Today Show

TODAY lineup: “Too blonde, thin and white”

Deb Knight has been named as Karl Stefanovic’s replacement on the TODAY show.


It’s coming in from all corners.

First, there was outrage that the show will be boring without a male in the main chair. “I’ll never watch the Today show again,” tweeted Susan. “How boring is watching a female only show[?]”

Then, there was outrage about the reporting of the announcement. In a newspaper article, the respective ages of Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight was included, but the ages of their male counterparts were not.

“Why oh why oh why, in the reporting of the new team, do the ages of the women need to be pointed out, while the ages of the men are clearly regarded as irrelevant?” asked Lisa Wilkinson.

“Similarly, Deb being a mum-of-three is considered significant, but Tony being a dad isn’t? I don’t understand. And we obviously have a long way to go when it comes to #genderequity.”

And lastly, there was outrage about the lack of diversity. Skim the comments across social media and you’ll find countless conversations about the fact that Deb and Georgie are both thin and blonde and white.

Am I the only one thinking… “meh”?

Their ages weren’t included in the initial press release, so the journalist who wrote the offending story must have felt it was important to include.

Partly, it would have been to establish credibility – Georgie and Deb have been in the industry for almost three decades, after all – but if this were all it was about, then the ages of the men would have been reported, too.

That said, the show’s target demographic are women aged 30-50, and these co-hosts are smack bang in the middle of this. After the chaos of Karl, the TODAY show is desperate to let their audience know that they are relatable and reliable.

I think we may be over-reacting to all of this, which is clouding over the biggest, most important aspect of this announcement: two qualified, interesting, experienced television reporters who happen to be female and who happen to be aged in their mid to late 40s, have secured some of the top jobs in television.

Instead of picking it to pieces, let’s celebrate their success!

Child Christmas Present

The perfect number of gifts for kids this Christmas

At shopping centres across the Gold Coast this week, you’ll find volunteers staffing gift-wrapping booths for charity. Please support them! It’s a brilliant idea, where everyone wins: the charity profits off the donations, the shoppers benefit by getting their presents wrapped, and the volunteers in the booth enjoy giving back to the community. Win-win-win!

I am one of the merry wrappers you’ll encounter at a booth this year… and I’ve got to say, the experience has been eye-opening.

I’m not judging. Well, I’m trying not to judge.

But it’s the sheer volume of gifts that people buy, and the amount of money that they’re spending, that is shocking to me.

On the one hand, a woman approached us with 3 gifts: a boogie board, a doll and an art and craft pack. “I have three kids, so one present for each child,” she smiled.

On the other hand, a couple rolled up with 2 full trolleys full of toys, clothes, shows, paints and sporting equipment. “One trolley for each child!” they said.

I’m not sure which kids I feel more sorry for!

I think one gift is perhaps a little grinchy; at least add some stickers and a Kinder Surprise, so they have a few items to open?

But I think a trolley full of gifts is perhaps worse?

It reminds me of this mum, who has made the news as far as New Zealand, the UK and the United States, for her over the top approach to Christmas presents. She’s copping quite a bit of heat online, which isn’t quite fair; she’s just a mum doing her very best to provide a wonderful Christmas for her kids.

The problem is, she’s spent literally thousands of dollars on a veritable toy store full of gifts. In the mix is a TV, playstation, bike, scooter, LOL doll house, and dozens upon dozens of other toys.

It will honestly take her kids a good hour – maybe two! – to open all of these. And once they do… then what? How do they decide what to play with? I’m overwhelmed just thinking about it, I can’t imagine how the kids will process it… with much joy, I guess!

Though there is no magic number, no perfect amount of gifts to give our kids this Christmas, I think it’s fair to say that 1 is too few and 100 is too many.

However many gifts you’re spoiling your little ones with this year – come and get them wrapped for a gold coin charity donation!

Harbour Town Shopping Centre – raising funds for Bravehearts
Robina Town Centre – raising funds for Make-A-Wish Foundation
Pacific Fair – raising funds for Act for Kids and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation
Australia Fair – raising funds for the Gold Coast Hospital Foundation

Convicted child porn user: “I’ve never done anything bad to anyone”

In 2014, a 50-something former nurse pawned his computers at Cash Converters. When he failed to turn up to reclaim the pair of laptops, the shop workers opened his computers to delete everything and prepare them for sale – and that’s when they discovered his horrifying cache of child abuse images.

It took a full two years for him to be actually convicted of his crimes, as police needed that much time to trawl through the sickening 46,000-plus images and videos he had collected.

And now, the man, James Hutchinson, has the gall to complain that his life has been ruined!

He didn’t even serve any jail time – at all!

