Throw out everything you know about parenting, it’s time to learn from dog-training manuals
Opinion
As a parent or caregiver, what's in your toolbox? What tactics do you use when you need to get across important information to your kids, or stop them doing something? Are there things you wish your kids would do more, or not do at all? Modern parents don't have enough tools at their disposal – so much so that my husband...
Tough times bring out the best and worst in all of us
Opinion
If the Black Summer bushfires brought out the best in many people, it seems COVID-19 is bringing out the worst. When bushfires raged across our wide, brown land, we faced them as one. Volunteers travelled from interstate, and even overseas, to battle the beast. Community groups and individuals donated time, money and resources to make sure people were fed and...
The heterosexual division of labour: for men to step up, women must step down
Opinion
The stats on the gendered division of labour have been clear for years. Women bear the brunt of household work, including being managing director. I'm happily married and feel like I'm in a partnership but it doesn't stop my husband and I arguing about who does what around the house. Our situation is nothing new - women have been asking...
The big swing from 1950s to modern parenting – why we need middle ground
Opinion
I was talking to my friend, Nettie, last week and she told me that when she was about eight years old, she and her brother found a dead body, half-eaten by sharks, floating in the water near their home in Sydney's northern beaches. "We tried to tell an adult who told us, 'It's probably just a mannequin,'" she reflects. "So...
The emotional toll of family separation during COVID-19
Opinion
A lot happens during six months in the existence of two-and-a-half-year-olds. New words, new movements and new feelings as big changes take hold of their precious little lives. From the fun and jovial, to the confusing and overwhelming, every moment matters. The laughter, the tears, the developmental milestones – they comprise the joy of parenthood and are meant to be...
Participation more important than competition when kids take to the field
Opinion
Over the years in Canberra, I have coached and managed a wide range of sports from juniors to seniors. I'm sure many of you have done the same. When I have been coaching junior soccer and rugby with children aged from five to 10 years, my approach was based on the principle that I should be encouraging participation. Once I...
Old dogs, children and watermelon wine
Opinion
American country musician Tom T Hall sung, "Ain't but three things in this world that's worth a solitary dime, but old dogs and children and watermelon wine." I can't vouch for the watermelon wine, but I reckon he hit the nail on the head with the first two in his song, Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine. My 16-year-old cocker...
Weighing the risks of a potential Goulburn poultry farm
Opinion
About seven years ago, wild ducks landed on a pond at a property near Young, 139km from Goulburn. The highly infectious H7 avian influenza (bird flu) they were carrying spread swiftly through the property’s free-range chicken farm into the caged sections which were all rated world-class for biosecurity. All 400,000 layer hens and three million eggs were destroyed. The warning...
How to talk to kids about not licking everything during a pandemic
Opinion
I'll never forget being in a Los Angeles airport bathroom with my son, then about 18 months old, and turning to see him lovingly running his tongue across the sink which approximately 400 people had touched since it was last cleaned. This was well before COVID-19 hit, but the memory still makes me wince, as does the thought of the...
A letter to Goulburn from Melbourne, for Eternity
Opinion
We are under the same sun, but in different worlds. I’m in Melbourne, where the sun will set at around 5:14 pm this afternoon, about three minutes later than in Goulburn. Why do I care? Because I can’t come home to Goulburn. As some of you know, my wife Franki and I left our hometown in February 2018. We came...
Feeling uncertain during COVID-19? You’re not alone
Opinion
If I'm honest, my anxiety levels have been higher than usual lately. If you are also struggling, get hold of someone at Beyond Blue because these folks are amazing and offer everything from online anxiety forums to free phone counselling. So often during the past six months, it feels like I've been chasing peace, sometimes finding it fleetingly before descending into...
What just happened in Eden-Monaro?
Opinion
It was a curious election count watch on Saturday night (4 July) as the ABC's Antony Green tried to make sense of the results in Eden-Monaro. The Labor vote was down, the Greens vote was down, too, but the ALP's Kristy McBain was clearly winning by a slight, but steady, margin (and has claimed the seat). What was happening? And...
Eden-Monaro choices: Who are we becoming?
Opinion
We don’t seem to have heard much from Eden-Monaro by-election candidates about the Coalition's raising of fees for humanities degrees or further cuts to ABC funding? The erosion of each of these has significant repercussions for the nature of our society. The rationale for raising fees for the humanities is that the government want an emphasis on job-focused areas of...
Six months on, bushfire scars remain
Opinion
Just a month before the bushfires hit the NSW South Coast on New Year’s Eve, I was lucky enough to be made redundant. Putting “lucky” and “redundant” together may seem like an oxymoron but, in retrospect, lucky is exactly what it was. Faced with a massive clean up after bushfire tore through my 10-acre property in Malua Bay – taking...
NBL Hall of Famer Cal Bruton still fighting racial inequality
Opinion
Prior to my wife and I adopting two children from Ethiopia in 2004, I had little understanding of the issues faced by people of colour in the community. Being protective of your children, you notice nuances that may have slipped by in the past but now become flashpoints. It wasn’t so much in Canberra, it has to be said; it...
Birthing comes home in Canberra but it’s a hard road for Yass
Opinion
Last week was a mixed one for the Canberra region's women, with a breakthrough in the national capital and yet another male tin ear to an issue that should appall anyone. The ACT Government's announcement that it would set up a permanent publicly funded homebirth program after the success of a two-year trial is welcome, although for those of us...
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