Tag Archive | "Education"

Advanced toddler strays along busy Stubbs Terrace.

Girl, 2, wanders from Claremont creche

CHRIS THOMSON

A Claremont creche has been fined $9000 and its supervisor $3000 after a two-year-old girl wandered out its creche and along a road.

A State Administrative Tribunal order published online reveals that Raff Investment Holdings, which owns the Tiny Beez child care centre on Alfred Road, and centre supervisor Ana-Lara Skinner, were the parties so fined.

According to the tribunal order, a two-­year-­old girl left Tiny Beez about 10am on July 23 last year.

A passing motorist saw the little girl wandering alongside busy Stubbs Terrace.

The motorist parked her car and walked into Tiny Beez to tell staff that the girl was wandering unsupervised along the road.

Tiny Beez staff retrieved the girl with help from another member of the public.

Tribunal member David MacLean heard that the girl had been placed in a room of older children which required half the staff-to-children ratio than the younger class she would have otherwise been in. This contravened national child care regulations.

Around the time the girl went missing she was outside with a group of 21 children with one educator who could not see any other educators outside.

In mitigation, Tiny Beez and Mrs Skinner successfully argued that the girl’s mother believed her child was cognitively, physically, socially and verbally advanced for her age and had asked that the toddler be included in the class that had older children.

Photo: ‘Erduke10’, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons attribution sharealike 3.0 unported licence

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Six-year-old picked up by passing paramedics after crossing Toodyay Road.

Autistic boy disappears from creche

CHRIS THOMSON

A creche in Middle Swan has been fined $8000 after a six-year-old boy with autism went missing as his mother dropped by to pick him up.

State Administrative Tribunal member Patricia Le Miere recently heard that between 5:35pm and 5:40pm on September 1 last year the boy left the outside school hours care service at St Brigid’s Primary School on Toodyay Road.

Paramedics taking a patient to Swan District Hospital saw the unsupervised boy running along a footpath beside Toodyay Road at 5.38pm.

The boy then crossed the road near a Shell Petrol Station and entered a playground in a nearby park and started playing on the playground equipment.

The paramedics persuaded the boy to travel with them in the ambulance to the hospital.

They called police at 5:55pm to collect the boy from them at the hospital.

About 6:05pm police collected the boy from paramedics and returned him to the creche.

Ms Le Miere heard that some educators knew the boy had a tendency to hide and wander off.

Earlier, about 5:35pm there had been only three children left in the creche including he and his brother.

About 5:40pm, a senior educator saw the boy’s mother arrive in her car directly out front of the classroom.

The boy said: “Mum’s here”, and pushed the back of his brother’s chair.

A senior educator saw the boy run out the front door into the front play area which was enclosed by a fence and gate.

The educator knew another creche staffer was out there, and assumed the boy had gone to greet his mother.

Soon after, the mother came into the classroom and asked: “Where’s [the boy]?”

It was then that the educator realised the boy was not with his mother.

LPR Holdings, which runs the creche, was fined $8000 and ordered to pay $1500 legal costs to the Department for Local Government and Communities which brought the case to the tribunal.

Photo: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez, Wikimedia Commons, under GNU free documentation licence.

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Scaffidi travel fiasco makes more waves as neighbouring mayor plots accountability protest.

Vincent mayor plans WALGA boycott

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: The Lisa Scaffidi free travel fiasco continues to make waves, with the Mayor of Vincent looking to pull his council out of the WA Local Government Association for refusing to make transparency training compulsory for mayors and councillors.

oneperth.com.au can reveal that at a council meeting this coming Tuesday night Vincent mayor John Carey will move that his council’s staff prepare a report on the pros and cons of pulling out of WALGA.

After former industry lobbyist Mrs Scaffidi told the Corruption and Crime Commission she was a babe in the City of Perth woods when in 2008 she accepted a free trip for two to the Beijing Olympics courtesy of BHP-Billiton, Mr Carey started pushing for compulsory transparency training for mayors and councillors.

Local Government Minister Tony Simpson agrees, and wants to make training compulsory in the wake of the Scaffidi free travel affair.

But in December, WALGA’s state council resolved to oppose mandatory training.

“In recent times, WALGA’s position on key policy and political matters (as set by the majority of its local government members) has been very different to the positions adopted by the City of Vincent, particularly in relation to the introduction of improved transparency and accountability measures across the sector,” Mr Carey will tell his councillor colleagues on Tuesday night.