Instead, Hutchinson was put on a community corrections order after appealing his criminal sentence in the County Court in May 2017. He’ll be a registered sex offender, but only until September 2024 (shouldn’t that type of registration remain for life?). He’s also been disqualified from applying to be a registered nurse for six years.

What a slap on the wrist.

He’s been found in possession of tens of thousands of graphic, criminal images, but he has been given the lightest of consequences for his actions.

And somehow, he sees fit to complain.

“I lost my wife, the house that we owned, my career and my income,” the 53-year-old wrote in a submission to the tribunal.

“I will die in poverty with no children, having achieved nothing, as I am very effectively blocked of out many things. I understand that my behaviour was bad, but find that the consequences brought about by others are very destructive to me. I have never done anything bad to anyone, but I’m blocked from life as though I am a threat to children and everyone else.”

It seems he’s missed the point entirely… Because that’s exactly what he is. A threat to children.

If you download, share, view or in any way view or take possession of images of children being sexually abused, then you are a threat to children. Let’s be clear on that.

You are participating in their suffering by fuelling demand. You are just as guilty and culpable as the person who created this vile “content” – and you deserve every last consequence that comes your way.

Child eating

Is it ok for restaurants to ban kids?

A restaurant owner has made headlines for deciding to ban kids from dining at his joint.

It wasn’t a fine dining restaurant, either – it was a burger bar.

But scratched tables, broken chairs and destroyed menus pushed Fabian Prioux, owner of Abbey Road Burgers, Bar & Café in NZ, over the edge.

Sick of paying to repair the damage that kids were causing, he introduced a ban on any guests under the age of 12… and says since making the move, he says it “has been like heaven”.

When I first read the headline, I thought he was going to be obliterated on social media. “How dare he!” I expected the comments to rant. “This is an outrage!”

That’s not quite what the response has been, however.

“We’ve had some great feedback from people saying that it was a good move,” he says. “Even some parents with kids have said it’s great because when they go out they don’t want to take their kids with them, and they hate going somewhere where it’s going to be noisy.”

And that right there is why I think his policy just might work!

Here’s the thing: I’m a parent. I eat out with my kids begrudgingly.

Anyone with children can attest to the fact that dining in a restaurant with your family isn’t generally a fun experience. Kids don’t like sitting down for long, so they’re restless. To earn the ability to eat our chicken without being interrupted, we throw screens in their faces or cover the table with crayons, markers and colouring books.

Then there’s the worrying about whether they’re being too loud, too boisterous, too messy, too annoying for the other patrons… All of this makes the experience slightly fraught.

Well, for considerate parents, it does.

Because here’s the real truth of the matter. This isn’t a ban on kids. It’s a ban on crappy parents. The ones who let their kids run around restaurants and cafés unabated, and don’t reign them in when they’re screaming, chasing each other, and crashing into waiters.

If we could ban thoughtless parents, that would be ideal. Until then, I guess a child ban in restaurants will have to do!

fitness training running

Proof you should join a gym in December

I noticed something at the gym this morning.

I do group training classes at F45 and on any given Monday, there’s usually 20-25 people sweating through the 9.15am class. We’re all mums, mainly, who have just dropped the kids to school and now have 45 precious minutes of free time, which we’ve dedicated to our own health goals as we try and reign in the damage that pregnancy and child rearing have caused to our bodies.

This morning, there was a bit of a dip in attendance. Quite a dip, really. There were only 14 of us.

“Yes, it’s a quiet morning today,” our trainer said as someone mentioned the lack of attendance during warm up.

“Our challenge finished yesterday and the numbers have dropped off instantly. It happens every time…”

Ah – the challenge. Now it all makes sense.

Over the last 8 weeks, gym-goers across the Gold Coast have been battling it out to win a car, with whoever has lost the most weight scoring the new wheels. Now that the competition is over and the pressure is off, people are falling back into their old less-frequent gym routines.

It sucks for them, because they’re wasting money on gym memberships they’re barely using.

But it’s honestly awesome for the rest of us. The gym is quieter, there are less people to stumble over when switching exercises, and we’re all getting more attention from the trainers.

When I settled into my work desk after a nice long post-gym shower, I realised that the full month of December is likely to be quiet. After all, as LifeHacker’s Beth Skwarecki writes:

“In December, fair-weather gym-goers will be off shopping for gifts after work and attending holiday parties on the weekends. When you arrive, the squat rack will be free. You’ll have your choice of treadmills. The gym will be your oyster.”

So, if you’re considering joining a gym in the new year, the hot tip is to get a jump start on your fitness goals and join up now, in December. If you can squeeze in just 3 workouts a week during the silly season, you’ll rack up 12 sessions before the end of the year. If you can make it 5 times a week, that’s 20 workouts.

All of which will mean you won’t feel nearly as guilty if you start to slack off at the end of January…