St Joseph’s College stands in solidarity with refugees

author avatar
Silent: Year 12 students and staff participate in the solidarity circle at St Joseph’s College. Photo by Steve Huntley

Students and staff at St Joseph’s College have shown their support for refugees with a Circle of Solidarity on Friday to finish Refugee Week.

The Echuca school’s social justice leader, Claire Hogan, said Pope Francis frequently reminded us that migrants and refugees were not a problem to be solved or a burden to be shared equitably among countries, but sisters and brothers to be welcomed, respected and loved.

“Their presence is not an imposition but presents us with the opportunity to contribute with them to building a better world,” she said.

“Australia and the rest of the world have a great opportunity to hit the reset button on how we behave towards one another and draw upon shared hardship to heal wounds, to learn from each other and to move forward.

“Healing can occur through storytelling, through community and also through the realisation of our intrinsic interconnectedness as individuals.

“At St Joseph’s College we will spend the week informing students, staff and our community about refugees and celebrating the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society, to help people understand the many challenges they face and to focus on how we as a community can provide a safe and welcoming environment for refugees.

“In doing so, we will be supporting The Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project, one of Kildare Education Ministries’ community works.”

BASP was co-founded in 2001 by Sister Brigid Arthur and St Joseph’s College past principal Sr Catherine Kelly.

Sr Brigid continues to work tirelessly with refugees and was recently recognised for her work by being made an officer of the Order of Australia in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

St Joseph’s College is this year collecting donations to purchase Myki cards and phone cards for BASP clients.

Locals who would like to support the BASP program are welcome to drop a donation in to St Joseph’s College, or visit

Solidarity: Year 12 students at St Joseph’s College stand for eight minutes and 24 seconds in solidarity with the 8.24 million refugees worldwide. Photo by Steve Huntley
Together: Students hold placards and signs with messages of support for refugees. Photo by Steve Huntley
Unity: Student leaders also mentioned the refugee crisis in Ukraine as a part of their solidarity circle. Photo by Steve Huntley
Community: St Joseph’s College staff and community members Geraldine Ryan, Sr Cecilia Merrigan, Rachelle Chapman and Barb Green. Photo by Steve Huntley
Hope: Student leaders spoke and read prayers during the service. Photo by Steve Huntley
Cohort: All Year 12 students from the school gather at the front of the school to show their support for refugees around the world. Photo by Steve Huntley
Justice: Students hold messages calling for justice for refugees. Photo by Steve Huntley
Support: Students are silent in solidarity for eight minutes and 24 seconds. Photo by Steve Huntley