“In those important instances, the position adopted by WALGA ‘on behalf the local government sector’ has not been representative of the City of Vincent’s views.”

Mr Carey says that many services provided by WALGA are available from other suppliers.

In 2014/15 the council’s WALGA membership cost Vincent ratepayers $52,000.

Almost all of Western Australia’s 140 councils are members of WALGA. In metropolitan Perth, the City of Nedlands is not.

Photo of Vincent council HQ: ‘Orderinchaos’, Wikimedia Commons.

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Give your pooch the kiss of life this summer.

Uni first aid course for pets

STAFF REPORTER

Veterinarians at Murdoch University are offering first aid courses for pet owners.

Jill Griffiths of Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital says emergency treatment is more often needed over the summer months with snakebites and severe allergic reactions requiring immediate attention from owners.

“If your animal does have a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction or is struggling to breathe after being bitten by a snake, being able to perform cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation on the way to the vet can be life-saving,” Dr Griffiths said.

The hospital recently introduced a general first aid course for pets which will teach owners life-saving techniques.

The next courses will take place on Wednesday, February 17 and Saturday, April 9.

“One owner recently contacted me after a pet emergency to say the bandaging techniques learnt at our first aid course allowed him to get his dog to the nearest vet alive,” Dr Griffiths said.

Included in the first aid course is a practical session, including how to recognise what is normal and what’s not, how to place an effective bandage, and a cardiopulmonary cerebral resuscitation practice session.

“We identified that people were not comfortable giving first aid to their pets, but simple techniques like breathing for your pet and providing effective chest compressions are vital,” Dr Griffiths said.

The course costs $95.

For more info, call 9360 7824.

And tell ’em oneperth sent you.

Photo: ‘Peter’, Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons attribution 2.0 generic licence.

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Serial offending creche service accused of losing a child with Down Syndrome.

Camp Australia in strife again

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: Serial-offending Camp Australia – which runs 400 care centres for 50,000 children nationwide – has been accused of allowing a child with Down Syndrome to leave its Cloverdale centre unnoticed.

A post on the Department of Local Government and Community Services website reports that the seven-year-old child, who cannot talk, was allegedly allowed to leave Camp Australia’s outside school hours care centre at Cloverdale Primary School on October 27.

The child was allegedly allowed to leave the centre unsupervised.

The department has lodged an application for disciplinary action in the State Administrative Tribunal. The first directions hearing for the case is scheduled for February 2.

This time last year, oneperth.com.au revealed that Camp Australia was fined $8000 after failing to report in a timely fashion the disappearance of a boy who, unsupervised, walked 1.4 kilometres home across busy Perth roads.

In 2012, oneperth.com.au revealed the company had been fined $52,500 for inadequately supervising minors at seven schools in Perth’s western, southern and northern suburbs.

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Single biggest donation ever to Perth's southern suburbs university.

Centenarian leaves $3 million to Murdoch

STAFF REPORTER

A 103-year-old war veteran who died in Feburary has bequeathed $3 million to support medical, health and agricultural research at Murdoch University.

Alan Villiers Peacocke (pictured) had supported scholarships at Murdoch for almost 20 years.

Murdoch University’s Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Taggart said Mr Peacocke’s gift was the largest single bequest the university had received.

Mr Peacocke was born in 1911 and as a young man he worked in the Wheatbelt before enlisting in the 2/28 Battalion of the Australian Imperial Forces in December 1940.

He departed for the Middle East in January 1941 and returned by hospital ship to Australia in July 1942. He was discharged from the AIF in 1946.

He moved from Perth to Tasmania for the cooler climate but maintained connections to Perth through his sister Iris, who remained in Maylands all her life.

Originally working for the Prices Commission, he was soon transferred to the Repatriation Department (now the Department of Veteran Affairs) where he worked for 30 years.

Mr Peacocke was well known for his passion for gardening and active support of the community through the Causeway Club, the Midway Progress Association and the Sorrell Gardening Club. .

Mr Peacocke and his father shared an admiration for the writings of Sir Walter Murdoch so when he inherited his sister’s estate, he was inspired to contact Murdoch University to discuss how he might support students and research.

In 1999, Mr Peacocke and Murdoch University established the Alan and Iris Peacocke Research Foundation to support doctoral research scholarships in the areas of agriculture, horticulture and medical research.

PhD student Caroline Nilson, who is the current recipient of the scholarship, said it was invaluable to her study.

