No alternative, but remote learning comes with risks
Opinion
There is another big curve the Australian state and territory governments have to deal with besides COVID-19, although it's a direct consequence of the virus that's shutting down our economy and lifestyle. It's the steep learning curve our public schools and teachers are climbing to keep up a quality education to children stuck at home or, if their parents are...
NRL’s proposed return to play on 28 May: an act of arrogance or beacon of hope?
Sport
Like most sports, the NRL has been doing everything possible to get back on the field, but the league is the first to actually telegraph a proposed date of return. As such, the NRL has generated significant debate and publicity during this interrupted season. Many objectors to the NRL's proposed resumption have questioned the motives of the league. Questioned is...
It’s time for the Capital region to act like a community and leave the loathing behind
Opinion
If the past summer's bushfires brought out the best in our community, could COVID-19 be bringing out the worst? Everyone is a little bit scared. Everyone is fragile. Everyone's lives have been thrown into turmoil by these strange times. And everyone wants to protect themselves and those they love from the virus. However, it's been shocking to see how virulent...
COVID-19 has exposed the excesses of sport
Opinion
In the early days of the Raiders you could count staff members on two hands and the club was operating out of the Queanbeyan Leagues Club. The gym was located in the squash courts and the coaches were positioned in offices through the club. The players had jobs and trained at night at Seiffert Oval. As a journalist, if you...
Parents asked to do “three jobs at the same time” during COVID-19 isolation
Health & Wellbeing
With daycares and schools reducing their capacity or moving online in response to COVID-19 regulations, parents are finding themselves with a triple-whammy situation – expected to work from home, parent full-time and deliver lessons to school-age kids. "It's literally doing three jobs at the same time: working, parenting and trying to teach," says Bemboka mum Paula Mathewson. While many people are...
The mental health impacts of the COVID-19 crisis
Health & Wellbeing
Each day we live through the COVID-19 crisis, we see more of our life change. Work, family, connecting with friends, and our daily routines have fundamentally changed. There are few of us that have fully processed the gravity of what has happened, and what is still to come. In these early stages of the pandemic, much effort has been rightly...
Cancelling sport was inevitable, but it still hurts
Sport
I was scheduled to commentate the Raiders versus St George-Illawarra NRL game on Thursday night at GIO Stadium. I was beginning to feel anxious about it before it was called off. Sports commentators by their very nature are a resilient group. Essentially radio commentators just get in and call what is in front of them, at the same time avoiding...
More than a lecture needed to stop the fear and panic in the shopping aisles
Opinion
Well, the PM's lecture on hoarding and panic buying went down well. Queues at supermarkets and even the markets, the buying extending to perishables and regional supermarkets banning outsiders from the aisles – that was the response across the Canberra region, and everywhere else. If anything the rush on shopping centres and even the Fyshwick markets in Canberra gathered apace....
Fires and COVID-19 are here to show us that change is inevitable
Opinion
One thing I know about humans is that we don't love change when it comes via an external tide. If we favoured flexibility, we'd have already looked at each other and said: "you know, there are billions of people in this world, pandemics are inevitable, so let's integrate safe handwashing into our cultural practice." If we welcomed change, we'd stop...
Mel’s on track for Tokyo, but will Olympic organisers pull the trigger or the plug on the Games?
Sport
As the July start to the Tokyo Olympics looms, Canberra's Melissa Breen is asking a simple question: given the world is in shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, will the Games go ahead as planned? While some athletes are raising the question in private, others such as two-time Olympic sprinter Melissa Breen are publicly expressing doubts about the Games going...
A question on every parent’s mind: will schools close because of COVID-19?
Opinion
Those of us with children and young people in our care are having to navigate a whole range of concerns due to COVID-19. Key among these is the issue of schools and whether or not they will be closed. And if not now, when? After all, we are being told as a community to reduce our time with others, practise...
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar is right: We should be focusing on the positives in rugby
Sport
Over the years I have been critical of rugby, from the disconnection from the grassroots to the style of play and the interpretation of the rules. But credit should be given where credit is due. The Brumbies are leading the way to change perceptions of rugby – including my own. Not only are they winning (they're three from four in...
Ordinary Australians will continue to suffer because of our venal, shallow leadership
Opinion
After 30 years as a journalist, I don't often bother getting angry with politicians. I know there are good people on both sides doing their best. You only have to look at Bega MP Andrew Constance's honesty and pain on last Monday night's Q&A to know that, or Member for Eden-Monaro Mike Kelly's deeply felt response to the bushfire crisis that's...
Trump virus infects bad sport McKenzie
Opinion
I was listening to the news on the radio driving back to the office the other day and there was Donald Trump mouthing off about his impeachment trial and how it was all fake news. I'm thinking, this guy is President of the United States, supposedly the greatest democracy in the world, and this is the model for leadership? He...
Now is not the time to be a Quiet Australian, says Broulee GP
Opinion
As we welcomed 2020, we were forced from our home in Broulee as a raging fire approached. When we returned a few days later, we were grateful to find it was still standing. That night, around the dinner table, my seven-year-old daughter said, “I just want it to be normal again". “Me too,” I replied, thinking, I'm not sure things...
Bushfires and mental health: here come the feelings
Health & Wellbeing
Since bushfires started burning around my hometown of Bega a few weeks ago I, and everyone in our community and all communities hit by fire this season, have been in and out of normal life and an impending disaster zone. This summer, there's been a force that's bigger than us and bigger than our plans and invitations now come with...
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