Monthly Archives: August 2019

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Girls and sport

Source: Sydney Morning Herald
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“Boys are natural born risk takers, whereas girls are less competitive and more likely to be cautious”.

It’s the standard line trotted out whenever we talk about gender differences and sport. And no doubt people can back up the claim by reference to any number of observations from their daily life.

But why might this be the case? Where does girls’ “innate” cautiousness come from? Right about now, some readers are going to launch into a supposedly scientific explanation that begins in the Savannah and involves men outwitting Sabre tooth tigers while women sit at home and go online shopping. Or something like that.

But there’s a simpler explanation: girls are taught to be cautious and rewarded for avoiding risk-taking behaviour.

On a recent Saturday morning at a sports class I saw a small example of how this learning happens. My daughter was climbing a rock wall — with harness and everything — alongside a boy around the same age. The instructor helped both my daughter and the little boy up to the first toe-holds.

But that’s when things started to change. The little boy was encouraged to climb higher and higher. He was given help co-ordinating his hands and feet. At one point, the instructor took to the wall herself, climbing up to push him ever higher.

Meanwhile, my daughter perched there waiting. While she was assisted a little, much of this was simply holding her up, rather than actively encouraging her to seek out find toe-holds.

In total, the whole episode took just over three minutes. Of those three minutes, my daughter was being helped for just over one minute. And during some of this time, the assistance took the form of simply placing a reassuring hand on her back. The boy was given double that time, and was consistently challenged to scale ever higher.

I’m not suggesting that the instructor was deliberately giving the little boy more attention than my daughter. Nor do I think she was consciously encouraging the boy to extend himself while she primarily concerned herself with keeping my daughter safe. But, conscious or not, the outcome was that the boy came away believing he was capable of climbing the rock wall and deserving of attention and my daughter did not.

Now, it may be that I’m one of those most vile of lifeforms: the overbearing middle class father who constantly whines about how his little girl didn’t get a fair go. Perhaps. But there is a fair swathe of research that suggests that there’s a gender bias when it comes to instruction, one that extends well beyond my daughter and her sports class.

And this isn’t confined to primary or secondary school, but begins at pre-school. A 2005 study of 20 Swedish pre-school teachers — 10 female and 10 male —published in theEarly Childhood Education Journal, for example, found that play was highly gendered.

“Girls participate to a lesser extent in physical activities and when they do, they are often interrupted,” wrote the researchers.

Often this wasn’t deliberate, but was, unsurprisingly, a matter of the teachers repeating the kinds of play that they had engaged in as children.

“It is apparent that male preschool teachers’ own experiences of different sports activities made a lasting impression on their work in preschool. Today, when they work in preschool they try to support children’s needs in physical play”, noted the researchers.

“Female preschool teachers tend to prioritise calm play, which they also, for the most part, have experienced in their own childhood. Female preschool teachers emphasise the importance of social development in play while male preschool teachers accentuate the significance of physical development.”

And it’s not just physical development that is affected by gender. Other research suggests that girls are often not encouraged — or given the opportunity — to extend themselves intellectually.

In her 1994 bookSchoolgirls, which was based on a year with eighth graders at two Californian schools, for example, Peggy Orenstein noted “that boys are referred for testing for gifted programs twice as often as girls”.

Orenstein notes that this may be because giftedness is regarded as rare in boys and is therefore more often noticed. Since girls’ intellectual giftedness conforms to gender stereotypes, their abilities are regarded as normal, and therefore not seen as requiring the kinds of special attention of a giftedness program.

Happily, when my daughter had a second go on the climbing wall, she was paired with another little girl. And what do you know? Both received about equal attention.

If we want our daughters to be brave, courageous, physically active, and feel equally deserving of attention, then we need to be vigilant in challenging gender stereotypes. Because even with the best intentions, if we are not consciously rejecting outdated gender roles then by default will continue to do what we’ve always done and confine our girls to the bottom rungs of life’s rock wall.

Photo: Getty

Oakeshott: Do you support same-sex marriage? 

PORT Macquarie MP RobOakeshott believes a bipartisan approach could well see Australian votershaving their say on same-sex marriage.
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The Lyne MP believes theSeptember 14 federal election is the ideal opportunity to put a“plebiscite-style question” to the people.

The catch – if there isone, and Mr Oakeshott feels it can be overcome, – is that it all parties needto agree on the question.

“If there’s amulti-party agreement then I think there’s a lot to be said about getting somedirection from the people,” Mr Oakeshott said.

“It’s hard to argueagainst the collective view of the Australian people.”

The MP was quick topoint out that despite the obvious policy differences between the two major parties,bipartisanship was not a foreign concept to this parliament.

He cited the recentNational Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Bill as one prime example.

Late MarchCoalition MPs praised the government and Community Services Minister JennyMacklin, who described the bill as the most significant social reform since theintroduction of Medicare.