“The Alan & Iris Peacocke scholarship not only enabled me to devote three years to full-time study, but it enabled me to support an Aboriginal community to develop a community owned and controlled health promotion program, which continues to run today,” Ms Nilson said.

Over the past 20 years Mr Peacocke donated more than $300,000 to Murdoch to support PhD scholarships and the development of the university’s Institute of Immunology and Infectious Diseases.

Mr Peacocke also chose to make a bequest to Murdoch so that the Alan and Iris Peacocke Research Foundation would continue to fund research scholarships in perpetuity and to support other Murdoch projects.

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Australia's head animal doctor to speak at his alma mater.

Chief vet returns to Murdoch

STAFF REPORTER

Who’d of thunk it? Australia has a chief veterinarian, and he was trained at Perth’s own Murdoch University.

At his alma mater on September 24, Murdoch alumnus and Australia’s Chief Veterinary Officer Mark Schipp (pictured) will discuss the implications for veterinarians of issues including food security and antimicrobial resistance.

In a presentation entitled Would Sir Walter [Murdoch] have wanted a Veterinary School?, Dr Schipp will discuss how the role of the veterinarian has changed since the inauguration of Murdoch University 40 years ago.

“Australia is facing increasing challenges as fiscal constraints and trade expectations mount, new diseases and technologies emerge, global food insecurity concerns increase, the threat of antimicrobial resistance grows and we operate in an increasingly deregulated environment,” Dr Schipp said.

“As the scope of Australia’s challenges increase, there are implications for the nation’s veterinarians.

“In the presentation, I will also discuss what opportunities the changing environment creates for the veterinary workforce for the future.”

Dr Schipp was appointed Australian Chief Veterinary Officer in 2011.

He is a biology and veterinary graduate of Murdoch.

The lecture will occur in the Kim Beazley Lecture Theatre from 6pm on September 24.

DISCLOSURE: STAFF REPORTER was also trained at Murdoch University.

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State Premier considers himself first among 2.6 million sandgropers.

‘I’m WA’s Number 1’: Barnett

STAFF REPORTER

State Premier Colin Barnett believes that every morning when he rolls out of bed he does so as Western Australia’s “Number One” citizen.

“I still find it quite surprising that every morning that of the 2.6 million people in Western Australia, how did I get to number one?” a Murdoch University source today quoted Mr Barnett as saying at a gathering of students at the university on Friday.

WA's self-proclaimed numero uno at Murdoch last week.

WA’s self-proclaimed numero uno at Murdoch last week.

“It’s a fascinating life and if anyone is thinking about going into politics —whichever politic philosophy you might follow — I urge you to do so.

“It’s an extraordinary way of life.”

Mr Barnett expounded upon his journey from humble university student to leader of Western Australia, describing every day as “inherently interesting”.

“I really don’t know how that happened, probably good luck and grasping at opportunities when they’re there,” he said in a quip-packed, hour-long session.

Mr Barnett was a guest of the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs.

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Swearing in class more or less in context, Commissioner rules.

Foul-mouthed TAFE teacher reinstated

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: A TAFE lecturer who told a student he would break the “f*cking legs” of another student if he saw that boy near his home has been reinstated with backpay after being sacked in May.

In a decision published today, WA Industrial Commissioner Pamela Scott ordered Kimberley Training Institute to reappoint maritime security lecturer James Petticrew after his dismissal was found to be harsh, oppressive and unfair.

In February last year Mr Petticrew was working at KTI’s Broome campus when he called in to the automotive workshop to see if he could get some advice from the lecturer about repairs to his own trailer.

A student asked Mr Petticrew, then in his late 50s, if he had seen another TAFE student, neither of whom will be named here for legal reasons.

He told the student to give the other student a message that if he saw that student near his house he would “break his f*cking legs”.

Mr Petticrew suspected the second student had burgled his house. oneperth.com.au makes no such allegation.

For what he later admitted was an “outburst”, Mr Petticrew, a TAFE lecturer of more than six years standing, was fired on May 28 this year.

Through his trade union, Mr Petticrew challenged the sacking.

In her ruling, Ms Scott noted the “most significant aspect of [his] conduct was that it contained a threat of violence against a student of KTI, and that [he] told another 16-year-old student to convey the threat”.

“… Mr Petticrew’s behaviour was threatening, in that he expressed an intention of physical violence,” Ms Scott added.

“It was disrespectful to all of those who heard it and towards [the second student].

“It was irresponsible and unprofessional.”

