Yesterday, led by the Year 12 Social Justice leaders a number of students and teachers chose to participate in a detention4detention activity, in support of CAPSA (Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum). Particularly as it is child protection week (in addition to Enviroweek and Week Without Words) this was a fantastic opportunity for girls to sit in solidarity in support of some of the world’s most vulnerable (children in detention centres). Girls and teachers sat in circles, facing outwards, holding signs which articulate the rights dictated by the UN declaration of Human rights and the Convention on the Rights of a Child, which draw attention to the universal rights, which children should be afforded- prerogatives as children and as humans.
During the activity, Philippa and I also read a number of passages drawing attention to the rights outlined in International law, particularly regarding children, and a number of Bible passages which express the Christian perspective on refugees and detention. I have listed a few below.
- ‘Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries, asylum from persecution.’
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) Article 14
- “Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” – Matthew 9:13-14
- As of the 30th June 2016 the government’s latest statistics reveal that 49 children were held in detention facilities on Nauru
- 0 children are held in detention facilities on the mainland
- 296 children are in community detention on the Australian mainland
- “One of the Pharisees, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40
- Children on Nauru risks creating a generation of damaged people- in October 2015 delegates from the Human rights commission, accompanied by two paediatricians, visited the Wickham Point Detention Centre in Darwin to assess the wellbeing of children and their families – when asked if he was scared about being sent back to Nauru, a nine year old boy replied: “ I am scared in my room every night at 10pm when they walk and open the door for the head count. I think someone is going to take me away”. 19 of the 20 children that completed the interview were deemed at high risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder
- “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
- “The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time,” (CROCs)
Thank you to all those girls and teachers who took part. Photographs taken throughout the activity will be posted on social media in support of CAPSA.
Also, a quick reminder that as Enviroweek continues next week if you have any old phones that can be brought in for our mobile muster that would be fantastic. Also, as the week continues, don’t forget to bring low waste lunches every day of the Enviroweek—a small contribution in order to contribute to intergenerational equality for the future.
If you’d like to know more about what the School is doing to celebrate Enviroweek, please see the Loreto Normanhurst Enviroweek profile (It will become public on the CoolAustralia website soon). In the meantime, however, the table below provides a few of the events in a nutshell:
Loreto Enviroweek Celebrations 8th Sept-14th September
Throughout the week:
- Low waste Wednesdays throughout the week
- Emu Parades for 5 minutes at the end of each lunchtime
- House Mobile Muster competition
- Badges to be sold from 12/9/16-16/9/16 for $1 each to support future Green Team initiatives
Mika Moriyama- speaker from Australian Youth Climate Coalition
Ettore Altomare from Oz Harvest to speak
9th/12th September lunchtime
Cake stall in the quad at recess
Other notable information
- Coffee pod teracycle recycling boxes have arrived this week for teacher staffrooms
- Our new indoor recycling stations have arrived and are set up around the school- a big thankyou to Ms McCann and the members of staff on the Sustainability Committee for organising these
Ms Kerry McCullough
Dean of Mission