You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Here is the ABC's "official" response to my concern. Mostly form letter stuff really.

Dear Mr

Thank you for your email about the episode of Play School broadcast on 31 May
2004. The ABC regrets that you were concerned by reports about this program.

In this episode, Play School's regular 'Through the Windows' segment, featured a
trip to an amusement park by two young girls. The girl who narrated the film
made the comment, "My mums are taking me and my friend Meryn to an amusement
park". The segment showed one of the many types of family groups that exist in
Australia today. It included a single verbal reference to the family group,
with the use of the word "mums", and images of the group attending the amusement
park. There was no emphasis or focus placed on any social issue. Any such
constructions are adult constructions.

Play School aims to reflect the diversity of Australian children, embracing all
races, religions and family situations. The 'Through the Window' segments
provide an opportunity to show children the wider world. Previous segments have
included families from a range of social, ethnic, religious and racial
backgrounds. In most cases, the focus is on aspects of family life with any
social, religious, cultural or racial aspects forming the background only. For
example, previous segments have shown a child's christening, celebrating the
Jewish holiday Chanukah (Hanukkah), a Muslim family on a train journey, a child
as bridesmaid at her grandmother's wedding and other experiences.

Each year, the ABC Children's Television department draws on extensive early
childhood advice to present enjoyable and enriching programs for children. We
regret that this episode of Play School has caused you some concern. Please be
assured that your comments have been forwarded to the ABC's Children's
production department so that they may be made aware of your reaction to the

Thank you for bringing your concerns to the ABC's attention.

Yours sincerely,

Anna Uszko
ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs

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