But Ms Scott concluded it was “true that in some workplaces the type of conduct Mr Petticrew exhibited may be the norm and unexceptional”.

“In other contexts, such as in a primary school, it might have been far more serious.

“However, it was at a TAFE college in the presence of 16-year-old youths.

“While they may be young, they are not children, nor would they be unfamiliar with the language or type of threat made by Mr Petticrew.

“They may have been shocked by it coming from a lecturer, but I find it hard to believe they would have taken it literally.”

Ms Scott ruled that he be reinstated and compensated for lost salary, but be issued with a formal reprimand.

“In saying that, it must be clear to Mr Petticrew that further such conduct should be viewed very seriously and Mr Petticrew should be under no illusions about possible consequences,” she admonished.

Mr Petticrew had earlier been advised to tone down his language after in 2012 telling a student: “I’ll knock your f*cking head off if you keep calling me Sir”, and asking a whole class: “Haven’t you f*ckers finished yet?”.

Photo: ‘singhca’, Wikimedia Commons

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Parent told to 'piss off', and student umpire, 16, brought to the point of tears.

Deputy principal demoted after softball outburst

CHRIS THOMSON

A deputy principal at High Wycombe Primary School has been demoted, transferred and had her pay docked after speaking aggressively to a volunteer student umpire and telling a parent to “piss off” at an inter-school softball match.

On May 28 last year, when she attended an inter-school sports carnival at Maida Vale Reserve, Trudi Watts had been Deputy Principal at High Wycombe Primary School since 2010.

A decision published this month by Western Australian industrial commissioner Pamela Scott reveals that while supervising a Year Six and Seven girls’ B-grade softball team Ms Watts spoke aggressively and in an inappropriate tone to a student umpire who was 16 years old.

She also directed a parent to “piss off”.

‘RUDE, OVERBEARING, AGGRESSIVE’

The outburst arose over Ms Watts’ wish to have the student umpire, who was from Darling Range Sports College, score the game as well as officiate.

In her published decision, Acting Senior Commissioner Scott noted Ms Watts had been “rude, overbearing and aggressive” toward the volunteer student umpire.

“When he indicated to her that some of the parents had offered to do the scoring while he did the umpiring, she was not happy with this response and demanded that he score,” Ms Scott added.

“She did so in a tone and manner that was aggressive and inappropriate for a teacher, in the presence of all of the people at the event.

“Whether he cried as a response to her behaviour, as reported by a number of the other witnesses, is not so significant to me.

“He denies that he cried and I can understand why, if he had cried, he might now deny it.

“However, he was at least upset, bewildered and looking for assistance and support from others in response to Ms Watts’s behaviour towards him.”

PANIC ATTACK

Ms Scott found that Ms Watts’ attitude on the day toward a female teacher from her school was “rude and aggressive”.

“[The teacher] was so shocked and distraught by the attack by Ms Watts that she had a panic attack and dropped to the ground to catch her breath, and recover herself,” Ms Scott noted.

“Witnesses described her distress and that she was crying.

“In any event, it is quite clear that Ms Watts was in a state of high dudgeon and was abusive towards anyone who crossed her path or took a different view to hers that morning …”

DEMOTED

Ms Scott was busted back to teacher level, docked a day’s pay of $446.81, and transferred from High Wycombe Primary.

In his Term 2 newsletter earlier this year, High Wycombe Primary School principal Rick Walters said Ms Watts had “left our school as of the start of Term 2 after being transferred to a new position within the Department”.

“I would like to thank Mrs Watts for her contribution to our school community and wish her all the best for the future,” Mr Walters wrote.

Photo: ‘THOR’, Wikimedia Commons

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Planters get busy around Curtin Uni this week to help head off black cockatoo extinction.

3000 trees to give cockies a feed

TOM MUNDAY

Nearly 3000 trees are being planted at Curtin University from this week in a bid to provide food for Perth’s endangered black cockatoos.

University technical officer Jacqui Addison said the trees would eventually screen the university from main roads around Curtin’s Bentley campus, increase food for black cockatoos and offset carbon emissions.

Ms Addison said the trees would also increase shade for students, staff, and visitors.

“We just planned as many plantings as we can within one year, and they are all tubestock so next year we’ll go through and replant what hasn’t survived and we’ll just do that each year,” Ms Addison said.

Tree species to be planted include the native Eucalyptus caesia, Hakea laurina, Agonis flexuosa, Corymbia ficifolia, and Banksia grandis.

