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Covid, the arts and a snapshot of a small town

15 September 2021

image: WinterWild Apollo Bay's striking outdoor event - The Dogwatch

We're thinking of friends in the small coastal town of Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. The town has a Seafood Festival in February, a Writers Festival in July and a multi arts festival (WinterWild) in August/September. 

From March last year there were no festivals. This year, they attempted to run all three festivals and all looked like they would go ahead. Then, the Seafoood Festival was cancelled because of lockdown the day before it started, the Word Fest was cancelled becasue of lockdown 5, and, with lockdown 6, they couldn't go ahead with WinterWild

These festivals are organised by voluntary committees who take on months of planning to bring business to their largely tourist town and for the pleasure it brings the local community.

The WinterWild Festival was sold out. They are now saying it was the most successful festival that never happened. But, becasue it didn't happen, not only is there a lack of celebration in a community hard hit economically by covid, disappointment for all the work contributed by their committee but also, once again, artists have missed out on work.

Clearly, this scenario is playing out (pun intended) across the Eastern States. It is particularly devastating for artists. If you can support them by rescheduling your events, please do all you can to make that happen.

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Book Week Can Continue

9 September 2021

Many schools in lockdown are taking advantage of our virtual offerings. Why not continue Book Week for longer?

Image: Littlelight Virtual

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Please reschedule events rather than cancel them

26 August 2021

Incursion companies have lost tons of work already in this lockdown. If you can possibly reschedule, please do so, so you have the joy of the incursion and companies can recoup some of that lost income.

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SFS E news out soon.

18 August 2021

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Regional Vic schools now back not allowed visitors

11 August 2021

No incursion companies can operate in Victorian schools except with online offers and it's been like that most of the term. Please reschedule your events.

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Our Prime Ministers Leader Board

4 August 2021

The importance of the federal government responsibilities in quarantining and vaccination roll out has been discussed everywhere.

The Morrison Government failings are clear. It's too early to tell exactly what Morrison's legacy will be - but with his climate change failures, ignoring bush fire warnings, handling of quarantine, sourcing and rolling out vaccinations, he might well win the wooden spoon.

Tony Abbot and William McMahon are currently in last position

In a time of national crisis, a Prime Minister needs to step up and lead more than ever. Morrison is astonishingly bad at this. His petty blame shifting and policy reactivity inspires little confidence.

In contrast, the top rated Prime Minister was John Curtin, (pictured above), who led Australia during the Second World War and then designed the post-war reconstruction. Bob Hawke rates second. Of the recent Prime Ministers, Julia Gillard ranks best (middle ranked) due to her lasting  policy legacies. 

Certainly, when we consider some of the capable leaders we've had, it is so disappointing we currently have such a an effectual incumbent.

See the whole article and leader board in The Conversation

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2 August 2021

Half-way through Term 3 and continuing the interrupted year for schools, now especially in NSW. Also think of our arts companies. Incursions into schools have been stopped in many areas, so weeks of work have been lost, not to mention the disruption to learning.

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Victorian schools back.

28 July 2021

Another year of disruption for Vic and NSW, and some for SA, especially for Year 12 students. And for teachers working from home, teaching other kids while their kids are at home, too.

A positive outcome of this situation is that many parents have changed their attitude to teachers. They now understand what teaching is from the perspective of trying to teach. Until then, parents often still had a perspective on teachers from their days as a student, so lacking insight and comprehension of the complexity of the role. That's changed!

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Vic Opposition Leader suggesting schools function during lockdowns

21 July 2021

Is it just that they're slow on the uptake or is it simply about scoring political points? Clearly this may have been an argument worth considering last year, when very few children caught the virus. However, why on earth suggest it now when several schools in Sydney and Melbourne have been shut post student infection? And also, why suggest it when his Federal Liberal colleagues have so completely mismanaged the vaccine roll out? 

We can't have teachers teaching without vaccination, but when they are vaccinated, probably a large proportion of the population will also be vaccinated.

The comment must have been an attempt to score a political point, nothing to do with actually managing this crisis. It's so disappointing.

Is the COVID vaccine rollout the greatest public policy failure in recent Australian History? This article in today's Conversation says yes it is a significant failure, but given that eventually the vaccine will be rolled out, compared to climate change, where no leadership or policy has emerged, that is the greatest failure.

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Nearly half the population in lockdown

19 July 2021

Despite the current situation, we hope we can all keep planning for the future. Teachers, please reschedule all the events that have been cancelled due to COVID. Our artists do not have the luxury of regular salaries. These latest lockdowns are such a blow.

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Sydney and Victoria locked down

16 July 2021

Thinking of teachers and students in Victoria who have instantly gone back to remote learning and of all the small arts companies who were expecting to perform in schools today and next week. 

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Bastille Day

14 July 2021

Bizarrely, this has the dual meaning in France, whereas in the English speaking world we tend to think of it as simply commemorating the French Revolution.

"The French can project their own understanding of what is being celebrated. They can choose between the storming of the Bastille and the people; the Fête de la Fédération and national unity; and everything in between.

Or they can simply enjoy a day off and admire the fireworks with their friends and family, oblivious to the complex story behind July 14." From The Conversation

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