/ 8 min read

Making news this week: abortion access, education and remote housing

Making news this week: abortion access, education and remote housing
The Rajah Quilt, Kezia Hayter (designer), unidentified women of the HMS Rajah convict ship (makers), 1841, is showing now at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
On this page
Anna Rogan
Anna Rogan Tallarook, Victoria
Share this post

Making news this week: regional abortion access, remote housing, plus underdogs for the win. Welcome to Galah Weekly, our newsy newsletter keeping you up to date with regional headlines that matter, plus other delightful things from life beyond the city.

Regional news round-up

Queensland nurses extend abortion access

Under a new law introduced in Queensland this week, nurses and midwives will be allowed to prescribe pregnancy termination medication.

The new law has been praised as a significant step in improving abortion access in rural and regional Queensland. Daile Kelleher, CEO of Children by Choice, said people in these areas “travel on average 200km to access a termination of pregnancy... There are areas where there’s not a single prescriber or any type of medication and there’s no surgical or hospital options.”

LNP members, however, opposed the laws, saying a lack of healthcare access and resources in rural areas could make pregnancy termination medication unsafe for patients. Full story.

We have a lot to say about abortion access in regional Australia at Galah, but we want to hear your voices in the conversation. Have you had experience accessing abortion, medical or surgical, in regional Australia? What do we need to know? Reply to our Newsie here or send your experience anonymously to newsie@galahpress.au. We will always treat the stories you choose to share with care and confidentiality.

Youth crime trial in Moree

A $13.4 million program designed to address crime, support young people and improve public safety in regional communities could be trialled in the NSW town of Moree if a $26.2 million package of initiatives and law reforms passes NSW parliament.

The reforms would make it harder for teenagers to get bail and would criminalise “posting and boasting” about offences on social media. Attorney General Michael Daley raised concerns about young people in regional NSW filming themselves driving at “close to 300km/h” or breaking into houses “mostly to steal car keys” while armed with machetes and knives. “It is only a matter of time someone is injured or killed,” he said.

The president of the Law Society of NSW, Brett McGrath, welcomed the funding but criticised the reforms as overly punitive, saying they will lead to more children being sent into custody. “In circumstances where youth justice centres are often many hours from child defendants’ families and communities, this change has the potential to do a great deal more harm than good,” he said. Full story.

See your work come to life

(Partner message) Known for its tailored approach to fine-art printing for regional galleries, Yoohoo McPhee has launched a service specifically for artists in regional Australia. The company, located in Grafton in northern NSW, works with an Epson 12-colour, wide-format printer that reproduces precision pigment prints on archival quality paper. Also a design agency, Yoohoo McPhee can help you merchandise your work in a variety of formats. Learn more.

No place like home

This week, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced an unprecedented $4 billion agreement to build new homes in remote parts of the Northern Territory. Jointly funded by the NT and federal governments, the agreement will deliver 270 houses a year for 10 years, supplying new homes to more than 10,000 people. Full story. We’ve seen some creative responses to the housing crisis in regional Australia but $4 billion makes our heads spin—it’s a lot of money and a really big deal.

We don’t need no (advanced maths) education

The University of Sydney announced it’s dropping advanced maths as a prerequisite for degrees in commerce, science, medicine, psychology, veterinary science and economics. Deputy vice chancellor (education) Professor Joanne Wright said the decision would help level the playing field for students in regional and remote areas where schools are “significantly less likely to offer advanced and extension mathematics”. Full story.

But we will take a sturdy pair of boots

Meanwhile, the Country Education Foundation launched its first Boot Bash campaign on Friday to increase awareness about the post-school education participation gap for young people in regional Australia. Full story. We're longtime fans of the CEF and wrote about its work in this article in 08 Galah

Holy month kicks off

About 1.9 billion people, including 800,000 Australians, began observing the rites of Ramadan this week, with the holy month kicking off on Monday. At Mildura’s Turkish Mosque, Ramadan is a chance for Muslims and non-Muslims to gather for reflection, celebration and community. Full story.

Australians rank among the best

There’s not much snow in the coastal Victorian town of Barwon Heads, but that hasn’t stopped 25-year-old local Jakara Anthony from breaking records at this year’s Ski World Cup. Anthony has won 13 gold medals from 15 competitions in what has been hailed the greatest season ever by any moguls skier—and with one race to go in Valmalenco, Italy, this weekend, her run isn’t quite over yet. Full story.

Speaking of underdogs, Viking, an Australian Shepherd and very good boy, has taken out the prestigious Best in Show title at this year’s Crufts dog competition in Birmingham, England. Full story.

This week's newsletter is sponsored by YooHoo McPhee

Tell us about it

Have you accessed (or attempted to access) pregnancy termination treatment in regional Australia? What do you wish you’d known? What needs to change? We’d love to hear your experiences.

