Marist Lumina Solidarity Day: A Passion for Christ and a Passion for Humanity

MaristOn Friday, 24th June 2005, the Marist Brothers Sydney Province of Australia held a social justice forum entitled, ?Marist Lumina Solidarity Day: A Passion for Christ and a Passion for Humanity? (?Lumina? meaning ?to walk in the light?).
Over 450 students from 20 Marist and affiliated schools in Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle and Forbes gathered at St Joseph?s College, Hunter?s Hill, for the forum. The day began with an indigenous ritual of purification and an acknowledgement of land led by Aboriginal elders from the Sydney region. Brother John Thompson, Provincial of the Marist Brothers Sydney Province, welcomed participates to the gathering and introduced Dr Sev Ozdowski, the Commissioner for Human Rights & Equal Opportunity who officially opened the forum.

Guest speakers included Sudanese refugee Adut Dau Atem. Adut spent 8 years in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya following her flight from her home in southern Sudan when planes bombed her village.
Another speaker was Year 12 student & Vice Captain of Holroyd High School, Reza Sayed. Reza fled central Afghanistan aged 14 after Taliban forcibly conscripted his 17 year old brother and then brought him back in a sac. His parents sent him alone to Australia with people smugglers. Reza arrived in December 2000 where he was sent straight to a remote desert maximum security centre in Western Australia for processing.

Other speakers included students from Wiley Park Girls High who left their countries of Bosnia, Iraq & Sierra Leone as refugees, and Edison Yongai, Sierra Leone journalist who was imprisoned by the Sierra Leone government for writing about political corruption.
Br David Hall, Executive Director of Marist Ministries, led an ?Open Forum? providing an opportunity for students to question and discuss further issues with our guest speakers. There were also 26 different workshops during the day for students to explore issues of social justice and solidarity in our local communities and in our world.
A number of schools provided moving and thought provoking musical and drama performances during the day including Marist College, Kogarah, St Patrick?s College, Dundas, St Francis Xavier College, Hamilton and St Joseph?s College, Hunters Hill.


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