Every day individuals are judged according to stigma which is simply not fair! Why do we allow this?
After an initial expression of interest, six Year 11 girls took part in an initiative known as the Student Social Justice project. Over 15 schools in the Broken Bay Diocese came together to discuss key social justice issues. The program provided us with an incredible platform to collaborate with students from other schools and to research social justice issues. At the first meeting, all participants had the opportunity to focus on a particular global injustice. In so doing, we were able to think up tangible ways to eliminate social injustice and now have an ultimate goal to evoke activism within the community.
Loreto chose to focus on homelessness and to debunk the stigmas and preconceptions as to how homeless people found themselves in their state of homelessness. We travelled to St Leo’s Catholic College on Thursday 2 March to collaborate with other students and share our possible solutions to this issue. We were utterly awestruck with what the other students had accomplished; one group in particular had created a small business that provides homeless people with care packages in the wintertime which contain essentials to fight the cold weather. They had contacted manufacturers in China to produce the product in the care packages and this further motivated us to generate a sustainable and effective solution.
Following our presentations on addressing homelessness and the associated stigmas, we had broader ‘table talks’ that evoked insightful discussion on issues that we as adolescents, will continue to face in our youth. For example, we discussed how house prices in Sydney are soaring and how we could overcome this issue.
Overall, it was a very helpful day that definitely inspired us to make a difference in our focus area and beyond.
We hope to initiate activism and discussion on homelessness within the Loreto community to raise awareness but ultimately to bring about change within the wider community.
Ruby Duncan and Caitlin O’Callaghan