Gold medal to Dan Andrews for ending the B-list Olympics

Great to see the Victorian premier calling a halt to the Commonwealth Games (“Vic axing may mean games over”, July 19). Fabulous someone has finally come to their senses about how much one of these events is really worth. Of course, there will be screams from the vested interests. Politicians normally love these “bread and circuses” spends. Another example is the Brisbane Olympics in 2032. Pollies get all the publicity now and will be gone when the white elephant reports come in. How is it that most governments prefer not to note the cost over-runs and unused stadiums of recent Olympics? A gold medal decision, Dan Andrews. Stephen McGinnes, Terranora

No common wealth

No common wealthCredit: Matt Golding

Andrews should be congratulated for standing up to big business and rejecting the Commonwealth Games. Millions of taxpayers should not have to support a few hundred elitist athletes in a competition that nobody (except for the athletes and their families) has any interest in any more. The six to seven billion dollar cost of the games needs to be spent on health, education and alleviating the cost of living, rather than a 12-day circus. Steve Rothschild, Thalgarrah

In May, France withdrew as host of Rugby League World Cup 2025 due to funding doubts, and they had the advantage of large surrounding populations. Holding the Commonwealth Games in Australia is always going to be a losing proposition as tourism from participating nations would be small due to cost and distance. Look at a list of member nations and apart from Canada, UK, India and South Africa, most are very small countries. Gavin Williamson, Narrabeen

Sydney put on a great Empire Games in 1938, using even Henson Park at Marrickville for cycling and the closing ceremony (“Time for Sydney to step into the breach”, July 19). Our lovely harbour city has the facilities to host the Games, the SCG, stadiums being used for the soccer World Cup starting this week and the venues from the 2020 Olympics. Not one extra cent needs be spent on these venues. They are ready to go. And we get the greatest return: showing up the Victorians, who constantly sprout they are the sporting capital of Australia. Tony Nicod, Collaroy

The Commonwealth Games have long been the B-list Olympics (“Crocodile tears for carnival of bygone Empire”, July 19). Starting life as the Empire Games in the 1920s, they morphed into the Commonwealth Games in the 1970s and introduced countries which had never been in the Empire in an attempt to maintain a role in a modern world. Most sports now have regular world championships, which negate the need for this four-yearly extravaganza. Time to accept fate and to fade gracefully into history. Penny Ransby Smith, Lane Cove

Your writer is perhaps too gentle in his well-argued obituary for the Commonwealth Games. It has always been preposterous to claim any validity for an event that excludes competitors from China, North and South America, Japan, Russia, Indonesia, continental Europe and the entire Arab world. It makes about as much sense as restricting an event to athletes whose surnames begin with the letter Q. David Salter, Hunters Hill

Graduate teachers not prepared for realities of classroom

Your writer shows clearly why the current system for building and sustaining skills in the teaching profession isn’t working (“New teachers can’t control their classrooms but they’re not to blame”, July 19). My sister, who has taught for decades, has raised the same concerns about where teaching has headed. She would add the time spent filling out forms and how this detracts from time spent with pupils.Unfortunately, it’s not just teaching. The common tag-line “job-ready graduates” is proving a blight on many professions. It also places an unfair expectation on universities, which they can’t deliver on. Recruits, whether apprentices or cadets, in many businesses are expected to hit the ground running. I was lucky to be given exhaustive feedback in my first year in a small professional firm and like others I grew quickly, learning from my mistakes and from my mentors. I wasn’t considered “qualified” until three years later. It taught me as a leader to ensure we provided feedback to our new staff and allocated time in our budgets for our experienced people to give that feedback. It’s time to treat people as investments, not just “talent”. Margaret Wright, Millers Point

When I trained in Scotland in the 60s we were taught about the psychology of learning and the benefits of discipline. We were taught how to teach as well as what to teach. Our work experience differed depending on which college we attended. The time spent in schools was invaluable and while many of us found it difficult, it gave a good introduction to the real world of teaching.

