|20 Feb 2023|
The UN World Day of Social Justice not only signifies an important occasion globally but also in the Loreto Normanhurst school calendar. With students to embrace this year’s theme focusing on overcoming barriers and unleashing new opportunities for social justice.
A dedicated group of students including Social Justice Captain, Mia Hallinan (Year 12), Ecology Captain, Charlotte Hudson (Year 12) and Avery Benbow (Year 11) are proudly encouraging their peers to take an active role in social justice activities at Loreto Normanhurst.
Each passionately believes in the importance of young people taking an active role in social justice projects, including Social Justice Captain, Mia Hallinan who said:
“It is critical for young people to be involved in social justice projects, no matter how small, as it demonstrates that ignorance will not help solve anything and that individuals, particularly young people, hold immense power to instigate change.”
She continues, “If every person across the world could develop the mindset that acting upon social justice issues is not optional, but essential, significant action would take place and finding solutions would not seem like such a difficult task for all.”
To mark the occasion of the World Day of Social Justice students from Loreto Normanhurst’s Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Committee (JPIC) will lead students across the school as they explore the importance of justice both within the local community and at a global level.
Students will collaborate to create a visual display of what justice means on a personal level. After recording their ideas on blank jigsaw puzzle pieces, these pieces will be joined together with some sections missing to represent the continuous nature of justice, and how justice remains an ongoing commitment for all.
The World Day of Social Justice serves as the catalyst for several social justice initiatives taking place at Loreto Normanhurst during Term 1, including the launch of Caritas’ Project Compassion, signing pledges in support of Close the Gap Day, and celebrating inclusivity and diversity during Harmony Week. These initiatives are in reflection of the school’s strong commitment to social justice through various curriculum, outreach, advocacy, service, immersion, and fundraising programs that empower students to put their faith into action and significantly contribute to society.
It is fitting that 2023 at Loreto Normanhurst is the Year of Justice. Guided by the knowledge individuals are more equipped to find solutions and advance true equality when they are aware of the different injustices that exist in the world, this is at the core of the Loreto Normanhurst values instilled by the school’s foundress, Mary Ward.
Speaking to the importance of opportunities to engage with social justice as part of the Loreto Normanhurst community, Head of Justice, Jacinta Wells said:
“We encourage and support all students in developing their understanding that true justice is underpinned by values such as kindness, perseverance, compassion, and the inherent dignity of the human person and of creation. For social justice to be authentic and action-orientated, it requires our students to preserve in their intention to bring justice, hope, understanding, and inclusivity to all who they encounter.”
She continues, “through social justice initiatives students can develop important transferrable life skills such as citizenship, collaboration, empathy, and critical thinking, as they discuss and are challenged by justice issues of the modern day. Yet through social justice action, they are also equipped with the knowledge that small acts, lead to big impacts.”
“My experience as Ecology captain and ongoing involvement in ecological justice projects have made me realise how important it is for people to be educated about modern environmental issues, particularly in a time of great environmental challenge. In being involved in projects, students can take their skills in ecological justice further into the workforce and their future lives to continuously make a difference. It is also important for students to understand that caring for the environment and being involved in ecological activities is a fun, inclusive space.” - Charlotte Hudson (Year 12), Ecology Captain
“A big part of JPIC is education and learning how we, as members of a broader community, can do more for that community, socially and environmentally. I believe social justice projects are important for young people, as they draw your attention to the world around us, which is so much bigger and broader than we sometimes take the time to notice. The perspective that comes with this, serves to motivate us to change a world which is and will be our own.” - Avery Benbow (Year 11)
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