Read more: What is Wear it Purple Day?, why we celebrate Wear it Purple Day at Waverley, how we are celebrating the week of Wear It Purple Day, helpful resources and activities.
During Week 7, Years 7-11 will celebrate its annual Wear It Purple Day. Despite a number of face-to-face activities being planned including an advocate morning tea and the wearing of purple ribbons and wristbands, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the College has had to move to an online format during an extended wellbeing time on Monday 23 August.
What is Wear it Purple Day?
Wear It Purple Day is marked nationally on the last Friday of August each year. In 2021 it falls on Friday 27 August and the theme this year is: ‘start the conversation, keep it going.’ This day is about celebrating and supporting LGBTQIA+ youth, and building a culture that ensures every student knows they have the right to be proud of who they are.
At Waverley, we are committed to creating a safe, caring school environment in which students are nurtured as they learn, while recognising the diversity within the school community. This is supported by our College Leadership Team, and has strong foundations in our inclusive touchstone as part of an EREA (Edmund Rice Education Australia) school.
EREA provides us with a clear roadmap to support our students on their journey with its Safe and Inclusive Communities document. By addressing the concerns and issues of LGBTQIA+ students, we do so within the context of student health, safety and human rights.
Why we celebrate Wear it Purple Day at Waverley
Annually in Australia, too many young people take their own lives as they navigate their own sexuality. Bullying and homophobia still permeate society into our schools. Our own wellbeing survey has identified the need to combat casual homophobia particularly around name calling. Our core belief is that of inclusion – bullying, harassment and discrimination totally contravenes that and has no place in our school.
At Waverley, we have an agreed position that there will be no tolerance of homophobic and transphobic bullying, and students who choose to use homophobic language and actions are identified and challenged, as part of restorative justice practices. We respect difference, and the dignity of each individual.
How we are Celebrating the Week of Wear it Purple Day
This year we have had a group of students who proudly identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, or are an active ally for their peers. They have been instrumental in creating wellbeing resources and initiatives for our students to engage with during the week of Wear it Purple Day:
Welcoming our Virtual Guest Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli
On Monday we will be lucky to welcome Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli as a (virtual) guest. She follows a growing line of guest speakers promoting the rights of the LGBTQI+ community at the College including David Pocock, Peta Friend and earlier this year, Ian Roberts.
Ms Pollotta-Chiarolli has national and international recognition as a writer, researcher, and consultant in the issues of cultural diversity, gender diversity, sexual diversity, with a specific focus on adolescence and young people.
We have had Zoom sessions with her and our student leaders to discuss some of the topical issues around the LGBTQIA+ community, and developed a video based on some of the questions. Some of these topics cover things like how to challenge homophobic language if you hear it.
Ms Pollotta-Chiarolli will respond to questions put to her by a number of students. Following her presentation, students will engage in activities and discussions in their Mentor groups.
Promoting Helpful Resources and Activities
Throughout the week, the Senior School Library will promote books which address the important issue of challenging homophobic language and homophobia.
>>> Click here to learn about and access these books in the article by Mr Bill Roberts, Head of Library Services.
Wear it Purple and Minus18 have created some fantastic resources to start conversations. Below is a video of parents of LGBTQIA+ youth, in which they discuss their experience, and share their tips for supporting young people within this community.
>>> Click here to view the video of parents of LGBTQIA+ youth.
Other articles can be found below:
>>> Click here to learn more about Challenging Homophobic Language.
>>> Click here to learn more about a Guide to Words and Definitions.
Wearing PURPLE on Friday!
In addition to quizzes, sharing information, Kahoot! and Zoom backgrounds, all students are encouraged to wear purple on Friday 27 August to show their support. If you don’t own anything purple, there will be Zoom backgrounds you can choose from, to help celebrate this day.
So get involved and celebrate the theme for Wear it Purple Day 2021: ‘start the conversation, keep it going.’ This is what we intend to do. Each year we continue to build momentum, and are proud to be leaders in this space.
Mr Patrick Brennan
Deputy Principal (Staff and Student Wellbeing)
Ms Tessa Prior