Social Justice

Ignatian Interschool  Forum 

On Tuesday 22 May, ten Year 11 girls, as well as students from St Ignatius’ College Riverview, St Aloysius’ College and St Vincent’s College met at Loreto Kirribilli to discuss the overarching topic of refugees and asylum seekers. More specifically we asked the question, how can our generation make a difference and become more accepting of refugees and asylum seekers?

We worked in small groups to discuss and reflect on what our role is (both individually and collectively as a community) and how we can work together to help our brothers and sisters. As Ignatian schools our discussions were also guided by the scripture and ethical teachings of Jesus. Early in the Old Testament the care and respect to the stranger was established:

When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

(Leviticus 19:33-34)

During the forum we were able to find out what other schools do to embrace refugees and asylum seekers as well as share what our school does. It was inspiring to learn about fortnightly petition signing and the range of social justice groups other schools had implemented, as well as empowering others by sharing our aims of Loreto Day and the conversation our own school community has started in working with the House of Welcome.

The forum taught us that we can honour Australia as a great nation not by isolation or excessive protectionism, rather by the care and concern for asylum seekers in the spirit of kindness. Doing this we create a strong nation that promotes acceptance, dignity and justice for all people.

Freshly inspired and empowered to take action, we ask you to take on the call for a global response to compassion.

On behalf of all the girls in attendance we would like to formally thank Loreto Kirribilli for hosting, and all the teachers and staff involved for making this fantastic opportunity possible.

 

Samantha Buick

Year 11