If you’d like to share your story, please reply to this newsletter or send an email to newsie@galahpress.au. Anonymity guaranteed.

Galah goss

That’s enough holiday for you

Beloved Galah Lyndsie returned from leave this week to the relief of everyone. We don’t want her to feel like she can’t take a holiday, but there seem to be infinite ways we can break things when she’s away, so we’re all happy to have her back (Annabelle, in particular).

The Galah has landed

Issue 09 is landing in mailboxes and on doorsteps across Australia. Nine issues in and the thrill of knowing the magazine is in readers’ hands and homes hasn’t worn off yet. If you’d like to get it in yours, you can order it as a one-off or subscribe here.

Music to a Boomer’s ears

This week, Annabelle’s podcast interview with Skye Manson about how to make a magazine went live. Annabelle’s father-in-law listened to the episode and called afterwards to say how much he loved it. When asked what exactly about it he loved, he said: “You spoke so slowly and I could understand it all.” Listen here.

Yes, Galah has a book

Get your mitts on a copy plus one of the dwindling number of custom-made bookmarks Leesa Cowan made for us, and Issue 09 of the mag in a bundle that’s perfect for gifting (or keeping for yourself).

What's on

Parrtjima light installation, 2023. Image: Parrtjima Australia.

Parrtjima - A Festival In Light

Australia’s one-and-only Aboriginal light festival, Parrtjima, features light installations, music and talks under the starry desert skies of Alice Springs/Mparntwe, NT. Catch this free, 10-night celebration of Aboriginal art and culture on 12-21 April. Read more.

A Century of Quilts

A special collection of textiles that showcases the innovation, imagination and creativity of women in Australia from 1840 to 1940 is showing at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. The exhibition includes possum-skin cloak designs by leading First Nations artists whose work has revitalised this historically important cultural and artistic tradition. I'm trying to convince my mum to meet me there. Norma, if you're reading this, let's do it. Visit the free exhibit until 25 August. Read more.

80 Years of Aviation History

The Gliding Club of WA celebrates 80 years of aviation history in a weekend of events on 6-7 April, including demonstrations, exhibits, museum tours, and delicious food at Cunderdin Airfield and in town. Pilots are welcome to fly directly in and out of Cunderdin Airfield for the event in true West Australian style. Read more.

Planting Joy Garden Day

Visit Eurie Plains Garden in Walgett, NSW, on 23 March for a day of food, market stalls and talks from horticulturists and gardening experts. Funds raised go to the local Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association, supporting its work to create equal and better educational outcomes for rural and remotely located children. Read more.

In the flock

As happy as a Ya in a tent. Novelist Ya Reeves, photographed by Duncan Fisher.

Ya Reeves, novelist, environmental educator, adventurer

Interview by Emma Hearnes.

Ya Reeves works as a freelance outdoor educator, following the whims of adventure and passing on her love of all things wild and beautiful to students across Australia. Painting, writing, ultramarathon running, fly fishing, climbing and getting high-schoolers excited about nature—there isn’t much Reeves can’t do or won’t try. Her first novel, Over This Backbone, was published by Ultimo Press last year, and she’s already planning a second.

What adventure are you immersed in right now?

I’ve returned from a three-month hike across Spain and have been throwing myself into repairing my hamstring from an injury, as well as playing with ideas for my next novel.

Can you remember your first adventure?

My first big outdoor adventure, aside from the ones my parents hauled me on, was a 10-day program with an off-grid outdoor education centre in East Gippsland called Mittagundi. I fell in love with the place and it was because of the leaders at Mittagundi that I decided to become an outdoor educator.

How has adventuring shaped your relationship with nature?

I am humbled frequently by the mountains, the ocean and the bush. But when a place is familiar, even when it is unpredictable or unwieldy, it can also be a great source of comfort. Adventuring has allowed me to know myself as part of the environment rather than existing apart from it.

What’s on your bucket list?

I’d like to undertake a PhD in outdoor environmental education, but before I dive in I want to write another book, and I’d also like to run the Australian Alps Walking Track. I find things tend to happen as they will. As long as I keep saying yes to excellent adventures in excellent places with excellent people for excellent reasons, I’m on the right track.

One last thing

The Remote OpShop Project brings together a growing network of outback op shops that are all looking for specific preloved goods.

I have three “to donate” bags that have been sitting in my office for weeks. Instead of giving the local op shop stuff they potentially don’t need, I’ll be packing up my preloved dresses to send to the Babbarra Women’s Centre in Maningrida; the kids’ clothes will go to the TramullaOpShop  in Kalumburu; and our jumpers are going to the Jilkminggan OpShop in Katherine. If you have preloved goods to donate, can I suggest giving the Remote OpShop Project a look?

What’s new(s)?

We’d love to hear about the news, events and people that should be making the headlines in the Galah Weekly newsletter. Share what’s new(s) in your neck of the woods with us at newsie@galahpress.com.