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Celebrating unity during Refugee Week


As Australians join in activities to mark Refugee Week, children at St Brigid’s School, Kilburn, are celebrating the unity and diversity of their school while expressing their support for refugee families in the community.

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Every week, students at St Brigid’s join in learning activities known as ‘Heart Learning’ during which they embrace the core values of love and peace established by the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH) Sisters who have had a long association with the school.

Assistant principal – Religious Identity and Mission, Paula Burns, said the session plays a vital role in the school’s weekly routine, fostering a shared sense of community and learning among students.

As part of Heart Learning and in recognition of this year’s Refugee Week (June 16-22), students will participate in a range of activities designed to promote empathy and understanding towards refugees.

The week’s events will include a book reading of A Hundred Thousand Welcomes by Mary Lee Donovan and Lian Cho, setting the tone for a reflective and inclusive atmosphere. The book will be the inspiration for an activity where students will decorate sunflowers with handwritten messages as a symbol of positivity and gratitude.

The decorated sunflowers will be donated to the Vinnies Refugee and Asylum Seeker Service, located across the road from the school.

Students will also engage in an exercise inspired by Anh and Suzanne Do’s book, The Little Refugee. Drawing backpacks on paper, they will think about what they would take if they found themselves in the shoes of a refugee child, fostering a deeper personal connection to the refugee experience.

The final activity will see the whole school collaborate on a banner representing this year’s Refugee Week theme of ‘Finding Freedom – Family’.

Each student will be given a piece of the banner to personalise, resulting in a collective artwork that symbolises the unity and diversity of the school as well as highlighting their continued commitment to supporting and educating refugee families.

To culminate the week’s activities, the whole school will join together in a Refugee Week community prayer on the school grounds.

“Acknowledging Refugee Week is immensely important for our school community as we strive to be a place of welcome and belonging for all. It’s extremely rewarding seeing students whose families have refugee status, blossom and flourish in our school environment,” Paula said.

“We are continually learning from one another as we grow together through our shared experiences.”



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