Senate debates

Wednesday, 23 November 2022


Australian Education Legislation Amendment (Prohibiting the Indoctrination of Children) Bill 2020; Second Reading

10:09 am

Photo of Malcolm RobertsMalcolm Roberts (Queensland, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party) Share this | Hansard source

As a servant to the people of Queensland and Australia, I speak in support of Senator Hanson's bill, the Australian Education Legislation Amendment (Prohibiting the Indoctrination of Children) Bill 2020. I support it because I have been the president of the board of a Montessori school. I've been on the advisory board of the International Montessori Council. I agree with the primacy of the family, the tripartite role between parents, teachers and child, in understanding education and supporting it.

I want to correct something, though: the previous speaker seemed to have their imagination running wild, because he said, 'These men come in here'. Well, Senator Hanson is a woman! She initiated this bill, and she's a woman! During COVID, heavy-handed lockdowns forced children into learning from home, locked away from their friends and suffering through jerky attempts to teach through a Zoom screen. Of course parents were locked up at home with their children as well, listening to their classes in a way they never could before. Many were absolutely shocked as they heard the rubbish being taught to their children for the very first time. This bill tries to steer education back to the basics, to give our children critical thinking skills and to put the power back in parents' hands to make sure that's all they're being taught.

In this bill, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority would need to ensure that education provides a balanced presentation of opposing views on political, historical and scientific issues. Senator Hanson's bill would require that, where opposing views exist, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority is to ensure that the teaching profession is provided with the information, resources and support required to provide a balanced presentation to students. Wonderful! Federal funding would be conditional on states and territories requiring schools and their staff to provide a non-partisan education to students, while consulting with parents and guardians on the extent to which this has been achieved.

One Nation has been trying to keep this in check, with motions condemning the teaching of critical race theory and the curriculum's erasing of history because it's said to be too 'white' or Christian. There are lots of examples showing that stronger action is needed, and I commend Senator Antic and the others who spoke here today on that very point. There is, though, for example, the Parkdale Secondary College, where students were told to stand up if they were straight, white Christian males and be humiliated by the class because they were, 'oppressors'. Without trial, they're 'oppressors'. Then there is Brauer College, where all the boys were forced to stand up at assembly and apologise to all of the girls on behalf of their gender. No specific crime was mentioned or identified for these boys to apologise for, except that they were the wrong gender. And only today One Nation New South Wales leader, Mark Latham, has drawn our attention to Mount Kuring-gai Public School. They are feeding fiction to students about history, forcing them to learn a play where Captain Cook arrives with the First Fleet in 1788 as a coloniser. For those who have forgotten history from their schooling, Captain Cook was long dead by the time of the First Fleet.

This bill is necessary to stop examples like this infecting our children, to return our teaching to the basics, to restore balance to the way topics are presented and to stop our schools from being indoctrination centres. This bill puts the teaching of balanced, critical analysis and parents in the driver's seat of children's education, as they should be.

I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted.


No comments