New Initiative for Promoting Justice in School

Steve Rocha cfc promotes and co-ordinates the work of ERI in India. Recently he was invited to spend a month as a ‘Justice Facilitator in Residence’ at an Australian school. A member of the Edmund Rice Network in South Australia, Lynne Moten is a staff member at Seymour College, and the students of the school have been active in their support for the ‘Nine is Mine’ campaign. Here is Lynne’s account of the visit. (The photo shows Steve (l) and Phil Glendenning with some of the students)

Residencies in Australian schools are usually based in the creative arts, so I believe that the appointment of Br Steve Rocha as the Justice Facilitator in Residence at Seymour College for the month of June, was unique.

One of my roles at the College is to assist teachers to embed issues of justice, ethics and service into the curriculum, and Steve brought a new creativity and knowledge to that.  He worked right across the College, from the 4 year olds, to the Year 12 classes.

Steve worked in a number of faculty areas; English, Geography, Religion, Drama, Music, Art, Biology, Legal Studies, and Languages. He also helped the year 9 students with their Independent Learning Plan, where students investigate issues, and are invited to include an aspect of justice. In each of these areas he made relevant to the course work issues of injustice and ethics.

Steve worked in the younger classes to help students understand that many children across the world don’t share the same privileges, and he was surprised at their level of questioning and understanding. Steve worked with a number of groups to help develop further the understanding of the power of advocacy.

Besides this, Steve presented at each of the EREA schools in Adelaide, and to other groups in the Edmund Rice Network, to the local branch of the UN, and attended a number of relevant meetings.

The group of students who wrote the original NINEISMINE song made a start on the next one with Steve, and he worked with the group who will travel to India in December and January. The group will spend a week in Delhi working on the campaign, in partnership with our partner school, Salwan Public School, facilitated by Steve.

During this time, Phil Glendenning, from the Edmund Rice Justice Centre in Sydney, also presented twice at the school and this increased the justice focus for June.

It was a busy month, and successful, to say the least.

Lynne Moten
Director of Service Learning
Seymour College

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