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Episode 14

27th May 2014

uestions for discussion

University Changes

  1. What can people study at university?

  2. Why have some people been protesting?

  3. What decision did the government make in 1974?

  4. Why did the government introduce HECS?

  5. When did they introduce it?

  6. Students repay money under HECS when they earn more than ___________________.

  7. Under the proposed changes, universities will be allowed to charge whatever they want. True or false?

  8. What are some advantages of the proposed changes?

  9. What are some disadvantages?

  10. Do you think universities should be allowed to charge whatever they want? Explain your answer.

Write a message about the story and post it in the comments section on the story page.

Indigenous Languages

  1. Summarise the BtN story.

  2. What does Reconciliation Week celebrate?

  3. The kids in the BtN story are singing songs in which Indigenous language?

  4. About how many Indigenous languages are there in Australia?

  5. What has happened to Indigenous languages since European settlement?

  6. What are the kids in the BtN story doing to keep their language alive?

  7. What has learning Noongar taught the kids?

  8. Why is it important to keep Indigenous languages alive?

  9. Why is preserving Indigenous languages difficult?
  10. Do you think all school kids should learn an Indigenous language? Explain your answer.

Check out the BtN Reconciliation teacher resource on the Teachers page http://www.abc.net.au/btn/teachers.htm

School Hours

  1. Discuss the issues raised in the BtN story with another student.

  2. What changes is a school in the UK going to make?

  3. Why have they decided to make these changes?

  4. What is melatonin and how does it work?

  5. Complete the following sentence: Scientists have found that teenagers release melatonin later which means...

  6. When does Gabriel say that he works best?

  7. What benefits does the school think there are in students starting school later?

  8. What are some disadvantages of the plan?

  9. Do you think school should start later? Why or why not?

  10. How have your sleep patterns changed over the past 2-3 years?

Vote in the BtN poll. Go to http://www.abc.net.au/btn/polls.htm

Macquarie Success

  1. Where is Macquarie Island? Locate it on a map.

  2. Describe the weather on Macquarie Island.

  3. Which animals were introduced to Macquarie Island?

  4. What impact did the animals have on the island?

  5. Why is Macquarie Island unique?

  6. How have authorities removed the pests from the island?

  7. How much has the pest removal program cost?

  8. Describe the role dogs have played in removing the pests.

  9. What jobs do the dogs do after working on Macquarie Island?

  10. What do you understand more clearly since watching the BtN story?

Do the Macquarie Success quiz on the BtN website http://www.abc.net.au/btn/quiz.htm

Check out the BtN Macquarie Success teacher resource on the Teachers page http://www.abc.net.au/btn/teachers.htm

AFL Kids

  1. Retell the AFL Kids story in your own words.

  2. What are some of the challenges of playing AFL football?

  3. Where do the kids in the BtN story come from?

  4. Which team did Zeph Skinner play for?

  5. Why did he quit?

  6. Why was living in Melbourne difficult for Zeph?

  7. How does the North West Football Academy help young players?

  8. It’s hoped that the young players who make it to the AFL will be better ________________.

  9. What is Sam hoping to achieve?

  10. What was surprising about this story?

Write a message about the story and post it in the comments section on the story page.

Episode 14

27th May 2014


Key Learning

Students will develop a deeper understanding of what reconciliation is and the importance of commemorating events such as Reconciliation Week.

    The Australian Curriculum

    History / Historical Knowledge and Understanding / Australia as a Nation

Experiences of Australian democracy and citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal people and/or Torres Strait Islanders, migrants, women, and children. (ACHHK114)

The contribution of individuals and groups, including Aboriginal people and/or Torres Strait Islanders and migrants, to the development of Australian society, for example in areas such as the economy, education, science, the arts, sport.(ACHHK116)

    History / Historical Knowledge and Understanding / Community and Remembrance

Days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia (including Australia Day, ANZAC Day, Harmony Week, National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC week and National Sorry Day) and the importance of symbols and emblems.(ACHHK063)

    Civics and Citizenship Knowledge and Understanding/ Citizenship, diversity and identity

How groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, express their particular identities, how this influences their perceptions of others, and others’ perception of them


    Discussion Questions

  1. Summarise the BtN story.

  2. What does Reconciliation Week celebrate?

  3. The kids in the BtN story are singing songs in which Indigenous language?

  4. About how many Indigenous languages are there in Australia?

  5. What has happened to Indigenous languages since European settlement?
  6. What are the kids in the BtN story doing to keep their language alive?

