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Friday, 28 November 1986
Page: 2973

Senator WALTERS(11.06) —The Minister for Resources and Energy will know that I have been concerned about the functions of the Human Rights Commission in the area of research and education referred to in clause 11 (1) (h). I have already mentioned to him that, through bribery and indoctrination, the Commission is able to get into the schools and kindergartens. I stated earlier that the book authored by Ralph Pettman points out that the Human Rights Commission will pay teachers up to $1,000 so long as they `contract to take part' and report in detail on the ideas, activities and resources which prove most creative in practice. According to Senator Evans, Ralph Pettman must be a good author because he has been awarded an honourable mention by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and given a prize for the teaching of human rights. I have already pointed out that in this wonderful book Ralph Pettman said that our little five-year-old girls and boys go to school with rather set stereotypes and that in the first four weeks there is a lot of work to be done on them. According to the Human Rights Commission, it is of paramount importance that in the first four weeks we do a lot of work to get rid of those stereotypes that have been created in Australian families.

How does one get rid of those stereotypes? There are good ways to do it and there are suggestions to the teachers on how to go about setting up their classrooms. The suggestion made to teachers is that no one should be allowed to play with cars in the play corner unless there are equal numbers of boys and girls and that no one should be allowed to play with paper dolls unless the little girls can persuade one of the boys to play with them, because if the little girls wanted to play with dolls that would only encourage the sex stereotypes that are so disastrous. This is the sort of rubbish which is being put out by the Human Rights Commission and which it is paying the teachers-directly into the teachers' pockets and not to the schools-to teach our little children. In the first four weeks of their school lives there is a lot of work to be done to get rid of their fantasies that the homes they come from-where Mum has probably stayed home to look after them-are ideal situations. A lot of work has to be done to get that out of their little minds, and that indoctrination has to take place in those first four weeks.

We are told by the Minister that the work of the Commission is highly regarded internationally and that that particular author is very good. I ask the Minister a question. I got this book quite some time ago and I have not been able to get another copy since. It was in a kit of two books and a video. I have asked repeatedly for another copy of that book and I have been refused that copy. I have been told that it is not available. The Parliamentary Library does not even have a kit and, every time I ask for copies, one is brought from the National Library. I want to know why it is unavailable to senators, why the Minister supports this rubbish, and whether he will please amend this legislation so that we can throw out this indoctrination and the bribery that accompanies it and get back to a situation where the Australian people will have a say as to how their children are brought up.