Add tothat NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell’s decision to sign up to the Gillardgovernment’s education funding reform package and Mr Oakeshott believesagreement is possible.

Another ofthe crossbenchers, New England MP Tony Windsor, prompted the latest round ofdiscussion on marriage equality earlier this week.

“Discussionof same-sex marriage hasn’t fallen away despite the recent rejection of theproposal by the federal parliament and local people continue to lobby me bothfor and against change,” the Tamworth-based MP said.

MrOakeshott’s experience in his electorate has been similar. Interest in theissue, he said, has grown over time.

“For along while it wasn’t high on the radar. It wasn’t so much of an issue at the 2010federal election. At the 2008 by-election it didn’t really feature and the samecan be said of the 2007 general election.

“But whenpoliticians started to get involved with the work of the High Court, groupsbecame interested and over the last two years a lot has changed.”

A referendum-style question, Mr Oakeshott said would be as simple as: Do you support same-sex marriage?

It is, he said, “a sensible and natural next step”to a socially significant question.

A referendum question, Mr Oakeshott said would be as simple as: Do you support same-sex marriage?

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Camp keeps kids on go

Nevertire Nyngan Mid West Pony Club Camp
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Following on from a highly-successful Mid West ODE, Nevertire and Nyngan Pony Clubs combined to hold a terrific camp making use of Nyngan’s fantastic facilities.

More than 50 children and their trusty steeds gathered on Sunday afternoon for three days of fun and instruction.

Polo X, horse ball, camp drafting, horsemanship, sporting, dressage, show jumping, X country and vaulting were on the action-packed agenda.

Sarah Venamore is greatly sought after as a dressage coach, as well as being internationally successful in the sport of vaulting and a national vaulting judge.

Children of all ages were delighted with the exercises undertaken on both the vaulting drums and horses, and enjoyed two days of her outstanding instruction.

Murray Henderson, riding high on his win at the mid west, instructed the camp drafting. Heath Jones did horsemanship, Lachlan Ross for Polo X and Glen Manton the showjumping. They all travelled and willingly gave their time to the next generation of riders.

Exceptional parents and club members made sure the children had experienced all aspects of riding in a fun and energetic way.

Nyngan Pony Club, The Mid West and The Bogan Shire Council are to be commended on their well-maintained and terrific facilities.

John Hoy had the X country course in top condition and catered for all levels of riders with challenging and interesting jumps to school on.

With two clubs catering for the camp, cakes, slices and treats kept smiles on both instructors and children’s faces.

Warm days and cool nights in swags around a campfire were enjoyed along with the outdoor cinema and craft activities on offer.

Nevertire Pony Club president Angela Noonan ended the camp praising the children for their exemplary behaviour, the parents for their hard work and Nyngan Pony Club for having blind faith in Nevertire’s organisational skills.

o Lauren Moody getting over the jumps at the pony club camp.

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Fishing companies to be congratulatedIt

It is now 12 months since the Adopt a Beach program was put into place, and it would be nice to see what types of debris and the amounts collected are.
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There has been a huge improvement in 12 months with the amount of marine debris that had been washing ashore previously at Point Bolingbroke.

The two companies that have monitored beaches south of Tumby Bay, Blaslov Fishing and Tony’s Tuna, have done their beach clean up regularly.

In particular Blaslov Fishing have gone above and beyond what they were ever asked to do and this company is one that can set an example to others in the aquaculture Industry.

I would like to commend Justin Nelligan from Blaslov Fishing on his effort and thank him for his support.

The beaches are the cleanest they have been in many years and its has been pleasing to have people say that it’s nice to see the beaches clean of the rope, plastic and other material they used to see littered along the coastline.

At the end of the day some have realised that it was not that hard to do the right thing and to monitor what was washing ashore.

It is something that needs to continue and I would like to see the program continue.

It would be disappointing to see a successful program and the work that has been done and results achieved all come undone.

Minimal marine debris is being collected from around Point Bolingbroke compared to when the Adopt a Beach program first started, when every few weeks more than 100 kilograms of debris was coming ashore.

SUE LAWRIE

Bolingbroke, Tumby Bay

Well done to local police officers

I want to use this forum to publicly thank the two police officers on patrol who stopped on Mortlock Terrace to give me a lift home in the early hours of Friday morning after the Anzac Day commemoration.

I estimate I had walked about 12 kilometres that day and found out I’m not getting any younger.

After trying for about half an hour to get a taxi I gave up and decided to walk (not a very good idea).

My lower back was killing me and my legs and feet were aching so it was with huge relief I accepted your offer.

Unfortunately I failed to get your names so gentlemen, once again I thank you very much.

You showed great community spirit and are a credit to your uniforms and the SA Police.

GARRY JOHNSTON

Vietnam veteran and RSL Port Lincoln president

$20,000 raised for Zac Noble

Zac’s family are grateful and humbled by Eyre Peninsula’s wonderful country kindness.

