Fraser Anning shouldn’t be branded a racist
I AGREE Nazi salutes aren't the best way to go, but Senator Fraser Anning shouldn't be branded racist for wanting effective Australian border protection (C-M, Jan 7).
Unfortunately, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk belongs to the socialist-green brigade which insists on accusing anyone who disagrees with its dogma as one sort of "ist" or another.
I doubt Anning cares what ethnicity individuals are, but he recognises Victoria has a problem with Sudanese gangs.
Denying the facts because they're unpalatable PC-wise doesn't make them disappear.
The Left is so brainwashed by its own propaganda, its members are unable and indeed coerced into ignoring problems caused by uncontrolled and unsustainable immigration.
Lately it's popular to criticise US President Donald Trump for bullying opponents, but the ALP and Greens are no better with their groupthink ranting.
Richard Marman, Parrearra
THE recent behaviour of Senator Fraser Anning should be called out by all sides of politics. To use taxpayers' money to attend an ultra-right-wing rally in Melbourne is a disgraceful abuse of the public purse.
Rejecting Anning's vote in the forthcoming parliamentary session would send a clear message to aspiring politicians that this sort of shallow opportunism is unacceptable to the electorate.
The sooner Anning realises that with public office comes great responsibility the better. Clearly a diversity of views is vital in a healthy democracy, but this sort of ignorant posturing is reprehensible.
Hopefully Queenslanders will consign him to the dustbin of history at the next election.
Steve Jenkins, Sinnamon Park
ANNASTACIA Palaszczuk was quick to call on Queenslanders to dump Senator Fraser Anning at the next election for his attendance at a far-right rally in Melbourne.
Yet she is deafeningly silent when the CFMMEU is called out for unlawful and thuggish behaviour.
Her hypocrisy was never more apparent than when she legislated to prevent developer donations to political parties while Labor still accepts massive union donations.
Bob Holmes, Coombabah
ONE might cast doubts about the timing of the rally in St Kilda on January 5 - the day the Nazi party was founded in Germany - and say it is mere coincidence, but one is unable to dismiss the fact that Senator Fraser Anning flew to Melbourne solely to take part and add his voice in a hate-filled rally, replete with Nazi-styled salutes and slogans led by two convicted criminals.
I stand in solidarity with the Jewish community and all other religious and ethnic communities that have been and might be vilified and targeted in future by these gangs and some politicians seeking to revitalise their diminishing or fledgling political careers.
Australians have rejected opportunistic and divisive politics of hate.
Qudrat Farooq, Boronia Heights
GENDER GAP IS REAL
IN HIS column "Forget gender, it's talent that counts" (C-M, Jan 8), Peter Gleeson says of the appointment of Deborah Knight (pictured) to co-host the Today show, "she got the job as Georgie Gardner's co-host because she's the best person for the job. End of story".
If only it were the end of his story. While I don't doubt that he is correct, unfortunately Gleeson then goes on to extrapolate from this that the appointment of one woman, in one company, in one industry is proof that all women could achieve a comparable position in all companies, in all industries if they have the talent, and therefore gender quotas are unnecessary.
He then adds that to think otherwise is a left-wing plot to destroy the economy.
Why does Gleeson think that wanting and expecting all women to have equality of opportunity is a left-wing issue, rather than a logical approach to the best use of available resources and talent?
A cursory glance at almost every company and institution in Australia will show an entrenched gender imbalance and that many talented, experienced and qualified women are being excluded from promotion due to gender, and this negatively affects our economy.
Barry Harrod, Fig Tree Pocket
IN A world obsessed with excellence, it is surprising that selection criteria for a particular occupation has not been rolled out by a refined computer system.
The notion that gender and other sociological labels be an aspect of the selection criteria could also be incorporated into the selection algorithm.
Reading Peter Gleeson's column, I was prompted to contemplate the fate of those whose personal lives have cost them their job.
Perhaps the selection algorithm should include keeping your private life to yourself, if the media let you.
Stephen Kazoullis, Highgate Hill
DESIRE TO HELP CHILDREN SUCCEED KEY TO TEACHING
PAUL Williams is 100 per cent correct in everything he says in his column (C-M, Jan 8) about recruiting quality teachers.
Simply being brilliant does not make you a good teacher.
As someone who has been a principal for more than 25 years, teachers need more than academic intelligence.
They need to be able to communicate, be empathetic, resilient and have a burning desire to help kids succeed.
I have known teachers with OP scores in the 15-19 range who have become brilliant teachers because they could connect with kids and the kids learned and progressed.
There is no point in having an academically gifted person in front of a class if there is no connection or engagement with the class. The students will simply not listen.
What Williams did not mention, but what needs to be a priority, is getting more men back into teaching.
If policies to enhance opportunities for women in industries that are traditionally male-occupied are being pursued, we need to ensure men are proactively encouraged to take up teaching as a career.
Has any research been done into why there has been a dramatic decline in the numbers of male teachers over the past 40 years?
Des Deighton, Coolum Beach
PAUL Williams is correct that the brightest students do not necessarily make the best teachers.
Teachers only need two qualities to be successful: a sound liberal education in the arts, humanities and sciences, and a gregarious, caring personality that makes it easy for them to relate to children.
Furthermore, the systemic characteristics of the teaching workforce need to change.
If the public wants true professionals to educate children, they must be paid better and their working conditions aligned with professional workplaces.
There also needs to be a marked change in the attitudes of parents and solid action to deal with mounting discipline problems.
No teacher, no matter how good, can achieve much if the behaviour of some children is continually disruptive.
The concept of individual work programs for students is fine in theory, and solidly endorsed by those who don't have to do it, but nearly impossible to implement for
25 students by one teacher.
The world is changing and work roles expanding, so, just as doctors have nurses to implement their medical directions in hospitals, perhaps it is time to expand the qualifications, role and number of teacher aides in classrooms so teachers become facilitators and learning managers, rather than an educational jack of all trades. Perhaps then children will receive the education they deserve.
Geoff Roberts, Brendale
PAUL Williams is on the money when he suggests letting teachers make decisions and be professionals.
Readers might also like to consider that continued improvement in student performance is not always possible. When we expect Australian students to continually show an upward trend in results such as NAPLAN and PISA, this ignores the basic premise that not all students being measured are the same as the previous cohort.
Too often, education systems apply business models of growth to learning. The need for education systems to return to a more logical and less business-oriented view of measuring success is long overdue.
Perhaps a call to review high-stakes testing is needed, together with returning to teachers the trust and respect that should be given to their professionalism. Another suggestion is a total review of curriculum and teacher training to ensure that it is future-oriented and not tailored to Victorian England.
John Hunt, Mountain Creek
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