You may have heard that quite a few people are unhappy about the revised national curriculum, planned to replace the current one now operating in schools across Australia.
Teachers complained that the original curriculum, introduced by the Gillard government some ten years ago, was “too crowded”.
Indeed it was. So what parts do you think Australian education “experts” are proposing to cut out?
There are no prizes for guessing that the deleted/grossly inadequate bits include our Christian heritage and the history of Western civilisation.
The current curriculum is not OK. But the revised version is far worse.
Take for example the new draft version for “Humanities and Social Sciences” (HASS), which includes history, geography and civics education.
If you search for words or phrases in the document, you will find that the words “Christ, Christian, Christianity” appear a total of 16 times, sometimes in a very minor context. “Islam, Islamic, Muslim” appear 12 times. “Britain, Europe” appear 74 times.
But “First Nations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous”? These terms appear a total of 329 times!
The curriculum uses the term “invasion” seven times and “genocide” twice, to describe British settlement in 1788.
Jacinta Nampijinpa Price is among several Aboriginal critics of the proposed new curriculum. She says it is “dangerous” and leaves Aboriginal history “open to complete misinterpretation and manipulation”.
“Education is no longer education, but ongoing indoctrination,” she said.
Warren Mundine, another Aboriginal leader, shares Jacinta’s concerns. He has attacked the revised national curriculum, claiming its authors have sought to create a society where people are divided by the colour of their skin.
“They’ve gotten the balance all wrong,” he said.
Federal education minister Alan Tudge has also been open about his curriculum concerns. Flaws he has mentioned include its failure to require the teaching of reading by systematic phonics from the beginning of schooling, and its lack of evidence-based methods in other areas such as number skills.
“The national curriculum, it goes to the heart of what children are taught. Not just the content but the values which are embedded in it,” Mr Tudge said (in part).
“We absolutely have had tough times in the past and students should learn about that. But fundamentally students should come out school with a love of this nation and what we have achieved together. They should understand our deep Indigenous history.
“They should (also) understand our deep British foundations which set the scene for our great democracy, built on Judaeo-Christian values.”
You may remember the uproar last November when Donald Trump claimed he would have won the US presidential election if there had not been large-scale voter fraud.
Some of his allegations were backed by eye-witness reports of irregularities in the pre-poll and postal voting, and in the checking and counting processes. Nevertheless, the courts refused to hear some cases and dismissed others for technical reasons.
He goes on: “It is often said that Australia’s electoral systems are among the best in the world. But a 2015 University of Sydney study on election integrity found that Australia ranks just 34th out of 139 nations — behind New Zealand, Canada, Lithuania, Costa Rica, and many European countries.”
Mahlburg quotes former federal Liberal MP and minister Christopher Pyne, who said in 2000: “There are a lot of people out there who have been involved in electoral frauds for purposes of pre-selections or elections who are too terrified to come forward and talk about it.”
NSW electoral commissioners R. Cundy and Ian Dickson said: “… that the electoral system is open to manipulation is beyond question… fraudulent enrolment is almost impossible to prevent.”
Following the 2016 federal election, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that over 18,000 letters were sent by the AEC to voters who had voted more than once. Three years earlier, 18,000 such letters were sent following the 2013 election. None of these people faced prosecution, even though they could have changed the result in some marginal seats.
During the 2017 same-sex marriage plebiscite, 248,000 envelopes sent to Australian homes were marked “return to sender” for having an invalid address. Even though the Australian Electoral Commission had provided the wrong addresses, these glaring irregularities were never investigated.
What can be done?
Mahlburg has three suggested solutions:
First, legislation must be passed requiring voters to present ID before they are allowed to vote, including for postal voting. Second, while the paper ballot system should stay in place, a digital electoral roll must be introduced to prevent a person casting their vote at one polling station before moving on to cast additional votes elsewhere. Third, the electoral roll must be corrected by removing the thousands of deceased, unverifiable and false enrolments.
FamilyVoice made submissions and gave evidence in person to inquiries following several past federal elections. We recommended key changes to prevent electoral fraud, including the requirement for voters to present ID before they vote or cast a pre-poll or postal vote.
Liberal MPs on the inquiry committee generally agreed with us. By contrast, Labor MPs strongly disagreed, claiming that people without ID such as the homeless, would miss out. We pointed out that this problem could be overcome in several ways. But in the end, nothing was done.
I thank those like Kurt Mahlburg who are pushing for effective protections against voter fraud. I pray they may succeed. Our democracy depends on it!