We wish to convey our sincerest thanks to everyone who gave their time and talent, generous donations of money, auction and raffle items, food and accommodation for Zac’s Benefit.

All proceeds will go toward Zac’s personal care and comfort as well as equipment and treatment for his rehabilitation.

We are hopeful that Zac will transfer to a country nursing home soon.

Thank you all so very much.

HEATHER NOBLE AND FAMILY

Freeling

Are the fairies at work in Canberra?

With the departure of experienced Labor politicians, one has to wonder who is advising the prime minister.

Could it be the fairies at the bottom of the garden?

GENNY?SECKER

Cummins

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 苏州美睫培训.

Landcare celebrates its true champions

Upper Snowy Landcare Champions Robin and Phil Daley, Angel John Gallard (Snowy River Alliance), Linda and Chris Millington, Stuart and Jan Reid.LOCAL landholders who have made outstanding contributions to natural resource management in the catchment were honoured at a Landcare dinner hosted by the Upper Snowy Landcare Committee.
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Adrian Begg, Chair of South East Landcare, which covers the Southern Rivers region, presented four “Champions of the Catchment” awards to people who, through innovation, persistence and a wilingness to assist others that share the similar land management problems, have improved the condition of natural resources in the Upper Snowy Catchment.

A Champions award was presented to Phil and Robin Daley for their outstanding work in the control of grassy weeds on their property as well as the work that Phil has done in sharing his techniques at weed field days run by the Berridale Rocky Plain and Snowy River Landcare Group.

Not only have the Daleys been able to transform their property from a weed and rabbit haven, they have also been able to develop new techniques to address the emerging African Lovegrass problem on their property.

Stuart and Jan Reid of “Murlingbung” received an award for their work in taking the principles of sustainable grazing management developed elsewhere and translating them to the harsh reality of grazing on the Monaro.

Not only have the Reids invested in the development of fencing and water infrastructure on their property to support the system of cell grazing on their property but, over the last 20 years, they have persisted, often through trial and error, to develop a system of grazing

rotation that is suited to the long cold winters and unpredictable rainfall on the Monaro.

Chris and Linda Millington of “Goldfields”, Dalgety have battled against the odds of fluctuating rainfall and heavy insect attack in their endevours to rehabilitate their land along the banks of the Snowy River.

As with many people who live along the Snowy, although the Millingtons both work full time, they have made the planting of trees and the management of weeds in their riparian zone (and also on the rest of their property) a priority.

With funding from the snowy Banks program managed by the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority, the Millingtons have been able to fence of sections of the River, install off-stream stock watering points and use irrigation systems to water new plantings of trees and shrubs along the river banks.

The final award of the night went to the Snowy River Alliance group who have been at the forefront of the campaign for the restoration of environmental flows to the Snowy River since the early 1990s.

Through ongoing hard work, this small group of individuals, which includes people from Dalgety through to Marlo, have convinced politicians of all persuasions of the need for water to be returned to the Snowy River to restore the health of the river. Their persistence has been rewarded with the study completed by the expert panel of scientist into the health of the river and the subsequent legislation of environmental flows for the river.

The Champions of the Catchment awards started with an idea by John Carter of Far South East Landcare, who wanted an opportunity for the efforts, perseverance and the inspiration provided by local Landcarers to be recognised by their peers. Often what is important in the management of natural resources at the local catchment level is not as relevant to the criteria used in judging State or National Landcare awards so these awards are born out of the Landcare ethos of “Local people, Local problems”.

When introducing the Champions awards, Chair of the Upper Snowy Landcare Committee, Vicky Bridgewater said, “These awards are also recognition of partnerships in Landcare that occur at a number of different levels.

“Firstly there is the partnership that occurs at each household and farm level. As everyone would understand, there is a sharing of the decision making, there is a sharing of the work load and there is the support given to each other in the management of the land. Importantly there is also support for each other in the activities off their own property through contributions to community groups such as Landcare and our awards honour these family partnerships” she said.

Mrs Bridgewater described the partnerships the Upper Snowy Landcare groups have with their partners in the management of our natural resources, including the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority and the Federal Governement Caring for our Country program.

“Tonight and on the bus trip tomorrow, we will see outstanding work that has been done by Landcare with out partners in the management of the Monaro grasslands, work to combat the perennial grassy weeds, which are the greatest threat to the sustainable productivity and biodiversity of our grasslands as well as the efforts that are being made to restore the health and vitality of our rivers”, she said.

Mrs Bridgewater especially commended the partnership with local government, especially Snowy River Shire Council. Mrs Bridgewater said,

“The contribution of the Council vegetation management staff to the planning of our weed control programs and their contribution to our

field days has been invaluale.”

Following the awards dinner on the Friday night, there was a bus tour to the properties of the award recipients. Amongest attendees on the bus tour were Landcare members from the whole of the South East landcare region, which stretches from Wollongong to Eden and up to the Snowy Mountains.