Bella d’Abrera Interview On IPA Early Childhood Education Research Mornings 3AW – 18 June 2024

Written by:
18 June 2024
Bella d’Abrera Interview On IPA Early Childhood Education Research Mornings 3AW – 18 June 2024 - Featured image

In this interview, the Institute Of Public Affairs’ Dr. Bella d’Abrera discusses the IPA’s research into government mandated indoctrination in childhood learning centres.

All media appearances posted onto the IPA website are directly related to the promotion and dissemination of IPA research

Below is a transcript of the interview.


Tom Elliott:

If you’re taught that, well, that’s going to influence your thinking as a young person. And then there’s issues like gender fluidity. “Oh, there’s 74 different genders. Or is it 84 this week? And gender is fluid and can be changed at will.” And this is something that kids are taught. And then you get teachers, we had a report, I think it was from a school in Templestowe yesterday, who organised pro-Palestinian demonstrations at the school, or just outside the school, taking a side in a complex war and telling kids this is what you must think. Our next guest is Program Director of the Institute of Public Affairs, Bella d’Abrera. Good morning.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Good morning. Thanks for having me on.

Tom Elliott:

Is this sort of stuff now turning up in kindergartens?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Yes, it is. Basically, this is the beginning of this pipeline of indoctrination, what you’ve just been talking about, what’s going on in primary schools and secondary schools. It starts not in primary school, it turns out it starts a lot earlier. It starts with toddlers, because it’s been a government-mandated curriculum, which is this document called Belonging, Being, Becoming.

Tom Elliott:

Yeah. I remember when my daughter was little, she went to kindergarten and one day said to us when she was four, “Did Nanna and Grandad fight off the Aborigines to build their house?” I said, “Well, no.” But that was the impression that she was given as a young child.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Yes. That’s because it’s very much a focus in this document on these kind of issues. I mean, it’s an interesting question to ask. If you look through it, which is what I did, the words diversity, inclusion and equity are mentioned 149 times. And then you’ve got Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and reconciliation, they’re mentioned 96 times. And you’ve got to remember, this is a document that’s been designed to be taught to 0-5 year olds. This is very young children. And then mother and father and parents have been completely scrubbed from the curriculum. They are not mentioned at all.

Tom Elliott:

Really?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

They do not receive a single mention.

Tom Elliott:

And is there evidence that this is now affecting what, it’s really three and four year olds, are being taught in kindergarten?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Well, there’s plenty of hearsay evidence, as many people know and probably from speaking to fellow parents. The story that you’ve just told is typical of what’s happening, that little children are coming home in tears because they’re being told that white people stole Black people’s babies and they’re being made to feel very, very guilty about things that they’re clearly not responsible for. But the larger point is that this is the beginning of the pipeline of indoctrination that is affecting all Australians, and it’s starting very young and it’s going all the way through primary school. And finally when they get to the end of their schooling, they leave thinking that Australia’s a terrible racist country and that there’s such a thing as white supremacy. And this is where it’s being set up. It’s being set up in childcare.

Tom Elliott:

Okay. Well, I mean it’s interesting, because we were talking about, a few weeks ago, how the Australian Defence Force struggles to recruit enough people into the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force here in Australia. And we had a couple of callers who said, “Well, if the current generation is taught that Australia is a terrible racist place, why would they put their lives at risk to defend it?”

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Well, that’s a very good point. The IPA commissioned a survey a couple of years ago, and the majority of young people wouldn’t stay to defend Australia because clearly they think that Australia is fundamentally a racist country. And it’s a massive distraction. What’s going on in the early childhood centres and schools is a massive distraction from what they really need to be taught, which is how to read and write. And our standards are plummeting. 15 year olds today are so far behind where we were 20 years ago. We have Year 9 students who are using punctuation at Year 3 level because they’re being taught about sustainability and climate change and indigenous issues and activism and all these things, but they’re not being taught how to read and write properly.

Tom Elliott:

Yeah, that is a real problem. All right, thank you for your time. Bella d’Abrera there, Program Director of the IPA, the Institute of Public Affairs, which is a right-leaning think tank. But that last point she made is a good one. You’ve got to get the basics right first. It’s like councils. I always say about local councils, if the footpaths are fantastic and the roads are great and the rubbish collection service is working really well, then and only then can you indulge in some of the idiotic things that councils periodically do, like calling for the end of nuclear weapons on a global basis.

It’s the same with schools. If you’re producing a generation of young people who can’t read and write very well, and most cannot, and I see, and I hate to point the finger, but people who say they want to be journalists, and in fact some of them are journalists now, they’re young and their writing is appalling. They don’t know how to use punctuation. They don’t know where to put words in sentences. And these are people who have picked that as a profession. Or young people who watch with amazement when an older person like me does mental arithmetic, can actually do multiplication in their head. Why? Because we learned our times tables off by heart over and over again. We don’t have to think about it because it’s just there.

So they do know about protesting and they do know about from the river to the sea, and they do know about gender fluidity and climate change, indigenous reconciliation, but they can’t read and write properly and they can’t add up.

This transcript from 3AW Mornings from 18 June 2024 has been edited for clarity.

Support the IPA

If you liked what you read, consider supporting the IPA. We are entirely funded by individual supporters like you. You can become an IPA member and/or make a tax-deductible donation.