Monthly Archives: February 2019

Australian Politics 2019-02-28 15:44:00


Why the complainant in Cardinal Pell’s trial was so compelling

ABC journalist Louise Milligan does not know what she is talking about.  She says the accuser is highly believable ("compelling").  But there are two reasons why he might be  believable but not truthful

1). He could be a paranoid schizophrenic. Many paranoids seem perfectly normal except for the focus of their delusion. And they can sound very reasonable about their delusion. Psychiatric nurses sometimes remark that some of their patients make more sense than a lot of people "outside". And religion is often the focus of schizophrenia. Older Brisbane people might remember soapbox orator Ted Wixted (1927-2001) and his arguments against the Virgin Birth. Ted had a good day job as a museum curator but did admit that angels appeared to him.

Ted Wixted

2). He could be a fantasist.  Fantasists too can be very believable. One of the world's most cynical bodies of men would have to be the London Metropolitan Police.  And yet they believed the child sex allegations of "Nick" for months -- until nothing in his story worked out.  And some innocent men were ruined in the process.

"Nick" (Carl Beech)

Fantasists often continue to believe in the reality of their fantasy even when shown it cannot be true.  Nick is at the moment being prosecuted for his lies but he still entered a firm "Not Guilty" at the beginning of his trial

An ABC journalist would be very easy to fool by either type of liar.  If they can swallow global warming and the "patriarchy" they could swallow anything.

Many people can’t believe Cardinal George Pell is guilty of child sex offences but it was this key piece of evidence that sealed his fate.

Cardinal George Pell, a man who rose to become, not just Australia’s most senior Catholic, but one of the most powerful men in the Vatican, had been found to be a paedophile.

When the news broke yesterday that Pell was found guilty in December of child sex offences, many expressed disbelief but others just couldn’t accept the verdict.

In an opinion piece, Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt said he believed Pell had been “falsely convicted”. The Daily Telegraphcolumnist Miranda Devine also said: “I don’t believe that Pell, who I know slightly and admire greatly, could be guilty of assaulting two choirboys in a busy cathedral.”

Yesterday, the 77-year-old disgraced cardinal was taken into custody and spent his first night behind bars before being sentenced on March 13. However, his legal team is pushing for a retrial and intend to appeal his child sex convictions with the Court of Appeal.

Speaking on his Sky News show on Tuesday night, Bolt said he had “serious misgivings” about Pell’s guilty verdict. “I just can’t accept it, based on what I consider is the overwhelming evidence of this trial,” he said. “And I base that opinion also on how many times Pell has been accused of crimes and sins he clearly did not do.

“Pell could well be an innocent man who is being made to pay for the sins of his church and made to pay after an astonishing campaign of media vilification.”

ABC investigative journalist Louise Milligan is one of the few people in Australia who knows the identity of Pell’s complainant. She tracked him down while researching her book Cardinal: The Rise and Fall of George Pell, for which she won a Walkley Book Award.

She acknowledged on 7.30 on Tuesday night there had been a “lot of doubters” about the case but something she’s always said to people through the years was: “I defy anyone to meet this man and not think that he is telling the truth.

“He has absolutely nothing to gain from this and everything to lose.”

In her book Milligan calls Pell’s complainant The Kid and described him as an ideal witness from a police point of view.

“The Kid has not led a chequered life,” Milligan notes in her book. “He’s university-educated, he hasn’t had trouble with the law. He has a lovely young girlfriend, lots of friends, he’s a pillar of his community in a sort of understated, slightly ironic way, and in that part of his life, he is, he told me, very happy.

“He’s managed, just, to keep it together. He’s been able to compartmentalise. He’s the sort of complainant you’d want as a Victoria Police detective alleging historic crime.”

Both Bolt and Devine have pointed to the improbability of the scenario put forward in court.

The two boys were abused by Pell after he found them in the sacristy, a room used by priests to get dressed, where they were swigging sacramental wine after a Sunday Mass.

Both Bolt and Devine point out the attack is meant to have happened after Mass, when Pell would usually have spent time speaking to worshippers and that it happened in the sacristy, which is a busy room that someone could have walked into.

