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

Written by:
18 June 2024
Bella d’Abrera Interview On IPA Early Childhood Education Research Mornings FiveAA – 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.


Matthew Pantelis:

Let’s talk about early learning and letting children be children. The Institute of Public Affairs has had a look at the curriculum taught in preschools and they have found there’s a programme called Belonging, Being, and Becoming, mandatory for Early Childhood Learning Centres. On the line is Dr. Bella d’Abrera, who is from the IPA, the Institute of Public Affairs. Bella, good morning. How are you?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Good morning. Very well, thank you.

Matthew Pantelis:

Tell me a little bit about what you found, what concerns you about this programme?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Yeah, so I think what concerns me and what would concern most of your listeners is that instead of children being left alone to be children, they’re having this agenda pushed on them by activists through the curriculum that’s mandated in early learning centres. So look, you don’t have to read between the lines of this document to see that the kind of stuff being pushed onto children just shouldn’t be there. I had a look at the document and found that the words diversity, inclusion, and equity are mentioned 149 times, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander reconciliations 96 times. But mother, father, and parents are not mentioned once. They’ve been completely scrubbed from the guidelines. So you’ve got to ask why it is that a curriculum for zero to five year olds doesn’t mention parents, but talks a lot about reconciliation and really activist issues and things like gender and very radical theories. So I think this is an important thing to talk about, that this pipeline of indoctrination that we’re seeing in the Australian education system doesn’t start at primary school. It actually starts in early childhood centres.

Matthew Pantelis:

Who would approve that? Is it a federal government thing? Would a minister have seen that or does it just get through the system and somebody says, yeah, that’s fine, and away we go.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

It’s approved by the federal government. It’s actually a federal government mandated document and it works with a regulator, childhood regulator, called the Australian Children’s Education Care Quality Authority, which is pushing this radical agenda on childcare centres at every opportunity.

Matthew Pantelis:

Can parents do anything about this? If it’s a curriculum, I suppose it’s a curriculum.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Well, I think parents just have to carefully choose their early childhood centres. The sad thing is that a lot of parents don’t have a choice. They have to send their children to childcare to make ends meet, and when they drop their children off at childcare, I think they have absolutely no idea that this is the kind of activism that’s at the heart of the education being forced on their toddlers and the long-term problem is of course that they’re setting their children up for failure, because this is no longer a fact-based education. It’s an education that’s really all about indoctrination and has nothing to do with really teaching children the life skills that they need that starts in early childhood centres.

Matthew Pantelis:

And you’re saying it continues in primary schools because obviously similar documents to this must be in place there, I imagine, that then influence more than just the three Rs.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Yes, it actually is in primary school and secondary school through the national curriculum. And what they have done in the early childhood curriculum is just to copy that. So it begins in early childhood. So the indoctrination is there from zero to the time that they finished school. It’s in the national curriculum. I’m actually trying to dewoke the national curriculum at the moment. I’m taking it all out because what’s happening is that schools are no longer focusing on numeracy and literacy. They’re focusing on woke social justice issues. And of course Australian children are suffering. 15-year olds a year behind where they were 20 years ago in reading. We’ve got 15-year olds who have a sort of punctuation level of year three students. It’s basically because the national curriculum is completely overcrowded with this woke stuff and children not being taught how to read and write properly anymore.

Matthew Pantelis:

Is the idea, is somebody thinking that if we get them young, that by the time they leave school they’ll essentially be activists? Is that what they’re thinking?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Well, it’s certainly the stated object of… They state in the document that the purpose of early childhood is to put toddlers on the road to reconciliation. It’s stated over and over again, this is not me making this up, it’s actually the stated purpose of early childhood. So there very much is a strong activist element to the document.

Matthew Pantelis:

Where is that stated, in the document itself?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Yes, many times. Many times. Your listeners can look up the document itself. It takes two minutes to download it and you can just look for the word reconciliation and it’s mentioned over and over again.

Matthew Pantelis:

Okay. Belonging, Being, and Becoming is the document. Whatever happened to playing with crayons and in a sandpit, as I think you say in your release.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Well, this is exactly what they should be doing. There should be no politics. There should be no indoctrination, there should be nothing in childcare centres, primary schools, or secondary schools that is in remotely political and we need to let children be children. They need to be left alone to be toddlers. And if we really want to force diversity on children, just let them play with each other. That’s how children socialise. This is what we should be doing. We should leave the children alone.

Matthew Pantelis:

I understand too from your report, children are asked to perform a daily acknowledgement of country and Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander flags to be displayed in the centre. Is the Australian displayed as well?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Rarely. I would actually challenge your listeners to those who have children in childcare next time they drop their children off, just have a look to see if there are any Australian flags. It’s unlikely. It’s not mentioned that this is an important flag to have flying in the classrooms. So yes, there’s definitely an agenda and it’s very apparent in this document and you can see it in the child care centres through the flags and through the daily acknowledgement of country.

Matthew Pantelis:

If people want to take this up, if somebody wants to write to a… I mean, should they let their federal MP know, let the federal education minister know?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Well, I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to alert your local politician, your local representative, to what’s going on in the classrooms. I think it’s a very good idea for parents to get involved. In fact, this is where parents can change things. This is the parent’s responsibility really, isn’t it? To find out what’s going on in these early learning centres and actually ask if they can see this document and if it’s being taught and what their children are being taught. I know from experience that many parents are coming home having to de-indoctrinate their toddlers because toddlers are being told terrible things about that they shouldn’t be being exposed to at this age. And it’s up to parents to actually to find out what’s going on in these early learning centres.

Matthew Pantelis:

So those parents, what do they tell you about de-indoctrination? Is it, no, that’s not right darling. It doesn’t work that way. Is that what essentially that is like, that experience?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Generally parents are having to deal with children who are coming home crying because they’ve been told that white people stole black people’s babies. There are many, many stories of children who are having to spend the day colouring in sorry posters and being told that the land has been stolen. These are terrible things to teach three or four year olds. These are terrible things to do to children.

Matthew Pantelis:

Absolutely. Bella, thank you for your time this morning.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Thank you very much.

Matthew Pantelis:

And raising awareness, Dr. Bella d’Abrera, Institute of Public Affairs. The report is called Belonging, Being, and Becoming, and it aimed at children under five in childcare. And as she said, the terms diversity, inclusion, equity mentioned 149 times. Mother, father, parents not mentioned once. And that is concerning to I’m sure any parent, or most, at least in with children in early care, in childcare under the age of five being taught social justice causes at that age. I’d love to get your thoughts, 82230000. Do we need to take education back to the three Rs? Many people would argue we do and we should.

And I know in conversations with a lot of you in the past, that is certainly something, well, I’d be very much in favour of that. The basics that we all learned at school, we all seem to come out back in the fifties, sixties, seventies, well taught at the very least, and it was things that mattered, how to read, how to count, how to be good people. And most of us indeed were and are, but I don’t know, social engineering in the classroom and starting at a very early age, kids under the age of five is certainly concerning.

This transcript from FiveAA from 18 June 2024 has been edited for clarity.

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