Planting areas include the median strip at car park C9, the Building 500 car park, Manning Road verge, and along Kent Street.

Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Conservation Centre Avian Management Officer Rachel Riley said the tree planting could help over the longer term.

“It’s going to take a little while, and [the trees] won’t produce any nesting hollows in that area for up to 150 years,” Ms Riley said.

“It’s a long-term goal.

“As long as the area is protected it will be very helpful in the future and will help future populations [of cockatoos] if we have enough left.”

Edith Cowan University environmental management professor Will Stock said that between 2010 and 2014 the population of Carnaby’s black cockatoos had declined at a rate of 14 per cent a year, which he described as a “very worrying trend”.

Photo: Donna Hynes and Alec Levet get to planting. Credit: Tom Munday

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Camp Australia loses a child

CHRIS THOMSON

EXCLUSIVE: Serial offending Camp Australia – which runs 400 care centres for 50,000 children nationwide – has been fined $8000 after failing to report in a timely fashion the disappearance of a boy who, unsupervised, walked 1.4 kilometres home across busy Perth roads.

Orders published today by State Administrative Tribunal president Jeremy Curthoys compel the Victorian-based daycare company to pay Western Australia’s Department of Local Government and Communities a penalty of $8000 and $1000 for the department’s legal costs.

On the afternoon of August 6 last year, at the Camp Australia daycare outlet at Richmond Primary School in East Fremantle, a boy, 8, left the centre and walked 1.4 kilometres home on his own.

On the walk home the boy crossed major roads.

His absence was not noted for 15 minutes, and he remained absent from Camp Australia until his mother called to say her son had unexpectedly shown up.

She then returned the boy to Camp Australia.

Before Justice Curthoys, the company admitted it had breached a national law by failing to ensure that all children being educated and cared for were adequately supervised at all times. 

Camp Australia did not tell the department about the boy’s disappearance until August 11, five days after the incident.

In so doing, the company again breached the national law by failing to tell authorities within 24 hours that a serious incident had occurred.

The boy’s disappearance is not the first time Camp Australia’s Western Australian operations have come under legal fire.

In 2012, oneperth.com.au revealed the company had been fined $52,500 for inadequately supervising minors at seven schools in Perth’s western, southern and northern suburbs.

After his disappearance and re-emergence the boy remained enrolled with Camp Australia.

Camp Australia removed a staff member from Richmond Primary School and reallocated her to another site more suited to her skill set.

The company retrained its service staff, and has since used the boy’s disappearance as a case study for national training.

Posted in FremantleComments Off on Camp Australia loses a child

Txt litr8 kids r better readers

STAFF REPORTER

Better interpretation of text-speak can improve kiddies’ reading and language skills a Curtin University study concludes.

The study by Genevieve Johnson in Curtin’s School of Education asked children in grades three through six to translate five common abbreviations used in text messaging, and to complete reading fluency and sentence comprehension exercises.

“Without exception, those children who correctly defined textisms demonstrated superior skills in reading and comprehension than children who were unable to define common texting terms,” Dr Johnson said.

“The results add to a growing number of studies that conclude a positive association, if not effect, between ‘digitalk’ and traditional literacy across the life span.”

Similar findings have been suggested in other recent research, in contrast to reports from teachers.

While considerable variability existed when assessing the children’s comprehension of text-speak, significant differences were evident in the reading fluency and sentence comprehension scores of the children who had correctly translated the textism.

“The positive relationship between the children’s ability to translate textisms and their standard reading achievement was evident, if not overwhelming,” Dr Johnson said.

Photo: ‘Summer Skyes 11’, Wikimedia Commons

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Snazzy digs for student miners

CHRIS THOMSON

Here are the first renders of a $28 million overhaul of student accommodation recommended for approval for the WA School of Mines’ Agricola College in Kalgoorlie.

The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder has recommended that a state assessment panel approve three four-floor and and one three-floor student dorms when the panel meets on January 20.

The existing Agricola College is located about 1km south of the Kalgoorlie Town Centre, and in need of an overhaul.

Agricola College plansThe college currently houses a maximum 128 students in its 14 single-storey and three two-storey dormitories built in the 1970s.

The new dorms will have 180 beds.

A Communal Hub Building known as Max’s Café, and twelve single storey, four-bed accommodation units will be retained and revamped.

The Agricola College redevelopment is due for completion by 2017.

Disclosure: The reporter has a day job at Curtin University, which he quite enjoys.

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