Justice and Peace: Young Leaders Forum

Students from Santa Maria College, Aquinas College, Iona College and CBC, attended the Young Justice Leaders’ Forum.

Held during the holidays, this was a joint activity between the four Colleges and held at CBC Fremantle.

The program provided formation for action and advocacy in the areas of justice and peace. It was an exceptional experience for 16 of our students from Years 9 – 11, passionate about social justice issues.

Participants were treated to a leadership-style camp with elements of a formation retreat. The focus was on practical outcomes in areas of knowledge, skills, and practices in the hope of encouraging young people to the effort required to construct an effective advocacy campaign.

Students learnt about:

  • Injustices – local and global inequities
  • Gospel foundations – underpinning acts of justice and nonviolence and ways of responding,
  • The variety of justice and advocacy actions and the contemplative discernment required to respond thoughtfully.

The students were also provided with justice, peace, and advocacy training, they were given opportunities to practice and develop their own leadership capacity. They networked with like-minded students, developed public speaking competencies, and tested their project planning skills over a short timeline.

Santa Maria College Alumni Lucy Stronach addresses the group

Santa Maria past students Stephanie Tory (2019), Tash Stevens (2019), Kate Wilkes (2015) and Lucy Stronach (2013) attended, along with a number Aquinas College alumni, who provided an enriching experience for the participants.

Student Reflections

 “The program taught me about charity, justice, advocacy, peace and non-violence, and how to effectively plan a project or campaign. We worked in groups with students from Aquinas, College, CBC and Iona College, brainstorming and discussing injustices in our world and planning a campaign around how we could do something about it. At the end of the two days, we presented our ideas and learnings to our families and the Sisters of Mercy who attended part of the Forum.  It was a great way to reflect on what we had learnt.” Abby Young 

“Through the forum, I found how quickly and openly everyone became friends. This created a wonderful feeling throughout the group and allowed everyone to share their ideas honestly. I also enjoyed listening and hearing other people’s perspectives on different social justice issues. The forum had an impact on the way I think about charity and justice and how to approach and plan campaigns to address social justice issues.  It was a memorable eye-opening experience!” Alicia Tory


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