I started teaching in Australia in 1972. Since then I have seen new methods come and go but I doggedly stuck to what I knew worked for me. I have seen behavioural problems increase over the years and teachers constantly blamed for student behaviour and failure, when in reality the students come to school with the behaviours already in place, including their attitude to learning and society. Increasingly there has been a sense of the individual has the right to behave as they wish at the expense of others.

Teachers are expected to be everything to all students on top of teaching them these days. Better training will not solve the problems of education until something is done to address the issues in classrooms. It is up to society to change the environment for teachers. Augusta Monro, Dural

Credit: John Shakespeare

Simply nurturing new gardeners won’t rescue an education plot which is blatantly unequal and criminally discriminatory. We’ve been sleepwalking into a segregated, two-tiered system which lavishly rewards the “haves” of the private system and makes teaching at the Have-Not High increasingly impossible. No amount of soil preparation can repair our diseased patch. Mark Paskal, Austinmer

Empathy, flexibility, adaptation, creativity and untiring endurance are some of the prerequisites for achieving a successful classroom, regardless of its size (Letters, July 19). Joy Cooksey, Harrington

I have taught in an open classroom. It was like trying to teach students in a Bunnings warehouse! Donna-Dianne Walker-Smith, Mittagong

Surely, Andrews has shown us a future where we are no longer part of the Commonwealth. No Commonwealth, no games. Graeme Milton, Dulwich Hill

I am not at all sorry to see the demise of the Colonial Games. Cherylle Stone, Soldiers Point

Yes vote a step into unknown that Australia must take

The Coalition needs a giant moral enema to clean it out and start again (“Legal expert ‘out of context’ in No case”, July 19). What low expectations of the Australian people is embodied in the “No” slogan: “If you dont know, vote No”. Does this explain the years of avoiding solutions to pressing problems, the selection of candidates whose only motivation is to use parliament to enrich themselves, the sheer cynicism of the No campaign against Indigenous advice on matters that affect them? The only time this mob say “yes” to anything is in the selection of “yes” men and women party candidates. Sue Young, Bensville

The Pamphlet.

The Pamphlet.Credit: Cathy Wilcox

Scratching around for someone of note to support “No”, Peter Dutton lights upon Professor Greg Craven who supports Yes. Craven’s real views and his request not to be quoted are ignored, and a few of his phrases are misused to imply that he is against the Voice. My reading of the No pamphlet found innuendo, baseless conjecture and fearmongering. I now add deceit to the list. Susan Connelly, Lakemba

The apparent support for the No campaign by some voters who consider themselves to be progressive is foolish and shortsighted and will harm the cause of First Nations people. The Voice proposal arose directly from the Uluru Statement of the Heart. It was a genuine grassroots campaign that had the support of the vast majority of Indigenous organisations, communities and elders. To deny that history and level of support and to back the No vote because of the efforts of a small, very vocal minority of Indigenous voices means rejecting the clear wishes of the great majority of First Nations Australians. That is paternalism, plain and simple. Christopher Gow, Austinmer

What if we lived our lives by the principle the No case so enthusiastically espouses? “If you don’t know, vote No” means we wouldn’t commit to marriage, have children or ever change jobs. We definitely wouldn’t risk pulling someone from a burning car or dragging them out of a rip.

Each of those commitments requires a step into the unknown. We often take them on with misgivings and uncertainty, but we take them on with the best information and a sense of hope, knowing that the rewards outweigh our concerns. That’s the key to a good life, the triumph of hope and positivity that lets us do what’s right and stops us living a small, fearful life.

