McGuire College Years 10 and 11 students recently had a day dedicated to human rights, with guest speakers from the community leading the discussion on lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex rights and gender rights.
The day focused around the learning of the United Nations’ Human Rights Charter with a number of specialised speakers from Shepparton, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.
Students were put into three different groups and took part in four different workshops.
Damien Stevens from Kildonan UnitingCare presented a workshop on LGBTI rights, which was quite popular among the students.
The Ethnic Council and FMG Australia presented workshops on the refugee experience and gender rights, which included a moving presentation from Khadija Gbla, Fatu Sillah and Betul Tuna on forced marriage and female genital mutilation, which are issues not only overseas but also within the Shepparton community.
The final presentation offered to the students was a workshop delivered by the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights, which focused on how the students could support their community through various activities such as fundraising.
The feedback was positive from students, who said it was good to hear people’s personal experiences and it was interesting to learn of the impacts of the discrimination they had faced.
McGuire College is looking to run the program every year for Year 10 students.
Based on student feedback the program is looking to include a presentation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights for next year’s Human Rights Day.