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Social Justice

Social Justice – a busy start to 2017!

Street Retreat, Woolloomooloo, March 2017

From the Social Justice Co-ordinator, Geraldine Cullen

What a crazily busy term this has been! Starting a new school year always requires a lot of energy. There are Year 11 Service rosters to be filled and multiple agencies, such as the Blood Bank, to contact and book. This is all in the first few weeks.

I was really happy with the fantastic response from our Year 11 students. They were enthusiastic and generous when asked to sign up for our Justice Program. They are all required to volunteer with the homeless, young disabled people and at least one other charity or agency. We have broken the record with blood donors this year. Hundreds of lives will be saved by our students’ donations.

It was great to have the chance to talk to Year 7 and Year 11 parents at the Information evenings. I thank all parents in advance for your contribution to our College Social Justice Programs.

Year 8 students started the Social Justice unit in their RE classes this term. They are looking at issues that Australia faces, such as Aboriginal disadvantage, detention of refugees and climate change. I will visit all Year 8 classes for discussion in Week 9.

Students were challenged by our Street Retreat last week at the Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross. An ex-homeless man, who was originally from Johannesburg, shared his fairly harrowing life story. I think the students got a sense that homelessness is a complex problem that can affect anyone. Rob came here as a Qantas executive but due to alcoholism, he found himself divorced and homeless. He has turned his life around which confirms that everyone deserves a second chance.

This year I have been given a classroom to use as an Advocacy Centre. The SRC will be taught how to run an advocacy campaign to raise awareness about their House charities. Later in the year I hope to teach students how to be lobbyists. I think it is imperative that they know how to effect social change.

We have an exciting year ahead!

Famine Appeal and Lenten Fundraising for The Ruben Centre

Thanks to parents and students who contributed to our Famine Appeal last Friday. The gold coin Mufti Day raised $2062 for Caritas. They are helping those in the grip of famine in South Sudan and Yemen. Students watched a short film clip in Assembly depicting this horrendous humanitarian disaster.

All House groups have been raising funds for The Ruben Centre in Nairobi. This Ruben Centre has a school and medical facility. It is situated in one of the poorest slums in Nairobi. The Lenten Appeal is the only fundraiser that supports an overseas charity.

To read more about some of the programs offered by The Ruben, please CLICK HERE.