every school) had enough financial support to give kids the education they deserved. One of the unique aspects of the Gonski funding model was that it meant private schools couldn’t leech off extra money supplied to underprivileged students. Previously if a state government increased funding for disadvantaged students in public schools, a portion of it would flow through to the private sector as well. Gonski changed this by directly allocating funds to the students in need (although Labor acquiesced by promising Catholic schools they would retain their share).

Labor’s model wasn’t exactly what the Gonski panel recommended – making concessions to Catholic schools and lowering some of the extra student loadings – but it was certainly a grade higher than the previous system. The federal government’s decision to re-negotiate Labor’s promised $14.5 billion funding injection sends a bad signal to all schools. But it definitely hits public schools the hardest.

Whether or not an increase in funding would directly improve education is debatable. Research certainly suggests it plays a major role. Education Minister Christopher Pyne says education is equally influenced by teacher quality and the national curriculum. Personally I had brilliant teachers at school and the curriculum appears to have taught me useful things. But I would have liked a bigger library.

#education   #schoolfunding  

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11-year-old applies for job as "helper" at the Fire Brigade.

Would you hire him?

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Tomorrow is Australia's National Day of Climate Action. It comes after a week where Australia is not represented at the U.N. Climate Change Talks in Poland and the carbon tax repeal was introduced into Parliament as the first order of business. (Coincidentally the first act of Kevin Rudd in 2007 was to ratify the Kyoto Protocol - you're excused if you think we're going in reverse).

Australia was given the Fossil of the Day award, presented to countries who have done the most to block climate change negotiations. In the U.N.'s words, repealing the carbon tax was: “hurling Australia back into the abyss of time”.

This was my segment last weekend; a debate between Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Shadow Minister Mark Butler.

#climate   #climatechange  
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