They also note Pell was normally accompanied everywhere he went by the master of ceremonies, Monsignor Charles Portelli. Their views echo an article written by Father Frank Brennan who also pointed out his concerns with some of the evidence presented.

“Anyone familiar with the conduct of a solemn Cathedral Mass with full choir would find it most unlikely that a bishop would, without grave reason, leave a recessional procession and retreat to the sacristy unaccompanied,” he wrote in Eureka Street.

He also noted that the priest’s garments could not have been pushed aside in the way described and it was “impossible to produce an erect penis through a seamless alb”.

“The police never inspected the vestments during their investigations, nor did the prosecution show that the vestments could be parted or moved to the side as the complainant had alleged.”

Father Brenann said the idea that the offences were committed right after Mass by a fully robbed archbishop in the sacristy with an open door and in full view of the corridor “seemed incredible to my mind”.

The public have not been allowed to see the complainant’s testimony but it was the key piece of evidence that decided the case.

The complainant did not appear in person at the trial but footage of his testimony and cross-examination from an earlier trial, which resulted in a hung jury, was shown instead.

“Although the complainant got all sorts of facts wrong, the jury must have believed that Pell did something dreadful to him,” Father Brennan acknowledged in his article.


Tanya Plibersek dismisses 'confected' claims of university free speech crisis

Leftist denial at work.  Freud identified denial of reality as a maladaptive response associated with neuroticism.  Leftists make great use of such defence mechanisms

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek has rejected concerns about a free speech crisis at Australian universities, arguing the claims are a deliberate attempt to bring on a culture war.

In an address to a key higher education conference in Canberra this week, Ms Plibersek is expected to play down the threats to academic freedoms on campuses and question the necessity of the Morrison government's inquiry into the issue.

Education Minister Dan Tehan, free speech advocates and right-wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs have expressed fears that left-wing protesters, censorship and political correctness are increasingly stifling robust debate in academia.

At the Universities Australia conference this week, Ms Plibersek, Labor's education spokeswoman, will celebrate the role of universities in a liberal democracy and their tradition of academic freedom.

"And I don’t accept this confected argument that there’s some crisis of freedom at our universities. It’s nothing more than a sad attempt at culture war," she will tell the conference on Thursday.

"The Liberals and their allies in the hard right think tanks want it both ways. They’ll allege there’s some vast cultural Marxist conspiracy when some minor right wing academic claims their freedom of speech has been impinged and then personally veto Australian Research Council grants that don’t reflect the worldview of whoever happens to be education minister at the time."

It was revealed in December that former education minister Simon Birmingham vetoed funding grants for 11 research projects, a move that has fuelled frustration with the Coalition government among the university sector.

Ms Plibersek will contrast the penchant for "culture wars" with Labor's taskforce on "the very real problem" of sexual assault on university campuses.

People concerned about threats to free speech have focused on examples of protestors confronting controversial speakers, especially the treatment of author Bettina Arndt at the University of Sydney in late 2018.

Ms Arndt told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that the presence of student groups across the country trying to stop her speaking on campus was evidence of the problem.

"The people who are supposed to be the smartest people in the land — our vice-chancellors — are cowering in the face of these lunatics," she said. "It's a broader problem in that small, noisy minority groups can control our campuses."

She said it was an example of people believing they were entitled to shut down views they don't like. Ms Arndt has been targeted because she opposes the view that there is a "rape crisis" on campuses.

The government's inquiry — led by former High Court chief justice Robert French — is exploring a new framework to protect free expression, akin to a code of conduct that has been adopted at many US universities.

Ms Plibersek's intervention on campus free speech comes as Universities Australia hits out at the government's higher education policy, releasing polling that finds strong opposition to funding cuts.

In a speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday, Universities Australia chair Margaret Gardner will criticise research cuts of $328 million revealed in December and a freeze on student places announced in 2017.

"Australians correctly fear that cuts to university research funding will mean fewer university researchers able to pursue life-saving and environment-saving breakthroughs," Professor Gardner is expected to say.

"And they are right. This is a direct assault on our country’s clever capabilities."

The poll of 1500 people, conducted by JWS Research, found 66 per cent of people oppose cuts to university research and 62 per cent oppose cuts to university places.


