Every kid deserves an even chance to thrive, but for many young Australians the odds are cruelly stacked against them. This is no accident – it’s how the adults have organized things. At home and at school, it’s the comfortable receiving the most comfort and the lucky ones who get most of the breaks.
In the past 30 years we’ve allowed ourselves to become a society where the unlucky are left behind and where the weakest among us are undercut by the indifference of the strong. And this dynamic is plainly visible in our neighbourhoods and schools. It’s played out in the lives of children every day.
Such a situation isn’t just unfair and inhuman, it’s unsustainable and as a nation we need to take a long hard look at ourselves. We need to rearrange our priorities at a systemic level, a political level, a community level. In short we need a humane revolution, an insurrection of common decency. And I hope and pray that revolution comes soon.
But until things change at the systemic level – and that must mean the proper funding of government schools – ordinary people have to do what they can, face-to-face, person-to-person, to redress the balance.
Tim Winton was educated in state schools in Western Australia