• Kristin Perissinotto

Education Minister wants more religion and whitewashing in curriculum

Alan Tudge is a federal MP in the Liberal Party of Australia, and the Minister for Education and Youth. So he must be interested in taking action on the climate and ensuring a future for young Australians, right? Wrong. Okay, then he must be invested in the mental health of our young generations and very concerned about mental illness in youth today? Wrong again. Alright, well what about fighting for equality and ending discrimination, something young people are increasingly concerned by? Actually, according to him, that's already done!! Congratulations Australia, we have made it! Equality solved!

Tudge's has most recently been in the media for tearing apart the latest national curriculum draft, and make grade-based jokes about it on Twitter, ie. "The current draft has improved from an F to a C. Australian kids need an A+ curriculum!" and disagreeing with anything any Labor Premier says or does - just Liberal things!!

Tudge recently said he would not support the new drafted national curriculum published by the independent (key word) Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) because "it has a negative view of our history," saying the history section "downplayed our western heritage" and "almost erased christianity from our past, despite it being the single most important influence on our modern development." He goes on to say that "our nation is one of the most free, wealthy, tolerant, and egalitarian societies in all of human history." I'll give you a second to yell into a pillow.

The Education Minister of a secular country that was colonised by force resulting in murdering an estimated 20 000 First Nations People thinks that Australian history is a downer with not enough religion. Are you absolutely fucking kidding me. His reference to downplaying western heritage sounds an awful lot like he wants to dial up the whitewashing. Our western heritage is that British settlers took Aboriginal land by force, killed thousands of its rightful owners, and routinely stole First Nations children away from their parents for over a century. My bet is that the drafted curriculum outlines these tragedies, and probably is part of the 'negative view' Mr Tudge speaks of.

Australia is a secular country, a country whose laws and legislation should have nothing to do with any religion, including christianity. Our Constitution dictates a separation of church and state, meaning the government must maintain a neutral attitude toward religion, and that includes government-owned public schools. History lessons should absolutely be free from heavy religious rhetoric of any denomination.

He also stated proudly that Australia is a "magnet for migrants," which is a bit rich given how aggressively anti-refugee his government is. Australia is notorious for our inhumane treatment of people seeking asylum, locking up families who have travelled here in search of safety form prosecution and a better life. He must be exclusively referring to white migrants from christian backgrounds. On that note, he also boasts about our 'strong human rights.' Again, he must only be referring to white Australians who's ancestors came from the pre-approved white countries on the list, not the people of colour we lock in 'administrative detention,' of First Nations children who are sent to prison at ten years old, both of whom experience a significantly lower standard of living that white-collar criminals who evade tax and embezzle money.

One of Tudge's biggest concerns about the curriculum is that young Aussies won't be willing to defend their country if they hear about our negative history :( I mean... Need I comment further on that? That's a pretty fucked up reason for wanting to erase the tragedies of our history. One could argue that's bordering on brainwashing territory. What is primary school for, if not for preparing children for the military!? Great work from the Minister for Education and Youth!

He says our nation is the most free, wealthy, tolerant, and egalitarian. Which it probably is - for him. A wealthy white, straight, presumably upper-class, middle-aged man in a position of power. He was educated at the University of Melbourne and HARVARD for fuck's sake. Before getting elected, he was a senior staffer within the Liberal Party. He also admitted to an affair with one of his own staffers in 2020, which ended his marriage. And I almost forgot - he opposed marriage equality, espousing the importance of 'family values'. Said staffer also accused him of bullying and initimidating her. How's that for an egalitarian nation that was built on the foundations of christianity?

Alan Tudge is not appropriate for high office. He does not represent the people of Australia. He is not concerned with the betterment of our national curriculum, he's interested in suppressing and re-writing Australian history, and erasing the enormous damage done to First Nations People of this country. Under the guise of patriotism, Tudge is ignoring the many issues facing our nation today: discrimination, inequality, and a refusal to face and make reparations for our past. If Tudge truly thinks we live in a free, tolerant, and egalitarian society, he's lost touch with reality.