From the Social Justice Co-ordinator, Geraldine Cullen
What an exciting term it has been in the Social Justice arena. The Advocacy program is up and running.
All the Year 7 and 8 students spent time in the new Advocacy room establishing what justice issues matter to them and learning how to campaign for change. I found the students’ enthusiasm infectious. A group of students are currently putting together short training videos. These videos will be posted on-line and can be used to demonstrate steps in running a successful advocacy campaign.
The students have chosen to use the “War on Waste” issue since this may help change students’ attitudes to littering. Jonty Booy spoke beautifully at the Assembly this week about his involvement in the campaign.
Year 11 generally have been very organised in getting themselves to their various Service venues this year.
I sometimes ask myself if the effort we put into organising this program is worth it. Then an ex- student will email me and tell me he is volunteering in a refuge for the homeless and he is doing so because of his involvement in the Service program at school. A student will tell me in the corridor that he donated blood in his own time because he did it last year through the school. We will never know where the little seeds will fall and when they will reach fruition.
Justice in the Curriculum
Year 7 and 8 have just completed their units of Social Justice in their Religious Education classes. In Year 7 students examine justice issues at school and the home like bullying and gender roles. Year 8 look at national issues such as homelessness and Indigenous affairs. I am always impressed when I visit classes how knowledgeable and mature our boys can be when discussing quite serious social justice problems.
Aboriginal Reconciliation Week
In their introductory address this week, the student leaders focused on how unfairly our Indigenous peoples have been treated by white settlers. In tutor groups students watched clips of some of the key historical moments which has shaped Indigenous affairs in this country. My students were horrified to learn that up until fifty years ago, Aboriginal people were included in the Flora and Fauna Act. There is still a lot of work to be done!