  7. What has learning Noongar taught the kids?

  8. Why is it important to keep Indigenous languages alive?

  9. Why is preserving Indigenous languages difficult?

  10. Do you think all school kids should learn an Indigenous language? Explain your answer.



Discuss as a class what s students know about reconciliation. Use the following questions to generate discussion:

  • What is reconciliation?

  • Why is reconciliation important?

  • What values are important to reconciliation and why are they important?

  • Why do we commemorate events such as Reconciliation Week?

  • How does your class and/or school support reconciliation?

  • What else could be done to support reconciliation?

Timeline of important events

Students will research and create a timeline of important events that have impacted on the recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Key events to consider include:

  • European settlement

  • Federation

  • Referendum that gave the government the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  • Uluru is handed back to its traditional owners

  • High Court Mabo decision

  • National Sorry Day is commemorated

  • Prime Minister Kevin Rudd formally apologises to the Stolen Generations

The following interactive timeline will help students find important events http://www.reconciliationsa.org.au/timeline/a-reconciliation-timeline

Create an artwork

Students create an artwork that represents reconciliation. Ideas for artworks could include:

  • Recognising the Aboriginal people of your area

  • Ways of symbolising `coming together’

  • A portrait of a significant Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander

Students can choose a variety of media and materials to create their art work. These could include:

  • D

    rawing (charcoal, felt pens, oil pastels, watercolour
    pencils, crayon resist)

  • Painting (acrylic, oil, watercolours)

  • Photography

  • Electronic

  • Mixed media (collage, photomontage)

Encourage students to display their artwork in a public space

in the school.


  • Students will choose a significant Indigenous person and create a biography about them. They will need to research what their achievements are and how their achievements have impacted on Australian society. How have they contributed to reconciliation?

    Research questions

  • Who is the biography about?

  • Where are they from? Find it on a map.

  • What did they achieve?

  • What were their challenges?

  • In what ways have they impacted on Australian society?

  • How have they contributed to the reconciliation process?

Significant Indigenous People

Eddie Mabo
Pat O’Shane
Adam Goodes
Cathy Freeman
Lowitja O’Donoghue
Mandawuy Yunupingu
Neville Bonner
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

The following plan provides a guide for students when writing a biography.

  • Research

  • Set a direction for your biography

  • Create a plan

  • Start writing

  • Edit

Encourage students to present their research using maps, timelines, drawings and photographs in an interesting way, for example using:

  • Prezi http://prezi.com/index/

  • Glogster http://www.glogster.com/

  • Bio Cube Creator http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/cube_creator/

Remind students that they will need to cite all references in a bibliography at the end of their biography.

Supporting reconciliation in your school

As a class, think about ways the school could recognise and support reconciliation. Ask students to think of ways this could be achieved. Here are a few starting points:

  • Indigenous guest speakers, for example artists, musicians, sports people could talk to classes/whole school about what reconciliation means to them.

  • Create your own bush tucker garden at your school. Find plants that are native to your school area. Take a look at BtN’s Bush Tucker teacher resource for more information

  • Create values flags in Indigenous colours with the core values important to reconciliation written on the flags. Display these in the school grounds.

  • Find out more about the Indigenous people where you live. How many people still speak the language? Is it being taught in schools or universities?

  • Learn an Indigenous game. The following website has a range of Indigenous games to choose from http://www.ausport.gov.au/participating/indigenous/resources/games_and_activities/individual_games Teach it to other students in your school.

8 Related Research Links

Behind the News – Local Languages


ABC Indigenous Portal - Indigenous Languages Map


ABC 730 WA – Indigenous kids connect to language and culture through song


National Reconciliation Week


National Reconciliation Week – Activity kit (pdf)


Episode 14

27th May 2014


Macquarie Success

Key Learning

Students will investigate important aspects of Macquarie Island to create a profile. They will also research what life is like on the island.

The Australian Curriculum

Science / Science as a Human Endeavour / Use and influence of science

Science / Science Understanding/Biological sciences

Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (ACSHE120) Year 7

Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs; human activity can affect these interactions  (ACSSU112) Year 7

Discussion Questions

  1. Where is Macquarie Island? Locate it on a map.

  2. Describe the weather on Macquarie Island.

  3. Which animals were introduced to Macquarie Island?

  4. What impact did the animals have on the island?

  5. Why is Macquarie Island unique?

  6. How have authorities removed the pests from the island?

  7. How much has the pest removal program cost?

  8. Describe the role dogs have played in removing the pests.

  9. What jobs do the dogs do after working on Macquarie Island?

  10. What do you understand more clearly since watching the BtN story?


Key Words

Ask students to find out the meanings of the following key words that relate to Macquarie Island.

