How to Hinder Freedom of Thought

Dear Reader,

Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, I received an abundance of emails and calls from concerned parents providing examples of outright bias and indoctrination their children were exposed to in the classrooms around the country, about the Voice to Parliament referendum.

Photos of classrooms full of ‘Yes’ posters, schools offering one sided speaker presentations, (the ‘Yes’ case only of course), teachers making their own ‘yes’ voting intentions known to the students in their charge, even colour-in activities for young children of “Sorry Starts with Me” and “I say Yes” so that they would go home and tell their parents how to vote, was all par-for-the-course.

Despite the best efforts of the Australian Education Union and its members, all those major corporations and celebrities, fortunately, Australia resoundingly rejected inserting race into the constitution.

It is however clear from examples I continue to receive, that many teachers around the nation persist in taking advantage of their privileged of position and continue to promote a divisive activist ideological narrative to students of a racist Australia – and promulgate the message that the referendum result is one of which we ought be ashamed. (one report of a teacher crying to students was particularly worrying).

But make no mistake – this will not stop, because it is in the remit of the national curriculum and in its mandated priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Histories and Culture, to push onto students in every subject, at every year level and at every opportunity the notion of ‘original sin’ and ‘collective guilt’ and the students’ obligation to remedy. Student culpability is shoe-horned across the curriculum and reinforced often on a daily basis. Overt examples can be observed in the daily ‘acknowledgement of country’ recited in many primary schools and kindergartens. Here’s one sent to me, that grade four and five students in a classroom on the eastern suburbs of Melbourne are forced to recite every morning:

We acknowledge and honour the Wurundjeri Woi Wurring people of the land of the Kulan nation, the original owners of the spaces that we live, learn and play on.

We are sorry for damaging your culture and taking your land.

We are sorry for what was done to you and your people.

We promise to look after and respect the kind, waterways, skies plants and animals of this country, and we are grateful to share this land in harmony.

We look forward to a bright future of friendship and kindness.

In other words, these students are explicitly taught Australia is not one nation. They are taught to pay homage to people because of the colour of their skin and heritage, not because of the quality of their character. The students are taught they are guests in their own country and are occupying stolen land. The students are taught they are responsible for implied heinous but unspecified crimes they themselves did not commit and that they are inter-generational oppressors who must grovelingly apologise in perpetuity.

The promotion of division and permanently apologising for the contested actions of others of hundreds of years ago is the ‘bread and butter’ of the national curriculum. The national curriculum should be abandoned.

You can read my article published in The Spectator why the reasons many rejected the Voice to Parliament are in part the same reasons we should abandon the national curriculum.

Pioneers of Australia

The national curriculum’s promotion of the ideology of ‘collective global citizenship’, definitionally diminishes Australian sovereignty, the value of our democracy and of the individual person’s agency.

Australia has much to be proud of and with a vast array of amazing individuals our students should learn about, who helped shape our great country and laid the foundations for much of what we enjoy today. Enabling students to learn our authentic, balanced story is one of the tenets of the existence of the Class Action program that I thank you for making possible.

Learning the stories of these great men and women helps students frame an understanding of the complex nature of history and to reflect, often in awe, of the tenacity, resilience and optimism of our pioneers.

Together with Senior Fellow of the Institute of Public John Roskam and the Centre for the Australian Way of Life, Class Action is producing units of work for schools on ‘Ten Pioneers Who Made Australia.’ The first pioneer out of the blocks is humanitarian and philanthropist Caroline Chisholm. The release of units on other pioneers will follow.

These units allow students to consider what makes a pioneer, and to explore each candidate’s character and contributions to our foundations and then to ultimately decide whether the nominee qualifies for a place in the ‘hall of fame’.

At a time when so much negativity surrounds our heritage, remembering the often-herculean efforts displayed by our early people is an invaluable reminder to appreciate the framework by which much of our national character, values and attitudes have been constructed.

‘Ten Pioneers #1 Caroline Chisholm’ can be downloaded for free at

Australian Pioneers - Caroline Chisholm-Teacher-and-Student-Guide


This one has probably never been associated with academia and freedom of thought, but it spoke to me as an analogy on the difference between a considered and balanced education that encourages critical thinking and freedom of thought, and the consequences of the repetitive indoctrinating and weaponizing singular narrative our children are receiving.

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.’ Bruce Lee

Thank you for your support.

Colleen Harkin

National Manager, Class Action Program and Research Fellow