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Nice to meet you

It was great to meet Professor Luke Burchill for the first time in The Sunday Age (“First Nations voices must lead on solutions”, Opinion, 23/5) and then to follow up with an online search to his life story on the Melbourne University Alumni Hour interview.

Commitment to speaking out about his culture and history like so many other passionate Indigenous men and women now do will broaden knowledge, teach the truth about our past and reconcile our future.

Good on you, Luke.
Margaret Burbidge, Ararat

Misdirected effort
Katie Shafar (“Money to detain people”, Letters, 28/5) has made a very pertinent observation.
It certainly seems we have our priorities all wrong when so much time, effort and money can be spent on detaining asylum seekers but any similar effort regarding the pandemic is beyond us.
John Paine, Kew East

The forgotten workers
As we enter another lockdown, I will be continuing face-to-face work with 30 preschool children and three adult staff.

Essential workers who have been offered a vaccine under the phase 1a and 1b rollout cover a broad range of those working with people with a disability and
the elderly.

But it appears that those of us working in early childhood education have been overlooked and excluded when it comes to the vaccine rollout while still considered as conducting work that is essential.

Healthline states that “new research suggests children can transmit the virus even if they never show symptoms”. It’s time for a vaccine rollout for the workers in the early-childhood sector.
Liz Harrison, Caulfield South

They make it difficult
Two recent articles highlight issues with sperm donation (“Donation fears in ‘sperm drought’” and “Facebook not the best place to find a father”, The Sunday Age, 23/5).

Nobody ever seems to wonder why there is such a shortage of sperm donors, but I was about to donate when the Victorian government removed the option of anonymity. Not wanting to have additional children in my life, my interest in donating immediately disappeared.

Outrageously, the government went further, removing anonymity retrospectively for donors who had relied upon it. Who is to say that future donor-conceived children couldn’t claim child support or inheritances on the basis of
their “rights”?

With this level of risk I’m amazed there are any sperm donors at all.
Name withheld

Consider the alternative
Professor Fiona Russell questions the need for blanket school closures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in communities, saying that schools should be opened or locked down based on their proximity to community cases (“School closures come under fire”, The Age, 28/5).

Is Professor Russell aware of the considerable distance that many students (not to mention teachers) have to travel, often beyond the five-kilometre lockdown limit, to get to their schools?

Any schools that remain open during a lockdown are an invitation for students/parents and teachers to be travelling all over the wider community, possibly infecting others in the process, in order to get to and from the places of learning. Is this really worth the risk?

Furthermore, if Professor Russell considers a seven-day lockdown to be “anxiety-provoking” for children, then she also must acknowledge that a longer lockdown caused by a failure to get on top of this current outbreak now would have a considerably worse impact on the anxiety levels of school students both now and into the future.
Justin Shaw, Ringwood East

This is why we use Airbnb
Ben Groundwater, the reason we stay in Airbnb-type accommodation is precisely because they are not hotels (“Airbnb hosts clean up on fees”, The Age, 28/5).

We get free Wi-Fi, washing machines, sofas to lie on, windows that open and glorious space. We can get a sense of living like a local. For that, we pay a cleaning fee and behave respectfully by leaving the place as we found it.

If this is too much to ask then I suggest that you stick to hotels and leave the rest of us to holiday as
we choose.
Jo Wilson, South Melbourne

It’s bound to fail
Ross Gittins is correct (“Reform of ‘human services’ sectors another example of magical thinking”, Business, 29/5).

The privatisation of “human services” formerly provided by the public sector is bound to fail. It is the same with private prisons, private hospitals, private healthcare and private disability services.

At the end of the day, the only way to increase one’s profit is by cutting services to the people you’re supposed to be caring for. The privatisation of “human services” involves a contradiction.
Tony Adami, Caulfield South

No one’s holding a hose
Government senator Amanda Stoker says her government has “nothing to be embarrassed about” in relation to the loss of our precious National Archives (The Age online, 28/5).

Relying on public donations to protect our archives, the Morrison government is redefining the concept of government responsibility. In Canberra, no one holds a hose.
Jeff McCormack, Hangelsberg, Germany

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