trans sign 002

The Australian Capital Territory government will not allow the public to personally raise concerns about so-called “gay conversion” therapy, citing concern about corona virus transmission, in a move that has angered FamilyVoice Australia.

Last year the ACT Chief Minister Andrew Bar promised to punish anyone seeking to help people wishing to turn away from same-sex attraction. Mr Bar is Australia’s first openly LGBTI governmental leader.

According to The Australian newspaper (3 July 2020) the ACT government says “changing a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression has the potential to cause harm”.

This drew a sharp response from FamilyVoice Australia National Director Peter Downie:

“People seeking help should make their own decision about accessing therapists or counsellors and don’t need governments restricting freedom of choice,” he said.

“The ACT government is not concerned about so-called harmful interventions but is blatantly pushing against biblical Christian ideals.

FamilyVoice Australia is currently calling for a full inquiry into the harms done to young people through government sponsored gender identity ambitions.

As noted by The Australian, Victoria’s Premier Dan Andrews promised Australia’s first “conversion therapy” ban at the 2019 Midsumma Pride March, but the government of Queensland tried to gazump him and took medical bodies by surprise with a rushed consultation during the 2019-20 summer holidays. However, the evidence and drafting for the Queensland bill were savaged, and it was withdrawn.

Peter Downie urged the ACT government to allow a public consultation as occurred in Queensland.

“If the ACT government will use common sense and facilitate consultation by video conference, the public may well raise similar concerns to those expressed in Queensland, that would undermine the government’s unhelpful agenda - or is that what the ACT fears?”

parent child reading 
I take my hat off to Sunday School teachers. They provide an important service, especially to those children whose parents are uncertain how to teach them about the Christian faith, including God’s word in the Bible.

But the teachers’ task is much more difficult if some of their pupils cannot read.
One former Sunday School teacher encouraged her nine and ten-year-old pupils to read Bible verses related to the lesson every week.
“But several of them simply couldn’t do it,” she said. “They knew some common words by sight, but had no idea about how to tackle more complex ones. 

“They were intelligent, but they hated reading. There was no way they would go home and read the Bible on their own,” she said.
Since the 1970s, significant numbers of students have been graduating from primary and high school with few or no reading skills.
Studies have shown that more than a third of Australian adults can only read a few words.  They cannot read a map, or a recipe, or instructions on a medicine bottle – let alone a newspaper or the Bible. 

The Australian newspaper recently featured an article by literacy expert Jennifer Buckingham:  

At the start of the year (2020), 17,000 12- and 13-year-olds walked into high school classrooms all across the country unable to read even at a minimal level... A further 35,000 students achieved only the minimum standard, in which they can barely find basic information in simple written text.

Dr Buckingham explained the reason: most of these children have never been taught systematic phonics – how to blend letter sounds into words. 

Instead, their teachers have told them to remember the “look” of words, using pictures, context or first letter clues to help. Sadly, children without good visual memories often guess wrongly.

When FamilyVoice first became aware of the problem in 1991, they held a seminar led by US phonics expert Sam Blumenfeld. It was so popular they had to turn people away. 

Sam was born a Jew, but later became a follower of Christ. His parents had fled to New York from Hitler’s Germany. Sam, along with all the other immigrant five-year-olds in his crowded classroom, learned to read in English – by phonics.


Sam Blumenfed teaches Sam Findlay (3) after our FamilyVoice seminar

So Sam did some research – later producing his best-selling book, Alpha-Phonics. It has not only helped the children of Sam’s boss, but many thousands since.

Alpha-Phonics is a workbook that parents can use, spending just ten minutes a day. The first lessons blend short vowels with simple consonants. Gradually more letter combinations are added until the child can decode any word by the end of the book.

If children you know have problems reading the Bible – or any other book – you may like to check out this or other phonics systems. Our office secretary Hannah still has a few copies of Alpha-Phonics, or you can buy it online.
Peter Downie - National Director 

Mark Latham Photo2 Copy

Back in 2004, Mark Latham was the leader of Australia’s federal Labor Party. He’s now on a very different path, leading Pauline Hanson’s One Nation in the NSW upper house of parliament. 

There’s no love lost between Mark Latham and his former party. In March last year, Labor put him last on its list of preferences for the NSW state election.

But that didn’t worry him. He won enough votes to elect not only himself, but his running mate Rod Roberts as well. 

And this week Mark Latham has shown once again why he’s a force to be reckoned with.

Mark Latham took aim at the NSW education system and the secret return of the controversial “Safe Schools” program, an issue he alluded to in our webinar last week. 

You may be among the many – including me – who thought “Safe Schools” was dead. From 2010, FamilyVoice campaigned long and hard to have it removed from schools. We were very thankful when most state governments did so.

But Mark Latham has discovered that all is not what it seems. His new post is headed: 

SAFE SCHOOLS BY THE BACK DOOR: The Ongoing Sexualisation of Young Children.

He goes on: “In 2017 the NSW Government ended the teaching of the Safe Schools program. But what if teachers are now being trained to teach gender fluidity (boys becoming girls and girls becoming boys) by other means, as a regular part of their classroom practice?

“While the formal stand-alone program might have been abolished, Safe Schools has actually become more dangerous, as it has been adopted as a regular part of teacher professional development (PD) and pedagogy in NSW.” 

Mark continues: “The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) accredits organisations for teacher PD and training. One such accredited body is ‘Multiverse’, run by someone named Red Ruby Scarlet (who changed her name from Miriam Giugni).

“In August 2017 she came to prominence campaigning to rename Father’s Day as ‘Special Person’s Day’, so as not to upset children without dads.