Where is Macquarie Island?

Students will locate Macquarie Island on a map. This could be done as a class on an interactive whiteboard or an individual task. Discuss the location of Macquarie Island in relation to Tasmania and Antarctica. Ask them to make some predictions about the climate and conditions on the island.

If students have access to Google Earth, ask them locate Macquarie Island and record their observations. Ask student to find the latitude and longitude of the island.

Profile of Macquarie Island

Students will investigate important aspects of Macquarie Island to create a profile of the island. Some key areas to research could include:

    Macquarie Island research

  • Where is Macquarie Island? Locate it on a map.

  • Why is Macquarie Island of interest to scientists?

  • World heritage status. What world heritage values does Macquarie Island have?

  • The climate on Macquarie Island. Draw a climate graph showing average monthly temperatures, rainfall, wind speed and sunshine.

  • Special geological features of Macquarie Island.

  • How have native flora and fauna been affected by the introduction of animal and plant species? What progress has been made eradicating feral species?

  • Importance of Macquarie Island in the survival of animals in the Southern Ocean. Which birds breed on the Island?

  • Macquarie Island Station is a permanent Australian subantarctic research base on Macquarie Island. What is the history of the station and what research does it conduct?

Further investigation

Use the Macquarie Island interactive map http://www.abc.net.au/nature/island/ep1/map/default.htm to learn about the island and help with your profile research.

Life on Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island is home to about 40 expeditioners over summer and about 16 over winter. Students will investigate what living conditions are like on the island and write a diary or journal entry that tells first-hand what it’s like living on the island. Explain to students that a diary or journal often expresses opinions and feeling and should be written in the first person. Encourage students to look at photographs to help them imagine what living on the island would be like.

Here are some websites that will help students with their research


8 Related Research Links
Behind the News – Macquarie Island

ABC Landline – Cold Comfort


ABC News – Macquarie Island declared pest free after 7 year eradication program


ABC Island Life – Macquarie Island

Australian Antarctic Division – Macquarie Island

Department of Environment - Macquarie Island

Parks Tasmania – Shipwrecks, Sealers and Scientists on Macquarie Island


BtN: Episode 14 Transcript 27/5/14

Coming up

  • Starting school after lunch. It's happening overseas so what about here?

  • An environmental success story as these dogs help an island get pest free.

  • And we follow some AFL rising stars as they adjust to life in the fast lane.

Hey! This is BtN. I'm Nathan.

I'll walk you through all that stuff later on. But first:

Uni Changes

Reporter: James Bartold

INTRO: Protests were held across the country this week by Uni students angry that the fees they pay might go up a lot in the future. The news was revealed in this year's budget. But will it mean fewer kids studying after high school? Or is there an upside to higher fees? James found out.

JAMES BARTOLD, REPORTER: What do you want to be when you grow up?

KID: Being an architect would be pretty cool.

KID: Being a scientist would be pretty interesting.

KID: I'd like to be a doctor that would be pretty fun.

If you fancy one of these jobs it's most likely you'll need to go here, university.

It's a place where you have a lot more freedom than school. You can choose exactly what you want to study, and when you want to study it. That makes these guys pretty happy to be here but lately, uni students have been anything but happy. These students are protesting over changes to higher education in the budget that could make degrees heaps more expensive. We'll find out more about that later but first it might surprise you to learn that students used to get their degrees for free.

Back in 1974, the government decided it wanted more kids continuing their studies and the best way to do that was to not charge them a cent to go there. It worked. A lot of public figures you might recognise got degrees under this scheme like the Prime Minister, the former PM and the PM before him. But it started to get out of control. It was costing the government so much money that in 1989 they decided to start charging again with a new system called the Higher Education Contribution Scheme, or HECS.

Today students pay about 15 thousand dollars to study arts. More than 30 thousand to study law, and more than 60 thousand for a degree in medicine. That cost is set by the government and because most students wouldn't have that kind of money. The government loans it to them to cover their fees. They only have to start paying it back when they get a job paying over 51 thousand dollars. But now the government wants to change things again.

It says unis should be allowed to charge whatever they want. The government also said that students could be charged more interest on their loans as well.

CHRISTOPHER PYNE: "I don't swallow the argument that students are being mistreated or burdened by being asked to contribute."