Labor calls for national fuel reserve

The coalition should have done somenthing like this ages ago

Australia should have a government-owned national fuel reserve, in the interests of the country's economy and national security, says Labor.

Australian Associated PressFEBRUARY 28, 20193:53PM
A national fuel reserve should be set up to ensure Australia has enough in case of emergency, Labor leader Bill Shorten says.

Mr Shorten has pledged a Labor government would initiate talks with industry on a government-owned national fuel reserve, to ensure it does not drop below the international standard of 90 days' supply.

"According to the Department of Environment and Energy, Australia has just 19 days of automotive gasoline supply, 23 days of jet fuel supply, and 22 days of diesel supply," Mr Shorten said.


Law Council calls for ALRC review of suppression orders, uniformity across jurisdictions

This is in the news since Cardinal Pell's matter
The Law Council of Australia is calling for national uniformity of suppression orders and an examination of whether such laws need to be reviewed in the digital era.

Law Council President, Arthur Moses SC, said he will be asking Attorney-General Christian Porter to refer the matter to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) for an inquiry.

“At its core, this issue involves striking the right balance between open justice including the public interest in court reporting, and the right of the individual to a fair trial,” Mr Moses said.

“In an age of digital communication and globalisation, uniformity of suppression orders across Australia should be considered and we need to recalibrate the balance.

“This is important in order to ensure that suppression laws are fit for purpose and promote open justice.

“Suppression orders should operate in a consistent manner across Australian jurisdictions – which does not currently happen – to ensure that the right balance is achieved between open justice and the need for suppression.

“Media reporting of cases that come before our courts is central to open justice – it means that not only is justice done, it is also seen to be done.

“Open justice is one of the fundamental attributes of a fair trial and this means wherever possible, media should be able to report on matters that come before our courts.

“While suppression orders and closed hearings are appropriate in particular cases, such as family court hearings and when hearing evidence from child witnesses, or where an accused may otherwise be unable to obtain a fair hearing, their need should always be balanced with the broader public interest in open justice.

“The internet has no borders, so something that is suppressed in Australia can be reported in other countries by journalists who have not been present in the court room.

“Our journalists are amongst the best trained and respected in the world and informed reporting of our legal system maintains public confidence in the judiciary and the courts.

“This is a matter that needs review – it was first put on the table 10 years ago and needs resolution. The time is now.

“This is why I will be writing to Attorney-General Christian Porter to request a referral of a review to the ALRC into suppression orders in the digital era and the standardisation of suppression orders in Australia,” Mr Moses said.

Media release: Patrick Pantano.

 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

What’s In Your 401(k)?

Infographic: Common Options to Save for Retirement - Source:

If you're taking advantage of your employer's 401(k) retirement savings plan at work, how does your balance compare with the median and the average amount that other Americans have saved from their incomes?

Budgets Are Sexy's J. Money recently had a great personal finance article on that topic, featuring the findings of a recent NerdWallet/NBC News poll that presented the average and median 401(k) balance for American workers by age.

But there's a problem with that polled information. 401(k) retirement savings accounts are tied to employers, where when workers change jobs, they often close those accounts and roll over their saved balances into other types of retirement savings vehicles, such as a Rollover Individual Retirement Account, which exist just for that purpose!

That's no small deal. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median American can hold an average of 9 jobs from Age 25 until they retire, changing jobs frequently when they're young, but holding jobs for longer periods as they age. Frequent job changes when Americans are young prevent their 401(k) balances from growing very much, which means that the NerdWallet/NBC News figures will skew very much to the low side for those Americans who take advantage of these tax-deferred retirement savings vehicles.

We wondered how the median 401(k) balance might actually be if it were transferred into a Rollover IRA whenever a median American might change employers. The following table shows the results of that math....

Median and Average 401(k) Balance with Equivalent IRA Rollover Balance by Age
Age RangeMedian 401(k) BalanceMedian Years of Tenure with Single EmployerEstimated Number of Employers [and 401(k) Accounts]Cumulative Rollover IRA Balance*Average 401(k) Balance
* If Median 401(k) Balance is moved to Rollover IRA After Each Change in Employer

What we find is that the median 401(k) balance, if accumulated in a traditional Rollover IRA at every job change, and assuming no gaps in employment, is pretty comparable to what NerdWallet/NBC News found to be the average 401(k) balance for each age group in their survey.

