All things considered she did show herself to be far from negligible.
And it is indeed interesting that Tony Abbott has to this point shown a pointed reluctance to do the same. Afraid of foot in mouth disease perhaps? Or deep-down aware that he could be exposed? Malcolm Turnbull, on the other hand, has been something of a star on QandA, as indeed has Joe Hockey.
But let’s take some very good questions that arose last night.
Donna Jacobs Sife in Willoughby, NSW asked via video: As a performing artist in the schools for more than 25 years and as school program director in a diversity education organisation, I’m in a good place to see the decline of citizenship and the arts and other enrichment programs in the schools. The schools are becoming obsessed to teaching to the test of Naplan and the My School website. Numeracy and literacy is all they talk about and it is in my opinion a dark period in education. Miss Gillard are there any plans to redress this imbalance and to find some response to this most unfortunate, unintended consequence of Naplan and the My School website?
Oh yes, and I couldn’t think of a better person to ask such a question, because here is someone who really does UNDERSTAND education. I referred to her in 2005 in School Uniform Policy in NSW State Schools and Yarmulkes, Head Scarves, Crosses: Diversity or Disaster? And, I am sorry to say, Julia was incapable of getting the point of the question because she is so locked in to an inadequate mechanistic model that seems sensible but actually is not. Nor is the Opposition any better.
See several of my posts on NAPLAN and related matters, especially my South Sydney Herald story and “NAPLAN risks ‘repeating US mistakes’” – The Australian. And:
Having pumped up an ‘education revolution’ be very careful about visiting sales reps…
You will be very tempted by anyone claiming to have invented an Education Thermometer which, when stuck up the patient’s fundament, will magically tell you just what’s wrong and how to fix it. The more amazing numbers on that thermometer and the more it flashes and whirs the more politicians, bureaucrats and parents believe in its powers…
It’s never so simple…
The other question was noteworthy for its passion:
My name is Geoff Thomas. I am a Vietnam veteran, and a plumbing contractor and a proud father of a gay son. Almost 2 years ago I asked Tony Abbott on Q&A when he would start treating gay and lesbian Australians with dignity and respect. He hasn’t changed his view, but you have. The country now knows that you are as one with Tony Abbott and the extreme Australian Christian lobby on this issue. Could you please explain to me how in a country that prides itself on freedom, equality and tolerance how it is that denying same sex couples the right to marry is in any way in any sense fair, just or consistent with the way Australians think today?
Rather than comment I refer you to the thread that follows the question.