1. Sean Abbott to sit out this weekend.
Sean Abbott, the 22-year-old bowler from Sydney, will sit out this weekend as he continues to weigh up his future. The young cricket player is understood to have undergone counselling since bowling the ball that resulted in the death of batsman Phillip Hughes.
Sean has receieved a flood of support from Australian teammates, the local and international cricketing community and the public not to give up the sport. For the time being, the bowler will sit out of the Sydney University club side which resumes this weekend.
2. Quentin Bryce: domestic violence is “the most grave human rights issue in the world”.
The former governor-general is taking a strong public stance against domestic violence, an issue she says she feels very strongly about.
“I cannot believe that in 2014, in our society, we are seeing this horrific, abhorrent behaviour increasing,” she said.
“I just feel very, very deeply about the responsibility I have as a woman to make any contribution I can to addressing this issue.”
Ms Bryce is the chair of a new Queensland Government taskforce on domestic violence which is due to report to Premier Campbell Newman in February. She said she has been inundated with stories from women since taking up the position, making this an issue for the whole community to solve.
“We all have a responsibility here … nothing will happen without the community driving it,” she said. It is time for Australians to “get real”.
3. Pulling kids out of school early for holidays is impacting on their education.
The Department of Education has expressed concerns over the number of parents who are pulling their kids out of school early at the end of the year. The concern comes after a study by the University of Western Australia found that, of the 400,000 students whose records were compared, those with more absence showed a decline in performance.
“A 10-day period of unauthorised absence in a year is sufficient to drop a child about a band in the NAPLAN testing,” said Professor Stephen Zubrick.
Some states and individual schools are now demanding medical certificates for absences as the Department of Education reported 46,599 students who listed “holiday” as their reason for absence in the last week of semester one this year.
4. Student teachers have the maths ability of a 12-year-old.
A senior university mathematics lecturer has warned that typical student teachers have the maths ability of a 12-year-old, making them ill-equipped to pass the year 9 numeracy test even after four years of tertiary study.
“Every year I test my students and they’ve got the understanding of a Year 7 or Year 8 kid,’’ Griffith University’s Stephen Norton told The Weekend Australian.
5. Coronial inquest ordered into teenage deaths after mental health facility closure.
There is to be a coronial inquest into the deaths of three teenagers after Queensland’s only long-term mental health facility for adolescents was closed. The news comes after parents of the three deceased teens have long argued that the Barrett Centre was closed without enough warning or appropriate transition procedures.