This group is learning how various editions of the daily newspapers report so differently on a number of items. The views of the owners of these papers become obvious, especially when reporting on Climate change, politics etc. Come along and be enlightened. This group is held at the Hub on the 3rd Tuesday of the Month from 10 to 12.
An adjunct to the Politics and Current Affairs course, The News - Fact or Fiction provides a structured round table forum for selected stories and issues which are hitting the headlines which affect our lives and the society in which we live.
The News – Fact or Fiction class will be meeting at the Cooinda Hub in 2021. Classes, held on the 3rd Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 midday, begin on Tuesday 16th February .
Brian Harker 5762 8464
This new activity was well attended and very informative. The group looked at the different editions of newspapers, comparing what was important to make page one, page two etc. and each of the newspapers’ different responses to the current news. The group will also look at a particular topic, i.e. Climate Change, NDIS, etc. and discuss it in the second half of the session.
In Semester 2 2018, Carole Marple and Joan Laing from the Politics class piloted four sessions of a unit called 'Hot Topics'
"Do you enjoy discussing current affairs? In today’s world of disasters with half-baked solutions we feel that we all have some of the solutions to these problems and yet we have no outlet for our views. Well, we have now! It is called ‘Hot Topics’ and will cover topics ranging from Reality Television to the Uluru Statement, from Climate Change to Tabloid Journalism, from Euthanasia to the Newstart allowance. Topics discussed will be wide ranging, but there will always be a topic set for a chaired discussion and you will get a chance to prepare your thoughts for the next session. Come along, It will be great to get things ‘off your chest’.
The sessions were provocative and well worth attending. The newsletter reports and resources for the sessions have been retained on this page and demonstrate the potential of such a current affairs based unit.
Unfortunately Carole and Joan decided they were unable to continue, however were always hopeful that others would be able to take up the reins.
In late 2019, Ian Gray and Brian Harker decided to do so, developing the format for 'The News - Fact or Fiction' ready to begin in 2020.
'An adjunct to the Politics and Current Affairs course, ‘The News - Fact or Fiction’ provides a structured round table forum for selected stories and issues which are hitting the headlines which affect our lives and the society in which we live.
Sessions will include an analysis of the contents and letters pages of different media outlets to see how various issues have been reported by different organisations; discussion of one of these topics in more detail; and a pre-alerted topic to be explored.'
The Politics group was stunned and bereft at the loss of Ian, who died suddenly in Paris in November. Brian has decided to continue to offer the unit and many people have expressed interest in attending. In many ways 'The News - Fact or Fiction? course will be dedicated to Ian, who clearly enjoyed wide ranging and well informed discussions.
Hot Topics went local this month with guest speaker Cr. Barbara Alexander outlining the work of Benalla's Community Plan Implementation Steering Committee. The group then discussed what Benalla needs for a future growing rural city from a caravan park to another Bridge.
There will not be another Hot Topic session in November as Carole's grandson is being married that afternoon.
It has been great fun running Hot Topics but we'll leave it to others for 2019. If you are interested in 'hot topics' and willing to take the course (it is only once a month) please contact Terry Case.
Carole Marple and Joan Laing
September - we agreed we all have a role to play in addressing climate change, and 'agreed to disagree' as to whether Australia needs a Charter of Human Rights
The September gathering of the Hot Topics crew discussed the role of older people in addressing climate change. Bev Lee led the discussion working from material provided by John Lloyd, who was unable to be with us. It was generally agreed we all have a role to play.
John Lloyd's Presentation - Older Australians and Climate Change
The second half raised the need or otherwise for a Bill or Charter of Human Rights for Australia. This led with a video of the lecture 'The Case for a Charter of Human Rights in Australia' by Gillian Triggs, former President of the Human Rights Commission. (Dean's Lecture Series,The University of Melbourne, 23 July 2018).
A heated discussion followed with the group agreeing to disagree on the subject.
At our next gathering of Hot Topics we will look at the forward planning for Benalla – what does the future hold and what is our role in that future? Hoping to see you there on Friday October 19th at 1.30pm.
A number of the topics we choose for 'Hot Topics' would come under the category of what are called in the policy literature 'Wicked Problems' and 'Super Wicked Problems'.
The following extracts have been taken by an article by Chris Riedy, Professor of Sustainability Governance at the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney, titled 'Climate Change is a Super Wicked Problem' .
"In Tackling Wicked Problems from the Australian Public Service Commission:
"Climate change as a ‘super wicked’ problem....According to Kelly Levin and co-authors, super wicked problems are a new class of global environmental problem with four key features:
Chris Riedy, Professor of Sustainability Governance at the Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney
The following video provides a comedic 'way in' to considering the diversity of opinion in relation to climate change while at the same time presenting a graphic presentation of the strength of the weight of scientific opinion.
Our discussion on climate change will be framed in terms of the relevance and impact of climate change on us at our stage of life, and our shared reflections on whether and how our family, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren are responding/coping with the issue of climate change. John Lloyd is unable to attend but has given us a power point to work through.
Our second topic is 'Do we need a Bill (or Charter) of Rights in Australia?' We will be watching a recent lecture by Gillian Triggs.
Dean's Lecture Series - Melbourne University - July 30 2018
Two large topics were discussed at our last gathering. Led by Freida Andrews, the first topic was ‘Should Australia be providing international aid, and if so, who to and how?’. Foreign Aid from Australia has dropped in real terms by one third in our budget over the past three years. One of the major issues explored was whether developing countries are better off receiving government to government aid or would they be better off without it, even if it meant the collapse of the country? Australia is number 16 in the world in percent of our gross National Income given in foreign aid at 0.27%. This is well below the UN agreement with OECD countries of .7% and also well below our best efforts under Holt & Gorton of .48%. Is 0.27% the right amount at $3.22 billion, or should it be less or more?
This led us on to the second topic, Drought Aid. Many questions arose, not least should our international aid go to our farmers or can we do both? There was a good deal of discussion on how we and farmers deal with drought. Questions on how we prepare for drought came up with Brian Vial giving us a great run down on how farmers manage drought and that as with all areas of work some take up new ideas better than others.
Our next Hot Topics are from the top of the list of topics chosen by participants - ’Climate Change - is it relevant for us at our age?’ and ‘Do we need a Bill of Rights?’ This will be held on September 21st at 1:30pm and all are welcome.
About 'The News - Fact or Fiction?
An adjunct to the Politics and Current Affairs course, ‘The News - Fact or Fiction’ provides a structured round table forum for selected stories and issues which are hitting the headlines which affect our lives and the society in which we live.
Sessions will include an analysis of the contents and letters pages of different media outlets to see how various issues have been reported by different organisations; discussion of one of these topics in more detail; and a pre-alerted topic to be explored.
Third Tuesday of the month 10 am to 12 noon
Brian Harker 5762 8464
This group is a further development of a pilot program, Hot Topics. The earlier Hot Topics sessions are included in the feed of posts of class sessions.
Developed and maintained by members, this website showcases U3A Benalla & District.
Photographs - acknowledgment to U3A members; Benalla Art Gallery website;
Weebly 'Free' images;Travel Victoria and
State Library of Victoria