“Scarlet now runs NESA-accredited school-teacher training courses, and also accredited courses for preschool/childcare staff through the Australian Education and Care Workforce professional body. 
… One of her course offerings is ‘My Friend has Two Mums: Gender and Sexuality in Early Childhood’.

“It has modules in ‘Queer Thinking in Early Childhood’, ‘Queer Pedagogies’, ‘Intersex Identities’, ‘Living Non-Binary’ and ‘Aboriginal Queerness and Queeness’. This is for teaching children as young as three years old.”

If this information disturbs you, you are not alone. As Mark Latham said in his maiden speech last year: 

“With few exceptions, people are born either male or female. We shouldn’t be confusing young people and risking their mental health by pushing gender fluidity upon them.

“We shouldn’t be taking away from parents their essential role as the primary carers of their children – in matters personal and sexual.

“We shouldn’t be changing the purpose of our education system: transforming schools from places of skill and academic attainment into gender fluidity factories. Most of all, we shouldn’t be losing sight of the interests of mainstream, majority Australia.

I say, “Amen!”

We are thankful that Mark Latham has put this issue on the public record. We will be taking it further. Please pray!

Peter Downie - National Director

AmandaStoker 002 500px

There was a time when everyone knew that boys grew up to be men and girls became women.

Now, skyrocketing numbers of children are suddenly wanting to change their birth sex. They seek to “transition” to the opposite sex with risky puberty-blocking drugs, cross-sex hormones and later irreversible surgery.

Some 260 Australian doctors, concerned about this development, supported a call in September last year by professor of paediatrics and child health, John Whitehall, for a formal parliamentary inquiry.

FamilyVoice backed this call for an inquiry into “the rapid rise of childhood gender dysphoria in Australia and the lack of scientific basis for current medical treatment.”

Then we waited.  Month after month there was no reply from federal Health Minister Greg Hunt. Seven months later, in April this year, The Age reported that the minister opposed an inquiry, claiming that more media and public attention “might harm” vulnerable transgender youth.

This issue could affect us all.  Our children or grandchildren could be pressured to start “transitioning” only to suffer serious regret years later.  A decade after sex-reassignment surgery the suicide rate is 20 times that of comparable peers.

FamilyVoice encouraged people to email Mr Hunt stressing the seriousness of the situation and the need for an inquiry. You may have been one of the thousands who sent emails – thank you!

Then a leading authority on autism, Dr Tony Attwood, reported a huge rate of gender dysphoria among autistic children. In a group of female teens seeking to “transition”, a massive 45 per cent showed autism features. This is vastly more than the 3 per cent of autistic people in the general community. Something is clearly wrong.

Last week something happened! Minister Hunt called for state health ministers to investigate why there is such an over-representation of teenage patients with autism being treated at state gender clinics.

Mr Hunt also said he would ask state and territory health ministers to examine more cautious treatment advice and warnings for gender dysphoric children and their parents, now being adopted by Britain’s National Health System. 

Moreover, Queensland LNP Senator Amanda Stoker has written to say she shares our concerns and will raise them with her colleagues in parliament and the media. 

We are thankful for these positive developments, but we mustn’t relax. We need to keep pressing state and federal governments to recognise that over 80 per cent of gender-confused children mature to accept their birth sex.  We need to protect children from a medical invasion of their childhood.

Peter Downie - National Director

Like millions of others, I was deeply disturbed by the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police on 25 May. Not only America but Britain and Australia have erupted in mass mayhem, led by the Black Lives Matter movement founded in 2013.

Floyd was 1.93 m tall and weighed 100 kg. His friends called him a “gentle giant”. He was a keen basketballer and rapper, using the stage name “Big Floyd”.  After a stint in jail for armed robbery and home invasion his life changed – he became involved in the Christian ministry Resurrection Houston.  He was known for decades as a mentor to a generation of young men and a “person of peace” – but things seemed to have gone wrong during the COVID pandemic. His autopsy showed the presence of drugs.

Floyd’s death follows another tragic death at the hands of Minneapolis police. The Australian-born woman Justine Damond was fatally shot on 15 July 2017 by a Somali-American police officer. She had phoned the police to report the possible assault on a woman in an alley behind her house.

Why did the killing of a black man by a white cop provoke protests and riots, when the killing of a white woman by a black cop didn’t?  The answer, of course, is the widespread belief that blacks are unfairly targeted by police due to racial hatred.  But what are the facts?

US homicide records show that, in the general population, there are more murders of whites by blacks than the reverse.  In 2016, for example, over twice as many whites (533) were killed by blacks as blacks (243) killed by whites.  

A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found no racial differences in the use of lethal force by US police. It said: “On the most extreme use of force – officer-involved shootings – we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account.”

However, there are big differences in crime rates between the white and black US subcultures.  In 2016, African-Americans became murder victims at the rate of 71 per million, compared with 15 whites per million. That is, blacks were 4.7 times as likely to be killed as whites. But most of these killings occur within the racial groups. Whites were killed by other whites in 82% of cases and blacks were killed by blacks in 90% of cases.

The Black Lives Matter campaign is motivated by a common myth, that police unfairly target blacks. But the situation is far more complex. 

US attorney and radio host Larry Elder believes the underlying cause of much crime is fatherlessness.  A large proportion of African-Americans are raised in fatherless homes. Lacking male role models who are strong yet caring and protective, boys often turn to crime gang leaders to provide their missing father figures.

These days, those who promote stable marriage and families are mocked in the media, or worse. But out of love for our neighbours, we in FamilyVoice intend to keep on doing it.
Peter Downie - National Director