On the whole, these median and average 401(k) balances still fall on the low side of what experts recommend people save to either replace their income or to support their anticipated spending in retirement.

Snowed in

When people ask me how anyone can put up with a Minnesota winter, my answer is pretty simple—stay indoors. I mean, even the snow plow drivers can stay inside a heated cab. Of course that means you have to have projects to keep sane—reading a stack of books, fiddling with a blog, or binge-watching TV or YouTube. I my case, I have been spending a bunch of time setting up a studio so I can explain my version of a Green New Deal as I wrote it in a book called Elegant Technology: economic prosperity from an environmental blueprint. It was published in 1992 and as you can see, this title is a LOT clunkier than GND. Building a video set-up involves making a bunch of decisions from whether I should wear a cap on camera to whether I am going to capture and edit 4k footage.

Below is some video I captured out my office window of the nasty blizzard last weekend. I actually went out in that weather to move my car so they could plow our parking lot. -36°F wind chill. There was nearly 1/4" of ice under the snow—I scraped so hard, I broke my ice scraper. Plenty of reason to go back inside to work on my editing software.

Snowed in

When people ask me how anyone can put up with a Minnesota winter, my answer is pretty simple—stay indoors. I mean, even the snow plow drivers can stay inside a heated cab. Of course that means you have to have projects to keep sane—reading a stack of books, fiddling with a blog, or binge-watching TV or YouTube. I my case, I have been spending a bunch of time setting up a studio so I can explain my version of a Green New Deal as I wrote it in a book called Elegant Technology: economic prosperity from an environmental blueprint. It was published in 1992 and as you can see, this title is a LOT clunkier than GND. Building a video set-up involves making a bunch of decisions from whether I should wear a cap on camera to whether I am going to capture and edit 4k footage.

Below is some video I captured out my office window of the nasty blizzard last weekend. I actually went out in that weather to move my car so they could plow our parking lot. -36°F wind chill. There was nearly 1/4" of ice under the snow—I scraped so hard, I broke my ice scraper. Plenty of reason to go back inside to work on my editing software.

Australian Politics 2019-02-27 15:45:00


'Fearless Girl' arrives in Melbourne

This statue seems to be particularly pleasing to feminists and anti-capitalists generally.  As such it would be a good target for retaliation against the attacks on historical statues that have been mounted by Leftists.

If Leftists can attack and deface statues and memorials of Australia's early settlers, why should not patriots attack and deface images valued by the Left?  It would be an important message to Leftists that they should be wary in their constant recourse to violence lest they ignite retaliatory violence against themselves and what they value.  It needs to be made clear to them that they don't have a monopoly of violence

The sort of thing that could be done would be to plaster red  paint over the statue and add a message:  "Beware the blood-lust of socialism". But conservatives are kind and forgiving people so I doubt that anything like that will happen

A bronze statue which has become a powerful symbol of gender equality has been unveiled at Melbourne’s Federation Square.

The ‘Fearless Girl’ statue was revealed to excited crowds at the landmark this morning, with many praising the creation as an “inspiration.”

The creation was unveiled this morning. (Nine/Supplied)
“I think it’s really good that the statue is in Australia, because it can inspire young girls to make a difference,” one member of the gathering crowd said.

The sculpture, by US artist Kristen Visbal, is an exact replica of one installed in New York City to oppose the Wall Street bull two years ago.

“She should symbolise supporting women in leadership positions, equality, equality of pay, the general wellbeing of women,” Ms Visbal said of her artwork.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is one of three companies who joined forces to buy the statue for the city, ahead of International Women's Day on March 8.

A total of 25 statues will be produced and placed across the globe.


How a Channel Seven weather presenter is subtly pushing a climate change message - and you didn't even notice

It's not so much what she says that is the problem -- so much as what she leaves out -- like the really extreme weather events of the 1930's -- dustbowls etc

A Channel Seven weather presenter is subtly pushing a climate change message in her nightly bulletins. Melbourne meteorologist Jane Bunn has managed to sell the idea to her viewers without explicitly referring to the concept.

