27 September 2023


Start the conversation

Another week, another flurry of remarkable headlines remarking on remarkable initiatives across the public sector.

Leading the flurry was the Bureau of Meteorology which unwrapped a new weather radar near the Victorian township of Rainbow.

Keen to attract attention to its new bush facility the Bureau put its faith in cleverness by launching an official announcement under the clever headline: “Somewhere over near Rainbow: the Wimmera’s weather radar”.

Judy Garland would be so impressed! Well done.

Also active on the clever front was the National Capital Authority (NCA) which manages that part of Canberra that is the National Capital.

Letting the world know that weed control around parts of Lake Burley Griffin would be left to a herd of goats after a trial last year, the NCA said it was “delighted to welcome back the four-legged eradication team”.

It chose another remarkable headline to draw attention to its quirky solution to a murky problem, but this time its familiarity with the four-legged consultants raised as many questions as it answered.

“The goats are baaa-ck at Lake Burley Griffin” was how the Authority headed its announcement

Clever, yes. Accurate, possibly not.

PS-sssst! has always assumed it’s sheep that say ‘baaa’, whether they’re baaa-ck or not, and goats are more ‘bleaters’ than ‘baaaers”.

Either way, we had to have a go-at it!


Plain lazy

Hats off to shy reader ‘Anonymous TD’ this week for pointing out that publishers in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, specially PS-sssst! which has made an artform of spotlighting the minor errors of hardworking readers in the course of their important work for the Australian community.

Noting that the same gremlins that sneak into public service offices and sprinkle typing errors around can also be found on a newspaper’s hectic newsfloor, Anonymous TD pointed to the PS News story of last week covering the Commonwealth Department of Human Services’ award for its plain English website.

“Great article,” Anonymous TD began. “Shame you misspelt ‘website’ in the second paragraph.”

A frantic check of the story revealed TD’s dreaded truth: “The Department’s webiste received the Foundation’s gold certification……..”

Point taken. How embarrassment!

Anonymous TD’s fabulous bookprize for entertaining PS-sssst!’s readers will be anonymously donated to charity! Or could that be chatiry?

Stand up for World Day

A message for the chronically observant amongst us now, most of whom would have chronically observed that yesterday (19 November) was World Toilet day.

Guaranteed, as it is, to elicit the giggling chuckles from the schoolboys in our midst, the World Day marks a real issue with more than half the planet’s population loo-challenged and suffering the various hygiene and health issues that abound as a result.

Far be it from PS-sssst! to make fun of the toiletless on such an auspicious occasion, but not everyone shares our decorous demurity.

Pointing out that Australia’s aid to the under developed world had suffered a ‘long drop’ in recent years and was ‘flushing’ our ability to play our part in toileting the world, a collection of 50 or so Australian aid organisations have linked forces to raise funds for just that purpose.

And their catchcry is irresistible.

“Do you give a crap about ending poverty?” they ask effluently.

“Then add your name to the roll!”

Just brilliant!

And that roll, for anyone who would like to rip off a sheet and reward unwasted creativity with pecuniary support, is at this PS News link.

And then there was ‘The Word’

To Rama Gaind’s weekly giveaway now in which two lucky readers stand the chance of winning copies of the intriguing new novel The Word by William Lane.

To get among the winners, all you needed to know was the name of the ‘oddball advertising eccentric’ who appeared in the The Word, and the answer was Kenric.

The two readers whose correct entries left the PS News Barrel of Booty first were those from Suzanna A of the Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs and Kerry F from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Congratulations to Suzanna and Kerry and thanks to all who took part. The prize books will be winging their way to their new homes soon.

For another chance to join Rama’s long line of winners, simply follow this link to this week’s giveaway and give it your best shot.

You have to be in it to win it and being ‘in it’ is free.

Good luck!

13 not out!

And finally, happy birthday to us – PS News officially becomes a teenager on Wednesday 21 November.

Born to an unsuspecting family of 1,500 publicly available online email addresses back in 2005, the infantile but noisy newspaper weighed just 30 pages, carried more news than features and was heartily welcomed by a loving audience, a great many of whom have continued to act as proud parents over the years.

Sharing the growing pains with its rambunctious new publication, the first family members were quick off the mark to introduce their new found foundling to literally thousands of their colleagues, fellow staffers, contacts and teammates, most of whom have embraced the service over the year until today, at the ripe old age of 13, the child newspaper formally becomes an adolescent.

And so it is that PS News enters its 14th exciting year of reporting, explaining, distributing and going into bat for its beloved PS to which it owes so much.

Like all pubescent young teenagers, PS News has the world at its feet, its head in the clouds and the passion in its heart to greet the world with bigger stories, take bigger risks and adopt a general behaviour that will drive the PS family mad.

So we hope you’ll help us celebrate our teenagerness and join us for another fun, frantic and informative year of communication, education and edification as only a fast-maturing PS News can do.

Our next stop will be 16 when we get access to the company car, then 18 when we can vote and then 21 when we might be thinking about having little newspapers of our own.

In the meantime we know we owe so much to the PS family which has nurtured us from our baby days. We can do little more than thank every one of our readers and subscribers for getting us this far.

Thank YOU!

Till next week…..

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.