I started reading Michael Cooney’s piece in The Age yesterday with a degree of skepticism. The Japanese celebrate the 3rd of the 3rd and the 5th of the 5th as girls day and boys day respectively, which I had never really appreciated as a young not-so-culturally sensitive Aussie male. As if the kids don’t get enough attention already. So when Cooney’s headline suggested the Queen’s Birthday long weekend be replaced with a Kids Day, I thought he might have lost the plot.

Not so. The more I read, the more the idea warmed on me.

Apart from the list of honours that always headline the news on the Holiday there is nothing about the long weekend that is celebrated other than that it is a long weekend … The last before the long slog through until Melbourne Cup Day, at least in Melbourne. Now imagine a day that is focussed on the future.

Cooney suggests that the Federal Government could release a national report card on the state of schools; there could be prizes associated with investing in young people. He also other suggestions including making the traditional Collingwood v. Melbourne game a celebration of junior football.

What about young people holding some kind of summit? Imagine young people fronting TV and radio station broadcasts … there is so much that could be done that affirms our commitment to invest in and listen to the people who will shape our world tomorrow.

On a related note…

We’ve all heard of home schools. There are more and more parents choosing to educate their kids in integrated and more efficient ways outside the traditional system. A friend of mine used talk about work-schooling – bringing kids into workplaces to expose them to how business operates. I reckon this could be a great idea given the right environment and resources.

There are more creative and informed minds than mine when it comes to educating and affirming kids, although with four of my own that probably gives me some credibility. Bottom line, wouldn’t it be fantastic to figure out new ways to celebrate Australian youth and give them more opportunities to learn and develop.

Clichéd but true, our future is in their hands.