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Social Justice

Refugee Week 2017: ‘With courage let us all combine’

From Head of Aungier House, John McCoy


For Refugee Week (18 to 24 June) Year 7 student, Antonio Rodriguez has made this inspiring short video about activities at school.

Students from Aungier House are running an awareness campaign throughout the week and setting up an interactive display in the Centenary Quadrangle for students to experience.

Refugee week is Australia’s peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues impacting refugees around the world, as well as recognising the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. The theme for this year is ‘With courage let us all combine’ – a line taken from the Australian National Anthem.

Teachers will be providing students with opportunities to explore refugee issues through activities such as:

  • The library will be offering ‘virtual reality’ tours to give students an appreciation of the struggles faced by many refugees.
  • Giving students time to research notable refugees who have made positive impacts in Australia including Anh Do (comedian/author), Les Murray (sport/football), Tan Le (technology) and Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (broadcaster/scientist).
  • Using activities from the Edmund Rice Centre’s Asylum Seeker and Refugee Education Resource.
  • Encouraging students to explore the “Refugee Republic” website at
  • Creating promotional posters.

Refugee realities

You can experience the same virtual reality of a refugee camp as our students, by viewing ‘Clouds Over Sidra’ at  made at the Zaatari Refugee Camp. The camp is home to 130,000 Syrians fleeing violence and war. Children make up half the camp’s population. This is the story of Sidra, a 12-year old girl who has spent the last 18 months in Zaatari. This personal story immerses the reader into Sidra’s world, building empathy for the plight of displaced children and the aftermath of war. (NB. For viewing this VR, there are 4 basic options: An immersive VR headset; a simple VR viewer that uses a mobile phone; a mobile phone on its own; or a web video player. This virtual reality (VR) site requires a robust internet connection.)