Some people say the plan will help unis become better because they'll have much more money to provide a better education. Some say it will also improve things like research, but some students are protesting because they feel the bill will go up, but not much else will change. It might make some unis richer and some poorer. They also reckon it might discourage kids from poorer backgrounds from studying. Well there's only one way to find out, let's ask the next generation of uni students, you guys.

KID 1: "I don’t think universities should be free, but I don’t think we should be paying as much as we do at the moment"

KID 2: "I don’t think they should have to pay heaps of money"

KID 3: "I think it should be free but it’s not going to be free it’s going to be a substantial amount"

Presenter: And you can let us know what you think about those changes on our website.

Right, here's the other big headlines from past week.

The Wire

A lot has happened in Thailand in the past week! Last Tuesday the Thai army took control of the country. They call that 'declaring martial law'. It means the army can make decisions and set rules for the country to follow instead of politicians.

The army took over because it wasn't happy with the way the government was handling violent protests in the country. But some people are worried the army is going to make things much worse. Any Aussies travelling there right now are warned to be really cautious.


Meanwhile it looks like Ukraine has a new president! His name is Petro Poroshenko. He's a billionaire businessman, who made most of his money selling chocolate! So people call him the Chocolate King! Petro says he's going to focus on ending all the fighting that's been going on in the country.


We all know how important it is to be active. But a new report says Aussie kids aren't active enough! About 80 per cent of kids between five and 17 years old aren't getting enough daily exercise. The report says kids need around 60 minutes of physical activity a day to stay healthy.


And in Iran, six people made a video of themselves dancing to the hit song 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams. But not long after they uploaded the video to Youtube, they were arrested!

The reason: In the video the girls aren't properly covered up and the men and women in it are shown dancing together in public. Both of those things are against the law in Iran. The arrests have made a lot of people angry. Pharrell even tweeted about how sad the news had made him. The dancers have been released until their trial.

Indigenous Languages

Reporter: Matthew Holbrook

INTRO: This week is Reconciliation Week, a time when all Australians are encouraged to celebrate Indigenous culture. And a big part of that culture are traditional languages. Did you know hundreds existed in Australia before European settlement? Some are still alive while others are starting to be forgotten. Matt shows us how some people are fighting back.And a warning to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers, this story contains images of people who've died.

MATT HOLBROOK, REPORTER: You might recognise this song. How about now? These kids are singing in a language called Noongar. It's one of more than 200 Indigenous languages in Australia that have been spoken for tens-of-thousands of years. You can see some of them here.

Since European settlement, many traditional languages have died out. But now, people are working hard to change that. One way is through song. These kids have been studying Noongar at school, and are turning what they've learned into videos like this one. They say it's taught them a lot about the Noongar language and culture.

KIERA: It was a really good experience I've never had before, and knowing you could make your own music video in Noongar language was the best thing I've ever done.

MAZZ: It was awesome, I thought it was really good the school was letting us get in touch with our culture a bit more.

There are thirty thousand Noongar people in Western Australia, but only around 250 speak the language fluently.

KIERA: I did not know how to speak Noongar at all, this was the first time we've ever experienced this, so it's really been enjoyable for me, this has really been a good journey.

MAZZ: It was good because they weren't just teaching us the words they were telling us stories and stuff, too.

It's not just happening here, though. There are other classes around the country teaching Indigenous languages to kids as well. The aim is to keep these languages alive. Because once a language dies it's hard to bring it back.

But it's not impossible. Language experts have worked hard to help piece some Indigenous languages back together. It's a tough job, because many were only spoken, not written down. But preserving these languages is important. They're not just another way for people to communicate, they're part of Australia's culture, identity and history.

DELLA RAE MORRISON, INDIGENOUS SINGER SONGWRITER: We almost lost our language since the stolen generation, and my grandparents being told in the missions that they can't speak their language, and if they did, they'd have it flogged out of them. So I've grown up with my grandmother never speaking the language to me. Just dropping the shame factor and saying to our kids, this is your country, this is your language, and you need to learn it so we can keep it alive.

And now, these kids are determined to make that happen.

MAZZ: It's really important, it makes us who we are, and to know most of it just makes it even better

KIERA: It would show people how much it means to us, being Aboriginal and hopefully that will show them that they can start talking it again.

So hopefully, around Australia, new voices will make sure more of these important languages live on.

Quiz 1

Okay. Now let's test how much you know about the big influence Indigenous languages have had on the country.

Which of these cities' names is based on an Indigenous word?



or Darwin

The answer: Canberra

It's thought the name Canberra was based on 'Kambery' spelt with a K, which is the Aboriginal name for the area.