Our country’s future depends on hope, positivity and the courage to do the right thing. Say Yes to a better future. Tony Judge, Woolgoolga

The “No Vote” slogan is a clear case of encouraging the voters to disengage and do as they’re told. Surely, this is an unacceptable example of mind-control? We are better than this. Do the research and vote as informed and thinking Australians. Tony Willis, Corrimal

Minority rules

Fifty-nine per cent of voters believe immigration is too high – the other 41 per cent are property developers and politicians (“Majority of voters believe migration intake too high”, July 19). Bob Eggleton, Neutral Bay

Torrid summer

If, as seems very likely, we in the Southern Hemisphere cop what is currently raging in the north, then we are in for a very torrid time this summer (“Northern Hemisphere in grip of heat wave”, July 19). What, if anything, are governments, local, state and federal, doing to mitigate the bushfires and drought that are pretty well inevitable? Patrick Macalister, Elizabeth Bay

Time for transparency

Political donations reform? Yes, please (“Fix political funding, but fairly”, July 19). Let’s start immediately with the recommendation for real-time transparency on all donations over $1000, while we consider the more complex option of public funding? Phil Bradshaw, Naremburn

The donation band reform.

The donation band reform.Credit: Simon Letch

Good Lords!

Selfhood begins with walking away (“‘Never experienced anything like it’: David and Candice Warner share new details of Lord’s abuse”,, July 19). Once upon a time, a staff member at Randwick Primary School and her softball team returned early from Queens Park. The reason? The bullying behaviour of the opposing team. She had simply gathered her boys to her and they quietly left the field. It was an example then and it’s an example now. Come home, Australia. Anna Searls, Randwick

Repair, don’t reject

Grandparents and great-grandparents of Australia unite (“Of all the things I never learnt to do, this still needles”, July 19). Teach your descendants any old-fashioned skills you possess, so they can repair and reuse rather than reject. My granddaughter often calls for a bodkin for craft tasks and she knows how to use it well. Most likely, future benefits will result. Lyn Langtry, East Ryde

Much like Jenna Price, I have no ability to thread a needle but am trying to embrace the reuse-repair-recycle thing. So I am truly thankful to a couple of friends who are superb sewers and will kindly sew on a button and do other repairs for me. Lisa Clarke, Watsons Bay

Schools used to teach sewing, starting with huckaback fabric in kindergarten and then building on these skills until second year high school. However, modern fabrics often make home repairs difficult, and we now have many repair and alteration businesses. The problem here is that often the cost of alteration is more than the cost of the whole garment. Gold stars to the French for addressing this issue and keeping clothing out of landfill. Pamela Shepherd, Balgowlah

Memories loss

Earliest memory was my mum trying to talk them into letting me, a small child, alone, to see The Blue Bird – she was not successful (“‘Final curtain call for Kings Cross’: Old Sydney theatre expected to be approved as a hotel”,, July 19). However, years later, I was wowed by the production of Hair. Two outstanding memories – so many of our wonderful theatres are now cinemas – let’s not lose another one. Marjie Williamson, Blaxland

Lesson in winning

I have no doubt The Matildas will take great inspiration from the Australian Women’s Cricket team after their thrilling win in the women’s Ashes series (“Australia retains women’s Ashes for fifth straight series with thrilling last-ball win”, July 19). What a great era for women’s sport. Angie Miller, Bondi Junction

Take a guess

Using AI to predict World Cup results (“One-zero: AI predicts the scores and Matildas’ fate at the Women’s World Cup”, July 19). I long for the good old days of an octopus in a tank picking a winner. Simpler times. John Dinan, Cheltenham

Scratch and smell

Your correspondent failed to register the following smells during Polyester at the Valhalla: a rose, a gas oven and a skunk (Letters, July 18). You scratched the picture on the card to release the scent/stink when the same image came up on the screen. Anne Elliott, Balmain

Cat’s life

You would have to be barking mad to think the Herald’s independence could be scratched by Team Cat (Letters, July 19). Feline-positive stories this year could be counted on the claws of a single paw, while there have been oodles of tales about the waggers. Doug Walker, Baulkham Hills

Independent does not mean impartial. Any cat knows that. Judith Campbell, Drummoyne

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Justin Scaccy

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