ERC Updates

From the Director of Identity

Our focus on Gospel Spirituality this year reminds us that a spirituality that is focussed on the example of Jesus, leads us to enact all the other touchstones which are expressions of God’s love in the world. The students and staff have been engaged in authentic learning activities over the past fortnight focussed on a line from our Edmund Rice Prayer:
‘He opened his heart to Christ, present in those oppressed by poverty and injustice.’
If we are growing to be more like Jesus, then the society that we live in should challenge us to question unjust structures that dehumanise people. Student leaders created a petition to support the Uluru Statement From the Heart and were thrilled to be able to ask their question on QandA when it was broadcast live from the IPAC. Encouraging solidarity is so important in a society that seeks to make us selfish and divided. Read More HERE
During our Sleep Out From Home, we were joined by staff and students from Lewisham, Dr Javed Badyari from Doctors Beyond Borders’ Indefinite Sleep Out to End Indefinite Detention; Pamela Dunn from Grandmothers for Refugees; Amro and Sophie-may from SCARF (Strategic Community Assistance for refugee Families); Craig Foster, Social Justice Advocate and former Australian Soccer player; Senator Kristina Keneally and local MP Sharon Bird!  To have so many people take the time to help us to understand how to make meaningful change in the world was truly inspiring. We requested Minister Marise Payne, the Foregin Minister to join us but as she was already engaged, her Office did get back to us to answer our questions and even consulted the Home Affairs Office to seek information about the indefinite detention and changes to the law.
Here are some of the student reflections from the evening:
I’m reflecting on the homeless people, who on a daily basis are exposed to the harsh elements and are living in substandard conditions, risking their health and lives every day. I’m grateful that I have a roof over my head and I’m safe every night I go to bed. This activity has made me appreciate how lucky I’m and realise that we must ACT NOW. (Oliver Johnson, Year 7)
I am taking part in this sleep out as I believe all people deserve the right to live in freedom and respect. So I am sleeping out in solidarity with these people. (Henry Jones, Year 8)
The sleep out was very good, it showed me and my family what the homeless, and refugees go through every single night. It shows just how lucky we are. I am excited to do it next year, can’t wait. (Rhys Barnes, Year 7)
After today’s meeting and from hearing from an actual refugee ( who was once a asylum seeker) I can now say that I believe that refugees are being wronged in this country and now I know how to support the cause. I feel great knowing that I helped refugees and I can finally get to know others who have even more dedication than I do as right now they are on their 665 night of camping for refugees freedom. (Zac Charteris, Year 8)
It was a really good night to listen to the guest speakers and to learn a bit more about the refugee system in Australia. It was also an amazing experience to sleep outside in solidarity with the refugees and to be alongside the journey and mission of Dr Javed Badyari (Matt Armitage, Year 11)
It was a tough night and I am grateful for having a bed! (Bailey Everatt, Year 7)
I learned a lot from listening to the speakers on zoom and eating the beans and rice for dinner made me feel even more sorry for those people who eat rice three meals a day. (James Rouen, Year 7)
I really enjoyed the experience of the sleep out, but I couldn’t imagine doing that every night. I have developed a new respect for people who are committed to doing this each night as a protest against indefinite detention. (Ben Connolly, Year 10)
It was a very informative night and after hearing a refugees story I really felt that Indefinite Detention should be a thing of the past. (Cordell Yenne, Year 7)
I loved the night. I really showed me and my family what the homeless, and refugees go through every single night. It really showed me how just how lucky I am and how hard it is to go through the pain that they go through. I am really excited to do it again next year. (Rhys Barnes, Year 7)
It was cold, but it is always interesting to go into the life’s of others. I do now really understand that these refugees in detention have it tough. (Edward Guest, Year 8)
Mrs Hurley
Director of Identity