australia quickly losing face?

  1. Yak
    13,672 Posts.
    From a prominent o/s website with large exposure runs this as a banner headline:


    Stay away: the door was shut on Santa at Sunrise kinder in Fitzroy.
    Picture: Cameron Tandy


    Kinders slap ban on Santa
    By NIKKI PROTYNIAK, LEELA de KRETSER and ASHLEY GARDINER
    28nov02

    SANTA Claus has been dragged into the state election after several childcare centres and kindergartens banned him for fear of offending minority groups.

    Liberal leader Robert Doyle attacked the Bracks Government over the Santa boycott, saying it was political correctness gone mad.
    "I blame the Bracks Government for the demise of institutions like Santa," Mr Doyle said.

    "Most little kids actually like Santa, and I haven't noticed him being politically incorrect or damaging to the youthful psyche."

    But Premier Steve Bracks was not to blame, a Government spokeswoman said.

    "If Robert Doyle is trying to link this with the Bracks Government, then he's off with the elves," she said.

    "We would hope that common sense would prevail because all children love Santa."

    More than a dozen centres across Melbourne yesterday said they will not let Father Christmas in the door this year.

    Some, including a Croydon childcare centre run by the Swinburne University of Technology, will substitute a clown for Saint Nick to avoid offending minority groups.

    Ethnic community leaders also say the ban is wrong. They have called on the 14 kinders to bring Santa back.

    Swinburne spokeswoman Jenni Austin said staff had decided that Santa was not appropriate.

    "As a university, we have to be sensitive to the views of minority groups," she said.

    A worker at St Andrew's kindergarten, in Clifton Hill, said most children would celebrate Christmas at home instead.

    "The majority of the families do celebrate Christmas but there are a few families who don't, so we have decided to have an end-of-year party instead of a Christmas party,' she said.

    There will be Santa Claus segregation at Batman Park kindergarten, in Northcote. He will visit only one of four groups.

    "There is a Muslim family in one of the groups and we didn't want to offend them," a worker said.

    But Australian Arabic Council chairman Roland Jabbour said the no-Santa ruling was going too far.

    "Santa's part of the Australian way of life. We don't know how such a thing could be offensive."

    Jewish Community Council president Grahame Leonard agreed.

    "We're all about celebrating cultural diversity, not repressing it," he said.

    Mr Doyle said it was all the Government's fault.

    "Next it will be cold showers for all at 5am and an early bedtime. Well, not under the Liberals."


 
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