School Hours

Reporter: Emma Davis

INTRO: Right, can you imagine never having to set your alarm for school again? Well one school in the UK is making that dream a reality by starting classes at half past one in the afternoon. The change is based on studies which show kids do their best thinking later in the day. But is there a downside? Emma found out.

EMMA DAVIS, REPORTER: Getting up for school can sometimes be hard, especially on cold, dark winter mornings. But imagine if school started later, allowing you to sleep in till after lunchtime. Sound too good to be true? Well not in the U-K! This is Gabriel, he goes to a high school near London and soon he'll be starting school at 1:30 in the afternoon and heading home at 7 in the evening. But they're not doing it to give kids like Gabriel a sleep in. There is a much better reason for it than that.

When the sun goes down your body realises it's time for bed. So your brain sends out a chemical called melatonin and that makes you feel sleepy! In teenagers scientists have found that the body sends out melatonin a lot later than usual. So while adults get tired around 10pm, teenagers might not until 1am! That means they end up getting less sleep and are left super tired in the morning when the alarm goes off! So you could say that staying up late is pretty much built into your biology!

GABRIEL PURCELL-DAVIS, STUDENT: "I know I work best in the evenings and if you ask any teenager out there, they will be tired all day but as soon as soon as 10 o'clock hits that's when we decide to re-organise our rooms, do all our work. So I think it would be the best sort of timings for a teenager's mind."

And that's why this school wants to change things up. They hope starting school later will give kids a chance to catch up on sleep they miss out the night before. This might help them concentrate better in class and therefore get better grades! But before you start petitioning your school to go down the same road there are some downsides to this plan too.

First think about your parents. Most of them have to head off to work in the morning after they drop you at school. If you started school later, then they may not be able to drop you off anymore. And those that can't get a lift might not be able to get home safely at 7pm. Then there's sport. Lots of Aussie kids are involved in afterschool sport. But if you don't finish school til after dark, then there's no time left for footy or netball! And finally, homework. Most kids do it after school, but would you still feel like hitting the books if you got home after 7 at night?

So that's some of the arguments. But what do you guys think?

TENNY: "If we started later then we would finish later so then we wouldn't have enough time to be able to go home and eat dinner and be able to settle down, do homework."

KAYLA: "Well I think that we have more energy in the afternoon than in the morning because in the morning you're always tired and stuff."

CALEB: "The teachers like probably like have a lot of homework to mark and stuff and they probably don't want to go to bed at like 1 o clock in the morning."

Online Poll

Right that's the perfect topic for this week's poll.

Should Australian schools start later in the day?

Our website is the place to vote.

Last week our whaling poll got you fired up.

Nearly 4000 of you had a crack at it. And the vast majority said no, cultural reasons are not a good enough excuse to hunt whales. As always, thanks for clicking.

Macquarie Success

Reporter: Matt Holbrook

INTRO: Here on BtN, we often tell you about new plans to help the environment or a threatened species. It's not often we got to go back and tell you how successful they were. On Macquarie Island, dogs were given the job of hunting down introduced rabbits and returning the place to its pristine best. And now, it's been declared mission accomplished. Matt has more.

MATTHEW HOLBROOK, REPORTER: It's an amazing sight, but you'll want to put a jumper on. Macquarie Island is windy and cold! That's not surprising, Macquarie Island's about half way between Tassie and the Antarctic.

But there's a plus side to the chill. This place attracts some awesome animals! Unfortunately, over time it's also been home to some unwelcome animals, too. Rabbits, rats and mice. When seal hunters came here in the early 1800s, rabbits were introduced as a food source.

And for 150 years, the rabbits that didn't become food made the most of their new home! They snacked on the vegetation, and burrowed into hillsides. Rats and mice found their way onto the island, too, hunting bird nests, and eating native plant seeds.

It was a big problem. See, it's also a world heritage area, and millions of seabirds call it home. So authorities decided they had to do something to stop the rabbits and other pests, and get this place back to its pristine best.

They came up with a plan, a whopping twenty five million dollar one. The first step involved dropping poisoned pellets, which worked on the rats and mice. But more recently, it's been up to this team of dogs, and their trainers, to track down the island's remaining rabbits.

They've been at it for three whole years, and now, it looks like they've succeeded. The hunters say they've searched all over the island and found nothing.

KEITH SPRINGER, ERADICATION MANAGER: We log all their travel and we plot it on a map of the island, and it's been covered so thoroughly that if there was a rabbit there that was eating something, or digging, or leaving prints in snow or mud, I'm confident we would've found it.

