Calls to offer school girls the option of pants and more zedlines...

Groups are pushing for a national reform into school uniforms for girls following the West Australian Government’s decision to make it mandatory for schools to offer girls the option of pants, ABC reports. Picture source: Wikimedia commons.

Research shows girls are less likely to perform physical activities at school when required to wear skirts or dresses.

Other states allow the individual schools to decide on their dress codes.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse discussed at BIGSOUND

Australia’s largest music conference BIGSOUND, is wrapping up today with discussions on substance abuse and mental health issues of musicians.

The conference is hoping the discussion will lead to many musos opening up about their experiences with drugs and depression.

Author Jenny Valentish said there is a large amount of stigma concerning mental health issues, and having open conversations within the industry is essential to the well-being of musicians.

Education Queensland faces criticism over racist facebook post

The Queensland Department of Education and Training is facing backlash over a facebook post depicting a group of young Indigenous boys as ‘trouble makers’.

The mother of one of the boys said she didn’t give permission for the photo of her son to be used, and called the post ‘racist’,‘harmful’, and an example of what Indigenous Australians deal with everyday.

The post featured a white teacher with the four boys and a quote stating ‘I always had a soft spot for the troublemakers, the misunderstood, the kid that everyone thought wouldn’t make it’.

The post has since been taken down, and the Education Department has issued an apology.

Push for anti-vilification laws surrounding same sex marriage campaign

The Federal government and opposition are working together to introduce new anti-vilification laws, regarding the same sex marriage campaign.

The new laws will be aimed at protecting people from unreliable or deceitful material or conduct, during the campaign.

Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said the new laws will be important in creating a respectable debate.

Hurricane Irma devastates Caribbean Islands

Hurricane Irma, a category five hurricane has caused massive destruction to the Caribbean Islands as it makes its way towards Florida.

Islands including Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands have had houses flattened and widespread environmental damage.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, millions of children could be affected by the hurricane.

African extremism driven by bad governance and poverty

The radicalisation of young Africans has been attributed to the main factors of poverty, marginalisation and bad governance.

With few economic or job prospects, and lack of trust in the government to provide opportunities for local Africans, particularly in the remote areas, has resulted in the possibility of conversion to African extremism.

Director of the UN Development Programme Abdoulaye Mar Dieye said there is a need for the government to improve the continent’s development issues, and focus on the security challenges at play.