Instead, the weather woman has been pointing out significant changes in weathers trends and highlighting the increase of warmer temperatures to her viewers, The Age reported.   

In a May weather report, which saw temperatures reach just over 14C, Bunn called attention to how the overall trend that month 'since the late 70s is warmer than the long-term average.' 'Overall, our temperatures are moving upwards,' she said. 

She described a July day as 'cold, wet and windy' despite the fact that the month's rainfall was less than half the July average.  

She then reported there was a 'trend toward less July days with significant rain' over the past 75 years.

But the meteorologist, who was has been working with Climate Communicators in a program run by Monash University's Climate Change Communication Research Hub, has insisted that she is just telling viewers 'exactly what is happening.' 

'Personally, I don't like to yell at people,' she told the outlet. 'Anything that is forcefully put across, I don't like to put any political spin on anything either. I just want the facts, quietly put through in a straightforward way that people can understand.'

The research hub supplies the presenters with graphics on the trends, which she says viewers have always been fascinated with.

The program, which is the counterpart of an American movement, has signed up more than 500 weather presenters across the US.

Stephanie Hall, the research hub's communication manager told The Age that weather presenters 'trusted',  'apolitical' and skilled communicators. She said the idea of climate change has become 'hyper-political.'

Bunn says there has been no backlash to her subtle advocacy for climate change. 'It's a couple of graphs which go up on the screen which are telling what is happening. And there shouldn't be any backlash about that, if you think about it. We're just telling exactly what is happening.' 

Bunn's reporting appears to have been well-received, according to social media users.  'This is excellent!! Jane Bunn is planting the seeds of change in viewers' minds. We all feel it and noticie it, on some level, but she's tying the past to present in an easy to follow fashion. Nice work!! Thank you,' one Twitter user said.

'Jane Bunn isn't just a weather girl. She's a meteorologist and she's not "subtly selling" anything - she is simply stating facts,' another said.

A Channel Seven spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that Bunn is a meteorologist, not a political campaigner, and that there is no climate change spin to her reports.  

The network said Bunn’s reporting is based on her expertise and the best available weather data, reflecting exactly what happened over a period of time - regardless of whether it was hot, cold or wet.


Life, romance and relationships, the Jordan Peterson way

Jordan Peterson is in town, and it seems like everyone wants to talk about identity politics, gender pronouns, and whether or not there’s a pay gap — but he’s a clinical psychologist.

Seems a shame not to ask him about his practice. To get his thoughts on mental health, and modern relationships?

It’s been almost a year since Peterson was last in town, and he’s lost so much weight on his infamous, all-meat diet that his wedding ring is turning. (He takes this diet seriously, to the point he now carries cold, cooked steaks in a baggie in his pocket, in case he finds himself hungry and somewhere meatless.)

He’s more famous now than he was last time, having sold three million copies of Twelve Rules for Life. His life is one of standing ovations, and of people approaching him shyly in the street, to thank him for saving their lives.

He doesn’t think it’s turned his head, and he’s often moved by “how little encouragement” can turn a person around.

“But it’s been a very two-sided experience, a lot of positive publicity and attention but also a tremendous amount of stress,” Peterson says of the impact of fame on his own equilibrium.

In an hour-long interview, he tackles a range of topics, including the rise of Trump, which he characterises more as the fall of Clinton. (Had Peterson been an American, he says he would have “held his nose and voted for her”.)

He talks about #Metoo, and the conundrum facing women in their thirties, who want both baby and briefcase. “Nobody can have it all,” he says. “My general advice to people is that there aren’t that many fundamental necessities in life. You need a job, you need intimate relationships, and you need family. If you forgo any of those, you pay a huge price.

“You may decide that your ­career is worth the price. Perhaps it is, but it’s not worth the price very often. You have to be careful. You only have one life, and if you forgo your opportunity, it’s done. And I think it’s a catastrophe for people to forgo the opportunity to spend substantial time with their young children.”

You can see how that kind of thing could quickly become: “Peterson tells women to give up their ­careers to have kids!”

