This morning, PM Morrison provided Australian parents an early Christmas present with the announcement of the NSW/NT/NZ travel bubble.
While the PM was doing this, I was engaged in a deep conversation with medical professionals about the mental health crisis affecting our school kids in Sydney and the increased number of suicides of our northern sydney teens in 2020.
Any suicide is one too many, but frankly it shocked me into a frenzy of hypotheses, which sort to understand the impact of previous school and social shutdowns.
While it is unprecedented in our lifetime, the experience of ‘shutdown’ is ripe in Australia’s national memory.
You see, 2020 is not the first time Australian school children have lost the privilege of an education in a school environment.
In World War II, students 1-6 only attended schools in the mornings. Kindergarten students not at all and this was only in those regions who could open due to a teacher shortage.
Heading to the archives to see how government, schools and families approached the closure of schools during World World II, I stumbled across this:
Imagine if our current world leaders – both near and far – took a leaf out of PM Curtain’s book…