‘Asylum seekers have faces, they have names, and they have stories’ was the message delivered at The BLOCK Table Talks on September 2. The day was part of the ‘Jump Up & Down 4 Kids’ campaign, which aims to create enough awareness to remove the remaining 211 children from mandatory detention in Australia. Students in Kindergarten to Year 12 at Ashfield schools St Vincent’s Catholic Primary, De La Salle College and Bethlehem College, came together to protest keeping children in Immigration Detention.
“It is important to tell people how you feel about these children and share the desire for change with your families and communities,” said Chantelle Ogilvie-Ellis, a spokeswomen for the Sydney Alliance.
To show their support, the 1200 staff and students ended the day by gathering together in De La Salle’s College Hall and jumping up and down. This was done to the campaign’s anthem ‘Jump’, sung by X Factor finalist Jacinta Gulisano. St Vincent’s Prinicpal Patricia Williams also addressed the students and encouraged them to recognize the responsibility they have to help protect asylum seekers. “We as a group must ask for equality and fairness for all our brothers and sisters in Christ,” she said. “We must support and respect the dignity of all asylum seekers, not behaste them behind bars.”