After last month’s editorial meltdown at The Monthly, I wondered who would volunteer to do the job.
Now we know – the very youthful Ben Naparstek, aged 23, has the job. Having googled him this morning (I was not the only one – I’d got as far as ‘Ben Nap..’ and google was already correctly suggesting that I wanted ‘Naparstek’) he’s done some good journalism about big-name intellectual and literary figures. Apart from doubts about whether someone so young will be able to stand up to Morry Schwartz and Robert Manne and win the respect of the many contributors old enough to be his parent or grandparent, he seems to have the right background for the job.
In any case, he’s clearly not lacking in confidence. I liked this part of the Weekend Australian’s version of the story:
He applied for the job when he was 18,” Mr Schwartz told The Weekend Australian yesterday.
“I said, ‘no you’re too young’. He said, ‘I’m not too young’ and I said, ‘yes you are’, and so I appointed Christian Ryan instead.
“Now it’s his turn. He starts Monday morning.
Update: Monday’s Australian says that Naparstek has been dubbed the ‘boy Manne’. There could be many variations on this theme: Manneservant, Manne Friday… but let’s give the guy a chance.
One characteristic of Australians is that in general they don’t like moving. In the UK hardly anyone studies in their hometown, they go somewhere else (as long as they can afford it). In the US the same thing happens, people who can afford college often go somewhere interstate or at least in a different city.
– commenter ‘M’ during the week.
Overall, Australians do move quite frequently. According to the census, nearly 40% had moved in the previous five years. According a recent ABS publication, half of Victorian 18-34 year olds have moved in the previous three years.
So is it true that Australians don’t move to study? Comparing enrolment figures for 18 and 19 year olds with census data on the same age groups of students living with their parents it suggests that 42% of teenage students are not living at home. Many of these moves are likely to be lifecycle or lifestyle moves, rather than moving to study at a particular university. But the overall figure is higher than the Australians-stay-at-home-to-study thesis would suggest.
DEST commencing student data suggests that those moving interstate might also be more numerous than commonly thought. Accross the country, 11% of 2007 commencing students were enrolled outside their state of permanent home residence (a trend too; it was 9% in 1997).
Continue reading “Do Australians move to study?”