ERC Updates

Be A Voice for Generations

On Wednesday of this week, the ERA 4 Change and Social Justice Prefectures led a whole-school Assembly on the theme of “Be a Voice for Generations”. This is the 2023 theme of National Reconciliation Week – during which all Australians are called to re-focus their attention and efforts to work towards genuine reconciliation through truth telling, education and healing. This theme is also applicable to Refugee Week – during which we are called to acknowledge the stories and contributions of all people of Refugee backgrounds who become part of our communities.

Highlights of the Assembly included:
A message from one of our First Nations mentors – Dakota Feirer, who recently facilitated a workshop for our First Nations students, encouraging them to use the medium of collaborative poetry to write a statement to themselves as future elders. The students then presented the poem they had devised, which was an evocative but hope-filled piece that was received with great respect. A guest speaker from the local refugee organisation SCARF – Zinah Hassan – who shared her story of seeking refuge from the violence of war in Iraq and Syria, and of her experiences growing up in the Illawarra as a refugee student. Zinah gave us all an insightful perspective on what we can practically do to help people in similar situations, and inspired us with the hope that she was able to convey for the future – even after experiencing such great adversity in her early life.

A poetry performance piece – developed by student in Year 9 that compelled us to use our voices to speak out against situations of injustice and hatred – purely because of our shared humanity that confers inherent dignity on all.

We were called to respond to the Theme by taking 3 actions during Reconciliation Week:
Students and Staff were encouraged to purchase and proudly wear a Yellow Ribbon to support the First Nations Charity Children’s Ground (Gold coin donation).
Students and Staff were encouraged to sign up to participate in the Act For Peace Schools Ration Challenge, which will be running for a 6th consecutive year at our College during Week 8 (12-16th June). Students participating will limit themselves to only eating the same food available to people living in a refugee camp for either 3 or 5 days, and anyone who is not participating is encouraged to support those who are by donating to the fundraising efforts which go towards food and medical supplies for Refugee Families in camps throughout the world. On Thursday 15th June, any student who wishes to do so can join the participants for a simple rice-based meal that can be purchased on the day to show their support and assist the fundraising efforts.

Students and Staff were invited to take part in a collaborative Slam-Poetry style activity at lunchtime on Wednesday. House points were awarded to all participants, and their collective efforts resulted in the production of a poem that expressed their desire to open a space to hear the voices of the marginalised.

The Identity Team would like to thank all those who played a role in the organisation and running of this assembly and the associated events for both Reconciliation Week and Refugee Week, as well as our special guest participants Dakota and Zinah for helping us to use our voices for the good of others, and in so-doing, allowing us to better live out our touchstones and follow in Edmund’s footsteps.


God of Compassion,
Open our ears to hear the largely silent cries,
open our eyes to see the faces that remain nameless,
open our mouths to encourage those who struggle to find a voice,
and bless us with the courage and conviction to do so.

Mrs Hurley
Director of Identity