It’s not what he means — he means, maybe work part-time for a bit — but he can shrug it off, having dealt with issues far more important than trolling, including a decade-long depression battle.

Peterson in his lectures likes to warn people: life is hard, and if you’ve not yet experienced a tragedy, brace yourself, because trouble is coming. In his own life, he says it’s a “toss up between dealing with my daughter’s illness, and the depression that runs through my family”.

“It’s hard to say which was more challenging,” he says. “The depression issue is a decades-long problem. We’ve made a lot of headway. My grandfather, who never received any medication, was basically immobilised by his depression. My father was struck very hard in his fifties. By the time it came to me, additional improvements had been made.

“But depression is a brutal ­enterprise. For me, in particular, it’s hard on the lecture front, professionally, because it makes it hard to move physically and interferes with the flow of my thoughts.

“There’s a fair bit of intense misery associated with it as well. It’s like severe grief (and) proclivity to tears, that has characterised me since I was young.”

Peterson’s daughter had depression; a severe form of arthritis; and an auto-immune disease that left her with brittle bones. The bone condition was agonising.

“I asked my daughter, who walked on broken legs, who had to take opiates for pain, and wanted to sleep 24 hours a day, if she would rather have the depression or the arthritis,” he says. “She said virtually immediately that she would take the arthritis over the depression any day.”

Peterson says “anxiety and depression” are by far the most common conditions he saw when people came to his clinical practice, but the most frightening ­patient he saw was a pedophile.

“He was the worst,” he says. “Unbelievably narcissistic, and completely incurable by any known means. It was like nobody existed except him. He had justifications and rationalisations for everything he’d done, not only for why his molestation of his grandchildren was OK, but why it was a positive good. He was quite the piece of work. I’ve had other clients who were malevolent in their own way. Not many. It’s rare. Most people you see clinically have hard lives. That’s why they’re there (because events) are beyond their ability to overcome.”

On modern romance, Peterson says hook-up culture, and apps such as Tinder, are virtually bound to create misery for people.

“We are still under the delusion that we can divorce sex from life,” he says. “You can’t divorce sexuality from emotion. You can’t have sex without entangling yourself, at least to some degree.

“The problem with hook-up culture, with Tinder, let’s say, is it’s predicated on the assumption that people can be partners in a purely physical sexual exchange … first of all that’s an experiment that has never been conducted in the entire human history, very unlikely to go well; and second, it’s predicated on a naive, wilfully blind view of the relationship between people. It doesn’t work.”

The sexless marriage is just as problematic, and painful for people, he says. “You get married, you have kids, you have two careers, it’s very easy for the sexual part of your relationship to settle to 11th place on a 10-item schedule,” he says. “In order to maintain an intimate relationship with sexual energy … well, it takes a lot of work, and people don’t do the work … My sense is, it’s useful if you want to keep your sex life alive, to assume that you’re going to be intimate a minimum of once a week and perhaps twice a week — but you have to agree on that, and you have to make it a priority and perhaps you have to engage in that, with that, really whether you’re in the mood or not, because you’re thinking about the long game, not the short game. Use it or lose it, shall we say?”


Dad threatens to kill kid’s school principal — just one case in a scary trend of educator violence

Horrific and terrifying threats from parents have been revealed by principals across the country who are too scared to speak out.

From being threatened with a gun or knife to being beaten with a stick, receiving death threats and being stalked, or spat at by abusive parents — some affected by drugs or alcohol — a number of principals say they fear walking to their car at night.

Others have had parents tailgate them or do burnouts in the school car park after a heated conversation at their car door.

“A parent said he would go home get his gun, come back and blow my f***ing head away,” said one principal who asked not to be named. can’t reveal who the principals are or which schools they’re at because none of them wanted to go on the record. They say they have been advised not to, fearing if they complain publicly they will risk their career or lose their jobs.

But their responses have poured in anonymously, from thousands surveyed across the country about workplace wellbeing.

Now in its eighth year, The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey has collected data from about 50 per cent of Australia’s 10,000 principals from 2011 to 2018.

Chief investigator Associate Professor Philip Riley last year revealed to preliminary results from his survey indicated a record number of “red flags”. Participants get red flagged if they answer questions indicating they are at risk.

