From the Head of Green House, Scott Coleman
Year 10 students took part in two Reflection Days as part of their Religious Education Program on Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th November 2017.
In keeping with the major themes of the Year 10 Religious Education Curriculum, the focus of these days was on Values and Social Justice. The purpose of these two days was to provide students with the opportunity to reflect on their own attitudes and values, as well as sharing in the experiences, attitudes and values of others.
The two days varied significantly and involved the following:
Activities led by Mr Sam Clear – WALK4ONE
Sam Clear walked around the world for unity. He travelled 15,600km on foot through South America, Central America and North America, across Siberia by train, and on foot again from Moscow to the western most point of Spain. The WALK4ONE thrust Sam onto the front page of numerous overseas news services as he persevered despite exceptional adversity.
Having to find food and water every day was the least of his worries: he was threatened at gunpoint three times, robbed at knife point, beaten up on the side of the road, came face to face with dangerous animals, was hospitalised many times and endured extreme temperatures.
Sam has now presented the lessons from this epic adventure in over 700 businesses and high schools around Australia, New Zealand the United States. His tale is one of extraordinary courage, challenges and love in action under incredible circumstances.
The students were inspired by Sam’s story and ability to overcome incredible challenges. Sam challenged each student to think about their own drive to improve the world and those around them. The activities and stories encouraged students to think about their own behaviours and engagement in the world around them.
Sydney Jewish Museum Visit
Each student attended the Sydney Jewish museum and were lead around the venue by a holocaust survivor. The harrowing story about surviving such a troubling part of human history was an eye opening experience for each of the students at Waverley. Students commented on how powerful it was to meet a holocaust survivor and see the impact this had on Jewish people around the world and the long lasting effects that are still there today.
One of the speakers was a homeless man with HIV who faces difficulties in his day to day life. Students were overwhelmed by his story and many of them discussed the issues that he faced after the discussion.
The other speaker talked about human trafficking and the impact it has on victims around the world. The students could not believe the stories that were shared with them as an eye opening account of the issue in the world around them.
Thanks must go to the following teachers for their support
- Phil Davis
- Geraldine Cullen
- Nicholas Brophy
- Paul Cornish
- Damien Thompson
- Karen Jones
- John McCallum
- Nohara Binyamin
- Nehal Badiani
- Kaitlyn Downey
- Catherine Stewart
- David New
- Matthew Barr
- Tony Moore
- Dominic Hearne
- John McCoy
- James Horrocks
- Olivia Kite
Thanks must also go to year 10 students for the mature and focused way they approached the reflection days. It was a great way to end the year for this cohort who continue to show their exceptional potential as our college leaders for the future years.
The reflection days finish the year 10 program for the year and the cohort must be applauded for their engagement in 2017. They bound towards being future leaders of the school and we cannot be in better shape than with this cohort taking up the mantle as leaders in less than a year’s time. The cohort continues to display all the integral components of a Waverley student and are the epitome of Virtus Sola Nobilitat, as they continue to grow into men that understand the importance of being fundamentally good.
Throughout the break choose to be good men that show compassion, justice, faith and integrity. We look forward to seeing you all next year, ready to take on 2018 with the maturity that places the college in a better place for the future.
Some students thoughts…
Caillan Porter, Year 10 student
I found the Reflection Days which were arranged for the Year 10 students to attend over the past two days to be an amazing learning experience, and an incredible conclusion to an already eventful year.
Our visit to the Jewish Museum was an extremely moving experience, and something I will never forget.
We all listened intently to Andrew, who shared his life experiences with us, and took us through the unfortunate times when he had no other option in life but to live and sleep on the streets, and the danger and fear he endured in doing so.
When we visited The Centre we were fortunate to meet Sam Clear, who shared his amazing story of his journey walking from one side of the world to the other. He shared with us his experiences, and including on one occasion where he visited a village in Panama, where he met this man, his wife and daughter who were living in extreme poverty and yet offered all they had.
I do not believe that there is anything that could be improved upon, as I found both days very inspiring, thought provoking and an amazing learning curve.
Gian Bonanni, Year 10 student
To mark the beginning of the Reflection Days, Quinn, Green, Conlon and Tevlin Houses had the honour of meeting Eddie, a 97 year old Jewish man who grew up in Germany. He described his horrific journey from a normal Jewish child living in Germany to a young adult who was pin-pointed for his religious background. Listening to his wise words involving his experiences in concentration camps and society during World War II, the boys and staff were able to understand the tragic time period which ruined and destroyed lives. He constantly kept us in intrigued with the surreal events he had with SS guards and the ways in which he saved and made friends. One thing the boys definitely won’t forget from the day is how he consistently asked the group the question he said he will never figure out, “Why the Jewish people?”.
After being moved by Eddie, we were further exposed to the harsh world of human trafficking, which involves the ‘inhuman’ treatment of individuals in all walks of life. We were told about what human trafficking is and how this impacts our society. The boys were further able to explore how slavery is not abolished from society and how human trafficking is referred to as modern slavery. The students were exposed to many areas of this topic and the ways in which we can help and stop this awful activity. The presentation, which was very detailed, added a personal aspect in which allowed us to see what company brands are benefitting from some form of child slavery, sexual exploitation and forced labour which are all forms of human trafficking.
Our final seminar for the day was a talk with a man who had suffered from bullying, alcohol and drug addiction. Whilst being extremely humorous and down to earth, his life experiences allowed us to see the negative effects of bullying. This man suffered from bullying all throughout high school from both teachers and students. Having not received any help, he slowly ‘fell off the rails’ after his mother passed away. Due to a poor relationship with his father, he became homeless, arriving in Central from Wagga Wagga. His experiences of living on the streets of Sydney allowed the boys to realise how lucky we are and why it’s so important to be disciplined and stay focused in our own lives and to never bully others.