Mission accomplished. All that's left is to head home. Nancy's pretty excited about it. So are her workmates, Rico the Labrador, and Katie the Springer Spaniel. But soon, it's time for the dogs to get stuck into something new. And dog trainer, Steve, has the job of checking how they're doing, and deciding where they'll head to next. Some of the dogs will work in Quarantine. One will even go to Chile for another pest project.

NANCYE WILLIAMS, DOG HANDLER: Definitely an emotional time, um, knowing that at the end of it you have to hand them back and not see them again. It's pretty full-on.

FIONA BREEN, REPORTER: How you going to do it?

NANCYE WILLIAMS, DOG HANDLER: I don't know. I think I just have to hand over the lead and walk away.

But while it'll be an adjustment for both dogs, and their handlers, they're satisfied that's it's a job well done.

Presenter: Great work.

Quiz 2

Now, for a quiz.

How big is Macquarie Island?



Or 1028km2

The answer: 128km2

Yep, it's pretty tiny.

It's about 5ks wide and 35ks long.

OK, sport time now.

Here's the big results from the week just gone.

The Score

The Aussie women's soccer team has lost to Japan in the final of the Asian Cup in Vietnam. The Matildas came in as defending champs. But Japan scored early and the Matildas failed to hit back.


In AFL, Richmond's Jack Riewoldt had a massive round. He kicked eleven goals to help his side to a 113 point win over GWS.


Aussie Daniel Riccadio has grabbed another Formula 1 podium position at the Monaco Grand Prix. Daniel came in third behind Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.

Daniel's currently sitting 4th on the championship ladder 9 points ahead of rival teammate Sebastian Vettel.


And Brazil's revealed its official mascot for the 2014 World Cup. The three banded armadillo. The rare South American species is facing extinction and it's hoped making it mascot will help raise awareness of the little guy. It's also a good fit because when armadillos roll themselves up they look just like a little soccer ball!

AFL Kids

Reporter: James Bartold

INTRO: Back to AFL now. And the Aussie outback can be a goldmine for AFL recruiters. Regional kids often impress with amazing skills and great athletic ability. But how do these kids cope when forced to move to the city to start intense training? James had a look for us.

JAMES BARTOLD, REPORTER: It's one of the toughest games in the world on and off the field. Being an AFL footballer is a serious job. It takes a lot of hard work, commitment and determination to get there and even more to stick it out. For a young player that can be pretty scary especially when you're a long way from home.

This is the Kimberly in the North of Western Australia. Here footy is a way of life and it's home to some of the AFL's best young talent. Kids from this area have the physical skills and fitness to impress AFL scouts but few have been able to take the next step and make it their career. Zeph Skinner was drafted to the Western Bulldogs in 2010. He packed his bags, said goodbye to the family and moved his life all the way from Noonkanbahh to Melbourne. But after one season of 8 games and some great performances Zeph stunned the club by quitting.

ZEPHANIAH SKINNER: when you busy you don't worry about anything, but it's that time when you go home, when I'd go back home to the house I lived in Melbourne. It's just you feel lonely. I got to one stage, I just don't wanna be there anymore.

He like lots of young players from the bush struggled with homesickness. He says moving to Melbourne was like learning a new way of life.

ZEPHANIAH SKINNER: language is a big thing, because you can barely talk your own language when you're down there, you just gotta talk English.

He's not alone lots of kids who've travelled thousands of K's to live out their AFL dreams have found the different lifestyle and culture that comes with it difficult to deal with. So three years ago some people decided more needed to be done to help them and the North West football academy was born. Now each year sixty of the area's best young players come to Broome to be put through their paces by elite coaches. They have to show commitment and learn the dedication that's required to succeed in the AFL. In turn they get support and the very best coaching.

SAM: I really want to take it to the AFL but it’s just going to be pretty hard I reckon.

16 year old Sam is one of them and while he knows it will be tough, he says he's up for the challenge.

SAM: It's still in my mind and my heart, family also. So it's quite hard, but yeah good to be away from home and doing the thing I want to be doing in my life, succeed, make my family proud.

Not all of these boys will make it to the AFL but if they do they're going to be much better prepared.


And that's all we've got for this week. But as always there is some stuff to keep you occupied until next week. Head to our website to vote in our poll. Or give us your take on any of our stories in the comment section. And teachers use our resources page to help tailor class activities to the show.

We will be back next week with all the latest news and sport for you. See you then!

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