Our Holy Redeemer at World Humanitarian Day

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03 October 2016

By Alexandra C and Siobhan D, School Captains at Our Holy Redeemer School, Surrey HillsJulie Bishop with students from Our Holy Redeemer and Caritas CEO Paul O'Calaghan and Suzy McIntyre

On Friday 19 August, Mr Frank Dame (Principal) and Mr Nick Byrne (Religious Education Leader), accompanied the School Captains and the Social Justice Team from Our Holy Redeemer School, Surrey Hills, to World Humanitarian Day. The day was held at the State Library of Victoria and was attended by many dignitaries and representatives of aid agencies from across Australia.

We felt honoured to have been invited to this day. Our Holy Redeemer had been extended the invitation due to our significant fundraising efforts in recent years to support Caritas Australia.

We all had the pleasure of listening to the Foreign Minister, the Hon. Julie Bishop MP, talk about the issues the world faces especially in less fortunate countries, suffering natural disasters and/or conflict and what we can do to help solve them.

As Ms Bishop spoke we felt saddened to hear about the events that occur in other, less fortunate countries. We realised how fortunate we are to live in such a privileged country, Australia.

After the Minister had presented her speech we were given the opportunity to ask her some questions.

Georgia W asked a question: On behalf of Our Holy Redeemer Primary School, we know that you visit many countries on behalf of Australians. We were wondering how quickly does our government react when disaster or conflict occurs? And what are the steps our government take? 

Ms Bishop responded, telling us that our government always tries to respond within 48 hours. Often they actually respond immediately, as they did in the case of the Fijian cyclone earlier this year. The first response is usually to ensure the people in the troubled country have their immediate needs met. Things such as clean water, shelter and medical assistance are always first priority.

The CEO of Caritas Australia, Paul O’Callaghan, met with us prior to the event and reminded us that we were privileged in representing 800,000 Catholic students from across Australia. This made us feel extremely proud and rewarded.

had great fun listening and learning all about what our government is doing about the problems the world faces, plus the cookies and juice we received afterwards were very satisfying!

Thank you to Caritas Australia and all who were involved in this great opportunity we took part in.