There goes another icon

The Thin Captain has been produced for 146 years, first by Guest's, which was taken over by Brockoff's,  which was taken over by Arnott's, which was taken over by Nabisco.  But the "prince of crackers" is no more.  In March, it joined Rosella Tomato Sauce, Golden Circle canned vegetable and fruit products, Darrell Lea chocolates and other once staples of the Australian pantry in the discard pile. As James Campbell put it in the Herald Sun: ...the Thin Captain is an Australian classic with no peer anywhere in the world. Waterford crackers? Too thin and prone to becoming soggy in dips. Captain's Table crackers?  Ditto.  Saos?  Too thick and they don't complement cheese well.  Neither does the … [Read more...]

The political tragedy of Julia Gillard


The Conversation    |     29 June 2013 In the middle of the 2012 winter, an influential supporter of Julia Gillard laid out for me the intricacies of the Labor caucus’ power structures, the labour movement’s web of personal antagonisms and the federal government’s dire predicament. At the end of his treatise, with a wide-eyed look of resignation and a despairing tone, he summed up: The whole show is f—-ed and no-one can work out how to unf—– it. A few weeks later, a highly experienced Labor figure with deep knowledge of public attitudes to the Gillard government and how to harness voter support shared his assessment. He’d concluded that Labor was headed for defeat and had lost the … [Read more...]


There isn't actually an Early Edition this week. … [Read more...]

Profiling exercise provides new perspectives on Australian higher education

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Research by the LH Martin Institute and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has produced a multi-dimensional profile of every Australian university. Inspired by the European Commission’s U-Map and U-Multirank projects, the research team used data from numerous publicly available sources to present visual maps, or ‘sunbursts’, of each university’s activities and performance in the dimensions of teaching and learning, student profile, research involvement, knowledge exchange and international orientation. Professor Leo Goedegebuure, Director of the LH Martin Institute and one of the project’s researchers, stressed that the profiles are not another attempt to rank … [Read more...]

ACPET National Monday Update 24 June 2013


In Focus They cannot be serious A longstanding ACPET member pointed out to me recently that I was becoming increasingly feisty in my NMU articles. And he's right, I am. Maybe I'm not quite at John McEnroe's legendary levels of anger (“YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS”) but I'm not far away. Why? Because of the impact that DIAC's continuing incompetence and bloody mindedness (backed by Ministers) is having on the international education sector. As ACPET members know through their own experiences, international education is in deep decline. The only green shoots are in applications to the universities and their SVP partners. While some members are doing well as they restructure their … [Read more...]

The Scan Main Edition 21 June 2013 # 125

Jane den Hollander

_____________________________________________________________________________________________ Craven calls for remaking TEQSA Greg Craven, vice-chancellor of Australian Catholic University and one of the architects of the higher education regulatory framework told a policy seminar  that the problems with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency have resulted from significant flaws in design and process during the formulation of the legislation, rather than problems with the agency itself.  The one-size fits all approach of the legislation failed to recognise the "special" characteristics of universities that underpin their greater autonomy compared with other … [Read more...]

New visa charges will do “incalculable damage”

The Australian    |     21 June 2013 The tourism and international student sectors are warning export revenue will be hit by a new $700 levy on visitors applying for a visa onshore for the second time, calling it a revenue grab. Sue Blundell, head of English language college peak body English Australia, says If these charges remain, they will do incalculable damage to international education, which is only now starting to recover, and to local tourism. As well as the monetary impact, they present Australia as less welcoming, at a time when government policy should be about engaging our neighbours. TAFE Directors Australia called the new fee a "disaster", with  TDA director Peter … [Read more...]