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Unelected Officials Determined To Influence School History Lessons

Written by
2 November 2021
Unelected officials determined to influence school history lessons
Originally appeared in The Daily Telegraph

The “culture wars” are back and in full swing thanks to the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA).

It has produced a National Curriculum which is so overwhelmingly negative about Australia and its past, that future generations of Australians might be reluctant to defend this country.

In June 2019, Australia’s federal, state and territory education ministers requested that the education bureaucrats at ACARA revise the nation’s highly contentious National Curriculum, and they came back a year later with Version 8.4.

The problem with Version 8.4 is that it’s not really a revision of the existing curriculum. It’s actually a radical new curriculum which presents a singular world view which is hostile to all aspects of the Australian way of life.

The new history syllabus would lead children to believe there is nothing too positive about Australian history. It is completely silent on the fact Australia is a successful and tolerant liberal democracy which, in so many respects, is the envy of the world.

It would teach children that Anzac Day and Australia Day are to be contested but that climate change is not.

In a simple stroke of a pen, Australia’s Christian heritage is completely erased from both the past and the present.

In the ‘Learning Area’ of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the existing curriculum states that “Australia is a secular and multi-faith society with a Christian heritage”.

However, in the new curriculum, children will be told that “Australia is a culturally diverse, multi-faith, secular and pluralistic society with diverse communities, such as the distinct communities of First Nations Australians”.

This is not what the Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge asked for. He has been extremely vocal about it, having stated publicly he will not accept the history syllabus as it stands.

Education Minister Alan Tudge will not accept the current history syllabus. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage

His comments have been met with opprobrium and outrage by many on the left, who have accused him, among other things, of wanting to “sanitise history”.

Journalist from The Guardian Australia, Amy Remeikis, accused Minister Tudge of sprouting “bullshit about the history curriculum on parliamentary time”.

She also described Minister Tudge’s excellent speech to the Centre for Independent Studies as a “flaming pile of shit”. Professor Melanie Oppenheimer, Chair of History at Flinders University, commented that Minister Tudge was “playing politics with Australian children”.

None of that is true, he simply wants the truth to be taught to Australian children about Australia’s past.

He is simply seeking to redress the balance which has swung from a self-congratulatory version of history, towards what Professor Geoffrey Blainey termed as the ‘Black Armband’ version of history. Our history has both light and dark pages and children need to be taught both.

Proffessor Geoffrey Blainey wrote about the -black armband- version of history.
Proffessor Geoffrey Blainey wrote about the “black armband” version of history. Picture: Matthew Farrell

If parents were actually consulted on the radical new national curriculum prior to its release by the unelected bureaucrats at ACARA, they would be more likely to agree with Minister Tudge than with green left activists in the Canberra Press Gallery.

While there was a short window of consultation available to the general public on the radical new curriculum, ACARA is bypassing public scrutiny by sending the final curriculum straight to federal, state and territory education ministers.

This suggests it would rather the public did not have a say about what children are going to be taught.

Given the fundamental flaws in the National Curriculum which came to light during the public consultation period, it is imperative that ACARA releases the new version of the document to the public before Critical Race Theory and identity politics become further embedded into our education system.

Parents in consultation with teachers should decide how children are taught and what they should learn.

It is they who should determine what is in the best interests of their children, not ideologically driven unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats at ACARA.

Mainstream Australians do not want a National Curriculum which is deeply negative about our culture and our society.

And they certainly do not want their children finishing school with the overwhelming feeling that there is no hope and that they have neither choice nor power in life. This is exactly what the proposed curriculum, as it stands, will do.

Former US President Abraham Lincoln knew that what children learned at school
Former US President Abraham Lincoln knew that what children learned at school shaped their thoughts into adulthood.

All Australians should be concerned about this radical new curriculum, because how we teach our children about our history, our national identity and the principles of western liberal democracy will inform the future of this nation.

As Abraham Lincoln said:

“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of the government in the next.”

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Bella d'Abrera

Dr Bella d'Abrera is the Director, Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs

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