Some of the worst responses include:

* “Kicked and punched by students, verbally abused by parents, physically intimidated. I’ve

spent months at a time dreading the walk out to my car at night.”

* “One student ripped all the cupboard doors off my office cabinets and threw a chair at me.”

* “Numerous threats from parents and students — from students: (on) School Facebook — threats to kill with description how. Furniture thrown at me, bitten, scratched, car keys stolen and car started, garden stakes thrown at me, rocks thrown at office.

By parents: stalked by car, tailgated, phone calls with threats to harm, tyre burnouts in school car park after conversation at car door. Parents under the influence of drugs or alcohol swearing, threatening, name calling.”

* “It happens weekly I have been kicked, punched, spat on, hit by a bat, hit by a stick and threatened to be killed by gun and knife.”

The survey found one in three school principals had been physically attacked in 2018.

Close to half were being threatened with violence and the majority worked hours far beyond those recommended for mental and physical health. In a “worrying trend” violent threats were up from 38 per cent in 2011.

The survey also found that increasing levels of threats and violence, aggravated by excessive working hours, was leading to serious levels of distress, burnout and depression among school leaders.

Associate Professor Philip Riley, from the Australian Catholic University, said “our nation builders are under attack”.

“Consequently, fewer people are willing to step into the role,” he said. “At a time when 70 per cent of school leaders will reach retirement age within two to three years, we are ignoring a looming national crisis.

“Australia’s school leaders experience a far higher rate of offensive behaviour at work than the general population.

“The way it is going, it is going to be the number one problem in schools everywhere if we don’t do something about it pretty quickly,” he added on the Today show this morning.

Female school leaders are most at risk of physical violence with 40 per cent experiencing violence compared to 32 per cent of male school leaders.

The highest number of threats of violence was found in government primary schools at 49 per cent.

“The steadily increasing levels of offensive behaviour in schools of all types is a disgrace and it needs to stop,” Associate Professor Philip Riley said.

When compared to the general population, principals report 1.5 times higher job demands, 1.6 times higher levels of burnout, 1.7 times higher stress symptoms, 2.2 times more difficulty sleeping, 1.3 times negative physical symptoms and 1.3 times more depressive symptoms.

“Australia should adopt a whole-of-government approach to education,” Prof Riley said.

“This would mean the Federal Government, states and territories combine to oversee a single education budget. The funding agreement should be bipartisan and a transparent mechanism which is simple to understand.”

Other recommendations include:

* Employers should reduce job demands or increase resources or do both.

* The community needs to immediately stop offensive and violent behaviour towards educators.

* Australia also needs to have adult conversations about the root causes of this violent

behaviour, which is occurring in all frontline professions and in the high rates of domestic violence.

* School leaders should not allow their passion for their school to dominate their life.


Dear Parents,

Since I was very young I wanted to be a teacher, I knew that teachers made a difference in the world and I wanted to give others what my teachers had given to me.

After 35 years in education this hasn’t changed, and I love coming to school so that I can help your children, all children.

However, lately it seems as though you fail to see this. I’m yelled at before you seek to find the truth, I’m threatened at many different levels when things don’t go your way, I’m lambasted on Facebook with no right of reply.

Even though I have a busy schedule you demand that I see you straight away, or answer your accusatory emails late at night because that is when you are most in need.

I have had to hire security agents to sit in on some parent meetings as I’m scared for my own personal safety. I have received death threats.

I have been bitten by children, scratched, hit with objects such as cricket bats, scooters, and rocks. I have saved a child from committing suicide. These are just a few examples of the stress I have had to face as a Principal, but my stories are many.

You may not know this about your Principal, because we do not make these events public even though many of us experience them every day. Each and every Principal out there is a person, a person with feelings, families and our own trials and tribulations.

I have never met a Principal that didn’t care deeply about their school or their community, but I have met a number who are simply worn out like I am.

I do not have long to go in my career, and at this time I certainly am not promoting the job of Principal to younger teachers.

I love my students and my staff, but I hope the wider community wake up and begin to see the role as it truly is and to offer support before those of us that truly care are gone.

From an Australian School Principal


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here