Saturday, November 15, 2014

Australia: Politically correct giving?

Questions over Katy Perry's choice of school for cash prize. Is it wrong to give prizes for excellence?  Must all prizes go to the poor?

Schools for children with disabilities have questioned a decision by Katy Perry and tour sponsor to give a $10,000 cash prize to Loreto Mandeville Hall College's performing arts facilities.

Telstra said the decision to choose Loreto Mandeville, an independent girls' school in Toorak, came directly from Perry, who is in Melbourne performing her Prismatic tour and that there was no interference.

"I picked you guys out of 300 different submissions from all over Australia, there are four girls that we should all thank because they made the most adorable, sweet, innocent, full-of-life, full-of-joy video – and I picked that one," she told her fans at Loreto on Thursday.

Perry visited the Toorak college yesterday which won a nationwide competition.

"I'm not one to complain but I think it's a shame when there's a lot of other struggling schools who want to expand their performing arts," said Karen Taylor, executive assistant to the CEO at Mater Dei in Camden, NSW.

"Purely based on appearances I don't know if that school [Loreto Mandeville] would necessarily need an additional extra $10,000 for their faculty when they already have a fully fledged orchestra and a state-of-the-art performing arts department," she said.

Ms Taylor also said their school's submission did not have the resources to submit a professional-looking video.

"Loreto did a fantastic compilation of what their school was doing but theirs looked professionally done and they've clearly got the resources for that," she said.

Frankston's BAM Allstars dance group for children with different abilities also applied.

"We are wanting to develop a program to take into special schools. Most of them don't have a performing arts program at all," said founder Lisa Murphy.


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