Australia’s refugee landscape of the future will be determined by the youth of today. For this reason, JRS Australia engages with young people on a broad range of platforms, helping them to understand the complex issues that give impetus to forced migration and displacement, illustrating the ways in which global events impact on Australia and clarifying the importance of humane refugee advocacy and policy development.
JRS reaches out to school and university students by delivering talks and workshops, promoting awareness-raising events and encouraging involvement in refugee advocacy.
JRS nurtures young people who wish to engage with refugee issues in a meaningful way: several schools have incorporated its refugee approach into their own social justice programs, with students organising BBQs and sports events and assisting in refugee residents’ meetings.
For more information about how your school or institution can become involved with JRS email email@example.com or phone (02) 9356 3888.
JRS Youth Ambassadors
JRS Australia’s Youth Ambassador program engages young people in advocating on behalf of refugees and asylum seekers, most notably within their own peer groups.
Activities for Youth Ambassadors include addressing peers and others in the community on asylum and refugee issues; assisting in the development of resources for young people; working on multimedia projects like the video below; and being a guest speaker at JRS fundraising events.
Register your interest in becoming a JRS Youth Ambassador at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Putting a human face to the asylum seeker debate
My name is Dan Crowley, I am 14 years old and I attend Xavier College, a Jesuit school in Melbourne.
I first heard about JRS through my school. I decided to become a Youth Ambassador for JRS because I am passionate about refugee issues, and thought this would be a great opportunity to get involved in refugee advocacy.
I believe the political debate in Australia over the treatment of asylum seekers has sunk to an unacceptable level, where we value political point scoring over basic human rights.
Our politicians seem to have forgotten that asylum seekers are people too, with their own families, aspirations and dreams, and I believe that putting a human face on the issue is important.
I had the opportunity to meet refugee rappers FLYBZ, who shared their stories and their music at my school, and heard presentations from Sudanese refugees at my local parish. Their stories gave me a first-hand perspective on an issue that is often clouded by headlines and politics.
Daniel Crowley, JRS Youth Ambassador
JRS Youth Ambassador Dan Crowley asks our politicians to stop the cruelty not the boats
Students are encouraged to think about asylum seekers and refugees with compassion, to move their understanding from the head to the heart
The focus is on real people and their stories
The Edmund Rice Centre’s free publication Asylum Seekers and Refugees Education Resource provides activities for students which are practical, engaging and focused on increasing awareness about human rights and advocacy.
The Education Resource is available to download at no cost and offers 35 cross-curricular activities, adaptable to all year levels in secondary school. Some activities can also be used with primary classes, students with special needs and with community groups.
Students are encouraged to think about asylum seekers and refugees with compassion, to move their understanding from the head to the heart.
We encourage teachers to send images, presentations, exhibitions, speeches, art work etc of their students’ work to share on our website.
To download this publication click here. For feedback and enquiries regarding this Education Resource contact by email: erc [at] erc.org.au or phone: (02) 8762-4200.