Youth Justice Day
On Tuesday 18 November, nine Year 8 students attended the Youth Justice Day which introduced them to the Australian legal system and encouraged them to become actively engaged citizens. The day began with an Opening Address by Justice Julie Ward at the Supreme Court of NSW. This was followed by a series of interactive workshops at the Law Society of NSW on issues including children’s rights, income distribution and environmental law. Students gained knowledge on local and global social justice issues, and were equipped with strategies to make positive change.
Here are some reflections about each session from the students who attended the excursion:
The Legal System
This session was our first session of the day and was definitely one of our favourites! We learnt valuable information about the legal system, the different courts in Australia and appealing a decision in court. The information was taught in a very fun and interactive way and we heard about a lot of unusual laws. Did you know that if you are caught with a pet rabbit in Queensland, it comes with a hefty fine of $44, 000! We are very thankful to Jacqueline Charles (Rule of Law Institute of Australia) for introducing us to the legal system and Mrs Potalia for an unforgettable day.
– Luka Swain and Bernice O’Brien
In this workshop we learnt about unemployment rates, the different incomes of Australians and the problems associated with our economic system. We found out about issues concerning income distribution and social welfare payments. We discussed the differences between how income is distributed in Sweden compared to Australia. We learnt a lot and had an intellectually stimulating debate that broadened our understanding of income and taxes.
– Grace Napoli and Emily Pollard-Brayne
Human Rights and Children’s Rights
This session was definitely our favourite session and we enjoyed the engaging way the speakers from ChilOut (Children Out of Immigration Detention) shared information with us. We learnt about many different human rights such as ‘everyone has the right to an education’, as well as the struggles faced by asylum seekers and refugees. We were informed on the harsh realities of some children that are in a minority group who aren’t given the same rights as the majority of children in Australia. We spoke about ways we are able to enforce the rights of ALL children globally like writing letters to local members of parliament.
– Sophie Andreou, Claudia Lyndon and Isabella Tziolis
Climate Change and the Environment
In this workshop we explored the effects of climate change on both the environment and people, as well as the impacts our actions have on the world. Mika Moriyama from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition shared the impacts of climate change on places such as Kiribati, where the land is less than two metres above sea level. The countries who cause the least carbon emissions are impacted the greatest by climate change. We were shocked to learn about Australia’s per capita carbon emissions compared with other nations. We are now equipped with the knowledge to take action against climate change within our own lives and others.
– Tahlia Jones and Emma Vandervelde
Mrs Divya Potalia
Social Sciences Teacher